Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about MacroNutrients
by Rochelle Griffin
There seems to be a new buzzword that has people confused: “macros.” No need to be embarrassed if this describes you. I didn’t know either until someone took the time to explain it to me. Macronutrients actually aren’t new…it’s just that some aren’t used to hearing them referred to that way. When you “count your macros,” you are actually looking at your protein, fats, and carbohydrates, which provide calories or energy. These macros are needed for growth, metabolism, and a host of other body functions.
If your goal is weight loss or building strength, it’s important that you count your macros. Before we get into the how, let’s look at each nutrient individually.
- Provides 4 calories per gram
- Helps with body growth & tissue repair
- Essential for proper immune function
- Preserves lean muscle mass (IMPORTANT to our metabolism)
- Provides energy when carbohydrate isn’t available
- Provides 9 calories per gram
- Needed for growth & development
- Is the most concentrated form of energy
- Helps maintain cell membranes & cushions internal organs
- Provides 4 calories per gram
- Is the main fuel source for energy
- Excess can be stored in muscles & liver for later use (HOWEVER when those stores are filled, excess is converted to fat)
- Helps maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract ie you poop! (Hey I’m a nurse…I can talk poop anywhere.)
Ok, so we’ve established what macros are and why we need all 3. As you can see, each has multiple functions, so it’s unhealthy to cut out ANY group from our diet.
So HOW do you know how much of each that you need to eat to accomplish your goals? It’s not easy to give a specific answer because each person is different. Every person has a different metabolism…a different body type…different needs. I’m going to give you some generalities to help point you in the right direction.
First, you’ll want to figure out how many calories that you need. Knowing your basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories needed when sleeping) is important. I show step by step how to calculate it in one of my Drop a Size in 30 Days Videos. Once you know that number, you don’t want to go below it because it slows your metabolism.
Second, unless you are aware of your metabolic type, stick with the general balanced ratio of 40% carbohydrates/30% protein/30% fat. If you do better with more protein, switch the percentages for carbohydrate and protein.
Third, use an application of your choice to track your calories. I prefer myfitnesspal.com and show how to use it in one of my Drop a Size in 30 Days Videos. I literally utilize it every single day to track my macros.
Fourth, invest in a kitchen scale. You may know how many calories to eat. You may know what percentage of macros you want to achieve your goal. You may have a beautiful meal plan laid out. If you don’t have a way to measure the food to be accurate, you’re in trouble. Personally I’ve tried the “use your plate to eyeball percentages” method without success. I always tend to overestimate. I’d rather KNOW.
Just remember…regardless of your goal, knowledge is power. If you know what your body needs and why, it’s much easier to stick to a plan. Track & eat your macros to success. It works!
To Living Your Best Life,
Rochelle Griffin, RN BSN FDN-P
Rochelle Griffin, The Wellness Detective™, is a Registered Nurse (with over 22 years experience) & a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition™ Practitioner who has transitioned her love for fitness, health, & freedom into a 7-figure International company that now helps others live Their Best Life.
She founded Your Best Life, Inc with her husband Keith after stepping onto the edge of physical ruin with her health & the health of their young son. Having experienced a complete turn-around, they now desire to give hope & support to those who are dissatisfied with their current situation.
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