You may or may not have heard this, but it seems the latest and greatest saying in the fitness world right now are these 5 words, ‘if it fits your macros’. But what are macros? and if what fits them? Although it sounds like some sort of code language, understanding macros (or macronutrients) is quite simple and is vital on your journey of creating and sustaining a healthy lifestyle.
Macros are the components of food that can be broken down by the body to produce energy (calories). Macro meaning large, these are the nutrients that are needed in large amounts. Once in the body they are either used as fuel, or used as the building blocks of our body structure.
Macros are split into 3 main groups, 4 if you include alcohol. However from a nutrition point of view, we will only focus on:
Each macro provides a certain number of calories per gram, so to give you an understanding:
• Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram.
• Protein provides 4 calories per gram.
• Fat provides 9 calories per gram.
• (For your reference, Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram).
It is important to mention there are two types of nutrients our body needs. Macronutrients being one and the other being Micronutrients. Micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals. Whilst only needed in small amounts, they play important roles in human development and well-being.