What are macros, how do you count them and are they important?
Macros, or micronutrients, are the three categories that make up the caloric content food: fat, protein and carbohydrates; broken down as follows:
1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
1 gram of fat = 9 calories
1 gram of protein = 4 calories
The importance of macros, is not necessarily the AMOUNT of calories you’re consuming but what KIND of calories are in your food. In other words, you could be sticking to a strict calorie intake but not getting the proper nutrients in your diet and not seeing the results you’re striving for. The beauty of counting macronutrients vs calories is that you’ll be feeding your body ideal nutrition, which in turn reduces cravings because you’re body is not deficient in anything. As a result of eating a balanced diet, your body will work more efficiently; allowing you more energy to do a better workout and get better results! That said, all nutrients are not created equal, so we always encourage whole foods over processed ones.
Here is a macro-counting formula you can refer to, depending on whether your goals are to increase your metabolism, lose fat or build muscle:
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
But first you’ll need to calculate what your caloric intake should be:
Or, you can simply go to https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm
Getting started can be a little tricky but don’t lose heart - they are plenty of apps you can download to help you through the process. A good one is “Stupid Simple Macros Tracker” and it’s free! By using this app before you eat, it builds your meals by using ingredients and warns you what has too much fat or too many carbs.
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