All we seem to hear lately is people talking about macros! The perfect split for weight loss, muscle gain, should we or shouldn't we be counting them etc! It can all get pretty confusing right? So let's see if we can shed some light on the situation.
Firstly let's talk about what a macro is. Macro is short for macronutrients and these are fats, carbohydrates, protein and alcohol. Each macronutrients has a role to play in our body's and are essential for maintaining healthy living and providing us with energy. The energy values are as follows.
Carbohydrates 4kcal per gram
Protein 4kcals per gram
Fats 9kcals per gram
Alcohol 7kcals per gram
Ideal carbohydrate sources:
- Legumes and pulses
Ideal protein sources:
- Animal meat and eggs
- Hemp seeds
- Protein powder
Ideal fat sources:
- Nuts and seeds
- Avocado and olives
- Oils-coconut, avocado, canola, olive oils and nut oils
- Fish oils
Counting macros refers to tracking what percentage of each macronutrient your getting from your diet.
Should we be counting them? Counting macros can be useful along with counting calories as it helps us to see more clearly where we are getting our calories from and ensuring your getting the right percentage of each macro to reach your fitness goals can also prove very useful.
Is there a magic macronutrient split? In short the answer is no, especially if your goal is weight loss. Every one is different and our body's respond differently to certain foods for example if your have carbohydrates for breakfast and feel good, have plenty of energy and minimal cravings then your likely to be more tolerant to a higher carbohydrates based diet. However if that same breakfasts leaves you reaching for the biscuit tin at 10am then your likely more suited to a high fat, low carb based diet.
The main macronutrient to focus on is protein. Aim to consume 1g of protein per lb of body weight, roughly 40% of your daily diet should come from good protein sources where the other two macronutrients fall is really up to you and what suits your body.
Focus on how foods make you feel. Are you satiated? Do you feel energetic or lethargic? Do you have good concentration levels? Do you crave any foods shortly after. Listen to your body and adjust your diet accordingly.
Hopefully that's made things clearer. Hit your protein target, track your calories, eat clean 80% of the time and I guarantee success.