Welcome to Week 3! Kate's Check-in...

A Nutritionist’s Guide on Building a Balanced Meal:


Introduction to Macros: What are Carbs, Protein and Fat? And why do we need them?

I'm sure you’ve heard the term macros everywhere – especially carbs, protein, and fats. But have you ever wondered what they are?
Let's break it down. Here’s your ultimate guide to macronutrients, what you should be having and why you need them.


First, what are macronutrients?

The term ‘macronutrients’ essentially refers to nutrients that our body needs to provide us with energy.
In other words, macronutrients are also known as:

1. Protein

Protein is known as the building block of life because they make up lots of enzymes that make up our cells, tissues and bodies. Many people think that animal meat is the only good source of protein however, there has been lots of research that supports the effects of plant source of protein.


Protein has countless benefits, including:

Filling power - reduces appetite and hunger levels

Increases muscle mass and strength

Improve bone health

Reduces cravings and desire for late-night snacking

Boosts metabolism and increases fat burning

Manage blood pressure


How much protein do I need?

According to the NHS, most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day (for the average woman, this is 45g, or 55g for men).


What are good sources of protein?

Beans and legumes (Like peas, kidney beans, butter beans etc

Meat & Poultry

Eggs & Dairy

Seafood

Tofu

Soya

Tempeh

Protein
  1. Fats

Fats have always had a bad rep, but did you know that consuming a moderate amount of fats are needed to produce fatty acids? These are essential in maintaining functions like vitamin absorption and protecting our organs.  

Fats can be classified into 2 different types: saturated fats and unsaturated fats.  

Usually, people should aim to consume more unsaturated fats, as they are healthier due to the way they are metabolised in the body.  


Benefits of unsaturated fats: 

Unsaturated fats have had their share of the limelight recently, and recent studies have found that unsaturated fats may: 

Improve blood cholesterol levels

Ease inflammation

Stabilise heart rhythms 


Some examples of these include:

Olives/olive oil 

Nuts & seeds 

Avocados 


How much fats do I need?  

The UK government recommends that men should not eat more than 30g of saturated fat a day and women should not eat more than 20g of saturated fat a day.  


3. Carbohydrates:

Although many people tend to reduce carbohydrates whilst losing weight, they’re an essential part of our diet, and have many benefits for our health.  


Generally, carbohydrates come in 3 different forms:  

Sugars  

Fibres  

Starches  


So, why are carbs considered bad for you?  

It’s important to know that not all carbs are created equal. The ‘healthiest’ sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans.  

Carbohydrates in moderation, can still be enjoyed on a weight loss journey. In fact, they are essential fuel for our body. How, you ask? Carbs are broken down into glucose, which is the primary source of fuel for the brain. 


How many carbs do I need per day?  

In the UK, the reference intake for carbohydrates is 230g for women and 300g for men. 


Protein

How do I get enough of my macros?

There are plenty of ways to ensure you’re on the right track, especially on an exante diet.

Luckily, our meal replacements contain a third of your nutrient reference values, so you can relax knowing you’re consuming a balanced range of macros through our shakes, meals, bars and more.

Depending on which plan you follow, and how many exante products you have per day, you may also need additional healthy meals. But how do we ensure that we’re balancing our macros for those meals? Let’s find out!

Here are my top tips:

  1. Create a visual guide, this is the easiest way to estimate portion sizes and macronutrient balance. The ‘Eat Well Guide’, created by the NHS, shows roughly how each plate should be split.

Protein

2. Use your hands to estimate portion sizes: Using our hands is a quick and efficient way to estimate portion sizes of foods, and to help estimate how much of each macronutrient we should be consuming.
Protein

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s nutritional content! Good luck on your third week of the challenge! You’ve got this.

Lujain x