What are macros?
Macros is a shortened version of the word “macronutrients”.
There are 3 macronutrients that primarily make up our calories: protein, carbohydrates and fats. They all provide our body with energy; specifically:
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
- 1 gram carbohydrates = 4 calories
- 1 gram of fats = 9 calories
As you can see, protein and carbohydrates provide the same amount of energy – with fats being a little bit higher in calories.
Why should I learn about macros?
Learning about nutrition is extremely important in life and especially if you have a particular
fitness goal. By learning the “WHY” to your nutrition, you can confidently tailor it to your goals. Whether that is to drop body fat, grow muscle mass or maintain what you have – learning about nutrition is essential!
Why do people count macros?
Keeping track of your macros can help you make (or plan to make) smart, healthy food choices. It’s similar to counting calories or points, but it takes the ideology one step further.
Let’s break them down…
Getting enough protein is one of the most important nutritional considerations, especially for active individuals. Eating enough protein supports muscle protein synthesis, which translates into muscle maintenance and growth.
Protein also has a higher thermic effect of food (TEF) than carbohydrates and fats. This is why a higher protein diet is beneficial for weight loss – it both increases satiety and boosts energy expenditure!
Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of fuel. They break down into glucose (sugar), providing energy for many tissues in the body, such as red blood cells.
Carbohydrates are also important for replenishing muscle glycogen storages, providing fuel for training and increasing power outputs. Fibre is something to also note! Fibre is the leftover indigestible portion carbohydrates that cannot be broken down in our digestive system. It is split into two categories: soluble and insoluble fibre – both having different roles.
-Soluble fibre slows the emptying process in our stomachs and promotes satiety. It’s contained in foods such as fruits, vegetables, oats, barley and legumes.
-Insoluble fibre absorbs water to soften the contents of your bowel, as well as support a healthy gut. It’s found in wholegrain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, wheat bran and the skin of fruit and vegetables.
-Sufficient fibre intake is very important for digestion and gut health! Healthy women should aim for 25-30g of fibre per day.
Fats have multiple important functions in the body, from helping absorb certain vitamins to balancing out hormones and providing essential cushioning to the organs. A nutritious diet must include sufficient amounts of healthy fats:
-Unsaturated fats, which include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated varieties. These should form the bulk of your fat intake. Sources of polyunsaturated fats include: oily fish, walnuts, hazelnuts and brazil nuts, chia/sunflower seeds, oil spreads (canola/sunflower) etc. Monounsaturated fats can be found in: extra virgin olive oil, avocado, almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts and olive oil spreads etc.
-Saturated fats are important, too – aim to prioritise those coming from wholesome sources, i.e. pure butter or coconut oil. As saturated fats are often abundant in packaged foods and snacks, it’s something to watch out for to maintain reasonable daily consumption.
To give your body the proper fuel it needs you still need to give it nourishing wholesome foods from all of the food groups – this is why we ALWAYS preach a balanced approach incorporating lots of nutritious foods whilst adding the foods you love.
We’ve taken the hard work out of tracking and counting your Macro’s, in the App you are able to track and calculate your Macro’s and Calories if you prefer to.