All of the food that we eat is composed of basic building blocks called macronutrients. There are four basic macronutrients carbohydrates, fats, protein, and alcohol.
Firstly, fat is not “bad.” Bad fats are the worst and fat can but don’t have to make us fat. Huh? But bacon is bad…egg yolks are bad…right??? Eh, not really. Excess carbohydrates will most certainly make us fat. Let me explain.
This mantra that fat is evil comes from the same era of health that the food pyramid does (remember 6-11 servings of bread, above). Fats have been demonized for decades now as the culprit for our obesity epidemic. But when you look at fats further, they are needed for some basic human function suck as lining our cells, hormone production, brain development, immune health, and clotting. There are also certain vitamins (A, D, E, and K) that we can only hold onto with the use of fats.
Break it down
Firstly, it is important to note that with each molecule of fat burned you get 8-9 energy units, which is higher than carbohydrates and protein (4). As a result, fats are harder to breakdown and as a result, will likely keep you full longer. Most fats are comprised of a glycerol molecule, which when broken down, will turn into glucose. The other component is fatty acids. The arrangement of these acids is what produced the part of this puzzle which makes things “good” or “bad.”
Monounsaturated fats (omega 9 fatty acids found in olives, peanuts, canola oil, avocados, almonds, seeds) and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3s found in sunflower, soy, corn, walnuts, flax, and wild-caught fish) are good fats. Meaning these fats are utilized for the body for making hormones, joint lubrication, immune and brain health.
Saturated fats (animal and dairy fat) and trans fats (some natural in animal sources, but mostly fats altered in the lab, you know these foods) taste delicious but are the ones to limit.
Once broken down by a Pacman like enzymes called lipase (made by the pancreas) and coated with a water-friendly bubble from bile (via the bile ducts or tubes connecting the liver to intestines), the fats shuttle to the liver and then are re-packaged together and enter the immune transit system.
At this point, they latch onto triglycerides and can be deposited into your love handles or to make/line organs, cells and hormones.
But how do I get the fat out of the storage tank??? The answer is by being active. When you perform an active movement, you require energy. The bodies’ preference is for glucose (carb), but fats can breakdown into glucose. To do this you either have to limit carbs (ketosis) or exhaust the carbs stored in the body (mostly in muscle).
It sounds like a high peak to climb, however typically after just 10-15 min of moderate-intensity exercise you have already exhausted your glycogen muscle stores and will start to mobilize fat.
So…get up, move around and do something, that is the answer to exhausting those stores. Remember, fat IS NOT the enemy. You NEED FATS. Eat the RIGHT TYPE and QUANTITY, MOVE AROUND and you will get your fat budget right.
Then, Calculate Your Macros, and Action Your Macros!