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Macronutrients: what are they and why you should count them!

WHAT ARE MACROS?

I bet you have heard of Protein, Fats, and Carbohydrates. Did you know that these are called Macronutrients? Each of these macros provide essential functions so you can be your best and healthiest self. Making sure you have the proper balance of each macro is very important… but it is important to note that everyone’s balance is different and what ratio will work for you may not work for your friend or significant other. 

Let’s break these Macros down a bit more. 

 

Protein:

Protein can come in two forms- animal and plant. Animal proteins would be chicken, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy. Plant protein which is becoming ever more popular comes from beans, chickpeas, tofu, lentils, and edamame… just to name a few. There are 4 calories per gram of protein. 

 

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We spoke with Fit Factory Berlin’s Fitness Director, Jacob. When thinking about how to hit your protein goals, Jacob told us, “1g per pound of lean body mass. If you don’t know that, 1g per pound. Protein supplementation is an efficient way to help you hit your protein goal. Some caffeine is a proven ergogenic aid and can not only boost performance, but also help with protein synthesis. And take creatine “ 

Protein is key for muscle recovery, which is why it is so important to make sure you get a proper portion of protein post workout! 

 

Fats:

The four types of fat are monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated, and trans fat.  Saturated and trans fat are the two you want to stay away from. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat are the healthier of the fats. You can find these fats in nuts, fish, and avocados. There are 9 calories per gram of fat.

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Fats help store vitamins as well as help with the building of hormones such as cholesterol, testosterone, and estrogen. By consuming the high quality fats listed above, your body is better able to store nutrients you take in from other macros. 

 

Carbohydrates (carbs):

Carbs are probably the most talked about Macro. There are two different types of carbs- complex and simple. Complex carbs take longer to break down and keep you feeling fuller longer. Simple carbs on the other hand break down quickly for immediate use. Complex carbs consist of whole grains, vegetables, and oatmeal. Simple carbs consist of fruit, added sugar, and white flour. Complex carbs are also made up of both starch and fiber while simple carbs are composed of one or two sugar molecules. There are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate. 

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Carbs are essential for everyday function. Not only do they supply the body with energy but carbs also support healthy brain activity!

 

How to calculate your macros 

1- Figure out how many calories you eat per day 

2- Determine ideal ratio of macros 

3- Multiply your total daily calories by your percentages 

4- Divide your calorie amount by calories per gram. 

Example

2,000 calories per day 

Ratio- 50% carbs 25% fats 25% protein 

 

Carbs-

2,000 x .5= 1,000 calories per day

1,000/4= 250 grams per day

 

Fats-

2,000 x .25= 500 calories per day

500/4=125 grams per day 

 

Protein- 

2,000 x.25= 500 calories per

500/4= 125 grams per day

 

So, why do we do this?

Counting macros is a great way to keep track of what you are eating but not limiting yourself to a specific diet regime, where you may not be getting complete sources of nutrients. By counting macros you can ensure that your body is receiving the proper fuel it needs to keep you going rather than just counting calories and not taking into account what those calories are made of. 

Danilo, the Fitness Director in North Attleboro, wants you to remember, “Carbs and fats are fuel, use them wisely! Protein is recovery, avoid missing it! If you know you have some intense sessions coming the following day, make sure to eat more the day before. Get more rest. If your goal is leaning out, map out your carbohydrates so that they are coordinated with your training sessions.”

Give it a try, then in a few weeks check in with yourself and see, have you been feeling fuller longer? Do you have more energy to get through the day? Last, how are you feeling overall? Checking in with yourself every so often will also help keep you on track and from there you can see if you need to make any adjustments in your ratios.

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