I have people ask me all the time for help attaining their fitness goals. Their goals can be weight loss to muscle gain or just a target area that is giving them trouble. Usually one of the first questions I ask them is “what do your macros look like?” I’d have to say 99% of the time I will get a very confused face back asking “what are macros?” This still amazes me every time. If you do not count what you are putting in how do you expect to get what you want out? Getting your macros on point will allow your body to work in the most efficient way possible to achieve your goals. The term macros is short for macronutrients. One big tidbit is 10 calories of fat will be used by your body differently than 10 calories of protein. All calories are not created equally. Counting your macros will also help you track you caloric intake. If you are taking in more calories than you are expending (caloric surplus) you will never lose those access pounds. Same applies if you are looking to gain muscle. If you are expending more calories than you take in (caloric deficit) there is nothing for your body to build muscle with. Don’t waste your time! If your diet is not in order no amount of time in the gym will make up for it.
To anyone looking to attain fitness goals here is a brief description of Macros (Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats). There is a ton of information out there so put a little time in doing some homework and trust me it will pay off big time.
1 gram = 4 calories
Protein is an essential nutrient to build and repair tissues of the body. It is also involved to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. The body does not store protein unlike it does with fats and carbs so you need to consume the amount your body needs on a daily basis. Protein is mainly found in animal products. The exact amount of protein your body needs will depend greatly on your activity/goals.
1 gram = 4 calories
Carbs are your primary source of energy. There are two sources of carbs simple and complex. Easiest way to describe the difference is simple carbs are absorbed quickly into the body for quick energy (fruit juice) and complex are absorbed at a slower rate for sustained energy (vegetables). Your body will store access carbs as fat. This is why it is best to keep your carb intake to a minimum at night since you will not be burning it off with activity.
1 gram = 9 calories
Fats give you energy and help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. There are two kinds of fats unsaturated and saturated. Saturated is mainly found in animal foods (milk, meat) and can also be found in oils (coconut oil). Unsaturated fats can be found in oils made from plants and are broken down further into Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. For a healthy diet keep saturated fats to a minimum but do not cut them out entirely.
As I said there is so much more to each of these nutrients. Knowing what they are and how the body uses them is important. Tracking is easy too. Personally I use the My Fitness App on my smart phone. Just scan the item or look it up. You will be amazed what you are actually consuming on a daily basis. So get counting those macros!