What are Macros?
First of all WHAT are macros? Why should I even count them? How do I count my macros? Can I just count my calories? Ugh. Confusing right? It can seem really hard and even overwhelming to know where to begin. And the question of ‘is this worth it’ may come to your mind. But let me get that one out of the way right now… Yes, it is worth it!
It’s important to count your macros (not just your calories) because WHERE you’re getting your calories from is so imperative.
Let’s start with the basics.
Macronutrients or macros are what makes up the caloric content of food. The three categories of macros are fats, carbohydrates, and protein. It is important to count your macros and not just your calories because where you are getting your calories from really does matter.
Getting the right amount of protein, fat, and carbs will determine whether you are building or losing muscle, and whether you are putting on or losing fat. We all have different fitness goals so it is important to track your macros according to what your goals are but we will get into that later.
Protein is the most essential macronutrient and will help you to build muscle and help to prevent muscle loss. It is also the most satiating macro helping you to be able to stave off hunger and feel fuller longer.
Primary source of complete proteins: Meat, whey and eggs.
These are easily digested so they will provide us with some quick energy. Ex: table sugar, brown sugar, candy, soda, honey, fruit.
These are more nutritious than simple carbs, are higher in fiber, and take longer to digest to keep you fuller longer. Complex carbs also provide more sustained energy than simple carbs. Ex: whole grains, vegetables, oats.
Fats help to keep our hormone levels in balance and they are essential nutrients that our bodies need to live. Make sure that you are getting your fats from healthy sources and stay away from trans-fats, as these foods will not help you to reach your fitness goals.
Good sources for fats: avocado, nuts, coconut oil, avocado oil, and EVOO (Rachael Ray anyone?!).
We also need to obtain essential fatty acids from foods and supplements as our bodies cannot produce these on their own. These EFA’s build specialized fats called omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support the normal functioning of all tissues in our bodies. Ex: Fish oil, salmon, walnuts.
Meal plans should have a good balance of all three macros.
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