11 Apr The Simple Scoop On Macros
Aloha, beautiful people!
Questions related to macronutrients are coming in real hot these days (too bad our weather can’t follow suit ). I hope this general overview is helpful in addressing some of your primary questions and concerns about macros and how they function.
In this post I’ll cover:
- What are they, what’s their vibe?
- How much do I need?
- What’s this flexible dieting thing?
- What is a micronutrient?
- My rant on high glycemic and “empty calorie” foods. Why not all macros are created equal. (NERD ALERT)
What in the kale are these things?
Macronutrients are simply the breakdown of the calories we consume. Every food or beverage we take in is one of, or a combination of, these 3 macronutrients:
(Or alcohol, but that’s a topic for another day 🙂
Just to be sure you’ve got it, macros ARE calories and calories ARE macros.
Are they all important?
The answer is YES! Each of the 3 macronutrients has a major role to play in the optimal functioning of our bodies (physically AND chemically). So what do they do?
- promotes muscle growth/retention as well as brain function and cell development. 1 gm of protein is 4 calories.
- primary energy source for our body. The easiest macro for our body to break down and use quickly. 1 gm of carbohydrates is 4 calories.
- reserve energy, blood sugar control, and brain function. 1 gm of fat is 9 calories.
How much do I need?
The simple answer is: You need macronutrients (thus calories) equal to the amount of calories you burn each day. The amount of calories you burn is dependent on your muscle mass, age, weight, and hormonal profile. There are calculators that enable us to estimate someone’s “total daily energy expenditure” (the amount of calories you burn each day). This number can be used to make a daily goal for how many calories you should be consuming. We break this number down into macronutrients to ensure you are getting optimal amounts of each in order to keep/gain muscle mass, stabilize your blood sugar, and provide sufficient energy throughout the day.
NOW, if your goal is not to maintain what you have, but to lose fat or gain muscle, you have to adjust your macronutrients (thus calories). If your goal is to lose weight, you’ll have to decrease your macronutrients (thus calories). If your goal is to gain muscle, you’ll have to increase your macronutrients (thus calories).
It is possible to lose fat and gain muscle while eating less than or equal to your maintenance amount of calories early in your fitness journey. This gets more difficult as you progress so you have to work a little harder at finding the ideal level of each macronutrient.
Luckily for our #FasterFam, we provide different meal plans with grocery lists each week that include macro goals targeted to either lose fat, maintain that bod or get some gainz.
Flexible Dieting. Stop driving yourself crazy!
Since you are “in the know” on macronutrients and calories, don’t stress yourself out too bad about eating the exact same thing for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner every day. While that is THE MOST EFFECTIVE way to reach your goals, weekends and travel can make it difficult and “not so fun” at times. On those days, try to hit your daily protein, fat, and carb goals, but don’t stress too much if it isn’t perfectly divided into 3 meals and 1 or 2 snacks. If you have avocado toast for breakfast, just know you have to eat lots of chicken or turkey for lunch to make up for the lack of protein at that first meal. If you splurge on a snickers, watch your fat and carbs for the rest of the day. This is DEFINITELY NOT for everyday use.
I don’t recommend flexible dieting as a meal plan. I’ve tried it. I’ve failed many times. You forget about all of the hidden fat and carbs, or you fall short of your protein goal 6 out of 7 days. BUT, if you have a candy bar or a piece of cake, don’t lose your shit, YOU’RE FINE! Just skip the sweet potato at dinner tonight.
What is a micronutrient?
These are the beautiful little things that actually make a protein/carb/fat source HEALTHY and NUTRITIOUS. These are vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that our body needs to function at its highest level and for you to feel your best. When I say a food is “nutrient deficient”, I MEAN IN MICRONUTRIENTS, not macronutrients! Obviously no food can be deficient in macronutrients, that’s kind of..ahem.. what it’s made of.
My rant on high glycemic and “empty calorie” foods. Why not all macros are created equal (NERD ALERT)
So let’s just say you have a daily goal of consuming no more and no less than 1600 calories. You make one trip to Mcdonald’s and get a No. #1 with fries and a Dr. Pepper. Whelp, congrats! That’s all you get for today, lol. And with that you’ve consumed almost exclusively bad types of fat that cause inflammation and visceral fat formation (the kind that gives you heart disease and cancer). That meal contained next to zero antioxidants, vitamins, or minerals. This is the same for chips, queso, candy bars, cake, cookies, almost anything that comes in a box or a bag.
You need fresh vegetables, fruit, quality carbs and good sources of protein to fuel your body the right way. Micronutrients can help lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. They also help you lose stubborn fat in all the wrong places, gain muscle, and feel your very best. You only get 1 body in this magical journey, treat it right. You deserve it!
If you’d like to learn how to integrate macros and a quality training program into your routine, then check out our Group Personal Training program or our Femme Fit program if you can’t make it to our St. Louis location.
So much love,