If you have read other nutrition sites then you have probably heard Macros on top of hearing about Calories. However why should we care about Macronutrients anyway? Why not just focus on only calories in and calories out? I’ll explain why and after reading this article you will think why didn’t I know this from the beginning?! As stated in Macronutrients 101, Macros are more than just types of food that provide calories. They have other uses and benefits to your body that would help in your pursuit of your health/nutrition goals.
The three Macros present in all of our foods are Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats. As we have spoken of before Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, Protein contains 4 calories per gram, and Fats contain 9 calories per gram.
Keep your eye on Carbs!
You will be able to find Carbs in items such as pasta, rice, and bread. Carbs should be present in every meal but they need to be in the appropriate quantity. One thing to know about Carbs are that they are divided into simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple Carbs such as sugar are easily digestible, however complex Carbs such as vegetables and whole grains are more useful for weight loss due to the slow rate of digestion. Simple Carbs must be eaten reasonably as abuse with these can lead to significant increases in calories. A typical average proportion of Carbs in your diet should amount to 40 – 65% of your diet. Depending on your goals you should vary it anywhere within the spectrum.
Protein! Protein! Protein!
Protein is another Macronutrient you should have a good amount in your diet. Protein can come from either animals or plants. Protein is made of amino acids which each has a distinct function within the body. Another important aspect about Protein is that it provides a feeling of fullness, or satiety, that can be useful for controlling appetite and losing weight. A good average proportion of Protein in the diet is 25 – 35%.
Fats are not the bad guys!
Finally there are Fats, which are the one Macronutrient with an unfortunate name. However Fats are still an important part of your diet! Eating Fats does not cause someone to gain weight, it is the fact that Fats are more calorie dense and are abused in a typical diet. Fats are important to bodily functions such as transporting nutrients throughout the body, serving as the component for hormones like testosterone and progesterone, and providing essential fatty acids (EFA). A good average proportion of Fats in the diet is 20 – 30%.
Macronutrient Balance = Health Goal Success
There are a few aspects of each Macronutrient that are important not only for weight loss but normal bodily functions. Learning how to balance Macronutrients leads to success towards one’s goals. Counting calories will allow a person to lose weight, however long-term weight loss and health is dependent on balancing your calories while also keeping in mind your proportion of Macros. Also one last thing to always remember….. Happy Eating!
- Macronutrients 101 – What are Macronutrients?
- Macronutrients 101 – So What? (Current)