Updated: Feb 11, 2020
What are Macros?
Macros is short for macronutrients. As the word implies macro(large)is a type of food that is required in large amounts in the diet. There are 3 macro nutrients required: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Protein form the major structural component of muscle, brain, blood and nervous system. In cases of energy deprivation, the body can breakdown proteins for energy.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. They are mainly sugars and starches that the breaks down into glucose, a simple sugar that the body can use or energy.
Fats are compounds known as lipids which serves many important functions in the body. Like protein it is a source of stored energy in times of calorie deprivation. It insulates and protects vital organs and bones and helps your body to absorb vitamins. They are insoluble in water. The major classes of lipids include cholesterol, fatty acids and triglycerides. On the other hand, fats can contribute to cardiovascular disease, being over-weight etc…
As mentioned before, they all provide energy. This is in the form of calories and is measured in grams:
One gram of protein has 4 calories
One gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories
One gram of fat has 9 calories
Losing weight preferably losing body fat, is all about being in an energy deficit. One of the ways of doing this is by eating less creating a calorie deficit. If your body doesn’t get the amount of calories it needs, it gets it from body fat. When you burn fat for energy, you lose weight.
Burning 3500 kcal is required to lose 1 pound of fat. Therefore to lose one pound of body fat a week you need to be in a 500 calorie deficit each day.
You can do this by calculating your daily calories and decrease it by 500.
Click on the link below by ACE fitness to calculate your daily calories:
Once you get that number, the easiest way is to input it into an app in order to get your macro break down and track it. The app that is used and still use sometimes is called MyFitnessPal.
Click on the link for a step by step guide how to sign up and use MyFitnessPal:
Note: MyFitnessPal is extremely easy to use. They offer a premium plan but I never got it! Honestly you can do everything you need to with the basic free plan! It is also very easy to log your food because you can scan the packages or tins and just input the number of servings. They also have an extremely large database with lots of restaurant menus and the macros for the different meals so if you go out for dinner 9 out of 10 times you can pull up and log what you ordered 😊
You have to start weighing your food for some of the food items like rice, sweet potatoes etc. The scale that I have used for over two years is great and inexpensive. I used to take it with me even on vacations.
Here is the amazon link to the scale that I used and sometimes still do when I am cutting and need to be really accurate.
Why Track Macros?
You must be wondering, why track macros. In my opinion, tracking macros helps you to see what and how much you are eating. Many times we are not aware how many calories we are eating daily. I certainly wasn’t! I was eating way more than I thought and that’s true for most of us. I had no clue want portion sizes looked like. Even if you have no intentions of living a lifestyle tracking your macro and calories, I urge you to do it for at least just for a month or so. The take-away is that it is important to learn to eye-ball portions. To become more aware of serving sizes. Weight-loss truly is 75-80 % diet and nutrition. You can do all the exercising but if you continue to eat in a calorie excess not much will change. Trust me, it will be truly worth it!