What Are Macros, and How Are They Related to Fitness?

Feeling stuck in your fitness journey or not seeing the results you’re after? Perhaps your macronutrient intake is working against you instead of helping you reach those goals. Discover what macronutrients are and how to best use their benefits in your fitness plan.

What Are Macros?

What Are Macros, and How Are They Related to Fitness?

Image via Flickr by wuestenigel

Macronutrients, or “macros,” are the caloric components of food. In other words, they are the parts of food that provide energy and other fuel for our bodies. Macros consist of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Starches, sugars, and fibers are three types of carbohydrates. The healthiest type of carbs, sometimes called “good carbs,” are those that come from whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.

Protein

Protein is essential for growing and rebuilding muscle, and it has also been shown to help the immune system. The most common source of protein is meat, but it is also found in seafood, nuts, beans, soy, and eggs. Studies show that protein not only helps to satiate hunger, but it also helps that feeling of fullness last longer than consuming foods high in fat or carbohydrates.

Fat

While sometimes a dirty word in the realm of fitness and dieting, fat is crucial to maintaining a healthy body. Fat is needed to generate cells, absorb vitamins, and provide a cushion for your essential organs. Healthy fats include those found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and fatty fish.

The Role of Macros in Fitness

Macros have a critical role in fitness performance and reaching or maintaining your optimum weight. Calorie counting is a staple of fitness and diet tracking, but it doesn’t show the complete picture. Calorie counting alone is not able to provide a 360-degree view of what you need for a healthy body.

You could consume the proper amount of calories by eating cookies for every meal, but you can’t stay healthy or reach your fitness goals on a cookie-only diet. Why? Because you will not be consuming the proper ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Adding macro tracking to your fitness plan will help you reach the next level on your quest for healthy living.

How to Use Macros to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Adjusting your macros to your fitness goals can help you reach the next level of performance and results. Proper macro percentages can get you on the road to a healthier you, and they can be adapted for building muscle or burning fat.

For muscle repair and growth, try incorporating 30 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrates, and 30 percent fat into your diet. If your objective is to burn fat and become more lean, try a diet of 45 percent protein, 35 percent carbohydrates, and 20 percent fat. While these differences seem small, they add up to big gains when it comes to reaching your fitness goals.

Macros are a key factor in understanding how to best reach your health, diet, and fitness goals. Hone in on a macro arrangement that will help you live your best life and see the difference it can make.



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