Macronutrients are the nutrients that your body uses for energy. Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The macro counting approach itself focuses on the ratio of these nutrients you consume throughout the day. While each of these macro-nutrients provides calories, the amount of calories that each one provides varies:
- Carbohydrate provides 4 calories per gram.
- Protein provides 4 calories per gram.
- Fat provides 9 calories per gram.
Based on your individual goals, I will help you calculate your ratios and generate a specific diet plan to help you reach them.
In the macro counting diet the largest portion of your calories come from carbohydrates, or carbs. The three major types of carbohydrates are Simple Carbohydrates, Complex Carbohydrates, and Fiber.
- Simple carbohydrates are sometime called simple sugars, mainly because they contain either natural or added sugar. Simple carbohydrates are found naturally in foods such as fruits, milk, and milk products. They are also found in processed and refined sugars such as candy, table sugar, syrups, and soft drinks. Our focus is to intake all simple carbohydrates in the form of naturally occurring sugars rather than processed or refined sugars.
- Complex carbohydrates, called starches, are carbs that are made from several linked strings or chains of sugars. Complex carbs are often healthier than simple carbs because in addition to being starchy, they also provide you with some of your dietary fiber. Examples of complex carbs are corn, bread, cereal, pasta and rice. Our focus is to intake complex carbs in the form of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Fiber is the third type of carbohydrate, it falls into the complex carb category but does not act like the other two forms of carbs. Your body can’t completely digest fiber, so it can help promote regular digestion. Whole grains and many fruits and vegetables, including dark leafy greens and orange-colored fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber. Lentils, peas and dried beans are also fiber-rich foods that can contribute to a healthy digestive system. Our focus is to consume a healthy about of fiber naturally through the foods in our diet.
Protein is a very important part of a healthy diet. Protein is needed to repair and create new cells, tissues, hormones, enzymes and muscles and a lack of protein can prevent these processes from being carried out correctly. Basically proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids. There are 22 different types of amino acid and the body needs all of them to function properly. Our focus is to track how many fats and carbs are in your protein choices, and how to correlate the ratios to match your personal ratios.
Fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight. The answer isn’t cutting out the fat—it’s learning to make healthy choices and to replace bad fats with good ones that promote health and well-being. Fats include foods such as oils, butter and nuts, and are also found in meats and certain fish. When following the macronutrient diet, strive to obtain your fat calories from sources low in cholesterol. Plant and nut derived oils do not contain cholesterol; some, such as flax seed oil, contain omega fatty acids, which may provide health benefits.
Where To Start
1. The best place to start is to decide what your goal is (Click Here For Guidelines for Goal Setting):
- Health & Longevity
- Weight Loss
- Strength Gain
2. Buy a digital food scale.
- This is a huge but necessary step. You will need to weigh and measure everything for the first few weeks until you really understand serving sizes of what you consume.
3. Calculate your macros.
Using the If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) Calculator is a great place to start. You can base your macros on your goals, specific body type, energy levels, and workout routine. http://iifym.com/iifym-calculator/
4. Decide how you will track your macros.
- There are multiple apps and online resources that make this simple, or you can do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper!
5. Breathe. Once you’ve made it this far it is easy and will become second nature sooner than you’d think.
6. Weigh Everything You Eat!
7. Log Everything You Eat!
8. If you go over on your macronutrients one day, subtract it from the next. Think of the week as a whole at that point, one day does not ruin a whole week!
9. Drink plenty of water. Think 80 oz or more!
10. Collaborate with others counting their macros for tips and tricks, struggles and success!
The following are example days, always make sure to cater your nutrition to your own individualized macronutrient goals: