What are macronutrients (macros)
A type of food required in large amounts in your diet . Macronutrients are the nutritive components of food that the body needs for energy and to maintain the body's structure and systems.
Lets discuss the following macronutrients and what each provides for the body.
Fat: 9 calories per gram
- Functions of fat: Storing energy. Body insulation and protection. Stores and transports fat soluble vitamins. Important for hormone synthesis, balance and functioning. Supports functions of the brain and nervous system.
Sources of Fat: Oils, Nuts, Seeds, Peanut butter, avocado, higher fat proteins such as salmon and red meat, egg yolks
- Functions of carbs: Primary source of fuel for workouts. Excellent for muscle building as it increases glycogen stores. Main source of energy.
- Simple Carbohydrates: Causes a sharp rise in blood sugar levels. Not very filling. Low in micronutrients. Low in fiber.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Gives you long term energy by slow release. Causes gradual rise in blood sugar. High in fiber. High in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
- Examples of carbs: Fruits, vegetables, lentils, rice, pasta, cereal, beans, oatmeal, quinoa, cream of wheat
Protein: 4 calories per gram
- Functions of Protein: “Building blocks of life.” Required to grow, maintain and replace tissue. Helps combat muscle loss and encourage muscle maintenance or growth (in conjunction with overall diet and exercise). Also helps keep you full as it is slow digesting.
- Examples of protein: chicken breast, turkey breast, egg whites, protein powder, white fish, shrimp/shellfish, tuna, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, tofu, beans, edamame
Why count macros:
- Optimal health and performance
- Educates you about food
- Improved gym performance
- Proper macro distribution = ability to eat a variety of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)
- Its sustainable and flexible
- It does not fore you to cut out entire food groups or eat the same thing every day (unless you choose to)
- Tells you what you CAN eat, rather than what you CAN NOT eat, which promotes a healthy relationships with food.
If you are trying to lose weight, proper macronutrient counting helps you promote fat loss, muscle maintenance, or even muscle gain, depending on your goal. Simply cutting calories and not eating enough of each macronutrient group, can promote loss of weight from muscle mass - something we want to avoid.
If you are trying to gain weight, macronutrient counting helps you gain lean mass and minimize body fat gain.
How Much should I eat:
In order to MAINTAIN your weight–
you need to eat equal amount of calories than you burn.
In order to GAIN weight–
you need to eat more calories than you burn.
In order to LOSE weight–
you need to eat less calories than you burn.
Your macronutrients make up your calories.
As for how much you should eat, that is dependent on a few variables:
Your age, height, weight, physical activity level, and goal, are all things that will effect the appropriate amount of macronutrients you should consume. There are online calculators that can do this, however, you may notice that every online calculator will give you a different suggested macronutrient ratio, which can cause a ton of confusion! At RevolutioniZe Nutrition, we will calculate and suggest a starting macronutrient ratio for you, but IT IS SUBJECT TO change. Are those numbers realistic and attainable for you? Are there other medical conditions to take in to consideration? Are there hormonal imbalances that may force us to change up your ratios? Do we have allergies or intolerances that can cause issues in attaining macronutrient numbers. So many factors go in to it, which is why we can not offer general advice. Everyone we work with is unique, and their calculated numbers are specific to their bodies and all of these factors, plus some!
In order to track macros, we suggest using an app such as My Fitness Pal, that has a large data base. MFP will suggest macro rations to you, however, we don’t personally use or suggest those ratios.
If weight loss is your goal, Think FAT LOSS, not WEIGHT LOSS.
The weight we lose, should be composed of body fat, NOT our lean mass. Staying consistent with tracking and consuming the correct amount of protein fats and carbs, will help you efficiently drop body fat. Same goes for muscle building. We want to pack on muscle, while not accumulating too much body fat. There IS a science to this, but the answer is not one size fits all.
All macronutrients are required for long term success and sustainability, in the appropriate amounts for your body and goals.
Now that you have the foundation for macronutrients, you can attempt to put together your own program or visit RevolutioniZe Nutrition https://revolutionizeusa.com for a free consultation and sign up today.