Understand macros can play an important part in planning your diet, and helping you make the most out of your training, so here’s our guide to macros.
Macros or Macronutrients – are essentially a convention of dividing foods into 3 primary groups: Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat.
Some foods, such as nuts, are evenly comprised of all three macronutrient types, though this is far more common in processed foods such as cheeseburgers. You may well have an idea of typical sources of the macronutrients, but just in case here we go:
- Protein – Fish, Beef, Whey, Casein, Chicken.
- Carbohydrates – Pasta, Bread, Potatoes, Sugars.
- Fat – Nut Butters, Oils, Avocados, Cheese, Whole Milk.
Macronutrients are not all created equal, they affect the body in different ways, but the main thing to note is that they are also not even equal from an energy standpoint. The following denotes the energy balance assigned to each Macronutrient:
Protein – 4Kcal / 1g
Carbohydrate – 4Kcal / 1g
Fat – 9Kcal / 1g
So here we can see that, fats are more than double that of protein and carbohydrates when talking of caloric density, but don’t let that deter you – there are strong arguments for keeping fats high despite this.
It is worth noting that many ‘fad’ diets utilise macronutrient composition manipulation in a bid to coax the body into burning more body-fat. This is precisely what gave rise to the low-fat diets of the 90s, to the Atkins diet hype and all the rest of them.
Macronutrient manipulation has its place, but before we discuss that I’ll delve into each macronutrient in a bit more depth in my next blog so we’re better placed to understand the consequences of each diet.