What is a Macro? If you answered that with ‘a new Apple product?’ or ‘a what? A macro? Is that something with chocolate?’ Then it’s probably in your best interests to keep reading. Macronutrients are the necessary nutrients that provide our bodies with energy and calories. The term ‘macro’ actually means large so they’re needed in substantial amounts to keep us kickin’ on during the day!
To break it down, Macros is the word that’ll make you sound like you actually know what you’re really talking about when it comes to your eating. They’re carbs, they’re protein and they’re fats. That’s it. Everyone has their specific amount of Macros that they should be eating depending on their goals. Now, by this stage, we’d hope that it’s safe to say you could confidently identify that bread is quite high in carbohydrates and that chicken breast is a pretty decent source of protein. But it’s breaking it down into an exact quantity, which makes it hard for your average Joe.
I’d love to sit here and tell you about how not worth it it is and sure, you could argue that as long as you’re eating ‘clean’ that there’s no point. And you could well be onto something if you’re not particularly worried about the numbers behind it all, it’s not for everyone. But for those of us who need to know exactly what we should be eating and when so that we stop trying to justify that ‘healthy’ blueberry and white chocolate muffin, it’s perfect.
It’s just a numbers game. There are heaps of apps and Internet tools out there that are completely accessible to the general public for those who want to work out their macros. At the end of entering in your weight, your goal, your body fat percentage and all that jazz, you’ll be given how many grams of each macronutrient you should be eating to lose, maintain or gain weight.
Let’s start with Carbs. They’re not all bad, especially if you’re a relatively active person. Carbohydrates are what our bodies use for energy. Your body needs something to burn when you’re working out. We’re not saying you should smash through a bowl of potatoes before you hit the gym but without carbs you won’t reap the benefits of your workout anywhere near as well as you would had you eaten some brown rice a couple of hours beforehand.
When it comes to protein, it should take up roughly 30% of your daily caloric intake. It’s pretty easy to meet this if you’re already on a well-balanced diet. Protein is needed in our bodies for tissue repair and preserving our lean muscle mass. When we eat meat, fish, beans and legumes, our body breaks down the protein that they contain into amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
Fat is probably the most misunderstood macro. Responses vary from ‘oh heavens, I eat low-fat everything’ to ‘I didn’t even know you could buy low-fat peanut butter?’ To put it simply, there are three types of fats saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat. Unsaturated fats are the ones you need for energy and to maintain our healthy cell membranes. We need to fuel our bodies with good fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and almond butter to keep us going!
It’s not going to be easy to begin with, trust us. It takes a little bit of time to adjust to the numbers behind our food but once you get there, you won’t go back because you’ll be feeling and looking fantastic!
– FCF Team