All You Need to Know About Macros

Macros, which is short for Macronutrients, is the name given to the nutrients that the body requires in relatively large amounts. These are carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

The body to carries out its daily functions through the consumption of macros required. Each macro has its own different types which affect the body in different ways, but all carry out a purpose in the body.

When you are bodybuilding, fitness enthusiast or just someone that wants to know what they are putting into their, it would be important to know what each macro is.

Which one you should be eating more and which one you should be eating less. When you’ve got goals of losing fat or building muscle, having more or less of different macros would be important in ensuring that you achieve your fitness goals.

What Are Macronutrients?

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main energy source of the body. The body breaks them down into simple sugars and absorbs them into the bloodstream.

The pancreas secretes insulin when sugar levels rise as a result of eating them. Insulin helps transport the sugar from the blood into the cells. Insulin also helps with storing glucose in your muscles, fat cells and liver, for later use.

The amount of energy that carbohydrates supply is 4 kcal per gram.

The Types of Carbohydrates in Food

There are two types of carbohydrates, namely simple and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates breakdown quickly in the body. They are found in fruits, milk products, white bread, table sugar and syrups. You must try not eat too many of some, especially if you’re not planning to exercise.

Refined simple sugars can cause your blood sugar (glucose) levels to spike. This results in more insulin being secreted to regulate blood sugar levels. If you don’t exercise or do something to burn the energy spike, it can result in more glucose being stored as fat.

Complex carbohydrates are other fruits, vegetables, whole grains and whole wheat products which break down slowly in the body because of their chemical structures.

You must try eat more complex carbohydrates because they usually have more nutrients and cause a steady rise in blood sugar levels.

Protein

Protein is main building blocks of the muscle and body tissue. Your body is made up fibrous, globular and membrane protein.

Protein breaks down into essential amino acids and other macromolecules. It contains 4 kcal of energy per gram just like carbohydrates. Its quality and nutritional value is based on the different types of essential amino acids it contains.

When you want to build muscle or maintain it when you’re trying to lose fat, protein becomes an essential component of the process because of the essential amino acids required to help them grow or maintain their integrity.

The Types of Protein in Food

You will get protein from animal products, soy products and plant products.

Your best animal products for protein are lean meats (beef, lamb and pork etc.), poultry (chicken, turkey and duck etc.), seafood (fish, mussels and prawns etc.) and dairy products (milk, yoghurts and cheese etc.) These are the ones that contain all essential amino acids.

The soy products you can get protein from are soy milk, soy protein alternatives and tofu etc. You will get them from whole soybeans that are processed into different forms. They also have all essential amino acids.

Most plant products do not contain all essential amino acids. The best protein sources are from beans, lentils, nuts and whole grains for them.

Fats

Fats are the highest energy carrying macro having 9 kcal per gram. They provide a source of energy, help insulate us, keep us warm and protect our vital organs.

The Types of Fats in Food

There are saturated (animal fats), unsaturated (plant and fish fats) and trans fats (artificially in some fast food). You should aim to eat more unsaturated fats, moderated saturated fats and minimal or no trans fats.

The way you differentiate them is that saturated fat becomes solid at room temperature while unsaturated fats usually becomes liquid at room temperature. Trans fats are dependent on how they were made for the food they are in.

They’re broken down into fatty acids and glycerol to be absorbed as droplets. Fat must be eaten in balance with other macros, because of its functions. There’s a rise in the keto diet which revolves around ketosis.

Ketosis is a process in which the body consumes energy from fat stored instead of carbs. The body produces ketones out of the fat to be used for energy.

Why It Is Important To Know About Macros

This was to assist in getting an understanding on macronutrients and of the great sources you can obtain them from. A healthy balance of them with your cheat meals will ensure your achieve your desired physique.

You must learn to discipline yourself in eating according to your fitness goals. You will have days where you will desire something delicious, have it, but knowing what’s inside is important to know how it will affect your body.

When you have the knowledge of what macros are, you will understand how best to count them. I will do a clear article on how to count them next so that you can further apply what you learn from macros.

For now, take time to understand what macros are and all that you need to know about calories.

Founder of Fitness As Tradition, a health and fitness blog dedicated to helping busy people lose fat and build muscle — fitnessastradition.com