Macros, or macronutrients, are one of the best ways to improve everyday nutrition, boost workout performance, and improve physical appearance. I am a firm believer that a better body is achieved with proper nutrition first, and not gimmicks like supplements (except for protein).
So what are macros?
“Macronutrients are what make up the caloric content of a food.” This is broken down into carbohydrates, fats, and protein. It is what makes up the number of calories you consume each day. Here is how macros break down in terms of calories:
- 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
This means that you are actively taking notes on what you eat per day to make sure you stay within the optimal range for protein, carbs, and fats. By tracking how much of each you consume, you can better gauge what types of calories are in your body. Macros can help you better understand the nutrients you are eating each day.
How Macros Are Beneficial
If you read my article Nutrition for Health and Fitness you will notice that I say calories are what you need to track to lose weight. While this is true, the types of calories matter as well. If you are eating well under the BMR for your calorie needs, but still don’t see great results, tracking your macros is a great next step.
Benefits of Tracking Macros
If you decide to track your macros, you will find that you can indulge in different “cheat” meals and still get results from your workouts. You can ditch calorie counting and instead eat foods you enjoy. This is very beneficial to those who “burn out” trying to only each a certain amount of calories per day. Instead of stressing over calories, you just need to make sure you keep within your macros for the day.
Also, but following your macros you are no longer deficient in certain parts of your diets. You may find that cravings begin to disappear and your overall health improves. Workouts may be better as well since you have the proper energy needed to complete each workout routine.
Here is a guide to help you decide which macros you want to follow. Use this along with your BMR for calories to optimize your nutrition.
- Boost Metabolism and/or Build Muscle: 40 percent protein, 35 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent fat
- Lose Fat: 45 percent protein, 35 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent fat
That’s it. Follow your macros to get in additional cheat meals and expand your nutrition plan to different types of meals.
Looking for a easy way to track your macros? Download this free app to easily track your macros and start getting in better shape. Please leave any comments/questions below and I will get back to you.