You’d be surprised at the number of people that don’t know what macronutrients are!
So, let’s dive in!
What are macros?
The abbreviation is short for macronutrients.
Macros are protein, fat, and carbs. All foods are made up of one or a combo of the three macronutrients. Understanding what you eat is imperative, and it helps us understand our own unique nutritional needs. << Read that again!
These 3 macros (protein, carbs, and fats) provide the energy needed to sustain life! ALL three are important!
Furthermore, no single macronutrient such as carbohydrates, causes you to gain fat (weight) or lose it. We gain weight or lose weight based on our energy (calorie) balance. Again, we gain weight when we eat too much energy for our bodies over time.
Macros make up the calories/calories are made up of macronutrients.
Calories are energy, and energy comes from the foods that we eat. Calories are units of energy!
The foods we eat have calories, whether you track, log, count em, eat clean, eat keto, etc.
I think it’s important to be aware of the food that you are eating. What constitutes a protein, carb, or fat source?
For example, A LOT of folks think Peanut Butter is a good source of protein. It’s not, my STRONG friends. It is a fat source first with some protein in it!
So let’s dive into each of the macronutrients – macros for short.
We will cover what proteins, carbs, and fats are! And the last macro, which is Alcohol. And no, alcohol is not calorie-free!
- 4 calories per gram (energy value)
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
- Proteins are made up of amino acids
Protein is important for:
- Satiation and appetite control
- Muscle building – protein is the building block of muscle
- Body composition
- Muscle repair and recovery
- Strengthening our bones
- Retaining your muscle mass while eating in a calorie deficit to lose body fat.
Examples of Protein sources:
- Protein Powder
- Flank Steak
- 4 calories per gram (energy value)
- 1 gram of Carbs = 4 calories
- For every gram of carbohydrates the body stores 3-4 grams of water, hence the word CARBO-HYDRATE. The body uses carbs for energy!
- Fun fact – when you go on a low carb diet you lose water weight quickly. It’s because carbs have water in them, so this is why you’ll see a swift loss of weight initially, but it’s not fat loss. So remember that the next time you set out to do an extreme diet where you lower carbs too low or when you cut them out completely. More on the difference between weight and fat loss here!
Carbs are important for:
- The body’s preferred & primary energy source
- Muscle gains
- Muscle building process – they aid in sparing muscle and are protein sparing
- Performance and recovery
- Our brain
- They provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals
Examples of Carb sources – starch, fruit, and veggies
- Fibrous veggies such as broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts
- Fruits such as berries, bananas, oranges, watermelon
- 9 calories per gram (energy value)
- 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
- Lol, so sad that fat is 9 calories per gram. Am I right, or am I right? We get just a little bit of a fat source for a costly amount of calories.
Fats are important for:
- Helps us absorb vitamins – fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E, and K
- Cushioning for our body’s joints and organs
- Our hair, skin, and nails
- Regulates/balances our hormones
- Fatty acids
- Provides energy
- Healthy cell function
Examples of fats:
- Olive Oil
- Nut butters
Alcohol is the 4th macronutrient –
- 7 calories per gram
- 1 gram of alcohol has 7 calories
- Alcohol can be accounted for as a carb, a fat, or a combo of both, based on how many calories are in the alcoholic beverage
We all love our cocktails, glasses of wine, and some of you love them nasty Truly and White Claws.
Alcohol, as we know, has no nutritional value, but it sure can fit into your lifestyle – in moderation. There has to be room for things that we enjoy!
So, that’s that. Let me know if you found this helpful. Also, if you are interested in how to approach your fat loss phase without extremes, check out my last blog here!
Lastly, if you would like to have some support and accountability on your health journey, I got you… book a STRONGER You Connection Call with me to see if we are a good fit in working together!