In today’s world, fitness and health magazines constantly bombard us with terms that are a bit too vague. You’ll often hear that it’s important that you get all the right “macros” for your diet. Macro is an abbreviation for the word macronutrient and it’s more than just a buzzword for fitness magazines. It’s an important part of our everyday lives and getting to know it should be on your list of priorities. When it comes to discussions on weight loss, people often talk about calorie counting without taking into account what you’re actually eating. This is why you should delve deeper into macronutrients.
1. Macronutrients are the essentials
The human body is a complex machine with more cogs than you can count. There are thousands of different types of cells in our body and all of them need nutrients to function. Think of your body as a smaller version of an ecosystem, where every kind of tissue is a different animal. They have different diets that all require specific things. This is where macronutrients come in. They are the building blocks that our cells use in order to multiply and work. They are both the bricks that make us what we are and the fuel that propels us.
Having a varied diet is important if you want these tiny ecosystems to work. A balanced diet has to contain fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Each of these three elements has its own job within our body. If any of them are missing, you’re going to see problems manifest. Every single foodstuff has a combination of all three of these. The only thing that varies in the percentage. If an ingredient mostly contains carbs, it’s going to be classified as a carb-rich piece of food. Likewise, something that contains tons of proteins is going to be considered protein-rich. It’s important to throw away any and all misconceptions about these macronutrients and learn all about what they actually do in our bodies.
When people hear the word fat, they don’t associate it with good things. Fats have a pretty bad rap nowadays. They’re blamed for everything from obesity to heart attacks. The truth is, fats don’t really make you fat. In fact, they actually do the opposite. Fats are important for a variety of reasons. When you eat fat-rich food, you are easily satiated and you won’t be going back for seconds any time soon. Avoiding fats is what gets you hooked on food that doesn’t leave you feeling full. This means you will find yourself eating more meals than you otherwise would and that leads to weight gain.
When it comes to their function within our bodies, fats are a godsend. They are absolutely essential for brain and nerve development. Every nerve is surrounded by a sheath of fats that protect it and help it transfer impulses. Carbs might be the most important energy source in the body, but fats come in as a close second. They have more calories per gram than carbs and that makes them more efficient.
Proteins are without a doubt the most versatile macronutrients in our body. They have countless uses that range from transporting food to making muscles work. They are an essential part of every single organ and system. When you consume proteins, they aren’t absorbed in their current form. They are first digested and broken down into smaller particles called amino acids. Each protein is made up of a different combination of about twenty of these amino acids. The body is a versatile system that can produce some of these amino acids, while others have to be supplied by food. This is where external proteins come in.
When you eat things like cheese and meat, you’re giving your body a good supply of amino acids, some of which are essential. You don’t always need the same amount of protein. When muscles break down during workouts, you will need a large influx of amino acids so that the muscle proteins can be rebuilt. After you’ve spent some time in the gym, you’re going to want to take some post workout supplements in order to regenerate those amino acids. If your muscle cells get these acids quick enough, they’ll be even more efficient at building muscle fibres and making them bigger than before.
Carbohydrates are looked at as the big bad wolf of fitness. Everyone that is trying to lose weight avoids these things like the plague. If everyone is avoiding them, there must be some truth to the stigma? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Carbohydrates are just as important for healthy development as protein and fats. They are an essential energy source without which you couldn’t lift a finger. Carbohydrates are made from chains of starch sugar which the body then breaks down in order to get energy. Organs like the brain use carbohydrates exclusively for all their energy needs.
The issue comes from the fact that carbohydrates can be stored for later. Evolution has decided that nothing should ever go to waste. This means that every single molecule of sugar that you don’t need at any given moment is stored away until you do need it. Overeating is the only situation in which you should stigmatize carbohydrates. They regulate a ton of bodily functions, including fat storage. Because of this, eating too much sugar can lead to a wide variety of issues with weight and fat regulation. On their own, they’re still an important part of a daily diet.
In conclusion, macronutrients form the bulk of your everyday diet. In order to maintain a healthy diet and weight, you’re going to need to find the perfect balance between these three important ingredients. Calories are a great way to track weight, but weight isn’t the only factor you should be looking at. If you plan out your diet with the right distribution of macronutrients in mind, you’re going to achieve all your health goals in record time.