So, what is a macro? Macro is the shortened version of the word macronutrient. Macronutrients are the nutrients your body needs in significant amounts daily to function properly. The three macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates (carbs), and fats.
Counting macros has become one of the most popular ways of tracking nutritional goals. Whether you want to burn fat or build muscle, counting macros is one of the top ways of tracking your nutrition. Counting macros may seem a little overwhelming at first. However, once you have familiarized yourself with the basics, it is plain sailing from there on out.
Proteins provide four calories of energy per gram consumed. Proteins are essential for processes such as:
Depending on your age, health, and body composition goals, proteins should comprise between 10% and 35% of your daily energy intake. Protein-rich foods include meats like beef, poultry and fish, eggs, lentils, and tofu.
Carbohydrates usually make up the greatest portion of people's energy intake. They also provide four calories per gram eaten. Carbs include sugars, starches, and fibers. Carbs are broken down into glucose, which is the energy currency for your body. Glucose travels through the blood for immediate use and is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles for later use. Muscle movement, brain function, and all internal processes require energy.
Most health organizations recommend 45% -65% of your daily energy needs derive from carbs. However, this is a hotly contested topic. Individuals following a keto diet will try and limit their carb intake to less than 50 grams per day. Source carbohydrates from foods such as fruits, starchy vegetables, grains, beans, and dairy products.
Fats are the most energy-rich food source. They provide nine calories of energy per gram. Fats are an essential energy source and vital for functions such as:
Depending on your nutritional goals, fats should make up 20-35% of your daily calories. Foods rich in dietary fats include butter, plant oils, meat, fish, avocados, and nuts.