Firstly, what are macros? All food is made up of three macronutrients, Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. Each macro holds a different caloric weight; each gram of carbs and protein will equal four calories, whereas each gram of fat will equal nine calories. Combining these macros in every individual item of food we put into our bodies has great significance. In this blog, I will discuss what each macro is, what it does and where to find them, and how our eating habits determine the functionality of our bodies, our metabolism, and our physique.
Now, we have already established the caloric weight of each macronutrient, but why is that important? The composition of these macros in each food item we eat determines whether or not a food is calorie-dense or nutrient-dense. We want most of what we eat to be the latter. Before we go deeper into this discussion, we must understand each macronutrient’s role and function.
Protein. What is it, and where can we find it? What does it do?
Protein is a compound composed of different amino acids. Our body breaks down amino acids to build and repair muscle tissue, and in some cases, can be used as an energy source. Protein is a vital component of a healthy diet and even more critical for active training. Foods high in protein include white and red meats, fish, dairy products, grains and nuts etc.
Carbohydrates. What are they, and what do they do? Where can I find them?
Carbohydrates is a chemical compound composed of one, two or three of the following molecules – glucose, fructose and galactose. Single molecular carbohydrates are the easiest to break down by the body; the higher the amount of molecules, the harder it is to break down. Our body uses carbohydrates as the primary energy source; without them, our body searches for other resources to burn for energy, which may result in a loss of muscle tissue. Our body can also store and keep carbohydrates in muscle tissue- we then call this Glycogen; our body can store up to 2.5lbs in Glycogen. We will find carbs through many different sources – wheat products, fruit and vegetables, oats and beans.
Fats. What are they, and what do they do? Where can I find them?
Fats are a compound composed of lipids and fatty acids. The primary function of fats is as an energy reserve. Our body stores fat due to excess calorie consumption, and as we have established- fats contain double the amount of calories as P&C. This does not mean fats are to be avoided. Fats play a vital role in absorbing vitamins, maintaining healthy skin & hair, shock absorption and protecting our organs. Like any other macro, there are good sources and wrong sources. There are essential fats found in fish oil, omega -3, nuts and red meat. Trans fats and saturated fats (burgers, pizza, sauces, donuts etc) are non-essential. Having too high or too low of a fat intake can both be detrimental to overall health.
So now we know what macros are and what they do. We can start to see why we place such importance around them. Each person will require a different combination of macros, depending on a whole host of variables. What can be said for the collective is that we want to have nutrient-dense food instead of calorie-dense. Foods higher in nutrients such as whole proteins, essential fats, and carbohydrates should make up the majority of our diet- regardless of the body type or fitness goal. Foods higher in micronutrients, vitamins and minerals are what we refer to when we say nutrient-dense.
Processed, deep fat fried, frozen, and artificially enhanced foods will be high in calories (non-essential fats) but very low in the nutrients mentioned above. We want our bodies to be functioning at a high level in terms of metabolism, energy levels and mood. All of which are directly impacted by the macro and micronutrients we put into our bodies daily.
Stay tuned to understand more about macros and micros and the effect they can have on our bodies.
About Turnfit Personal Trainers
TurnFit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.
With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019,2020 & 2021 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver.
Heath is essential to living an optimal life with the most positive experiences you can have. TurnFit helps you extract your true why from your goals. By asking the right questions, we learn as much as we can from our clients. We understand the genuine need, not just the wants. We create a total wellness program that includes the days when you meet with us and homework on your own time. The key to success is proper programming and consistency. It’s easy for us to keep our clients consistent when we know their deep motivation for their goals. We know their is so much misinformation on health and fitness that it can be overwhelming when trying to level up your health that some people don’t know where to start. We will not only empower you to start but give you all the tools and knowledge that you can do it on your own anytime you choose. We love to laugh and have fun with our clients feel their workouts are the highlight of their day. You will look forward to every workout.
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