Our bodies require carbohydrates, protein, and fat in order for our metabolisms to work optimally, says Lisa Mikus, R.D. “The body’s systems use each macronutrient in metabolic processes,” she says. For example, carbohydrates are broken down to carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. These elements are then used to create energy. If you’re missing a macronutrient, you won’t have the amino acids neccessary to make the hormones and enzymes that fuel your metabolism, says Mikus.
Yep, that’s right, carbs are good for weight loss, she says. “Sugar, which breaks down into glucose, is the brain’s preferred energy source because it’s metabolized quickly,” says Mikus. “Cutting out carbohydrates completely, by reducing fruits, whole grains, and starchy vegetables, can cause brain fog, fatigue, and grumpiness, which may make you binge later,” she says.
As a rule of thumb, make sure these three macronutrients make it onto your plate at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Divide your plate up into 45 percent carbohydrates (including fruit and vegetables), 30 percent healthy fats, and 25 percent protein, says Mikus.