Though there is no single plan, formula or program for weight loss, calorie consumption and macronutrient balance including carb, protein and fat requirements all play an important role.
Your balance of calories in versus calories out is what determines whether you gain weight, lose it or maintain it, when all is said and done.
The macronutrient ratio of your diet – that is, the percentage of carbs, proteins and fats you consume every day – contributes to hormone synthesis and signalling, the feeling of fullness you get from your meals, and muscle building versus wasting.
Typically speaking, dieters overlook the macronutrient balance of their foods when it comes to managing their weight. That said, there are carbohydrate, protein, and fat requirements that each play a vital role in weight loss and maintenance. They should each be carefully considered when choosing foods.
Understanding Macronutrients and Fat Requirements
Thinking about the way all three macronutrients – not just your fat requirements – play a role in your weight loss is very important. Each one is very important to balance.
Whenever you experience weight loss, you will nearly always have lost some muscle as well. Therefore, it’s a good idea to eat enough dietary protein to make sure you preserve as much of your muscle mass as you can during your weight loss journey.
On the other hand, your fat requirements are there for hormone synthesis and signaling. Carbohydrates give you quick and ready energy for your fat burning workouts.
Dietary Fat Benefits
At their very basic level, hormones are chemical messengers. They signal specific messages in your body to and from everything from individual cells to complete tissue systems such as vital organs like the brain and heart.
Nearly every process in your body is dependent on hormone communication in one way or another. This includes everything from satisfying hunger pangs to muscle growth or wasting, and from vitamin and mineral absorption to fat loss.
Another important benefit to dietary fats is vitamin absorption. Some vitamins have fat requirements simply to be absorbed by the body. These fat-soluble vitamins are: vitamins A, D, E, and K.
If you don’t meet your daily dietary fat requirements, you risk being unable to absorb and utilize the nutrients you consume. This can result in negative impacts to factors such as hunger, and lead to excessive collagen, muscle and bone degeneration.
Where to Find Healthy Fats
The body is able to synthesize some kinds of fats and proteins. That said, there are other forms that are essential and must be consumed through foods. Just as there are essentially amino acids, there are essential fatty acids that must be contained in your diet because your body can’t synthesize them on its own.
Two essential fatty acids critical to hormone signalling are linoleic acid and lenolenic acid. They are also important to neurological and cardiovascular system regulatory pathways.
Many dieters mistakenly cut back beyond their fat requirements because they see fat as something high in calories. This strategy often fails due to energy declines, spiking hunger levels and petering out motivation.
Your fat requirements vary depending on many factors, including gender, activity level, age, and overall health. Overall, the average moderately active adult will need about 20 percent of their daily calorie intake to come from fats.
Great sources of healthy dietary fat includes:
- Oily fish