What Are MACROS And Why Should You Care?

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If you're like most of our Fighting Fit clients, you probably haven't visited nutrition since secondary school Leaving Cert. Not to worry, I'm going to break it down for you.

Firstly, what is a nutrient?

A nutrient is “a substance that provides nourishment essential for the maintenance of life and for growth.” MACRO's are a common word for macronutrients in the health and fitness industry, which is food you need in large amounts as opposed to micronutrients which you need in relatively small amounts.

Let me take this a step further. Macronutrients can be broken down into three categories. You are probably already quite familiar with each group but may not know what they are or even what foods contain each macronutrient. So let's get you up to speed!

Carbohydrates:

Or Carbs as they are commonly called, are any food that is going to be broken down into glucose, cellulose or starch. These foods contain 4 kcal per gram and are the bodies source of instant energy. They are the macronutrient that can be broken down into glucose. Glucose is  the body's main source of fuel. I would break carbohydrates down into two subcategories which are Refined Carbohydrates and Complex Carbohydrates.

Refined Carbohydrates:

These are processed foods. The beneficial fibre is removed which increases the speed of absorption and spikes blood sugar levels. E.g. White rice and White flour

Complex carbohydrates:

These are unprocessed, they keep the fibre which slows down absorption avoiding spikes of blood sugar. E.g. Whole grains and vegetables

 

Fats:

A lot of our clients have tried various weight loss groups before coming to us here at Fighting Fit. These groups often give Fats a bad name. What we know about Low Fat foods is that low fat usually also means high sugar. Fat has got a bad rap over the decades with such claims as raising cholesterol and causing weight gain. Fats are the most calorie dense foods and contain an impressive 9 kcal per gram. I feel like fats have been misunderstood. There are different categories and while they do have their cons, healthy fats have been found to very beneficial for our health. Their main functions are to store energy, provide insulation and protect vital organs. However they do have other vital functions such as hormone production and the production of HDL cholesterol, which is your good cholesterol that mops up fat deposits in the arteries left behind by the LDL cholesterol. Sources of “Good Fats” are Salmon, Walnuts, Olive oil and Avocado. Fats that you want to avoid or “Bad Fats” are vegetable oils, most non natural peanut butter and margarine.

 


 

Protein:

Proteins are the building blocks of life and are needed for growth and repair of muscles.They are important internal functions such as producing hormones and antibodies. Most structures inside the body are made from protein, even our DNA is made from protein. If we don't take in enough protein our body cannot carry out all of its functions optimally and will begin to break down existing protein structures from within. We create individual protein goals for our clients based on a calculating formula to personalise each member's individual requirements. We need protein for repairing injured muscles and building new muscles, we are in a constant state of breakdown cells and rebuilding so it's incredibly important that you take in enough protein. Ideally you should take in 1.0g of protein per pound of lean muscle in your body. Good sources of protein include Beef, Chicken, Fish, Eggs and Legumes.

Knowledge is power and powerful people change their lives! 

If you would like to learn more about your individual macronutrient goals, please feel free to contact us to book in for a consultation!