Three Things You Need to Know About Macros
Nutrition trends change as often as fashion trends; it can be hard to keep up! The current buzz in the fitness world is Macros. Many people are claiming that you can eat whatever you want if it fits within your macros. Although it is a little more complex than that, diet doesn’t have to be as complicated as some make it out to be. While proper nutrition is enormously important, it doesn’t need to require so much of us. Ellyn Satter said it best, “Nutrition should take up some of your time and attention, but keep its place as only one important area of your life.”
If you don’t know what Macros are, here’s a little explanation. Macronutrients or “macros” are the three main sources of energy: carbohydrate, protein, and fat. I hear people say all the time say, “I’m not counting calories. I’m counting macros.” But, you are. Those macros are coming from somewhere or they are totaling a certain number of calories - which isn't important and cant measure health. A calorie is simply a unit of energy.
Macro counters say the first step is to figure out how much protein you need. Everyone varies their opinions here. From there, you figure out how many grams of carbohydrate and fat. Once you know your allotted grams of each macronutrient, you weigh and track your food. That's exhausting.
Three Things You Need to Know About Macros:
- It is not a new concept. But, it is the cool “craze” to call it that. Your diet should be a good ratio of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Balancing macronutrients has always been the center of building a meal plan. Protein is essential for muscle build and repair, and takes much more planning to get enough of it in than carbohydrate or fat. Carbohydrates are also important for muscle build and energy to preform intense workouts. While fat is included, it's not enough. Some individuals need more fat in their diet. Enough fat is essential for our brains, hair, skin, nails and hormone regulation. Every single cell in our body is lined with fat.
2. You do not need to weigh your food. Certainly, we tend to overestimate how much we are eating. We do not need to put every single item of food on a scale. Weighing your food can affect your relationship with food and brain chemistry. Plus, it takes so much time. I know it’s important to set goals and achieve them. But, I also know your relationship with food matters more.
3. It still takes a lot of work. Many macro’s enthusiasts claim that they have all this freedom. I believe that stems from the freedom that no food is off limits. I am so happy for them. But, it is still taking up a good portion of their time and attention. To plan, measure, weigh, calculate, and track day in and day out is a lot of work! Sure, it may become a habit. But, could it also be true that it has become so encompassing that normal eating has been forgotten? Is there guilt or anxiety when macro goals aren’t hit? When is the body you have right now good enough?
Understand that balanced eating doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming.