Macros - RJ Health and Fitness - South Bay Personal Trainer

What  Are Macronutrients?

Macronutrients consist of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. In order to achieve optimal results to look and feel our best, our bodies require a well balanced diet.  Macronutrients and calories vary for each individual based on body type, height, weight, level of activity, and goal.  Follow the link below titled “Calculate My Macros” to get a starting point for reaching your fitness goals.  A great way to track macronutrients is by knowing the macronutrients in the food we consume, or by downloading one of the many free apps available to track macronutrients.  Under Armor has a very popular app called My Fitness Pal which is great for tracking your daily food intake.

Eat According To Your Goal

You should feel great while you work towards your fitness goals, and build habits you can live with to succeed long term.  How many times have you tried dieting only to be right back where you started? Isn’t the objective to reach your goal and maintain? For optimal results you need a well balanced diet, and a low calorie diet for a long period will slow down your metabolism.  You may reach your weight loss goal, but once you start consuming regular food you gain the weight back as a result of your slow metabolism. Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle building, to improve your health, or quality of life as you age, by understanding nutrition you can take control to look and feel your best without depriving yourself of food you love, and you can reach your goal and stay there.  Going from A to B will take some effort, but the great thing is once you reach your goal it will be much easier to sustain your results.  Macronutrients consist of protein, carbohydrates and fats, and our bodies need all three for various reasons

Protein

Protein manages our metabolism, aids in tissue repair, and although it doesn’t build muscle it does provide the nourishment that our muscles need in order to grow.  The building blocks of protein consist of amino acids, and in order for food to be considered a complete protein it must contain all nine branches of amino acids.  Eggs and meats are complete proteins, but beans and nuts are not.  Essential amino acids aid in repair of ligaments, tendons, organs, muscles, glands, hair, skin, and nails.  Aminos also fight off bacteria and viruses by aiding in formation of antibodies.  Examples of good sources of protein include chicken, fish, beef, turkey, lamb, bison, and eggs.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the go-to source for energy. Our body stores glycogen that is converted from carbohydrates, then broken down to glucose. A good way to understand it is by looking at glycogen as a gas tank that goes from full to empty as we move.  Any carbs you eat that overfill the “gas tank” will turn into fat, but low glycogen levels for too many days will have a lot of negative affects on your body and the weight loss will eventually stop. The type of carbohydrates consumed is also important because complex carbs (or slow digesting carbs) are beneficial for weight loss because our bodies use them as energy throughout the day.  Fast digesting carbs breakdown a lot faster and unless they’re utilized by the body they’ll store as body fat. Examples of carbohydrates include breads, potatoes, rice, pasta, yams, oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables.

Fats

Fats are not created equal, but when we hear that term we instantly think “not good”.  Some fats are not good for our health or waistline, and too much of anything isn’t good for us.  Over the years research has proven that healthy fats (monounsaturated & polyunsaturated) reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Bad fats are known as trans fats which have no health benefits or a safe margin for consumption.  Saturated fats can increase cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. Examples of  healthy fats include salmon, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, avocados, coconut oil, and dark chocolate.

Calories

Calories are important and understanding and how much to consume will vary for each individual based on several factors.  Body type, body weight, level of activity, occupation, and off course your goal.  To gain muscle which is essentially gaining weight you will need to increase your caloric intake with the right macronutrients to provide your body with the nutrients required in order to promote muscle growth. To lose weight it seems that the obvious answer would be to do the exact opposite which is partially true, but it must be done with a well balanced diet that doesn’t cause negative effects on your body.  You should feel great while working towards your goal, and a large decrease in caloric intake is not the answer for long term success, and for those of us that have tried this approach know that eventually you will be back to where you started.  Let’s be honest.  None of us want to eat salads for lunch or give up burgers, pizza, candy, or ice cream, and for long term success you should not have to.  A spike in your caloric intake once or twice a week is actually beneficial for reaching your fitness goals for weight loss and muscle building.  It will boost your metabolism, and also give you something to look forward to.

Micronutrients

Micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals which play a key role in overall health. The category includes calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, copper, fluoride, zinc, iodine, vitamin A,D,E,K,C, B6, and B12.  It is important to incorporate nutrient dense food to your meals.  Some of the foods that contain these vitamins and minerals include spinach, beef, yogurt, fish, eggs, cashews, bananas, peppers, broccoli, and turkey