What Is A MACRO!? And Why Macros Matter!
MACRO is becoming a buzz word in the diet and fitness industry.
You hear people talking about “if it fits their macros.” And posting meals to Instagram with that hashtag.
But what the heck is a macro!?
A “macro,” or macronutrient, is what your food is made up of and the nutrients that your body needs in large quantities.
Macros are Proteins, Carbs and Fats.
They are the building blocks of your food and you need them in large quantities to fuel your body and daily activity.
And the reason “macros” have become all the rage is because we’ve started to realize that the ratio of each macro that you eat can DRAMATICALLY affect not only your health but your results!
Ever think to yourself, “I’m eating well. Why am I not getting results and looking and feeling the way I want!?!”
It’s because getting results from your diet and changing your body composition isn’t just about calories in vs. calories out or simply eating whole, natural foods.
If you’ve been struggling to get the results you want from your diet, it may be because you are getting too much of a macro and not enough of another!
Let’s first take a look at the macro breakdown of a standard American diet…
The macro breakdown for the average American diet is 50% carbs, 30% fat, 20% protein.
That means 50% of your calories for the day come from carbs, 30% from fat and 20% from protein.
This macro ratio is where most of our problems start.
Ever wonder why only an hour after eating your breakfast you’re starving again for lunch even though you’ve tried to eat a healthy breakfast filled with complex carbs?
It’s because carbs don’t keep you feeling full for very long. They are more of an immediate source of energy.
That’s why we often feel hungry when on a diet focused on carbs, especially if we are in a calorie deficit trying to lose weight.
So maybe you’re thinking now…
“Well what about those low carb diets? Isn’t there something called Keto? Isn’t it all the rage right now?…I’ll just do that!”
The problem with this is that on the Keto diet, your carbs become basically nonexistent (like 5-10% of your calories) and the bulk of your diet comes from fat with basically the same protein as the standard American diet.
Many people that start a low carb diet feel like crap that first week. They suffer from what’s called the “Low Carb Flu.”
If you manage to make it through that, you’ll feel great….For awhile.
But like any diet that completely cuts out a food group, all you start to crave is that one thing you can’t have….
So yea…Maybe you aren’t suffering from hunger right after eating…and heck, you may even see some initial drastic weight loss as you lose water weight and deplete your glycogen stores (aka the carbs your muscles are storing), but the problem is…
IT ISN’T MAINTAINABLE LONG-TERM.
You start to crave the thing you can’t have. Or you find it hard to balance going out with friends and actually sticking with your diet.
Heck, sometimes your workouts even suffer especially if you’re an endurance athlete. You may find you can’t even make it through the low carb flu!
Ok so then how do you dial in your macros to fit your needs?
Do you try maybe a carb cycling program?
Then you aren’t cutting anything out, right?
The problem is, you never adapt then to a specific energy source. And guess what?
On days you can’t have carbs, all you think about is carbs. And on days you have to cycle down fat?
Yup…you only think about wanting foods with fat!
Plus, now you have to prep meals for different types of days, which means potentially more cooking and shopping. PLUS, you have to worry about workout timing and where you are in the carb cycle. Aka you add in a whole other complicated component.
Add the more things you have to track and think about, the less likely you are to stick to the program long term.
So you run into the same problem with carb cycling…You still have to deprive yourself of something you love AND on top of that, you’re overcomplicating things!
How then do you stay energized while getting the results you want?
How do you fuel your workouts AND look and feel great at the same time?
How do you keep things SIMPLE?!
You focus on PROTEIN!
Instead of going on a low-carb or low-fat diet, or constantly cycling between ratios and depriving yourself of the foods you love, focus on one thing – upping your protein while still eating all three macronutrients!
Protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
It supports muscle growth.
And the thermogenic effect is higher for protein than the other two macros, meaning you’ll burn more calories to process protein into energy making it harder to gain weight on a higher protein diet.
And while you are focusing on protein, you aren’t cutting out carbs or fats. And this subtle change that doesn’t deprive you of any food group, helps you make a sustainable change.
Making a change that is sustainable is key.
Because guess what leads to long-term results?
And consistency comes from not depriving yourself of the foods you love while still giving yourself guidelines to eat according to your goals.
Consistency is built off of finding a diet that doesn’t make foods off limits AND helps you feel energized and ready to take on the world. A diet that KEEPS THINGS SIMPLE.
Dieting shouldn’t leave you feeling crappy and low energy. It shouldn’t leave you feeling constantly stressed about what is “off limits.” The whole point of eating well is to FEEL GOOD while you get the results you want.
And by focusing on protein you can do just that – feel good AND reach your weight loss or body composition goals.
So if you’re ready to dial in your macros and focus on protein, learn more about my Macro Cycling.