You might’ve heard people talking about it at barre class, or at the water cooler at work, or even when you’re out with friends: are you counting your macros? Counting or tracking macronutrients is all the rage these days- but what is this trend, and is it helpful or just a fad?
What are Macros?
Macronutrients, or macros as they are more often called, are nutrients that the body requires in large amounts: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. (This is in contrast to micronutrients: vitamins and minerals that the body requires in smaller amounts.) Notice that I said that macros are nutrients that the body requires. Fad diets might encourage you to cut out whole food groups, but at Inbalance we’ve always preached that true, long lasting nutrition is about balance of all three of these macro groups. A real quick rundown:
Carbohydrates: possibly the most hotly debated and misunderstood macros, carbs are actually the body’s main source of energy. These molecules made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen fuel both our our brain (affecting mood, memory, and decision making) and our muscles (used as a quick energy source, they also enable fat metabolism). They are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables, and milk products.
Fats: feared by people for decades, fats are things like triglycerides, cholesterol, and other essential fatty acids that are necessary for a multitude of functions in our bodies. They store energy, insulate us, protect our vital organs, act as messengers, and help proteins do their jobs. They also are key in growth, immune function, and reproduction, and help the body stockpile vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Protein: ah, protein. We talk a lot about protein at InBalance, because it’s a really misunderstood macronutrient! There are many different types of protein, but they all help us grow, build muscle, fight off infection, and repair injuries. Proteins are molecules built of amino acids. Our bodies need 20 different amino acids to survive and thrive, 9 of which we have to obtain from food (these are called essential amino acids, because our body cannot make them). Protein is found naturally in poultry, beef, yogurt, cheese, legumes, and even vegetables!
How to Calculate Your Macros the Right Way
Everybody is different, and every body is different, so there isn’t just one recommendation out there for what your ratio of carbohydrates to fats to proteins should be. Trying to sift through all the misinformation can also be confusing. Are you getting enough protein? What percentage of complex carbs should you be eating? The other problem with online calculators is that they can’t take into account your truly unique situation. They might ask if you workout, but not what type of workout, for example. All of this matters. As we’ve mentioned before, weight loss and health is 85% about our diets! At InBalance, we offer several different nutrition options all of which are highly individualized to meet your specific needs: one on on nutrition guidance, the 8 to Great Transformation program, meal planning, and more. Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. The education and empowerment you’ll receive through our nutrition programs are guaranteed to get you stronger, leaner, and more in balance.
What are you waiting for? You don’t need to wait until January 1st rolls around to reignite your commitment to a healthier and happier you. Wellness is an everyday thing. You can do this- we can help. Call us today to get started, or visit us online to register!
23535 IH 10 West Suite 1203
San Antonio, Texas 78257
6626 W. Loop 1604 Suite 212
San Antonio, Texas 78253