What are macros? How do I make them work for me? How do I distribute macros in my meals?
These are all excellent questions! First, let's talk about the three Macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat (lipids).
Proteins are the most versatile macromolecules in living systems and serve crucial functions in essentially all biological processes. They function as catalysts, they transport and store other molecules such as oxygen, they provide mechanical support and immune protection, they generate movement, they transmit nerve impulses, and they control growth.
Carbohydrates provide your body with energy. Most of the carbohydrates in the foods you eat are digested and broken down into glucose (sugar) before entering the bloodstream. Glucose in the blood is taken up into your body’s cells and used to produce a fuel molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) through a series of complex processes known as cellular respiration. Cells can then use ATP to power a variety of metabolic tasks.
Fats (lipids) are used for four things; insulation and long-term energy storage, being a primary component of cell membranes, hormonal functioning, and helping to control the fluidity of cell membranes.
THAT WAS A LOTTA SCIENCE.
I know, and you probably don't find it as fascinating as I do. But here's the bottom line - all three of these macronutrients are essential to your diet and your lifestyle. Between energy, movement, DNA and cell structure, they all play a valuable role in your body.
How can you make Macros work for you? First, work on building your plate with all three macronutrients. That means consuming protein, carbs, and fat in every meal. Here are some portion sizes to work with:
Protein should be about the size of your palm (fingers not included).
Vegetables and fruits (carbs) should take up the remaining space of the plate *around 1-2 cups). Keep the moderate food list in mind here, and remember that vegetables should be the primary carb - not fruit.
Fats that are oils or grass-fed butters should be be about the size of your thumb, or two tablespoons. Avocados can be eaten by the half, or the whole. Nuts and seeds should only fill a closed handful, but coconut flakes or olives can fill an open handful! Check the approved fats list for more ideas. This macro goes on top of your other food to complete the meal.
Questions? Comment below!