28 Aug MACROS
Alright folks, a new session of boot camp is underway, which means we’re ready to partner with you and tackle your personal health and fitness goals together. While there are a variety of unique goals, one thing we share in common is – we all have to eat!
During these seven weeks of boot camp, we want to challenge you to feel the difference nutrition can provide, especially during your workouts. One approach that the majority of us can utilize and personalize is a focus on macronutrients. A trial of macros over one month will give you a great opportunity to notice differences in your workout recovery, strength and energy during workouts (and overall), sleep habits, moods, and body composition. This means if you start ASAP, you’ll have even more time to reap the benefits of dialing in the macronutrient ratios to optimally fuel your body.
Here is the full post of a fantastic Macro Counting Q&A by Registered Dietitian Laura Ligos. I’m creating the Cliffs Notes version below using excerpts from the post until you have time to read the full version (it’s worth your time).
What are macros anyway?
The word ‘macro’ is short for macronutrient, and “macros” refers to the practice of macro counting. In layman’s terms, macros are simply the major nutrients/components found in edible food (plants, animals etc.) known as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that are required for you to live, breathe, and function.
What is a macros diet or approach?
This approach is designed to help you figure out the best breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and protein that you need to reach your goals and fuel your life.
Who are macros for?
Macro counting may be good for someone who is…
- Looking to understand portion control
- Interested in weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance, but isn’t sure if they are eating the right amount of protein, fat, and carbs
- Interested in improving the quality of their diet
- An athlete trying to improve performance
- Someone who may be suspecting food allergies/intolerances and needs to determine if their current diet is serving them appropriately
The major point of macros is to learn how much you are currently eating versus how much your body actually needs. Tracking can be a big “a-ha” moment for many and a good accountability tool.
Who Are Macros Not For?
Once again, it depends. Honestly, some may not know if it’s for them until they try it out.
Macro counting is not for someone who…
- Has a tendency to have a poor relationship with food
- Has a history of food restriction or disordered eating
- Is not willing to make lifestyle changes to support the extra time/effort to track
- Finds that weighing, measuring and tracking adds more stress than success in their life
If you find that tracking macros causes you to become obsessed with food as numbers instead of food as food, it might be time to give it up. Tracking is just one tool in the health and nutrition toolbox – it is not the only tool. So, while some may find complete success and comfort in tracking the macros of their diet, others may find it causes more harm than good.
How to find your macros?
Not sure where to start? For the majority of people, once they know their general caloric needs,* they can divvy up their macros as follows:
- Carbohydrates: 40-60%
- Fats: 30-35%
- Protein: 20-30%
A general rule of thumb is that the more active you are, the more carbohydrates your body needs. However, it’s hard to generalize, so you could start somewhere in the middle (say 50% carbs, 30% fat, 20% protein), track for a month and see if you are able to hit your goals, fuel your performance, and maintain energy levels. If not, it may be time to work with a coach and/or adjust your macros. Just make sure you are eating ENOUGH!
Let’s take your boot camp experience to the next level by learning more about your body and the food that fuels you. Start a food log today using a food tracker that will compute the macro math for you. MyFitnessPal and MyMacros+ are two popular ones to get started.
Workout/Exercise Spotlight: Tabata
What a fun word to say, right?! So what is Tabata training? Active.com shares:
Tabata training is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, featuring exercises that last four minutes.RECIPES FOR THIS WEEK
By Victoria Emmitt RD