By now, you know how important it is to incorporate fitness into your life. It can make you happier, healthier, and improve your quality of life. Being in the fitness world, you hear a lot of buzz words tossed around.
One of those words might be macros. But what are macros and how do they tie into your fitness journey? This guide will go through everything you need to know about macros and if it’s something you should be paying attention to.
Let’s get started.
What Are Macros?
It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole when you’re embarking on a new fitness journey or making changes to your current one. If you’ve heard people talking about macros, you might already be researching as much as you can about this mysterious word.
Macro is short for macronutrients. They are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates which are the three groups of nutrients that our bodies need in large amounts to support growth, energy, and development.
People use macro as a buzzword because many fitness enthusiasts are adamant about tracking their macros. It’s a new useful way to continue to enjoy foods as long as it adds up to the number of grams of carbs, proteins, and fats that you’re trying to consume a day. This can become a restrictive or unhealthy diet if not managed properly but it can also be a great way to pay attention to the nutritional value of what you’re consuming.
Some people believe that counting macros is preferable to counting calories since you’re able to eat within your calorie goal while also making smart choices about your food. You’re less likely to reach for a box of cookies that are low in calories but offer no nutritional value than a snack that is full of protein.
How Do You Track Macronutrients?
Now that you understand a little bit more about micronutrients, you may be wondering “what are my macros” and how you track them. This can be a tedious process at first because you’ll need to weigh out all of your proteins, veggies, and carbs, read labels and cut way back on alcohol. The result is a more healthy and intuitive way of eating that works for you and your body.
Counting your macros means keeping track of what you’re eating, but also giving yourself the wiggle room to indulge in ‘cheat meals’. The first thing you’ll need to do is find your daily macro allotment, and then find a way to log your food. Either through an app or writing it in a journal.
Once you know your macros, you’ll start to weigh and track your food. There’s also the weekly or bi-weekly tracking of your body measurements as well as weight. After that, it’s a walk in the park.
Depending on your fitness goals, like whether you’re trying to gain or lose weight, you can adjust your macros to reach those objectives. For example, if you’re trying to build more muscle, you can increase your macros and focus on more protein.
What Are Macros in Bodybuilding?
You’ll find that a lot of fitness enthusiasts who talk about macros are bodybuilders. This is because you can calculate the number of nutrients you’ll need from food in order to start building muscles. Macros in bodybuilding tend to involve ‘bulking up’ which means consuming more calories but focusing on nutritionally dense foods.
You’ll want to prioritize protein and carbohydrates. Generally, a surplus of 250 calories a day is enough to fuel muscle gain. Use the handy macro calculator to see what you need to be consuming to get muscle and lose fat.
Should I Count Macros?
With so many fad diets and irresponsible eating advice, you want to make sure that the next objective of yours isn’t something that might be unhealthy. While counting macros might help your progress in the gym, it can easily set you back.
If you decide to start counting macros, you’ll need to rely on whole foods to hit your target. Just because certain junk food fits under your goals, doesn’t mean you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need.
What are healthy macros? Things like avocados, lentils, fruits, and leafy vegetables should all be in your shopping cart if you’re counting macros.
Timing is also important, you should be distributing macros evenly throughout meals. If your daily target is 90g of protein and you eat 3 meals a day, about 30g of protein should be eaten at every meal.
This way of eating may not be for everybody, it may not even be for you! Nutrition depends on the amount of food you eat as well as the quality of what you’re eating. You don’t want to get obsessive and open the door to disordered eating.
If you know that weighing your food and reading labels religiously is going to make you spiral, counting macros might not be for you. However, if you feel like it will help you make better food choices without the worry of over-thinking, you’ll be happy to see how positively it can impact your gym progress.
Abs Are Made in the Kitchen
There are plenty of ways to eat that can help you make progress in the gym. And there are also lifestyles that encourage unhealthy eating behavior. When someone in the world of fitness brings up a new buzz word, it can be difficult to refrain from going down a rabbit hole.
Tracking macronutrients may not be exactly new but it’s increasingly popular with gym-goers. What are macros? When done responsibly, it’s a great way to fit nutritious foods into your daily diet and get one step closer to your health goals.
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