s big as a proponent for nutritious eating, I am going to ask you to put that aside and take a step back. The food you eat contain different amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These three are the macro composition of foods. All foods that we eat contain at least two of the macros, and most actually contain all three. For instance, nuts contain fats and proteins; salmon contains proteins and fat; beans contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats. See below for a sample list of foods and macros.
Banana (4 oz): Carbs 17g, Proteins 0.8g, Fat 0.2g
Broccoli (4 oz): Carbs 8g, Proteins 3g, Fat 0.4g
Peanut butter (1 oz): Carbs 6g, Proteins 7g, Fat 16g
Black beans (4 oz): Carbs 19g, Proteins 7g, Fat 1g
Egg (1 large egg): Carbs 0.4g, Proteins 6g, Fat 5g
Chicken breast (4oz): Carbs 1g, Protein 28g, Fat 2g
In contrast to micronutrients (like vitamins and minerals), macronutrients make up the bulk of what we eat. Our body works best when there is a balance. We need carbohydrates to create energy molecules, proteins for muscle building and making essential enzymes; fats for hormone synthesis and balance. Some diets like the ketogenic diet are loaded with fats and proteins but minimal amounts of carbs. What this does is that it forces your body to use alternative routes of metabolism to create energy to fuel your body. Over time, having an imbalanced diet stresses your metabolism and generates byproducts that can be toxic.
The focus of a macro diet is on the quantity of each macro that you eat, instead of counting calories. If you are eating a balanced proportion of macros for your bodyweight then you can be sure that the total calorie intake is on par as well. Each gram of macro (proteins, carbs, or fats) carries different amounts of energy:
Carbohydrates 1 gram = 4 calories
Proteins 1 gram = 4 calories
Fats 1 gram = 8 calories
Let’s put this in action. Since carbohydrate and protein contain roughly the same number of calories per gram, you can say that eating 4 oz of protein is the same number of calories as eating 4 oz of bread. This is true…. but proteins and carbs are digested differently in our body. It takes a lot longer to break down proteins than it takes for carbs, so you will feel fuller longer when you eat proteins even though by the calorie-count they are equivalent. Likewise, eating fats make us feel full longer because fats take the longest to break down.
So macros fuel and nourish our bodies in different ways. We need carbohydrates for fast energy and maintenance of daily activities. We need proteins to repair and synthesize muscles and enzymes. We need fats to regulate our hormones. The proportion of macros in our diet should be tailored to our fitness and health goals. Sign up for a one-on-one consultation to learn more about our Wellness Programs.