What Are Macros And Why Do They Matter?
If you are focusing on a low-carb diet and have spoken to a professional, they have probably told you to count your macronutrients. Your macro intake can affect your fitness and weight loss goals, even impacting your metabolic rate and energy consumption. It can be challenging to find the right balance as it varies from one person to another.
Let’s explore what macros are and why they matter.
What are macros?
The word is short for ‘macronutrients’.
These are the essential building blocks for the body that come from our food. They are the component of your food that converts into fuel for daily activities. When you think about calories in a meal, there are three macronutrients to consider:
These macronutrients each play a key role in the body:
You get around nine calories per gram of fat, which is higher than carbohydrates and protein.
Your body’s cells need fat to facilitate the processes of allowing nutrients in and expelling waste. It plays a role in skin health, hormone production and protecting organs. You will encounter saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.
The main thing to avoid is trans fat, which primarily comes from food processing. These fats can be dangerous to heart health. Instead, look for healthy fats in things like olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter and avocado oil.
You get around four calories per gram of protein. Once digested, protein breaks down into amino acids. Some of these are essential, but non-essential amino acids can also be beneficial to the body.
Amino acids are converted to energy or applied to keep vital bodily mechanisms running smoothly. They play a role in the immune system, tissue structure and function, messenger molecules and even DNA function.
Animal products are often high in protein, but beans, legumes and other plant-based foods also contain protein.
Carbs contribute to around four calories per gram of carbohydrate, but you need to take fibre into account. Fibre is considered a carbohydrate, but it moves through the body unabsorbed and thus makes no contribution to fuel.
This is why we talk about net carbs, which are the total carbs in food that we use for energy. It’s a simple matter of subtracting the total fibre from the overall carbohydrates.
Carbs enter the bloodstream as monosaccharides and act as fuel for cells, sent to your glucose storage or stored as fat. Many plant foods are high in carbohydrates, including sugar, rice, starchy vegetables, rye and wheat.
Why count macros?
Counting macros can be very important if you are following a ketogenic diet. It can also help with specific health conditions like diabetes or personalising a diet to help with a specific training system.
When counting macros, you need to adjust to find the ideal ratio for your unique body type. It can help to have expert assistance in fine-tuning your macro intake to find the ideal level. A personal fitness expert will be able to help you to learn more.
Whether you aim to lose fat, increase lean muscle mass or regulate your blood sugar, macro counting can help. You also get the benefit of knowing exactly which food groups you are consuming. Our specialist nutrition service can help with this.
For further information, browse our site at www.pickspt.com.au. The expert and friendly Picks PT Team offers a FREE 30-minute initial consultation. So, feel free to call our team today on 0420 998 460. We’re proud to service Macarthur, Campbelltown, Mount Annan, Camden and surrounding areas.