WHAT ARE MACRO NUTRIENTS?

Eating right isn’t just about how many calories you take in on a daily basis.  Each type of calorie you put into your body is going to impact you in different ways, altering the results that you see.

This is why it’s critical you understand what the macros are and how many you need of each.

Macros, short for ‘macro nutrients’ refer to your proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fats.  Most of you will have heard of these before.

Proteins provide the building blocks upon which tissue is made up of.  As you get started with your workouts, your protein needs will go up slightly as you’ll be constantly tearing muscle tissue down and then rebuilding it back up again.

Carbohydrates are the energy providing macro nutrient. This is the body’s preferred source of fuel and what you will use to power your hard-working muscles during intense physical activity.

Carbohydrates, if not chosen carefully, can also rapidly lead to weight gain because the wrong types will increase blood sugar levels rapidly, which then causes a release of insulin into your body, an energy storing hormone.  If you aren’t physically active and are experiencing high blood sugar, your chances of fat gain are significant.  By keeping insulin levels stable on the other hand, you keep your body in fat burning mode all day long.

This macronutrient can be further divided into complex carbohydrates, fibrous carbohydrates, and simple carbohydrates. 

Complex carbohydrates are the energy dense carbohydrates that will supply you with more fuel for physical activity. You’ll be eating these around your workout sessions.

Fibrous carbohydrates are the low-calorie, high fiber carbohydrates found in vegetables.  These will be included in most meals as they are so rich in nutrition but yet won’t impact your daily calorie level by much.

Simple carbohydrates are your sweet tasting foods – candy, ice cream, and other sugary items and should be avoided on this plan.

Finally, dietary Fats also provide a source of longer-term energy and are also important for keeping your hormonal profile at optimal levels. For example, men who consume a diet too low in fat will see their testosterone dropping, and with that, their strength level declining as well.

Likewise, women who don’t eat enough dietary fat may notice their hormones shifting as well, presenting problems with their menstrual cycle or libido levels.

All three macro nutrients then are critical for success and you will notice you are taking in foods from all three categories with each meal that you eat on this program.

THE BEST SOURCES OF EACH MACRO NUTRIENT

To promote a leaner, fit body, you need nutrient dense foods that provide not only the key macro nutrients just mentioned, but also provide you with plenty of micro nutrients, which are the vitamins and minerals that your body needs for optimal function.

Here are the top sources for each macro nutrient category.

 

Lean Protein Sources

  • Lean red meats
  • Fish/salmon
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Protein powder ( Whey or Plant Based )
  • Cottage cheese

 

Fibrous Carbohydrates

  • Mixed vegetables
  • Spinach
  • Berries (all varieties)
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

 

Complex Carbohydrates

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Beans
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice

 

Healthy Fats

  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Raw nuts
  • Seeds (flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • Fish oils (krill oil, salmon oil, etc.)
  • Coconut oil