We are all familiar with fad diets and their promises of rapid weight loss and better health, but the fact of the matter is that they are too good to be true. Learning about macro-nutrients is easy and helps us women understand how to complete more efficient workouts and why our bodies respond to daily life the way they do. As a woman who takes this very seriously and reads bodybuilding.com for fun, I have found that simply understanding the science of macro-nutrients goes a long way in coming to know ourselves and what works best for us – without stress, super fancy terminology, or ridiculous diets. Here is the simple breakdown of the science around macro-nutrients! 

Most importantly, every food is made up of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Per each gram of carbohydrates, there are 4 calories, 9 calories per gram of fat, and 4 calories per gram of protein. All are necessary to a healthy-functioning body in appropriate proportions. It is important to make sure we eat enough of each. Too many of any of these may leave one feeling bloated, tired, or deficient in certain nutrients. Sometimes, for example, someone may feel like they have more energy as an athlete if they eat a higher fat diet than someone who is not. Again, this is a very personal system to figure out, so consider it an exciting adventure in getting to know yourself. We need not be afraid to do our own thing. If you need some motivation, you can always listen to your favorite conservative podcast while meal-prepping or working out.

Next, there are recommended percentages of what to eat per day to maintain a balanced diet.

It always upsets me that women feel they cannot eat or that they can only eat carrots all day. It is not true. We need to love ourselves and know the simple science that pop culture will not tell us. Keep in mind that your body burns a given amount each day so this means in order to lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit or to maintain your current weight, eat that same amount. Incorporating exercise in your day is the best way to do this. For example: If I burn 1800 calories a day and I lose about 300 calories from a 3-mile run, I can safely eat about 2100 calories to maintain my weight and eating less than 2100 would result in a deficit and ultimately weight loss for that day. It really is that simple.

As women, we are often told we cannot afford to have sweet treats or an extra serving of pasta.

That’s wrong and it is because no one teaches us the secrets about exercise; I’m not advocating for consuming an entire cake for lunch, but if you are scheduling in a cheat meal, the most convenient time to do this is right after a workout. We must have fun as well with our exercise habits: know that you must keep an emphasis on doing weight training exercises and THEN follow with cardio, as this is the most efficient way to build muscle and burn fat (as larger/stronger muscles burn more calories per minute and increase your metabolism). At the minimum, if weights are unavailable, do at least 20 minutes of jogging per day to burn extra calories and get the blood flowing. This helps the cardiovascular system and will immensely increase your metabolism for the 30-90 minutes after the workout, which is when you should be aiming to eat that delicious pizza you’ve been wanting! It can be all fun and games.

Basically, every body type is different, but everybody has a similar goal

To become healthier. As women who want to make a difference, we should know the basics so we can stay healthy and reach our goals more effectively. Knowing the ratios of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that our body runs best on and knowing that we can still have fun with what we eat, we can achieve our goals with confidence, immense energy, and with feeling great!

Kelly H