Macronutrients or “macros” refer to the three main types of macros in food: Carbohydrates, protein, and fat that make up your total caloric intake. Each macro provides different health and nutrition benefits. Manipulating these ratios, specific to your body's needs and your overall goals, is where the magic happens!
Learning to balance your macros can support better athletic performance, appetite control, energy levels, improved mood, and assist in fat loss or muscle growth. I consider all of these factors when I calculate your customized macro count. For example, someone transitioning to a macronutrient range of 40% carbs, 35% fat and 25% protein may need to replace some of their carbs with sources of healthy fats and protein.
Carbohydrates include sugars, starches and fibers. Carbs are used in the body to provide the body with energy. Carbs get broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which your body either uses for immediate energy or stores as glycogen.
The way carbs work with macros:
Carbs provide 4 calories per gram and typically make up the largest portion of people’s calorie intake. Carb ratios will depend but major health organizations suggest consuming 45–65% of your daily calories from carbs.
Carbohydrates are found in foods like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, dairy products and fruits.
Though typical macronutrient recommendations for fats range from 20–35% of total calories, many people find success following a diet higher in fat. This is possible by simply manipulating the carbs and proteins of the calorie breakdown to allow for a higher fat percentage in your daily calorie breakdown.
The way fats work with macros:
Fats have the most calories of all macronutrients. Fats make up 9 calories per gram. Fats are essential to providing your body energy and are critical to hormone production. They the support the body's nutrient absorption and assist with body temperature maintenance.
Fats are found in foods like oils, butter, avocado, nuts, meat and fatty fish.
It’s recommended that proteins comprise 10–35% of your total calorie intake. However, protein recommendations vary depending on body composition goals, age, health and more.
The way protein works with macros:
Like carbs, proteins provide 4 calories per gram.Proteins are vital for processes like cell signaling, immune function and the building of tissues, hormones and enzymes.
Examples of protein-rich foods include eggs, poultry, fish, beef, spinach and lentils.