All calories come from Macro-nutrients: Proteins, Carbs & Fats.
Some foods are combinations of Proteins, Carbs & Fats
Build your meals around Protein first
Balance & portion control are key
Goals & health should be considered before deciding how much of each
What are Macros? And how do I use them?
I’m sure you have heard someone talk about Macros before. To me & fitness enthusiasts, its an everyday language, but to many it is a foreign language.
The term IIFYM (if it fits your macro’s) is an extremely popular & effective nutrition program right now.
Calories are a term more commonly used for weight loss and weight gain.
So now your asking, what is a Calorie?
A Calorie is a unit of measure, used to calculate the amount of energy in food or drink.
Calories are made up of 3 Macro-nutrients: Proteins, Carbs & Fats.
Protein: Protein has 4 Calories per gram.
IE) Protein helps maintain or build muscle, regulate hormones & keep metabolic rates in check, this helping you to burn more Calories & feel full longer.
Sources of lean Protein include: Poultry, Beef, Fish, Egg Whites, Protein Powder (Whey or Plant based).
How much Protein do I need?
Between 1.5 – 2.5g per kg of bodyweight on average is a good place to start.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates (or Carbs) also include 4 Calories per gram.
People tend to avoid carbs when trying to loose weight, but in reality carbs do not make you fat, any Macro in excess will make you fat.
Carbs are important and the Number one source of fuel for your brain and body.
Carbs are also the Macro that provides fiber, which is important to regulate digestion, heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol (by raising good cholesterol, HDL and lowering bad cholesterol – LDL.
Carbs are also important for building muscle, so base these around your goals, like the other Macros.
Some good sources of Carbs include: Potato, Sweet Potato, Rice, Breads (wholegrain), Oats, Carrots, Yams, Fruits and Beans.
Sugar is also a carb IE) Donuts, cookies & ice cream. These add up very quickly ie: 25g sugar is 25g Carbs.
So for example a Can of Coke is 39g Carbs directly from Sugar, so keeping these at minimum if any is a good idea.
Slow digesting Carbs like Sweet Potato will give you more sustained energy.
How much do I need?
Anywhere from .75g to 2g per kg of body weight is a good start.
Unlike the other two, Fat has 9 Calories per gram.
Fat like Carbs is a source of energy, but provides double the amount of Calories per gram. Fat is also needed to help absorb vitamins & minerals ie: Vitamin A, D, E & K are fat soluble, meaning they need fat present to be absorbed. Fat is crucial for hormone regulation and brain function.
Some good sources of Fat include: Nut Butters, Avocado, Nuts, Coconut Oil, Egg Yolks, Red Meats, Salmon and Fish Oil.
Saturated fat in moderation is not bad for you, but avoid trans fats.
How much do I need?
Once again, this depends on activity level, age, height, weight and goals, but an indication is around 0.3 – 0.7grams per kg of body weight.
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