What are Macros?
Macronutrients are molecules that our bodies use to create energy. Each macronutrient supplies energy, the amount of energy varies between the different macros.
The 3 macronutrients are:
Marcos make up the calories content of a food. Each macro has a calorie count per gram:
4 calories per 1 gram protein
4 calories per 1 gram carbohydrate
9 calories per 1 gram of fat
The body needs macronutrients for energy, growth performance, and recovery. Along with needing macronutrients, our bodies also need micronutrients.
These are just as important as macronutrients. These are essential to aid in hormones, bodily functions, enzymes, and organs. This is what keeps "if it fits your macros" or "flexible dieting" in check. We have to keep in mind the micronutrients as well. So being able to fit Oreos or ice cream into the days macros must mean that you have met your micronutrients for the day as well. This may sound super complicated and complex but it really is as simple as eating whole clean foods that will give you both your macros/micros - then allowing you to fit fun treats to finish off your macros.
The first few weeks of counting macros will feel overwhelming and more complicated than its worth but trust me you will get the hang of it and really begin to have a healthy relationship with food. Clients that have had struggles with binging or over/under eating in the past have come to love flexible dieting because its the best of both worlds while obtaining their goals! YOU are in control of your food not vice versa. If it is too overwhelming to have that much freedom, I suggest setting out a meal plan ahead of time, or having a coach provide you with a meal plan, based on your macros.
What to do when you first start counting macros.
The two main things you will need:
1. A food scale (I prefer digital)
2. A macro counting app (I use “My Fitness Pal”)
Hire a coach to give you your proper base macros. I do not suggest using macro counters online. Reason is because they are cookie cutter and there is much more that plays into macros than your height, weight, and activity level. Having a coach will also hold you accountable during the entire process and will be able to adjust accordingly to your bodies needs. Once you have your macros, add them into your app for your daily intake. Log everything that you eat BEFORE you eat it. This will eliminate any overages.
Remember that this is new and will take time to hit it perfectly. Be nice to yourself and allow time for adjusting. Once you feel comfortable with hitting your macros/micros head to my macro timing blog and start to focus on the timing of macros to fully take advantage of optimal performance.