Do You Know the Macros?

May 17, 2016

When I’m talking with people about nutrition, one of the first topics we cover are macronutrients. These are the foundation and building blocks of what we eat and how much to eat to stay energized, healthy and fit.

Do you know what the term macronutrient means?  Do you know what the purpose of each one is? If not, you’re in luck because here comes your Nutrition 101 education 🙂 Macronutrients provide energy for us in the form of calories. Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat are the 3 basic macronutrients.  Protein and Carbs have 4 calories per gram and fat have 9 calories per gram. Let’s break it down and I’ll explain.

Protein:
Protein is essential for building muscle. When you exercise, you break down your muscle fibers and these need to be repaired. Protein comes to the rescue to help rebuild your muscles and build them stronger each time they are broken down. The body requires calories to rebuild those muscles so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn!

Sources of lean protein: chicken, turkey, fish, tuna, greek yogurt, cottage cheese,
eggs, whey protein, soy protein.

Carbs:

Carbs are your body’s main energy source. We need carbs to fuel our daily activities, but more importantly we need the right kind of carbs–COMPLEX carbs not SIMPLE carbs!

Sources of Complex carbs you want to eat: fruits, vegetables, whole grains,
brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats and quinoa.

Simple carbs to Avoid: Anything WHITE…white sugar, white rice, white pasta, white flour, etc. These spike your blood sugar and cause you to store fat.
Fat:

Essential for the operations of the human body. We need healthy fat but also need to keep out the unhealthy fat.

Purpose and Sources of healthy fat: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help boost metabolism, mood and brain function. They are found in certain fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil and avocado.

Dangers and Sources of unhealthy fat: Trans fat also known as partially hydrogenated oils damage your body and lead to long-term health issues. They are often found in packaged and processed boxed goods sitting on store shelves.

Hopefully this gives you a bigger picture to understand how to fuel your body.  It’s not just about the calories you eat, but the macronutrients you’re feeding your body.  Stay tuned for future posts about how to fuel your body no matter what your goals are…  Or, if you have questions and need guidance, just reach out 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *