What are macronutrients and why should we track them??
A FEW FACTS ABOUT “MACROS”
"Do you even know what you're eating , bro? " ......."like really, really 😉"
I said it four years ago, and I believe it today:
Learning how to track your macronutrients is the most important thing you can do for taking control of your, health, body, and fitness progress.
This does NOT mean you have to track forever.
And it does NOT mean you should abandon whole foods for a life of poptarts and frozen yogurt.
But through this process, you are going to learn a great deal about the foods you are currently eating and how they may be helping, or preventing, you from making progress.
So, in this article, I want to arm you with as much information as possible for you to be successful.
For everyone out there that is sure that the "New banana, bacon and bread diet" is the latest greatest guaranteed to work DIET , and only 4 days and no workouts---- please read number 8 several times
1. What Are Macronutrients?
Substances that make up calories.
There are three macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. Technically, alcohol is a 4th macronutrient. What? It's not just another carb?!
2. What Are Micronutrients, Then?
Micronutrients, on the other hand, do not contain calories. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients.
3. Do I Have To Care About Micronutrients If I Am Tracking Macronutrients?
Yes. Eating a diet rich in micronutrient dense foods, like fruits and vegetables, will not only assist in your progress but is paramount for your health.
4. Do Poptarts Have Micronutrients?
5. What Is IIFYM?
IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros.
The slogan gets a bad wrap, as it attracts hyperbolic thinking – i.e. ALL that matters is your macronutrient intake and nothing else.
While this, of course, is not true, your macronutrient intake does still matter.
6. Why Do Drug Using Instagrammers Enjoy Poptarts So Much?
I’m not sure.
7. Alright, So Why Are Macros Important?
Macronutrients make up calories, and your total calorie intake is going to determine whether you gaining or losing weight.
It is very difficult to lose body fat if you are eating too many calories, and very difficult to build muscle if you are not eating enough calories.
Further, tracking macros helps guarantee you getting adequate protein so you don’t lose muscle, adequate carbs to support training, and adequate fats for heart health, immunity, and a variety of other benefits.
8. Is the Macros Diet As Good As The Vegan Diet?
Alright, so “the macros diet” isn’t a thing.
Macronutrients have been in every food that has ever existed since the inception of food.
There is no “macros diet” because EVERYTHING you eat contains macronutrients.
This is not a fad. This is not going anywhere. This is science.
9. So IS The Macros Diet As Good As The Vegan Diet?
*blank stare emoji*
10. Can I Track Macros If I’m Paleo?
You can, actually.
And I am all for experimenting with different styles of eating.
You can track your macros eating primal/paleo/vegetarian/vegan and you will benefit from doing so.
11. Alright… I See The Benefit To Tracking Macronutrients. But How Do I Do It?
See my previous blog about how to track macros
If the food has a nutrition label, I want you to use that.
12. What If I Am Eating A Food Without A Nutrition Label?
Look it up!
Google has an awesome food database.
And most restaurants that are chain, do as well
Many people like My Fitness Pal as well
13. What IF I Am Eating A Home Cooked Meal Or Eating At A Restaurant?
See number 12 above. Also for home cooked meals you can still measure and potion from scratch. MyFitnessPal let's you " build" meals and save.
14. What If I Am Eating Sushi?
This article 🙂
15. Okay, So How Do I Determine The Total Number Of Macronutrients Should I Eat?
It depends on your goal. It depends on your height, weight, body fat percentage, gender, activity level, and other factors.
There are dozens of online calculators, I tend to like iifym free calculator the best.
But I want to make one important point:
ALL calculators are just a STARTING POINT. They are an estimate based on data.
What is MOST is relevant your current intake and progress.
Start tracking your intake. Pay attention to progress. And adjust your intake as needed.
16. If You Track Macros, That Means You Don’t Have To Worry About Eating Healthy, Right?
Eating micronutrient rich foods, strength training, getting adequate sleep, and other common sense health tips are all still very important.
17. Hmm, So, Should I Track Micronutrients?
Probably not. There are dozens of micronutrients, and tracking them would be incredibly tedious. In fact, I have never personally heard of a person doing this.
Instead, eat a diet rich in a variety of traditionally healthy foods, and you should be okay
That being said, regular doctor visits and blood work is probably a good idea!
18. Are You Qualified To Say Stuff Like That?
I don’t know.
Let’s throw a disclaimer up:
“It should be noted that Rachel Plumage is a not a medical doctor. People seem to listen to her because she has a reasonable physique and is articulate, and the standard for making content in the fitness industry is remarkably low. Plus she has an uncanny knack for repeating song lyrics to you during class with deep meaning. So, by comparison, she appears to be smart.”
Are Nuts A Good Source Of Protein?
Nuts are great and contain fats our bodies need.
But the myth that nuts are a good source of protein is silly.
Almonds, for example, are 73% fat and only 14% protein.
21. Speaking Of Protein, How Do I Get More Protein?i will talk in depth about that for the next part of this series.
22. How Do I Know Which Foods Are Good For Getting Protein, Carbs Or Fats?
Here is a chart that will help you a ton:
23. This Gatorade Says It Only Has 31g Of Sugar, But It’s So Big! Is That Right?
Great question. We need to take a look at Servings Per Container on the nutrition label. There are actually 4 servings in a container.
So there are 124g of sugar in the entire bottle.
24. Do I Have To Count Macros In Vegetables?
Definitely count the macros in starches like potatoes and corn.
But if you don’t want to track macros in greens and other non-starchy vegetables, that’s fine by me.
25. Why Is That?
Because a significant % of their total calories comes from dietary fiber. And fiber is incompletely digested by the human body.
These vegetables are often referred to as “free veggies.”
26. Should I Use A Food Scale When Tracking Macros?
A food scale is not only more accurate than using measuring utinsels, but actually more convenient when you factor in clean up time.
27. Should I Use A Food Scale When Going Out To Eat With My Friends?
28. How Do I Track Alcohol?
You don’t have to track, but if you drink alcohol frequently, it might make sense.
The simple answer is to reduce carbs 10-12 grams and and fats by 5-6 grams for each drink you plan on having.
29. For Foods Like Meat Or Potatoes, Should I Weigh Them Cooked Or raw?
32. Do I Have To Track Macros Forever?
But the learning curve is incredibly steep.
So, by putting forth a ton of effort early on, you are going to
Hope this helped answer some questions!!!
- Rachel Plumage
Personal Trainer at Ridge Fitness