Read this article and find out all you need to know about macronutrients!
What are macronutrients?
Sustainable weight management, its what we are all looking for! With so many quick fixes and diet plans out there its hard to decide… so much information!!! When it comes to weight management there is no quick fix, it doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to give up all your favorite foods! Your body is like a car, it requires fuel to run, you can customize it for what you want it to do, you have to maintain it and it is not invincible!!! Your body’s fuel is the food you feed it, the kind of fuel you put in will vary the output. Macros are the macronutrients (or the main fuel your body needs to run) they are your carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Your body uses each of these to perform various tasks in the body and finding the right balance for you will ensure optimum performance!
How They Work:
Macronutrients are not a one size fits all kind of thing, they are calculated specifically for you as an individual taking into consideration many variables such as weight, height, age, goals, activity level etc. There are generally 3 categories that people will use with these numbers depending on your personal goals! A deficit or cut is where you want to be if your goal is weight loss, this means you will be consuming less calories than you ingest in a day. A deficit can be slight or aggressive but time, patience and consistency is key! This brings us to maintenance, if you are happy with your current weight and body composition and just want to maintain it there is a set of Macros for that! Here you are eating the same amount of calories as you are using in a day to break even and maintain. Finally there are Macros to bulk, yup some people want to get bigger!!! If putting on muscle mass is your goal, then bulking is the way to go! Here you are eating in STRATIGIC caloric surplus, this does not mean you can just pig out on everything, there are still rules! To build that nice lean muscle you desire you need certain amounts of specific macronutrients, and yes along with this bulking you will increase your body fat percentage as well which brings us to a Macro Cycle of bulk, cut, maintain etc.
Lots of people are afraid of carbohydrates or carbs, a lot of our favorite foods are comprised of carbs and when we are told we can not have these if we want to loose weight it can be a deal breaker!!! What if I told you you can have your carbs, better yet you NEED them??? Now that doesn’t sound do bad does it? In order for your body to perform properly and effectively we need carbs, they are a source of energy, they are filling and aid in muscle recovery from exercise! How many carbs you need depends on where in the Macro cycle you are. Every gram of carbs consumed equals 4 calories.
Building blocks of that nice lean muscle protein is important! It is responsible for building and repairing that muscle also aiding in the formation of enzymes and neurotransmitters important for day to day body functions. Don’t worry about consuming higher levels of protein it will NOT make you look like a body builder, that requires a lot more work!!! Every gram of protein consumed equals 4 calories.
Now some of you may cringe at the word fat, we are so programmed to avoid fats because they make you well … fat. This is true to a point, anything in excess is not good for you, but you really do need fats to have your nutrition properly balanced. Fats help balance hormone levels, they aid in growth and development as well as providing long term energy and cellular repair. Now this being said there are good fats, and bad fats! Good fats are your unsaturated fats, you can find these in coconut oil, nuts, seeds, fish and avocado to name a few. These fats can actually help improve brain function and lower risks of cholesterol and cardiovascular disease! The “bad” fats, or the ones you should limit and consume in moderation are your saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats such as those found in beef or dairy have their benefits by maintaining hormone levels may be consumed but pay attention to the amounts and try to keep your unsaturated fats at a higher level. Trans fats are the ones in those deep fried treats and fast food we all know and love, these can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer and many other health complications and are best to avoid. Anything partially hydrogenated is generally a trans fat so try to keep these to a bare minimum for your healths sake!!!Every gram of fat consumed equals 9 calories.
Some of you may have counted calories in the past, this does give you an awareness of your food consumption but it’s the distribution of the macronutrients that make the difference!!! As you may have noticed above 1 gram of carbohydrates or protein equals 4 calories and 1 gram of fats equals 9 calories. So while calorie counting may be beneficial it is the Macros that matter! Every day you want to be within +/- 5 grams of each Macro for optimal results.
What You Need to Get Started:
First thing you will need is Macros calculated specifically to you! Second you will need a food scale, yes this will require food tracking which leads me to the Third tool, a Macro tracking app. I prefer my fitness pal or mymacros+ but there are also other such apps available. I would also like to mention, if weight loss or a change in body composition is your goal weighing yourself on the scale can be beneficial but also deceiving as gains in muscle mass with fat loss may not make the number on the scale go down and this can be very discouraging!!! I highly recommend weekly progress pictures along with taking body measurements, all these together are the best way to track your progress and of course see the change for yourself!
Putting it All Together:
Now that we have covered the basics it’s time to apply Macros to you and your life, yes there will be a learning curve, yes the first week or 2 will be a pain in the butt and confusion is likely to set in but trust me it is all worth it for the long term results! If this is something you are interested in feel free to contact us! We can provide you with a set of Macros tailored just to you to help you achieve your goals! We have a support group and are available to answer your questions and help you along the way!