How Macros Affect Body Composition

When it comes to overall health, your body composition is just as important as your weight. Body composition refers to how much of your weight is made up of fat or muscle tissue.

A person with very little muscle mass and significant amounts of adipose (or fat) tissue will put more pressure on their internal organs due to their heavier weight.

On the other hand, someone who has lots of muscles and not too many pounds of fat may suffer from overtraining because they spend too long exercising each day.

This article will discuss some helpful tips for incorporating exercise into your life that can affect your body’s ability to use either glucose or ketone bodies for energy.

We’ll also look at what types of exercises are best for people with type 2 diabetes to do. While there isn’t one specific exercise program that benefits everyone with this disease, you can choose between engaging in aerobic activity, resistance training, both, or neither.

Some individuals with type 2 diabetes may be able to achieve improved blood sugar levels by limiting the length of time they perform anaerobic workouts like weight lifting or sprinting. They might be able to reduce the intensity as well.

However, research shows that people with type 2 diabetes usually benefit most from performing moderate-intensity workouts beyond 30 minutes every few days. This includes walking, swimming, or using the elliptical trainer for cardio.

Excess or deficiency?

how macros affect body composition

When it comes to macros, too much of anything can be harmful. Overconsuming calories is another way to check macro overconsumption.

This is true for both weight loss and maintenance as well as gain. If you watch enough TV, you’ll consume more than just sugar and fat, you’ll also eat lots of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are a major part of most people’s diets, so consuming too many may contribute to overweight or obesity. In fact, research suggests that we need carbs to feel full.

When you don’t give your body the right amount of fuel, it will turn to other sources to get the needed energy, which can lead to extra body storage. This is why some people who follow a low-carb diet lose weight faster than those on average carb diets — they’re giving their bodies less of what it needs to function.

Starvation mode or thermoneutral?

For years, we have seen diets that suggest you can be in keto-mode when you eat less than 2000 calories per day. This is typically referred to as either being in “ketosis” or entering into what’s called “starvation mode.”

Most people agree that ketogenic diets are quite effective at helping reduce body fat, but there is some controversy over whether this is due to reduced food intake or the shift into more of an antioxidant state.

A study conducted by Stephens et al found no differences in total antioxidant status between those on low calorie diets and control groups who were not. The research also showed no difference in oxidative stress markers (free radicals) between any group.

This means that although individuals may feel slightly better while on a keto diet, it does not seem to improve their overall health much.

Eat more or less?

how macros affect body composition

Changing how many calories you eat is one of the most important things to do if you want to see changes in your weight. This is especially true for people who are overweight or obese, as eating too few calories can be detrimental to your overall health.

There’s another macronutrient that can have major effects on body composition — fat. And just like with carbs, there are two main types of fats: saturated and unsaturated.

Saturated fats are found in foods such as butter, meat, and coconut products. They may even come from supplements (though research does not support their effectiveness).

Unsaturated fats are more common than saturated fats. Some examples include nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado, and fatty fish.

Studies show that when we consume enough unsaturated fats, they will help reduce total cholesterol and increase HDL (or “good”) cholesterol. But what about dieting?

Can diets that are high in unsaturated fat make it easier to lose weight? Or are all fats equal in this regard?

Fortunately, recent studies don’t seem to agree on whether replacing some carbs with fat helps us lose weight.

Animal or plant based?

how macros affect body composition

Beyond just eating less calories, there are two main types of diets that can help you with your weight loss – meat-based or vegetarian/vegan.

Most people know about the low calorie diet option, but many don’t realize there is another way to do it!

By choosing either a meat free or veggie rich diet, you will still be limiting your overall food intake, which is an important factor in losing weight. However, what kind of meat you eat and whether you include eggs in your diet depends on why you want to lose weight.

Animal products such as beef, chicken, pork, and fish contain high levels of saturated fat, which we should try to limit due to their link with higher cholesterol. Also, some animal foods like chicken may also have bromine, which could contribute to more nervous system activity and therefore weight gain. Eggs contain both vitamin B12 and iron, nutrients needed for healthy blood circulation and growth.

However, none of these factors take into account how much happiness they bring to animals and the environment. It is very hard being vegan or vegetarian, especially when you start thinking about all the delicious foods. Luckily, however, technology has advanced to make it easier!

There are several ways to achieve a balanced, healthful diet if you’re not able to be fully carnivore or herbivore.

Lower or higher carb?

how macros affect body composition

A lot of diet theories put more emphasis on which types of carbs you are eating and how much you eat than they do about what you’re eating!

The term “carbohydrate” actually refers to three different molecules that we call glucose, fructose and galactose. Glucose is the most common carbohydrate found in foods like fruits, milk, and some vegetables.

Fructose and galactose are both simple carbohydrates made up of one sugar molecule attached to another. Fructose occurs naturally in fruits and honey, while galactose is only found in dairy products.

Most nutrition experts agree that when you eat too many sugars (either from carbohydrates, fats, or both), your body will store this extra fuel as fat. This happens because each individual has a set amount of metabolism activity called insulin.

When there’s not enough glucose in your blood, your pancreas produces excess insulin to get it moving around. When it does, insulin helps muscles use the glucose for energy and stores the rest as fat.

However, just like with protein, too much insulin can have negative effects on health. It may increase cholesterol levels and contribute to type 2 diabetes.

Lower or higher protein?

how macros affect body composition

Although most people tend to think that eating more carbohydrates means you need to eat less meat, this is not true! It depends on how much meat you’re eating!

If you are eating too little protein, your body will begin to reduce lean tissue (such as muscle) to get rid of it. This happens because proteins are needed for normal growth and function of various organs in your body.

So if you want to lose weight, start by ensuring you have enough protein in your diet. Some recommendations are eight to ten grams per day for individuals who are beginning to work out or are very active, twelve to sixteen grams per day for those doing moderate activity such as swimming or yoga once a week, and twenty-four to thirty grams per day for someone who is sleeping six hours a night and sitting still all day at work.

Alternatively, if you would like to retain more bone and muscle mass, then try to consume lower levels of protein. People with low protein diets often complain of feeling hungry and wanting to snack constantly, which can be frustrating.

Drinking plenty of water helps keep you hydrated, and help promote digestion. Make sure to drink several glasses every day.

Lower or higher fat?

how macros affect body composition

Changing how many macros you have in your diet can have significant impacts on your body’s composition. More carbs or fats is usually not ideal, but being aware of which foods have too much of each is very important!

By having enough protein, vitamin D, potassium, and other nutrients in your diet, your body does not need to store extra energy in the form of glucose (carbs) or lipids (fat). It can invest its resources into keeping strong muscles and bone, and supporting normal immune function.

That means there are ways to eat more than needed of some macronutrients and still lose weight. In fact, eating a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet has been shown to be an effective way to do just that.1

But it takes longer for your body to break down carbohydrates so their use should be limited during this stage of weight loss. Once you have lost weight quickly using a keto diet, you can lower the amount of carbohydrate intake later.

You will also want to make sure you are getting adequate vitamins and minerals to prevent muscle wasting and poor health.2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11

This article will discuss some tips and tricks for achieving nutritional balance while losing weight.

Too much or too little?

how macros affect body composition

There are two main reasons people get “fat” macros. One is eating too many calories, which can be caused by either overfeeding or under-eating. The other is having an excessive amount of any one macronutrient (protein, carbs, or fat) in your diet.

By having enough protein but not enough carbohydrates or fats, for example, you can become glucose depleted and feel hungry all the time. This can easily be compensated for with a high carb intake, but eventually your body will run out of usable glucose and you’ll start to feel tired and sluggish.

On the opposite end, if you’re ingesting too few nutrients, you’ll begin to lose muscle mass due to lack of food consumption. Your metabolism slows down as you don’t have enough nutrition to fuel it effectively. You may also experience weight loss, but most of this comes from fluid being lost via sweating and urination.

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