Nowadays in the fitness industry when it comes to talk about getting your diet right and finding balance, and something that is sustainable and works for you it all ends up leading into a conversation about macros.
What are Macros?
First off let’s start off with what are macros. Macros which is short for macronutrients are three main energy sources that make up the basic components of every diet protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Protein: Provides the body with amino acids which are the building blocks of cell and muscle structure. The body needs 20 different amino acids, 9 that are essential amino acids. Which means your body can’t produce them on its own and you must obtain them from food. If you don’t get enough protein your body will start to take it away from other parts that you need, such as muscle. Protein is used in the body beyond just muscle; some of the other roles it plays in the body include transporting cells, organs, enzymes, and hair growth.
Carbohydrates: Are your body’s and brain’s primary source of energy. Carbs are made up of starches and sugars that the body breaks down into glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar that can be used right away or stored for later.
Fats: Help in so many ways to keep your body working properly. It’s your body’s second source of energy. They are needed for brain development, hormone balance, temperature regulation, and aiding in absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K).
Now that you know what macros are let’s get into what the big hype is about them, and why people choose to track them.
Why would you track macros?
There is so much you can learn about food in your body. Which is why so many people use tracking macros as a method to help structure their diet in order to make sure that they’re eating the right amount of food in order to achieve their goals. When you track macros you learn what all different types of foods are made up of, how to portion sizes, recognize your body’s response to certain types of foods like which ones make it bloated or inflamed, and overall truly understand how much your body needs a protein, carbs, and fats in order to perform at its best.
What goes untracked goes unmanaged.
How do you know how your food will affect your body if you don’t know what’s in it? By tracking macros it helps you understand the impact of your eating choices. Even though they come from the same animal, a chicken breast and thigh have very different breakdowns of macros. A grilled chicken breast’s macros are 100 calories for 4oz chicken breast 20g protein, 1 carb, 2 fat. However a chicken thighs even though it’s from the same animal and cooked the same has completely different macros. The macros for grilled chicken thigh on average is 24g protein, 0g carbs, 8g fat. Which is why people tend to eat chicken breast over chicken thighs so that they can get more protein in without eating as much fat because EVERYTHING ADDS UP! So overall tracking your macronutrients can be helpful in order to keep your calories in a surplus (need for building muscle) or in a deficit (needed for weight loss).