What are macronutrients? If you’ve stuck around in the fitness world long enough and are getting more serious about nutrition and the effects that it has on your body, you most likely have heard of macronutrients and micronutrients.  So what are they? Why are they such big words? In this article, I am going to touch on macronutrients, what they are and how they affect the body.

Well in simple definition: a macronutrient is a nutrient that your body uses at a large scale (macro, meaning large). This would be proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Macronutrients provide your body with calories, which equates to energy that your body can use to perform daily tasks.  These nutrients are essential and are used as fuel for the body, they synthesize muscle growth and repair, and are needed for growth and development.

Macronutrient ratios

Macronutrient ratios

Have you ever heard of tracking your macros when it comes to losing fat? Many people think that tracking the amount of calories that you eat will help you lose the weight and although it’s true, its actually your macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) that make up the calories. Sound confusing? Let me explain.

Not a lot of people know this, but on nutritional value labels, the amount of calories that are in a food is derived from how many grams of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that are in the food.

1 gram of protein = 4 calories
1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
1 gram of fat =9 calories

For example, a sandwich that contains 20 grams of proteins, 33 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of fat would equal 302 calories.

The calories that are in 1 gram of fat are more than double what is in a gram of carbohydrate and protein. You can now see why foods that are high in fat can easily cause you to put on excess weight.

It is important to carefully monitor macronutrients in foods, instead of just looking at the calories on the nutritional value label. Some foods that are only 100 calories may often be filled with more fat and carbohydrates than protein, so you must be careful when selecting low calorie foods.

Macronutrients, like I said, play a huge part in how your body functions. Carbohydrates are usually needed in the largest amounts as they serve as the main source of energy for the body. It is recommended that for normal functions that 30-40% of your daily calories come from carbohydrates. Protein is usually a little lower at 20-30%, and fats can be anywhere from 10-20%. This percentage ratio is also highly determined on your fitness goals and the numbers I suggested are not set in stone. For example, if you want to lose that extra bit of fat you might lower your carbohydrate and fat percentage.  But if you’re looking to add muscle, you’d raise your protein and carbohydrate percentage.

Macronutrients can get a lot more complicated, but this is the simplest way to explain them. I wanted to keep this article nice and short and not get too in-depth about this topic . I hope you got some good information and a better understanding about macros in this article.

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John

John considers himself as a fitness enthusiast who loves to do anything to keep the body in peak physical performance (much like a highly tuned machine). He mainly focuses on sports nutrition and supplement research, but is also highly knowledgeable in relation to muscle growth and fat loss. He's helped numerous people over the years achieve the body that they've always wanted and hopes his information will guide you to the goals you want.

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