A healthy outside starts from the inside!
I hope you all' ve had a good day so far or some nice sleep for those of you who, like me, just woke up.
Those last few weeks I've been mulling a lot over my body and the way I take care of it. Btw in one of the previous articles , I tackled the "psychological" aspect of it, and how we should treat and consider our bodies. But today, I'd like to face the "physical" side of it namely what we should eat to nourish our body properly.
First of all, let's make it clear, I do not pretend to be neither a nutritionist nor a dietitian. I'm simply providing you with a general overview of what your body actually needs for functioning well and maintaining its weight as well as its health.
Before going further you need to understand that these pieces of information are approximative and can vary depending on your daily activities, your age, your weight, your goal, your job, your health, etc. Through the article, my goal is obviously not to push you to count everything you eat, but rather help you have a first glance at your necessary daily intakes and check out if you're on the right track.
1. Kcal Ahh those holy (or not) kcals we certainly all, once in our life, struggled with. The number of calories we should have in a day is a quite recurrent question amongst women.
First thing first, what is a calorie? It actually is a measure of energy. The energy our body needs for eliminating the foods we eat.
Unfortunately, I can't tell the exact amount that our body daily needs because it depends on so many factors (some of them already mentioned above). However, after having read and crawled many articles about it, I can conclude that on average:
- Women below 50 YO need 2000 kcal/day to maintain weight and 1500 kcal/day to lose weight.
- Men below 50 YO need 2500 kcal/day to maintain weight and 200 kcal/day to lose weight.
2. Protein What about proteins? You know that stuff super popular among athletes?! Actually proteins are known for helping build and develop cells such as muscles, tendons, organs, tissues, bones, ... They also keep us satiated, which avoids too much snackings.
If you want to know how much protein you're supposed to eat a day, you have to multiply your kcal/day by 0,075.
3. Carb I used to see carbs as my enemy, but of course, I was totally wrong! In fact, carbs are pretty great because they aid in transforming sugar we absorb into glucose, which is kind of our main source of energy. Glucose can be either used right away as we blow off some energy or stocked for later uses.
Generally speaking, it appears that an active person, who wants to maintain his weight, should have approximately 100-150 gr of carbs per day.
Lil' reminder: carbs are one of the three macros (along with proteins and fats) that include rice, pasta, bread, whole grains ...
4. Fiber Fibers have many good positive effects on our bodies. They reduce our cholesterol and blood sugar level, they also lower the risks of cardiovascular diseases, prevent diabetes, and improve our digestive system as well as our bowel health.
I found out that:
- Women < 50 YO need +/- 21-25 gr per day
- Men < 50 YO need +/- 30-38 gr per day
5. Sodium Sodium can be considered as salt. They're seen by scientists as our body electrolytes. They also play a key role in nerve and muscle function.
But cautious! Sodium can also be nefast for our health if we consume too much of it. In fact, they can easily increase our blood pressure.
According to health authorities, we should have between 1,5 gr and 2,3 gr of sodium per day.
6. Sugar Sugar is also a must-have because it gives our body the necessary energy to function and execute our daily tasks.
In terms of sugar intake, it should not be more than 6 teaspoons per day (24gr/day).
7. Fat Last but not least, fat! They play a major role in our health as they fuel us with energy, regulate our hormones and genes, maintain our brain health, have a considerable role in terms of flavors, and help for vitamin absorption.
Needless to say that the quantity of fat we should have per day depends on our kcal, but here is a general overview:
- 1500 Kcal/day: 50 gr of fat/day
- 2000 Kcal/day: 67 gr of fat/day
- 2500 kcal/day: 83 gr of fat/day
If you wanna go further I recommend you to surf on Healthline.com . I really like this website they have plenty of great and interesting pieces of information.
Once again, all of these are rough and depend on your personal diet journey. Despite those figures, I keep thinking that you're the best person to know what your body really needs. Experiment and feel how your body goes.
One more thing (promised it's almost over), eating healthy is obviously super important, but you have to keep in mind that even the healthiest food needs to be balanced. At some points, it can not be good to eat too many fruits for instance, as well as nuts, etc. Got the point?