Using Macros & Building A Healthy Lifestyle
If you’re into fitness on any level, you’ve no doubt heard of “Macros”. Macros can be the building blocks toward your good health. But a lack of these nutrients can also break your body down. So what DO you know about them and do you know how to use them for your benefit?
Calories Are The Building, Macros Are The Blocks
Your body needs calories to survive. Calories give you energy to do the things you have planned through your day. But the “Macros” are the “blocks” in the calories that can help your body function efficiently. There are three macro-nutrients:
Protein: Macro Block #1
Protein helps to build muscle in your body along with other functions, According to MacroStax, protein is also “the only essential” macro for efficient body function. So, if nothing else, you need to ensure you have enough protein throughout the day.
Carbohydrates: Macro Block #2
Carbs are the main energy source for your body. There are two types of carbohydrates:
The Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down and used for energy almost immediately. So, when you eat that candy bar, you feel a “rush” of energy, as if you could keep going the rest of the day. The down side is the rush doesn’t last very long.
The Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are broken down by the body more slowly. Complex carbs can help you to feel full for longer periods of time. This group includes food like potatoes, vegetables and beans.
Fat: Macro Block #3
Fat is also important. It can be used by the body as energy, in case you don’t have enough carbs stored up (hence the Keto diet). Fat is also used by the body to form cholesterol and fatty acids, both of which help your body move essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients through your blood stream. Fat is also calorically “dense”, weighing in at 9 calories/gram. Protein and carbohydrates come in at less than half that, both at 4 calories/gram.
So, How Do I Use Protein, Carbs & Fat?
Getting the right mixture can be tricky, but there are helps. Macrostax encourages you to figure out both your:
- Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR)
- Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
Your BMR is the rate at which your body burns calories when you do absolutely nothing all day long. Believe it or not, your body is still working even if you sit around. That work burns calories. So, even if the only steps you take all day amount to a couple trips around your house, your body is burning calories. Your BMR is based on on your height, weight, gender and age. You may see this number on your diagnosis if you get an annual physical from your doctor’s office. Basically, it’s a “one-size-fits-all” scale.
Your TDEE uses the BMR and a multiplier to reach an approximate calorie output for your particular activity level. So, if you have very little daily activity, your multiplier would be smaller than someone who may be training for a competition or competes in sporting events.
Remember, balance is key, especially in your diet. Sure, you could live on chips, pretzels and pie. However, your size 6 would quickly balloon to a size 46. Your body WILL store what it cannot use. This is true for carbohydrates, proteins or fat. Hence
the formation of “Love handles.”
However, if you get the right percentage of each, you have a better chance at maintaining or even losing those extra pounds and inches. Check out the resources below and keep your goal for good health in sight!
Learn More About Holistic Wellness Through A Christian Lens In Our FitBits