The “Skinny” on Macros:
You’ve probably heard the term macros thrown around. Short for “macronutrients,” it refers to carbs, fats, and proteins—the three basic components of every diet. If you get their proportions right, it makes dieting a lot more effective when simple calorie restriction fails.
One of the problems with traditional calorie counting is that it doesn’t take into account what you’re eating, just how many calories. Sure, portion control alone might work for a while, but unless you switch to the right foods—foods that leave you satiated or even stuffed while on a caloric deficit—your self-control will eventually break down.
The Three Main Macronutrients:
There are three main macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Alcohol is a macronutrient too, which I’ll cover later. Let’s go through each macronutrient to get a basic understanding.
Calories: 4 calories per gram.
Overview: Arguably king in the world of fitness nutrition, protein is mostly associated with building muscle and primarily found in foods like meat and dairy. However, its uses extend beyond muscle: it’s the core component of organs, bones, hair, enzymes, and pretty much all other types of tissue in your body. Proteins are made of amino acids, many of which the body can make itself. However, there are nine amino acids that are strictly required for normal body function that your body can’t biosynthesize. These are (aptly) called essential amino acids, and the full nine can be found from all meat sources. Unfortunately for vegetarians and vegans, it’s rare to find the full nine in legumes and grains, so you need to make sure you eat a large variety to get all of them.
Calories: 4 calories per gram.
Overview: First friend, then foe, then friend again–the diet industry’s relationship with carbohydrates has been fickle at best. While it’s technically the only macronutrient your body can survive without, doing so would be no fun. Carbs are your body’s most easily accessible source of energy, and is broken up into glycogen (used by muscles and your liver) and glucose (used by the brain). In common nutrition speak, carbs are largely divided into simple and complex carbohydrates. The two classifications refer to the length of the carbohydrate molecules. The shorter the molecule chain is, the easier it is for your body to break down, so it’s “simpler”—basically they’re sugars. On the other hand, larger molecules, like starch, are “complex” because it takes longer for your body to break it down into usable components.
In the world of macros, a carb is a carb, whether it comes from sugar or starch. Be clear: this isn’t an endorsement rely on pop tarts and candy to meet your targets. In fact, what you will notice is that after counting macros a while, you’ll probably gravitate towards complex sources of carbs for satiety’s sake. But the freedom of choice is there, and relaxing this boundary between “good” and “bad” foods is important to develop a healthier relationship with what you eat.
Calories: 9 calories per gram.
Overview: Fats are a key component of essential dietary supplements like nutella, bacon and peanut butter. In all seriousness, though, fat often gets a bad rap because its the most calorie-dense nutrient out there. But they’re very important to normal body functions, acting as the backbone to important hormones, insulation for nerves, skin and hair health, and so on.
Some Helpful Guidelines:
-Must eat 2 handfuls of “green veggies” each meal
-Before and After pics WELCOME and strongly ENCOURAGED!
-AVOID THE SCALE EVERYDAY
-Find a buddy who is participating!
-Strive for 3-5 meals per day!
-Goal is to hit your “numbers” by +/- 5 each day
-If you go over a significant amount, you will subtract from that category for the next day
-Grocery shop: lean meats, veggies, carbs from “healthy carb list,” good fat
-Meal prep or check out clean eats
-Count everything - especially alcohol
-Buy egg whites
Food Category Examples:
Any meat 90% or leaner
Egg whites *count in grams
*3 oz. lean meat: 18g protein
*4 oz. lean meat: 24g of protein
“Eat meat Jordi Love is all things nutrition.
She will guide you through the right nutrition program for you.
"Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God, I don't know but today seems kinda odd.
No barking from the dogs, no smog and momma cooked a breakfast with no hog.
I got my grub on, but didn't pig out... finally got a call from a girl want to dig out." –Ice Cube
Whole Grain Bread
Whole Wheat Pasta
Small handful nuts
1 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tbsp. Canola oil
2 tbs. Nut butter