What forms do macronutrients come in?
-Carbs, 4 calories per gram
-Fat, 9 calories per gram
-Protein, 4 calories per gram
What do each do for the body? How does the body utilize them?
In less science-y terms:
Carbs are the bodies main source of energy. Once carbs are digested they are absorbed and used to promote energy for your body and brain.
Protein based foods break down to produce amino acids which build more proteins that send messages throughout your body’s cells for many different yet specific functions. They also help rebuild torn down muscle tissue, a symptom (but good one) of lifting weights, so that larger and stronger muscles can be built up.
Fat is the greatest source of the bodies energy needs and is the food that will help keep you satisfied for longer periods of time between meals. This is the result of fats being broken down into fatty acids, transported through the blood, and captured by hungry cells. Another highly important function of fats is it balances hormone levels.
Why is it better to track macronutrients rather than calories?
When tracking calories alone there are a couple main factors that might inhibit your progress:
1) Macronutrients are vital for your body’s composition, hormonal balance, recovery, muscular growth, and energy. Like stated above each nutrition has a purpose. If you’re simply counting calories, you may lose weight but you won’t have the appearance you desire to have.
2) When tracking calories alone, they are often listed wrong on nutrition labels. I’m going to use a popular protein bar as an example: Quest Bars. On they’re nutrition label they are claiming to be 180 calories a bar. But that does not add up if you calculate their calories based on the macronutrients in the bar. A typical Quest bar has 20g of carbs which equals 80 calories (20×4), 20g Protein, another 80 calories, and 8g Fat, 72 calories (8×9). This adds up to a total of 232 calories. They get away with this by only adding up the ‘net carbs’ aka they don’t count the fiber in the bar but sorry to bust your bubble but those carbs count too.
So, in conclusion, tracking macros will lead you to eating a consistent calorie count because macros make up calories, you will be able work towards your desired body composition/appearance rather than weight loss alone, and you’ll supply your body with the nutrients it needs in the amount it needs. Knowing what you put in your body on a consistent basis is the greatest tool into achieving your health and fitness goals. Going at it blindly is going to lead to frustration, the inability to know what needs changed to help you continue your progress, and at most times deficiencies in nutrients your body needs. If you’d like help learning how to track your macros email me for a free guide on how to track! I’d love to help you get started and being your coach.
Author: Alyssa Parten