What Are Macros?

In order to successfully count macronutrients, it’s important to know what they are and why some people need different macronutrient ratios than others.

 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates include sugars, starches and fibers .Most types of carbs get broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which your body either uses for immediate energy or stores as glycogen — the storage form of glucose — in your liver and muscles.

Carbs provide 4 calories per gram and typically make up the largest portion of people’s calorie intake.

Carb intake is among the most hotly debated of all macronutrient recommendations, but major health organizations suggest consuming 45–65% of your daily calories from carbs.

Carbohydrates are found in foods like grains, starchy vegetables, beans, dairy products and fruits.

 

Fats

Fats have the most calories of all macronutrients, providing 9 calories per gram.

Your body needs fat for energy and critical functions, such as hormone production, nutrient absorption and body temperature maintenance.

 

Though typical macronutrient recommendations for fats range from 20–35% of total calories, many people find success following a diet higher in fat.

Fats are found in foods like oils, butter, avocado, nuts, meat and fatty fish.

 

Proteins

Like carbs, proteins provide 4 calories per gram.

Proteins are vital for processes like cell signaling, immune function and the building of tissues, hormones and enzymes.

It’s recommended that proteins comprise 10–35% of your total calorie intake.

However, proteins recommendations vary depending on body composition goals, age, health and more.

How to Work with Macros

The three macronutrients to keep track of are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Macronutrient recommendations vary depending on several factors, including your body type and its response to certain food groups. Every person's body has a best response and a specific preference for different foods with different macronutrient compositions.

For example, some people really like fatty foods, which are heavy in fat macros, while others really like carby foods, like bread, rice, or noodles. Most likely, this is because your body has a certain preference for these foods and utilizes them for energy in a way that it prefers. Fats and Carbs can both be used for energy, but you have to know what balance works best for you to have the best energy output for your exercise, and your daily living. 

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