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What are Macro Nutrients?

• Nutrients that provide calories/energy.
• Necessary for growth, metabolism and other bodily functions.
• Since “macro” means big, macro nutrients are the ones we need in the largest quantities.


There are three macro nutrients:

• Carbohydrates
• Fat
The amount of calories that each macro nutrient provides is different:
• Protein provides 4 calories per gram.
• Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram.
• Fat provides 9 calories per gram.

Apart from protein, carbohydrates and fat, the only other substance that provides calories is alcohol.

Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram. But, this isn’t a macro nutrient since it isn’t necessary for survival.


Shoot for between 1-1.2g of protein per pound of bodyweight. The less body fat/more muscle mass you have, the more important protein becomes.

Why do we need it?

• Muscle growth and repair of tissues and cells;
• Immune function;
• Production of hormones and essential enzymes;
• Energy production when carbohydrates aren’t available (extreme circumstances);
• Maintenance of lean mass.
Where can we find it?
• Meat, seafood and fish like chicken, turkey, beef, pork, salmon, trout, haddock, tuna, shrimp, clams, etc;
• Charcuterie products like ham, bacon and turkey bacon;
• Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, etc;
• Supplements like Protein Powder, Protein bars and even Protein Granola/Ceral.


Shoot for a minimum of 0,35-0.4g per pound of bodyweight.

What do we need it for?

• Growth and development;
• Energy (fat is the most concentrated form of energy);
• Absorption of certain vitamins;
• Organ protection;
• Cellular membrane maintenance;
• They provide taste, consistency and stability to food.
Where can we find it?
• Nut butters, almonds, cashew (nuts in general), avocados, fatty meat and fish, dark chocolate, butter;
• MCT Oil, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, canola oil, peanut oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, fish oiletc;
• Full fat milk, cheese, yogurt and cream;

There are three main types of fat:

• Saturated
• Unsaturated
• Trans

Saturated fat, which can be found in food like mat, fish, butter and cream.

Trans fat, which can be found in roast food, smoked food, snacks and fried food has shown increases in risk of cardiac disease.


Substituting trans fat for unsaturated (which can be found in olive oil, avocados, nuts) has been show to diminish the risk of cardiac disease.


The body doesn’t “need” carbohydrates. When you have determined your minimal needs for protein and fat, you can fill out the remaining calories you have left with carbs. You can also fill them out with protein or fat, depending on your personal preference.

What do we need them for?

• They are the main source of energy that our body has;
• They’re easily used by the body as glycogen stores in the muscles and liver, so that they can be used posteriorly as a source of energy;
• All tissue and cells in our body can use carbohydrates as a source of energy;
• They are necessary for the nervous system’s correct functioning, along with kidneys, brain and muscles (including the heart).
• Important in intestinal health.

Where can we find them?

• Rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta and oatmeal;
• Chips, popcorn, bread, cereal and tortillas;
• Fruit, vegetables, legumes and sauces.

Fiber is also a type of carbohydrates, but our body cannot absorb it. This type of carb goes through our intestine totally intact and aids our body in expelling impurities.

Diets low in fiber have shown to cause problems like constipation, hemorrhoids and also increase the risk of cancers, like colon cancer.

Diets high in fiber have shown to diminish risk of coronary disease, obesity and help lower cholesterol levels.

Foods rich in fiber:

• Avocados, legumes, brown rice, berries, some fruit, whole grains, oatmeal, vegetables (the crunchier the better and also a few fiber enriched protein bars.


Even though macronutrients are extremely important, they aren’t the only ones we need to survive. Reaching macronutrients daily goals is important to achieve goals that are mainly related to body composition or performance. But, it’s important that you choose foods rich in micronutrients so that you maintain your health, digestion and overall wellbeing. They can also influence our mood, energy levels, training intensity and satiety.


Our bodies also need water (it’s recommended that you drink 50-60ml of water per kg of body weight, per day) and micronutrients. Micronutrients are nutrients that our bodies don’t need in quantities as big as macro nutrients, like vitamins and minerals. As long as we eat 2-4 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit per day, consume an adequate amount of fiber and include a wide array of nutrient rich food in our diet, we probably don’t have to worry about specifically eating certain foods to achieve our daily micro nutrient goals.

Okay fit people, let’s be honest. At times, life becomes chaotic and fast food is our only available option.

Don’t fool yourselves, fast food restaurants have dominated the world throughout the last decades and are the number one reason for the obesity epidemic in the world.

BUT – fortunately, most fast food restaurants start to provide nutritional values for their food, sometimes even online!

The “boom” these business have had has resulted in easier access to nutritional information for consumer, not to mention the increased offer of “healthier” or lower calories options…


Don’t take this the wrong way, fast food isn’t the best choice for our diet, at all, just like any highly caloric cooked meals that you might have at home. But, the truth is that life can rush us and at times, even in control, we must give in and eat a hamburger. That way we are temporarily satisfied instead of being hungry!

There’s no doubt that what we are about to tell you is essential for you not to ruin your diet when you go by the restaurants in the mall.

#1 McDonald’s

McDonald’s takes spot nr.1 at a global level, it’s easy to see why. Everyone loves that yellow symbol and even the worst moods quickly get better when see it.

When we think about McDonalds, we think about hamburgers.

Nothing should be banned from our diet, but there are definitely friendlier options that we must consider.

Instead of a Big tasty, that contains around 842kcals, 51g of fat, 50g of carbs and 44g of protein, we can opt for a simple hamburger, containing only 254kcal, 9g of fat, 30g of carbs and 13g of protein.

Almost everyone feels the need to eat a Double Cheeseburger at a certain point in their lives, while it’s so easy to visit this food chain and choose one without even thinking about it. But we should always analyze how this food will fit into our daily macro needs before we let it into our body.

#2 KFC

When we think about KFC, we think about big buckets of fried chicken with a greasy coating and chips on the side. But, KFC nowadays, provides better options when compared to other fast food chains.

Instead of choosing a Tower Bacon, that contains 722kcal, 43g of fat, 51g of carbs and 36g of protein, we can opt for a Caesar Salad with no dressings or croutons, that contains 190kcal, 6g of fat, 5g of carbs and 29g of protein. In case we have a few extra calories to consume, we can choose a Twister Brazer that has 319kcal, 14g of fat, 36g of carbs and 27g of protein.

It all depends on our physical build and caloric needs.


Most people, at Subway, opt for their low fat options. Even though the products seem healthy on the outside, they aren’t necessarily the best choice when you’re trying to lose fat, since a product reduced in this macro nutrient doesn’t equal a product low in calories. The total caloric value should be our focus when in fat loss and, despite macros being important, focusing too much on low fat products can imply higher calorie options, or options with more carbohydrates.

Subway chains are also known for exaggerating on the “extras” like cheese and condiments, without including the nutritional information for these products on their list. If we can’t include them in our calculations, we might as well opt not to eat these “extras”.

Instead of opting for a Mozzarella 30cm Sandwich, that has 900kcal, 44g of fat, 110g of carbs and 40g of protein, choose a Chicken Teriyaki 15cm Sandwich instead, with 379kcal, 3g of fat, 61g of carbs and 26g of protein. Or, if we need to eat a meal lower in carbs, a Turkey Breast Salad, containing 110kcals, 3g of fat, 10g of carbs and 14g of protein.

Eating controlled portions at subway can really mean we complete our nutritional needs for the day, seeing as they have a wide variety of options available. Remember: At subway we can custom our meals depending on our needs, all we have to do is ask!



Pizza is quite a popular choice in all of the world and Domino’s is one of the chains with the tastiest options. But, pizza is extremely caloric and therefore, we should plan our day very well if we want to have a meal at Domino’s. This means that if we’re in a cutting phase, we should probably choose another option (or even make our own pizza at home), otherwise we will be hungry for the most part of the day so that we can include a few slices in our daily diary.

Instead of choosing a large Full House pizza with a traditional crust, that has 195kcals, 8g of fat, 23g of carbs and 9g od protein PER SLICES, we should opt for a small Italian Cheese & Tomato Original with a thin crust, that has 85kcal, 3g of fat, 11g of carbs and 4g of protein PER SLICE!

Be it whichever pizza we end up choosing, we’ll have some difficulty in reducing the calories. So, what’s left is for us to think if pizza really is the best option for that meal.

Moderation and control over portions are key elements when making decisions in fast food restaurants. It’s quite easy to choose without thinking when we have it all in front of us, making us consume a large chunk of what we have available for the whole day, not satisfying our hunger at the fullest by any means.

Sides and condiments can add unnecessary calories to our meal, so we should opt to leave them aside. Also, our choice when it comes to drinks should be one free of sugar or even water if possible.

Eating fast food occasionally can certainly be included in our nutritional needs, all you need to do is make an effort not to sabotage our own efforts!


This article will help you maintain your strength during time away from home, using what you have at your disposal. It will motivate your imagination and allow a deviation from your usual routine, but it’ll grant an efficient workout if you follow these principles:



When you get into your hotel room, evaluate the surrounding atmosphere and focus on making the best use possible of the space you have available. It will be necessary to temporarily adjust your mentality so that you can actually see a gym in your room. What equipment can you see, so that you can mimic movements you do regularly at the gym? Do you have furniture to work with? Can you transform a small area so that you create an environment that “fulfills your needs”?


You can be confined to a restricted space between for walls, but don’t forget about them when you structure your workout. Walls and floor can be used to implement an effective leverage system and they can challenge even the most advanced fitness enthusiasts if the angles are right.

A good example of utilizing the space available: push-ups. This upper body movement can become extremely hard if you change the point of leverage. So, instead of placing your feet on the floor, try and place them on the windowsill. This will turn classic push-ups into incline pus-ups with a higher intensity.

Same principles apply to Lunges if you raise your back foot up against the wall or on the bed, chair or something of the sort. This way you transform classic Lunges into challenging Bulgarian Split Squats. Grab your backpack for extra resistance if you want.



Focus on a large muscle group: when you travel and are limited in terms of equipment, this is the best way to ensure some good caloric expenditure. The more energy you spend, the more calories you’ll burn, which will bring added benefits if you’re having a hard time maintaining your nutritional plan.

There are many exercises you can do to take the most advantage of your body in restricted situations like this one. In all cases, we advise you maintain the same scheme of sets and reps that you usually do, or complete a cycle with all of the exercises or even setting a number that you want to hit; A good starting point can be 10-20 reps for each exercise done in a circuit, 3 to 6 times around.

Squats – These are with no doubt the best exercise for restricted situations. As long as you have room to be standing up, you can squat. Squats work your legs, glutes and core (including the lumbar region) and can be adapted according to your needs, making them more challenging. Why not squat with your backpack on you? You can simply toss it onto your back, over your head, or embraced over your chest, this way stimulating different muscle groups. We only encourage you to add equipment to add resistance if you can perfectly execute squats with bodyweight.

Deadlifts – Deadlifting is common practice for most fitness enthusiasts and can be used in a variety of programs. The fact that you are on a trip with no equipment is the big problem here. So, try out the Romanian Deadlift, with a twist. This exercise works well in a hotel room and can be adapted to different needs. There are Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts, Tempo Romanian Deadlifts or even loaded Romanian Deadlifts, where you can add “load” via using even a person, performing the reps from top to bottom! This way you’ll be using the posterior chain to resist the load coming down and work concentrically on the way up!

Rows – Nope, you don’t have to give up back training when you travel, all you need to do is be a bit creative. Some options can be Bent Over Rows with your suitcase, or any other “load” that seems fit to simulate the movement. Also, Single Arm Rows with the suitcase on its side, since they usually have the handle. Or even bodyweight, by grabbing a friend by the feet! As an alternative, Pullovers using your luggage while lying in a chair!

Push-ups – Like we mentioned in entry nr.2, Push-ups are a great exercise to train upper body and can be adapted according to your training rhythm. Changing variables like leverage potency, tempo or even resistance can turn this simple exercise into a challenging workout foundation.

There’s no reason to stress about travelling, all you need to do is let your imagination fly loose and guide you, making you analyze available options. They can seem simple and quite restrictive, but understanding how you can adapt these exercises will guarantee that you maintain your strength during your time of absence from your usual routine.

Obviously, if you have access to a gym, or even to a hotel gym, you’ll be closer to a replica of your “normal” workout routine.

Perform all of the exercises correctly with the adequate number of repetitions, ensuring a full range of motion. Despite the conditions not being ideal, your body will move in a similar way to what it’s used to, independent of where you are, so don’t let your subconscious damage your performance.


The more you stray away from the idea that travelling impedes training, the closer you are to succeeding. Planning and guaranteeing that you’re organized is crucial to remember, don’t face it as a sacrifice.

Even if you can’t perform all o the movements you usually do, it shouldn’t enough of a reason for you to give up!

This series of articles is ideal for those who travel frequently. Whether it be because you work in aviation or simply because you have a life without a routine, this is for you. It will also guide you so that you’re able to focus and maintain your diet even when you don’t know what your next destination will be.


Trust us, all you need is a little planning.

Even when you are thousands of miles away from home, it’s possible to fulfill your daily nutritional needs. There’s no need to resort to fast food restaurants with highly caloric food every day, as long as you do some preparation before travelling.


If you assure that you take some specific foods along with you, that will maintain your hunger in check, then you’re ready to march. This way you won’t feel as tempted by easy solutions when you’re hungry. Here are some of the options we recommend that you consider:

• Protein Bars – These can contain high levels of protein, which will provide greater satiety, along with some carbs and fats to provide you with energy and satisfaction. They are very convenient to carry along and don’t weigh much, so they’re considered some of the best snacks for when you travel.

• Pre-prepared oatmeal – With complex carbs previously weighed out, this option can save your life when you need to hit your macros and don’t have many available options. These can be prepared with Whey Protein so that the meal becomes more complete.

• Nuts– Taking healthy fats along with you is a great way of ensuring you hit your macro nutrient goals for the day. Weighing the portions you take previously is important, so that you don’t overconsume, which can be quite easy, especially if we buy those packs from the supermarkets.

• Protein Powder – It’s hard most of the times to hit our protein goals for the day when we’re out of our comfort zone. So, by having protein powder with you, you can guarantee that you achieve your goals!


Water is essential for any human being, yet it’s many times forgotten. Occasionally, hunger masks dehydration. So, make sure you ingest a good amount of water on a daily basis, it could reduce your hunger spikes. The best way is to always have a bottle of water with you. At the airport, for example, where you can’t carry liquids, try and buy a bottle whenever they’re available. Another option is carrying your shakes and filling it up every time you have a tap available.



The key to success, whether you’re at home or away, is to plan and previously prepare your meals before you travel, this way you’ll guarantee that you meet your daily macro nutrients goals with no trouble. In case you’re frequent travelers, not preparing your meals beforehand can have negative consequences and impacts in your progression. If not, you’ll be taking one step forward and three steps back. Vicious cycles like this can damage your mood and produce feelings of failure and frustration. Here are a few tips about how you should prepare for your trips:

• Anticipate the environment you’ll be in – If you have no idea about the place where you’re traveling to, you should do some research and look up available options (restaurants, supermarkets…). Nowadays many places serve meals that provide their nutritional value online, regarding the ingredients that are included. This will make your life easier, so you can consult these venues online and map out your meals in a general way before you even go there!

•Take what you can – If you have the means, pack your food and take it. You can always buy portable fridges and take along meals and specific foods. We understand that you won’t have access to this type of luxury if you’re travelling by plane, but it’s perfectly feasible if you’re going by car/train. With that being said, suggested food options in entry number 1 can be taken along even if you are travelling by plane, so there really aren’t any excuses for not being able to hit your daily needs, as long as you match these foods with other options available at your destination.

• Don’t think too much – If the idea of worrying about your nutrition causes you stress, relax a little. You can just focus on calories, or if it’s possible, calories and protein in case you want to consume an adequate amount of that nutrient. This approach works well for those who find it hard to get totally involved in the challenge of maintaining their diet while out of their comfort zone.

• Take your food scale with you – In case you can simulate your home environment at your destination, you’ll be closer to your daily routine. This will allow you to weigh your food and keep a higher control over your diet, particularly if you shop at supermarkets


Most restaurants now a day can adapt to each’s individual needs; all you need to do is ask. Opt for lean sources of protein with vegetables on the side.

Make sure seasoning and sauces are kept away from the table. That, or ask for them separately so that you can control the doses you ingest. Some places even serve breakfasts adapted to each person’s taste, so ask for a vegetable omelet along with a bowl of fruit or whatever you need to hit your daily macros. In case you’re following a very restrictive diet, you can even take your scale along with you, but we advise you only do this if you’re prepping for a show.



Okay, not literally, but don’t you hate it when people say “what, did you bring everything except your dishwasher?!”? It’s supposed to be funny, but it becomes quite irritating after a while.

But, if you can, we suggest you take your kitchen commodities along with your scale. Measuring cups and even a small blender can be quite handy when you’re travelling and want to eat as if you’re at home.

You can even call the hotel beforehand and ask about the possibility of adding a mini fridge and microwave to your room. Some hotels have those options, provided the availability of that equipment.

The more you push the thought that “travelling and staying on a diet is impossible” out of your mind, the better. Planning and making sure organization is on point are essential to retain from this article and to make you understand that eventually you’ll have to make these small sacrifices.

Remember that your diet shouldn’t impose limitations on your lifestyle, it should adjust to you!

Those who follow our tips regarding how to deal with days like Christmas won’t need a lot of advice!

But for those who didn’t get a chance to read our post and that probably ate more than on any other day of the year, we can assure you that counting calories was the last thing we thought about on Christmas day!


Bear in mind that we aren’t losers when we stray from our diet plan. By failing our daily macro nutrient goals or when we eat twice what we were supposed to, it doesn’t make us weal. It only makes us as human as the next guy.

It’s common for these things to happen every once in a while. So, the best we can do is accept the decisions we make and think that it happened because at the time that’s what we though was best for us. No one fails on purpose! All we have to do is not think about it anymore and move on!

Trust us! We’ve all been through moments of anxiety, guilt and “binge-eating”, where we ate everything that crossed our paths. The secret is to stop feeling guilty, because it is simply a waste of time. Try thinking about your squat form instead. Use those extra calories to perform incredible workouts (you’ll see how good the pump is)!

More importantly, DON’T cut your calories or add extra cardio sessions in the hope of compensating for the damage done. This will lead to being close to an eating disorder and creating a less healthy relationship with food.


Remember, at times, things that we don’t want to happen end up happening! One bad day doesn’t mean a bad week, month or even year! If you commit a mistake or voluntarily decide to enjoy Christmas so you eat whatever you want, accepts that damn decision and move on. You can perfectly control what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s so that you can enjoy these occasions.


Contrary to what most people think, by following a flexible diet it isn’t hard to achieve our daily requirements for minerals and vitamins. All we need to do is include plenty of fruits and vegetables in our diet.


This image represents the micronutrient intake in a day in the life of one of our clients.


The great advantage of following a flexible diet is that we can always choose the way in which we eat food. For example, we can eat pancakes with fruit inside, yogurt with fruit and chocolate (whey/lean cocoa powder), salads with the dressings we most love, etc. Contrary to those who follow a strict regimen that only includes tasteless foods with no salt along with a side of boiled bland broccoli.

Truth be told, despite common belief, most people who follow restrictive diets have a high probability of developing nutritional deficiencies due to the lack of variety I their nutrition.

So, by following a flexible diet we’re practicing a healthier diet in terms of physical as well as mental health.

Overall we can conclude that, as always, we should do what works best for us, as long as we’re happy with the results attained.


Many scientific articles have confirmed that the timing at which we eat our meals is totally irrelevant regarding body composition. Of course there are different approaches regarding this theme but, the most important aspect to bear in mind is undoubtedly adjusting the number of calories we consume according to our goals.

So, we should stop trying to convince ourselves that eating 6 to 8 meals a day will accelerate our metabolism, because the thermogenic effect of food is directly proportional to the amount of calories que consume, not the frequency in which we ingest these calories. This means that in a day if we eat 10 meals with 200kcals or 1 meal with 2000kcal, the calories we burn due to food ingestion or other factors will be exactly the same.


Eating larger, less frequent meals throughout the day will not only help us feel more satisfied each time we eat, but also make our body produce less ghrelin (also known as the hunger hormone) throughout the day.

Us as flexible dieters prefer, normally, to do around 4 meals a day, because we like to eat larger portions per meal and also, we normally don’t have time to be having meals every 2 hours. Being conscious of the nutritional values of the food we eat helps us choose less caloric options in order to increase total meal volume so that we’re all the more satisfied.

So, throughout time we became capable of economizing some additional calories throughout the day so that we can enjoy, for example, a delicious pizza at night, without compromising our progress in the gym!


Many people have the wrong impression about flexible dieters and think all they eat is “fast food” and sweets. Not true!

Flexible dieting’s goal isn’t to try and include the maximum amount of “junk food” we can in our macros.

  • It isn’t just eating cakes and sweets all day!
  • It isn’t having the goal of avoiding whole foods or trying to eat as often as possible products that are made artificially!
  • It’s managing to, if we want, use sauce on our meals!
  • It’s having the flexibility to go out to dinner with our friends!
  • It’s going out and being able to have a beer!
  • It’s having the freedom to go and have sushi for dinner with our girlfriend/boyfriend!

Essentially it’s being able to have a sustainable lifestyle without compromising or progress!


It’s about having the opportunity to fit training and nutrition into our lifestyle instead of the opposite.

When we try to adjust the adequate ratio of macro nutrients for us to achieve our ideal body composition, having high levels of protein and fiber in our diet, it will always be impossible to do by just eating “fast food”.

The thing is that when we cover our nutritional needs with food rich in fiber, protein and micronutrients, we can eat a few foods that we crave, so that we reach the rest of our macro goals for the day. This way, we eliminate all of those cravings to which we would normally deprive ourselves of, that normally make our diet unbearable and unsustainable.

For example, if we have a fast metabolism and we’re eating 500g of carbs and 100g of fats in the “off-season” because we’re trying to pack on some meat, will it make that big a difference if we eat a McFlurry if at the end of the day we have already hit our fiber, protein and micronutrient goals? Of course not!

On the other hand, if we have a slow metabolism and we’re in a caloric deficit, only eating 100g of carbs, would it be wise to spend 74g of those carbs on 2 McFlurrys? Obviously not! This would be the same as making 500€ a month and spending 400€ on a weekend in a 5* Hotel, we would be penniless for the rest of the moth.


Your results are the reflection of your passion and dedication, because our team seeks out excellence through every email exchange!

Our approach to nutrition is something to maintain in the long run, not a simple diet trend!


Because control and moderation are key to sustainability.

Well…also ‘cause it’s freakin’ delicious! You know it as well as we do.

Most people tend to label certain foods as foods we “should” eat, with words like “healthy” or “clean” and describes those that we “shouldn’t eat” as “dirty” or “unhealthy”.

The problem is that there is no objective definition of “clean eating”.


What’s curious is that many groups of people believe that many different foods are “dirty”, while vegetarians consider that animal meat is “unhealthy” and vegans on the other hand consider that any animal product is “unhealthy”. So, as you can see, “eating clean” has no consensual definition, nor any scientific backup.

Also, avoiding certain foods or food groups for no rational reason is one of the characteristics that define nervous orthorexia and can potentially contribute to developing an eating disorder.

We shouldn’t be worried about “eating clean”, we should be worried about planning our nutrition for an extended period of time. This is only possible if we’re aware of the caloric value of food as well as their macro nutrient properties (carbs, protein and fats), along with fiber and micronutrients.

It doesn’t matter if we want to lose fat or gain muscle. To improve our body composition, it’s a huge advantage to know what we’re eating, because this way we can easily control the changes we’re doing to our body. On the other hand, we can continue to eat a little bit of everything without fully excluding a certain food(s).

With that being said, if our diet doesn’t provide us with a chance to eat our favorite meals every once in a while, maybe it’s time we tried a different approach so that we can have a diet that doesn’t damage our lifestyle, that can also bring us the results we desire.


Even those who are reluctant and think it’s wrong to count calories should think about it, because you’ve got nothing to lose if you try it.

Nutrition is one of the most widely discussed subjects on the internet. Therefore, you can find anything you want about any subject related to nutrition in an instant. Lately, one of nutrition’s hot topics is undoubtedly artificial sweeteners, that are considered by many to have an impact on cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Despite all the information available, most people who follow diets remain uncertain if they should or shouldn’t use artificial sweeteners, not knowing if they are or not safe and also because of doubts regarding their influence on fat loss.


After all, what are artificial sweeteners?

This is a concept used to define a mixture of individual additives that can also be known as nutritive sweeteners or non-caloric artificial sweeteners, being that the most well-known ones are aspartame (100-200 times sweeter than sugar), sucralose (600x sweeter than sugar), saccharine (300-400x sweeter than sugar) and acesulfame-k (100-200x sweeter than sugar). These are used in numerous soda products branded as “light”, “diet” and “zero”, bubble gum and other products.

What is the main use for artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners bring to life the production of food and drinks containing “zero calories”, which traditionally are filled with sugars. Since these are from 80 to 700 times sweeter than sugar, a smaller amount can be used to provide the same amount of sweetness to a certain food. Artificial sweeteners provide a sweeter taste when compared to sugar, but provide none of the calories found in sugar. By substituting a food or drink that contains calories for one that’s branded as “zero calories”, not only will we economize within our daily calories but also leave room to ingest more nutritious food.

Why are there concerns around the use of artificial sweeteners?

Mainly it’s due to the media’s sensationalism, who fill headlines 24/7, and also due to our relationship with food, which is a highly emotional and cultural subject. When some new food appears, we tend to be precautious and skeptical, it isn’t easy for us to accept innovation.

What does science say about artificial sweeteners?

Media have associated artificial sweeteners to cancer, diabetes and other health problems, one of the most criticized in the industry being aspartame. Aspartame was approved for human consumption in 1974 and the recommended dose was 50mg /kg of body weight. Contrary to what people believe, it would be necessary to consume numerous grams of this sweetener for it to pose a threat to our health. These facts are overlooked many a time in mass media and, in aspartame’s case, even the scientists stated that comparing rats to humans was unfair because the physiological differences that this sweetener provoked were numerous. That was when, in 2006, after many news headlines about aspartame, that it’s effect on humans was reevaluated based on more than 100 toxicology studies and clinical trials testing its safety. It was proven to be safe for humans. More recently, in 2013, the European Food and Safety Administration confirmed aspartame’s position as non-carcinogenic.

Recently there have been theories stating that the intake of artificial sweeteners can diminish our tolerance to glucose and damage our intestinal microbe population. Studies are being held to find out the truth behind these allegations.

Who should use artificial sweeteners?

For the conscious athlete who needs to lose fat, these artificial sweeteners can be a sword with two ends. Very few are the athletic efforts that allow an athlete not to worry about his body composition and body fat. Sports like bodybuilding or that focus on weight lifting are perfect examples. So, you should always bear in mind that sweeteners can affect our satiety, because these foods and drinks that are sweet but offer no caloric value can partially activate our food reward pathways. When our food reward system is only partially satisfied, we’re programmed to look for more calories later, which can constitute a potential problem for those who follow intuitive diets, because they don’t monitor their daily caloric intake.

Basically what we know is that we have a tendency to compensate for the calories que save, by using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, consuming these calories at the end of the day. This could be a positive aspect if we were trying to maintain our weight – less calories ingested from sugary foods with few vitamins and minerals and more calories from food sources that are healthier overall. But, if we’re purposefully using artificial sweeteners to lose weight, it would be best to control our caloric ingestion so that we can make sure we’re consuming less calories than we burn!

The main reason for use of artificial sweeteners is to try and fulfil our wishes of eating the food we really love while we’re dieting, without them having a big caloric impact. So, these sweeteners can be useful in limited quantities.


Sweeteners and body composition.

There is still no definitive answer to show the relation between these two factors, because there are no clinical studies that have been done for long enough time to prove a causal relationship between the use of sweeteners and weight gain or loss. It is known that artificial sweeteners can provide enjoyment of the foods we most love with the advantage of a low caloric index. This way they provide mental freedom.

In conclusion:

– Artificial sweeteners are substances 80 to 700 times sweeter than sugar, but have a low caloric index.

– Artificial sweeteners are safe for human consumption when used in moderate doses, being that it would be necessary to greatly exceed their use for the safety levels to be breached.

– Sweeteners can negatively influence the intestinal microbe population, which can have negative impacts on metabolic health, but this has not been conclusively proven to be true on humans and it’s clinical significance is arguable.

– If we use artificial sweeteners it’s advised we control our caloric consumption because the ingestion of sweet with fewer calories than our body “expects” can lead to over eating because the body will want to get what it expected to have in order to compensate.

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Team Transformerz promotes a nutritional orientation approach that is both balanced and flexible, without fixed plans or restricted timetables. This way, everyone manages their meal plan each day, adapting it to his/her routine and preference!

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