In this post, we would like to address a topic that has gained prominence with regards to weight loss and has a rather significant role to play for those who are on a diet and are committed to lose weight without compromising on strength, fitness, muscle growth and agility. Today, we shall write about what comprises macros and their significance when it comes to dieting. It is much more scientific to count macronutrients (or macros) over simple calories for a number of reasons – chiefly among them being the obvious fact that in this mode of food logging, you concentrate on macro intake which is far more scientific than simple calorie counting and that in turn improves your athletic performance and also assist in losing weight. Another side to macro tracking is that you get to shift your eating habits to a more healthier and suitable one that not only guarantees good health and an overall good feel in the long term, but it is the most practical thing to do to always have the right amount of energy and focus to perform optimally on a daily basis without risking fatigue and also to continue to lose unwanted weight to stay fit and slim at the same time. Let us spare a few words on what exactly are macronutrients and then attempt to find out how to keep count of them.
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients is the term used to describe and label all food items that our body demands in considerable amount in order to sustain itself. Macronutrients are the molecules that our bodies use as energy, it’s basically the things in food that have calories in them. They are the main nutrients we need to survive. The three major categories of macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Conversely, micronutrients are the substances in our food such as vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that we in comparably much smaller proportions to live healthily. Macros are measures in grams, each gram has a total calorie/energy value.
From the above description, it must have become evidently clear that despite a majority of diets that recommend to cut back on all carbs and fats, we actually need to practise scientific discernment to ensure that we do not end up inadvertently cutting back on an essential macronutrient that jeopardises our health and we end up risking malnutrition and associated illnesses in order to shed weight and lose weight. Given the gravity of the situation, it would be prudent of us to take a moment to step back and evaluate what all is at stake here and then we should proceed to enlist different ways and means to calculate macros in our diet for best results.
1. Carbohydrates: Let’s start with the most controversial of the lot, let us talk about carbohydrates. They are the quickest source of energy in our body and our physiology either converts carbs on intake into glucose that is either immediately put to use or is stored away for future use. Starchy food items contain complex carbohydrates that our body needs.
Examples of Carbohydrate-rich Food:
- Grains/whole grains
- Starchy vegetables.
2. Protein: Next up on the list is proteins – kind of like the building blocks of our body – the metaphorical bricks of our body, biologically speaking. Whether it is repair after injuries sustained or to build muscles or just keeping up our body’s immunity to fend off bouts of infections attacking our system, proteins are indispensable. There are close to 9 different types of amino acids labelled as essential amino acids that our bodies are incapable to produce and we must rely on external sources of food for their supply and our consequent good health.
Examples of Protein:
- Protein powder
3. Fat: Finally, comes dietary fats – which are essential for digestion of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. They are also important in insulating your body to survive during the harsh cold winters or when the human body is subjected to food deprivation. It plays a crucial role in protecting our organs, supporting cell growth and development and it also plays a role in inducing hormone production and distribution in our physiological system.
Examples of Fat-rich Food:
- Egg yolk
What Macros Do For your Body?
1. Carbs are the main energy source for your body.
2. Protein builds muscle and repair organ and tissues.
3. Fat also provides energy to the body and protects the organs as well.
4. Protein and carbs 4 calories per gram, 1 gm of fat has 9 calories in one gram.
5. Consult a dietitian to determine how much macros is correct for you.
Why Tracking Macros is Important?
Tracking macros means to calculate how much protein, carbs, and fat you want to eat in a day to achieve specific weight loss target. Once you start counting macros and calories, you can bring a positive change in your weight. Here’s the breakdown of calories in each gram of carb, protein, and fat.
- 1 gm protein = 4 calories
- 1 gm carbohydrates = 4 calories
- 1 gm fat = 9 calories
Keeping all that has been discussed so far in view, medical authorities and agencies have unanimously decided that our diet should contain the following macronutrients in the following proportions for good health and optimum levels of fitness. 45-60% of carbohydrates, 20-35% of fats and the remainder is for proteins.