Lesson 1 - What are Carbs, Proteins, and Fats?

Hello Empyreans!

I hope everyone is having a great start to the week! 

Empyrea Group training is happy to announce the launch of our educational video series! These videos are designed to help guide you through your fitness journey!

Lesson 1 - What are Carbs, Proteins, and Fats?

Our first lesson is about the 3 macronutrients. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. We believe that in order to develop healthy eating habits, we need to understand what we are eating first.

All foods are made from from these 3 macronutrients. If you want to look better and feel better, you need to know how much your body should consume depending on your bodyweight, exercise intensity, and your fitness goal. The amount consumed of each macronutrient changes when you become more physically active. The more intense your activity is, the more your body will want to seek out these macronutrients. 

What is a Carbohydrate?

A carbohydrate is a fancy word for sugar. Your body needs sugar to do EVERYTHING like walking up stairs, cutting an onion, waiting on line for coffee, cleaning your room, breathing, and everything else. Carbohydrates can also be thought of as ENERGY.

There are two types of carbohydrates. There are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates spike your blood sugar up quickly for a short period of time. Complex carbohydrates spike your blood sugar gradually over a longer period of time. Simple carbohydrates come from foods like fruit, syrups, honey, and white potatoes.  Complex carbohydrates are your foods like whole grain oats, fibrous vegetables like broccoli, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, granola, quinoa, and brown rice.

Be aware that complex carbohydrates that become processed turn into white simple carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are usually white in color like white rice, white pasta, white bread, and quick oatmeal. If these processed carbohydrates are ingested, the effect is very similar to that of eating fruit, honey, and other simple carbohydrates.

When Should I Eat These Carbohydrates?

Simple carbohydrates should optimally be ingested right before and right after intense exercise or physical activity. The quick elevation in blood sugar levels will give your body a stream of fast, usable sugar to fuel your muscles. Ingesting simple carbs before a workout will also delay the time before your body taps into your reserve sugar stores called glycogen (stored glucose). 

Complex carbohydrates should be eaten more throughout the day, preferably in the morning. But if your fitness goal is fat loss, your carbohydrate servings should mostly come from your lower calorie, complex carbohydrates which are your fibrous and green leafy vegetables. 

Complex carbohydrates may also be optimally ingested a couple of hours before your workout and a couple of hours after your workout. Having complex carbs two hours before a workout will perfectly time the peak of blood sugar elevation right when your body needs it most. 

What is a Protein?

Proteins can be thought of as BUILDING BLOCKS. Our bodies need protein to make things like muscle, organs, saliva, hair, nails, skin, nerves, and brain cells. When you start engaging in intense exercise or physical activity, the importance of protein becomes critical! 

Protein foods come from chicken, beef, turkey, fish and other animals, greek yogurt, cheese, eggs, and milk, and protein supplements. The more protein you ingest, the more likely you'll build lean muscle. The more lean muscle we have on our bodies, the more efficient and easier it will be for your body to burn stubborn body fat.

When Should I Eat Protein?

Protein should be eaten throughout the day and should be present in every meal. Minimum daily protein requirements should be as close to your bodyweight as possible. When you start becoming more physically active or exercise intensely, your protein intake needs to be even higher!

Protein may be optimally ingested one hour before and within 30 minutes after intense workouts. Having protein before a workout will give your muscles the building blocks it needs to repair and remodel new muscle during exercise. It will also delay the time before your body starts tapping into the protein stores in your muscles for energy.

What is a Fat?

Fat is a key macronutrient, especially if your fitness goal is fat loss. Fats help support a lean body composition. Your body needs fat in order to create and balance key hormones that are known for burning fat and building muscle like testosterone, estrogen, and growth hormone. Fats can also support metabolism, improve insulin sensitivity, keep you feeling satisfied, strengthen your heart, and decrease inflammation. 

If your goal is fat loss, we advise a reduction of carbohydrates and eat foods that are higher in healthy fats. A body with balanced hormones, supported metabolism, satisfied pallet, less inflammation, and a strong heart is better designed to build lean muscle and burn body fat, wouldn't you agree?

Foods that have great fat content are your nuts, seeds, nut butters, eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, red palm oil, avocados, and even meats, especially salmon. 

When Should I Eat Fats?

You should eat more fats than carbohydrates if your goal is fat loss. Eating fatty foods with your protein will leave you more satisfied and promote a leaner body composition. Try to save your carbs for pre and post-workout or you can even dedicate a whole day to eating carbohydrates if the rest of the week was particularly low with them. Here is a link to our previous blog about healthy fats:


Eat to Promote Fat Loss!

So now that we know have a better understanding of these macronutrients, we should have a better idea of how to promote fat loss.

Save your simple carbohydrates for pre and post-workout and eat fibrous, green leafy vegetables with fats and protein throughout the rest of the day. The combination of fats and protein will keep your body designed for fat loss and give your muscles the building blocks they need to create new muscle. The more muscle we have on our body, the more body fat we will burn throughout the day. 

I hope you all enjoyed Lesson 1 of our educational series! If you haven't  subscribed to our YouTube channel, please do! Subscribing to our channel will give you access to our future videos. Subscribe by clicking here!

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Thank you for your continued support! Talk soon!

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Grande and Justin Marrone