We are about to go over 3 ways that your body uses your diet, so then you will have no excuses not to know what carbs, fats and proteins do for you and WHY each of them are important in their own special way. Kind of like siblings… or not. Here we go!
Carbs: carbs are used by your body when you are in motion, especially at higher intensities!
When you are working out you are running on energy, and that energy is mostly carbs. Your body uses carbs to fuel your workouts and your high intensity moving throughout the day, such as sprints to your local food truck before they run out of hot dogs. Yes, protein can be used for energy in this case once carbs are depleted, but they are not as efficient as carbs are at fueling this type of activity. Simply put, carbs are used when you are moving through your day.
Fats: fats are used by your body when you are NOT in motion, or when you are asleep!
Yes, you read correctly… fats are used by your body as fuel when you are at low intensities. Low intensity times include when you are sitting at that long boring office job listening to Ryan’s Roses and scrolling through Facebook, BUT this also includes when you are sleeping. Sleeping? Sleeping. You will actually utilize more fat as energy when you are sleeping than any other time of the day, especially when you are on a structured workout regimen which maximizes your body’s demand for oxygen at rest. Fats are used at the lower intensity parts of your day, and this includes when you are sleeping.
Proteins: proteins are used by your body for recovery and to sustain your body.
When your muscles are sore, and you see the progress set into the mirror as the soreness leaves… this is protein at work. Proteins are what make optimal recovery possible for your body, and this is why any meathead joke in history has a protein shake in the punch line somewhere. Also, other than the 70% of your body that is water, protein is what your body is made the most of! This is why it is sometimes a struggle to switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet, because protein is mostly gained from the consumption of meats, dairy, etc. When carbs are low and you need a friend, protein can also help fuel your body once they are broken down into amino acids. Proteins are used for recovery and maintenance of your body, and can be used in moderation as energy too.
I hope that this simple breakdown helps with what exactly your body is using all of your food for, and it can help you better eat to FUEL rather than to FILL your body. If you keep this in mind, I promise you that you will be less likely to overeat since you will see no reason to other than “Ben & Jerry told me to do it”.