What is a "Macro" and why should I eat them?

 

A "macro" is a short term for Macro-nutrient.  Macro-nutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates.  These three macro-nutrients make up the calorie content of all foods.  Any type of food will have a combo of protein, fat and/or carbs or it can be just one of these macros; oil, for example, is just fat. Peanut butter is fat, protein and carbs.  All three of these macros have a caloric value assigned to them and however many grams of each macro a food has determines the total calories in the food.  By reaching for macros during your day rather than just overall calories you will be eating for optimal fat-loss and body composition. All three are very important for overall health.  Note, ALL three, we do not cut out a nutrient (i.e. carbs- because vegetables and fruit are carbs, we need those!) for weight loss.

 

This way of eating and constructing your meals is not a new concept but one that is well proven by science.  It is a way to construct your daily intake of calories and nutrients that, as long as you stick to it, will give you the best results and body composition (muscle to fat ratio).  It is not "calorie counting" but rather "macro tracking."      

 

It is a way to eat the foods you like while still hitting the weight-loss or health goals you are shooting for.  As long as you get foods to fit into the numbers calculated for your specific body, activity and goals then you can eat it...if it fits into your calculated macros for the day, it's fine!  This is a wonderfully flexible way of eating that will make your life easier and make reaching your goals a sustainable lifestyle, because you get to eat what is enjoyable.  It is also important to reach for healthy foods but this lifestyle makes it so you get your treats every now and then and are less likely to "fall off the wagon" or binge.

 

How do I track them?

First you need to know what they are for you, this is done by getting them calculated for you at your current fitness state.  The best way to track is to measure what you eat, by cups, tablespoons or, ideally, grams on a kitchen food sale.  Make sure you get the right amount that you are eating then plug them into an app and start logging your food. You will eventually learn what are great choices that help you hit your daily goals.

 

There are many great apps out there:

MyFitnessPal.com (free- but the paid version will let you track specific macros)

Macros by calorie count (android- free)

Macros+ (Iphone)

fatSecret.com

sparkpeople.com

 **If this sounds scary or confusing and leaves you wondering how to even begin, we can help you with that.  Nutrition counseling is fast and easy and you'll get step by step help, in person help and email assistance along the way....we're simply here to guide you to a healthier lifestyle.  You won't weigh and track forever, it's a learning tool!

 

Love2Nourish - 700 E. High Street - Jefferson City, MO  65101