It's safe to say that most of you have that over enthusiastic person in your life who is always trying some new diet every week, pushing you to be healthier and exercise more, and forcing you to drink low calorie beer and even try hummus.
You have most likely heard this same person mention that they "just started counting macros" or “Bro, I am getting shredded now by counting my macros".
So what is a "macro" and why should you care?
Macronutrients are in simplest terms types of foods that are required by our bodies in substantial amounts through our diets to support healthy bodily function, growth, develop, and repair.
There are three macronutrients that all have their own specific roles and functions in the body that supply us with calories which in turn provide energy for us to function. Carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
There is typically a breakdown of multiple macronutrients in every item of food, whether that’s a healthy snack bar or a donut, the difference being how the macronutrients are balanced and where they come from. As an example, the nutritional composition of an avocado is generally made up of 75% (good) fats, 20% carbohydrates and 5% protein, therefore this is clearly a fat-based food. On the other hand, a banana consists of 95% carbohydrates, with only small amounts of protein and fats.
The trick is to understand how each macronutrient plays a different role in the body.
Don’t be scared of fats! Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet and provide sustainable energy that won’t spike your blood sugar as carbohydrates will. They help with improving brain function, muscular cell function, protecting the body’s organs and even helping you better absorb nutrients found in foods.
Some examples of healthy fats: Almonds, walnuts, seeds (pumpkin, chia), olives, avocados.
Protein is essential for repairing and regenerating muscle tissue and cells, maintaining a healthy functioning immune system, and manufacturing hormones. This wouldn’t be possible without the amino acids which are found in protein-based foods. In total there are 20 types of amino acids, 9 of which are ‘essential’ and can only be found in certain foods.
Good sources of protein: Meat, eggs, pulses and legumes, seeds (hemp, chia, flax), nuts (unsalted), quinoa, avocado, beets, raw greens (kale, spinach)
Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in fruits, grains, and vegetables which the digestive system breaks down into glucose to use as the body’s primary energy source. Complex carbohydrates come from fiber and starch which provide a longer lasting energy source and do not spike insulin levels as opposed to the simple carbohydrates (sugars) found in donuts, pastries, bagels, fruit juice, white breads etc.
Carbohydrates to choose: Apples, bananas, cauliflower, carrots, oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa, chickpeas, kidney beans.
Now that you are filled with such immense knowledge, put these good sources of macros to the test for a week! It WILL make a difference in your day and every small choice we make throughout the day has lasting repercussions.
My wife and I recently gave birth to our first child, a beautiful baby girl! In these last months of sleep deprivation, I have realized that I simply hate having a lack of energy! We were created to move. You are a Working Athlete who move every day but that should not end once we get home to the wife and kids. That's when we should kick it into high gear because they are the ones that we do all of this for!
We practice safety protocol... for them. We get chewed out by the boss...for them. We work overtime so we can go to Disneyland to stand in line for 20 hours and ride 3 rides...for them. The most important piece of equipment you own is your body so take care of it!
Stay on the Grind!