Health and Fitness Fridays: Macros Part 4 – Carbs

So here we are on the last of the big three macro nutrients, carbohydrates. I must admit, while my numbers for fats have been where I have had problems, it’s the carbs that really taunt me. I definitely have a weakness for those starchy foods.

Thankfully as part of losing weight I managed to conquer those cravings and my carb ratio has been very good. But if I were to just have a big “cheat” day, it would be full of those glorious carbs. Omnomnom.

So what are carbohydrates?

Scientifically they are a molecule “consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms, usually with a hydrogen: oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 (as in water); in other words, with the empirical formula Cm(H2O)n (where m could be different from n).” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbohydrate

But really we are not here for the scientific definition of a carb.

In terms of diet, carbohydrates are used by the body for energy, by converting the carbs to glucose. The body can store glucose for the future or use it right away. Carbs are also good for keeping our central nervous system functioning properly and keeping our digestive system moving.

Carbohydrates get a bad rap because they are added to a lot of processed foods in their sugar and starch forms, but they are an essential part of your diet. Carbs can be found naturally in fruits, vegetables, milk, nuts, grains, seeds, legumes.

How many carbs should I consume?

It is recommended that carbs make up 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories. I have my carb macro set to 45%, which gives me 252g of carbs a day, and I generally don’t have a hard time hitting that level.

But how you make up those carbs is also important.

If you are following the “If it Fits your Macros” diet then in theory you can consume those carbs in any form. But foods with added sugar and refined grains don’t offer much nutrition for the number of calories they have. Instead try to eat carbs that are made of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

You can find more information on carbohydrates at the below links:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/carbohydrates/art-20045705?pg=1

http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/macronutrients.htm

Weekly update

PhotoGrid_1427469434147 With the exception of yesterday, this week wasn’t bad. Yesterday we went to Costco and ate dinner there, so my fat intake was definitely over and my protein intake was low. Damn fries!

Other than that I felt like I was very much on point this week. I had to supplement my protein with powder on a couple of days, but that wasn’t a problem.

The other thing I have found is that when I am on point with my macros my calories are lower than they have been in the past and I don’t feel the cravings that I used to get.

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