MACROS - You've probably heard this buzz word when people refer to their diet or meal plans, but what are they? The term 'Macros' is used to describe macronutrients which by definition are, “energy providing chemicals” or “substances required in relatively large amounts by living organisms.” In other words, they are the fuel we need for our bodies to function.
The three main macronutrients are fats, protein & carbohydrates. They all have their own specific roles & functions in the body & supply us with energy. For this reason, the body requires these nutrients in relatively large amounts to grow, develop, repair & thrive!
Each macronutrient is almost always found in every item of food in some amount, whether that’s a healthy snack bar or a raw vegetable; the only difference is how the macronutrients are balanced. The macronutrient that has the highest percentage in each food will determine how it is classified, e.g. as protein, carb or fat.
For instance, avocados consist of about 70% fat, 8% carb, & 2% protein, so even though they contain some of the other macros, they would be classified as a fat. Another example would be an apple which consists of about 95% carb, 2% protein, & 3% fat. If you didn’t guess it already, that meals apples are classified as a carb.
Carbohydrates are made up of chains of starch & sugar that the body breaks down into glucose. These are the body’s main source of energy & the brain’s primary source. This is important to know because, since your brain requires fuel at all times in order to function, your body is very efficient at storing glucose (in the form of glycogen) in the liver & muscles.
Good sources of carbohydrates:
Fats are needed for brain development, making hormones & aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). They have the highest calorie count per gram, meaning that they require more energy to burn, but at the same time, are helpful for increasing feelings of satiety - they will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Good sources of fat:
Protein provides amino acids which are the building blocks of cell & muscle structure. In total, there are 20 types of amino acids, nine of which are essential, meaning that your body requires them from food. Protein in the body is used beyond just muscle — it is the core component of organs, bones, hair, enzymes, & all tissue. Protein also helps support a healthy immune system.
Good sources of protein (organic preferred):
Just like diet & fitness, macronutrient ratios are not one-size-fits-all. There is no ideal macronutrient ratio that suits everyone & your needs will change according to different factors in your life. Some people may do better on a lower carbohydrate diet, while someone else may feel more energized on a higher fat diet. Trying different macronutrient targets will allow you to determine which levels work best for you.
These ranges can vary depending on which type of diet you are following. Here are some examples of macro ranges:
Standard diet macros range:
Protein: 10-35% of calories
Carbs: 45-65% of calories
Fat: 20-35% of calories
Low-carb diet macros range:
Protein: 20-30% of calories
Carbs: 30-40% of calories
Fat: 30-40% of calories
Keto diet macros range:
Protein: 20-25% of calories
Carbs: 5-10% of calories
Fat: 70-75% of calories
Want a personalised meal plan? Contact Tani @ YGT Fitness.