What are Macros and Why Should You Be Counting Them?
Macros. Nutrients. It’s all new and exciting in the health and fitness world, but what does it mean for you and how can it help you to reach your goals and improve your overall well-being? We aim to uncover exactly what Macros are, whether or not you should be counting them, and if so, how to do it.
What exactly are macros anyway?
There are three categories of macro-nutrients, or macros:
Proteins are incredibly important for our bodies. Made out of small molecules called amino acids, they are used to make muscles, tendons, organs, and skin. Getting a sufficient amount of protein is vital to building muscle and/or preventing muscle loss. While some of these necessary amino acids can be produced by the body, others need to be consumed through our diet. The ones we can’t produce ourselves are called the “essential amino acids”. Meat, fish, eggs, and dairy are all great sources of high-quality protein and therefore are a significant part of a well-balanced diet. Proteins also control your appetite, and effectively curbs hunger by making you feel full for longer, which is why protein is a vital part of successful health and weight loss regimes.
Fat is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in the well-being of our bodies. It helps our body to absorb vitamins, regulates our hormones, promotes brain function and more. Some of the best sources of fats are from meat, fatty fish, nuts, nut butter, and oils.
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are what our body uses for energy. Carbohydrates, when consumed through our food intake, are turned into glucose, which your body either burns immediately as energy or converts to glycogen to be stored in the muscles, brain, blood, and liver for use between meals.
Carbohydrates come in many forms, both good and bad, such as Fruit, vegetables, grains such as bread, rice, pasta, cereals, and potatoes, as well as many processed foods/drinks.
Why count macros?
Basically, macro counting means that rather than counting the number of calories you consume, you’re counting the kind of calories, because macro nutrients make up the caloric content of the food. It means you eat with less guilt. Eat some treats if you want them, just fit them into your macro allowances! The balance this structure gives you means that you won’t be deficient in anything, you’ll have more energy, better workouts and therefore, better results. What’s not to love?
Lastly, how to count macros…
Thankfully, you don’t need to be a math genius to count your macros, just a few simple sums into a notebook will suffice. This is especially easy when whatever you are eating has a nutrition label.
Basically, macro-nutrients each produce a certain number of calories:
- One gram of protein yields 4 calories.
- One gram of fat yields 9 calories.
- One gram of carbohydrate yields 4 calories.
Let’s look at a label – this is what you can refer to in order to assess how many macros your consuming…
The number of macros you should consume in a day depends on your goals and what you want to achieve, be it weight loss, muscle gain, or leaning down. As a “weight loss” tactic, experts generally use a split between the different macro-nutrients in order to find the right balance for a more effective result. This split is as follows:
- 20% fat intake
- 35% protein
- 45% carbohydrates
An important thing to understand and watch out for is the servings per bottle/package. The macro-nutrients on the nutrition label are per serving, but there can be more than one serving of the product, so you’ll need to account for this in any sums.
Not ready to do all the sums yourself? There are plenty of Apps around that can help you to keep track, just record the food you eat and the App will calculate the macros for you. Alternatively, our team can help you with more information on counting your macro intake.
Understanding your body, what affects it, as well as nutrition and fitness, are all vital to optimal health and well-being. Body Evolution Health & Fitness can proper guidance and trusted advice, helping to you understand exactly how your individual body works and how to achieve your health and fitness goals. Get in touch with our expert team today to discuss your individual needs.