Everyone needs protein. Period. It is not just the big muscular gym guy, also you sitting in the chair diligently doing your job or you running a half-marathon or you playing football. Why? Because proteins are the brickstones of our body, they are the catalysators (= enzymes) of our metabolism and are also fuel. To say it in numbers: after water (70%), proteins (18%) are the second main component of human cells. That’s why it may be worth considering adding more protein to your daily food, especially if you are getting serious about living a more active and healthy lifestyle.
Gaining fat is really simple: your energy intake is greater than your energy expenditure. You just eat too damn much! Gaining so much fat, that you are actually classified as overweight or even obese, however is a task that takes a lot of consistency and time (and avoiding to look into the mirror). As many drastic changes, this doesn’t happen overnight. But why do you do this to your body?
But wait, fat makes me fat, right?! Now you should already know the answer: it’s all about the calorie deficit at the end of the day and like carbs, fats are neither good nor bad. Nevertheless, fat is really energy dense: 10 gramms of fat (approx. a tea spoon) have huge 90 kcals. This means that, you should not indulge in those tasty “healthy” low-carb-paleo-keto-raw-gluten free-vegan nut bars if you are trying to lose body fat ;). So what’s the deal with fats, now? Let’s have a closer look through the biochemist’s googles.
…or are they evil?
Currently, it is a real hot topic, especially since many countries have introduced a sugary drink tax and low-carb and keto diet are becoming very popular among the broad public. Is it the right way to go in order to lose fat? Yes. And no.
Metabolism in a nutshell
As I already told you in my last post about macros, no matter if you are eating low carb, low fat or low-whatever, if you are in a calory surplus the body start to store fat. Why? Let’s have a closer look at the picture below and follow the way of the macros:
- Carbs: in a very simplified way, carbs are broken down into pyruvate in a process called glycolysis. Pyruvate‘s fate depends on the body’s needs, it is either:
- turned into energy and CO2 or
- converted into fats through acetyl-CoA or
- converted into aminoacids through oxalacetate or
- turned into glucose again through oxalacetate in case of low body sugar.
- Fats: to keep it simple, dietary fats are broken down into acetyl-CoA, which can be either oxidized into energy and CO2 or used for synthetis of (other) fats.
- Aminoacids: simplified aminoacids can go two ways:
- either through pyruvate into acetyl-CoA (energy and fat synthesis) or
- some of the aminoacids can be used for glucose synthesis through oxalacetate.
Acetyl-CoA is the reason why everything you eat can be converted into fat and stored in the adipocytes (=fat cells). Therefore, the key for fat loss is not omitting one of the macros from your diet, but to be in an energy deficit (=eat less calories than you need). Nevertheless, it can be crucial to eat enough protein and useful to have more or less carbs and more or less fats in your diet depending on your needs (it is NOT the same for everyone!).
I will cover every macro in my future posts. Hope you enjoyed my small biochemistry lesson. See you soon!