PIC: Rach getting her carbs in while we were in Paris, France
This word has become pretty well known these days in the fitness world, people are counting their MACROS, manipulating their MACROS, back-loading their MACROS… So let me break down this MACROS business.
A Macro or Macronutrient is a substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms:
- a type of food (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the human diet.
- a chemical element (e.g., potassium, magnesium, calcium) required in large amounts for plant growth and development.
PROTEIN- A complete protein has all 9 essential amino acids, which is why it’s harder for vegans to get enough complete sources of protein. Not impossible, it just takes a lot more work. Protein has 4 calories per gram and burns at a high metabolic rate so it’s a good source of food for helping keep your metabolism high.
Protein is used by the body to help repair broken down tissue including muscle and tendons. It helps your body recover and grow bigger and stronger. Typically I recommend my clients eat about 1 gram to pound of body weight they want to be. This isn’t set in stone and can go either way but it’s a good start and base.
FAT- Fat is the most calorie dense of the macronutrients at 9 calories per gram and while essential to health it can be over-eaten very easily! Fat is highly responsible for the health of your hormonal system and when under eaten over long periods can have a detrimental effect on your hormones. I’ve heard of ladies missing their period and men killing their bodies’ ability to produce testosterone – both reversed by putting healthy fats back in your system.
Two rules of thumb with Fats, stay away from processed fats like canola oil or hydrogenated oils and stick to natural sources of olive, coconut, organic dairy and grass fed meat fats. I recommend starting at about .4 grams per pound of body weight you want to be. So if you want to weigh to 200 pounds then 80 grams a day of fat is good.
CARBOHYDRATE- Carbs have gotten a really bad rap over the last 5 years with the emergence of Paleo, Atkins and every other low carb fad. I call BS on that! Now don’t get me wrong – high amounts of sugar and/or man-made high fructose corn syrup are horrible for you and I don’t for a minute recommend that, but consider this: your body, muscles and brain were designed by God to work off of carbs as your primary fuel source of energy.
Your body will even turn protein into glucose (carbs) to get the energy it needs to survive. Feeding your body with optimal amounts of high quality carbs will make your workouts better, your mind more energized, your bodies’ ability to recover enhanced (and they taste just so amazing!) My fav sources of carbs are fruit (berries, apple and pineapple), rice, sweet potato and potato, sourdough breads, maple syrup and honey.
I recommend about 1.5 to 2 grams per pound of body weight you want to be based on your activity levels and I assume your working out and being active most days of the week of course! Carbs have 4 calories per gram and make for your best source of energy!
I hope you learned a little today but if you’re still confused and need help just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d love to help you out!