Intro to Macro Nutrients
I decided to begin a new nutrition series to serve as a resource to anyone looking to learn a little about what/how foods are used in the body. As a trainer for over two years now, one constant problem with clients or members working towards a goal is the lack of knowledge in nutrition and the role it plays. In my experience, 90% of people not seeing real and long-term results boils down to poor diet. Let me also state I am not a Registered Dietitian…yet but, after earning my bachelors degree in kinesiology/dietetics, through research and application, and with the help of other health and fitness experts I’ve been fortunate to learn enough to not only continue to take my physique to higher levels but more importantly change multiple clients, friends, and members ways of achieving their goals. So whether you’re looking to improve performance or improve body composition (lose fat, build muscle) and improve quality of life this series will benefit you! In reality with structure and consistency accounting for what you eat, most diets will work overtime.
Part 1: Flexible Dieting/Macro Nutrients
When dieting or recommending a path to follow I look for a couple key components; sustainability, convenience, and of course results.
Like I stated in the intro any diet maintained over an extended period of time will most likely yield some results.
I train multiple nurses and teachers and the number one excuse is lack of time. Understandably they’re go-go-go just like many other professions, so if following a plan that allows convenience foods or on the go snacks make it any easier to stay on track that’s going to be my go to.
The premise of flexible dieting is simple, BALANCE. A “flexible” diet is all about numbers. You begin each day with a designated amount of calories which are further broken down into macronutrient (macro) goals in terms of grams. Macro Nutrients: Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats. These are what provide energy in the form of calories.
Protein- 4 kcal/g Carbs- 4 kcal/g Fats- 9 kcal/g Alcohol (not a macro)- 7 kcal/g
In any diet, your goal should be to consume minimally processed whole foods dense in micronutrients (these are covered later). With that being said flexible dieting is going to allow for your favorite foods to be included in portions. This is where the saying “If it fits your macros” originated and has since been abused by social media. Keep it simple the lower your activity level or the higher your body fat percentage it only makes sense that you should eat less “junk foods” or “cheat meals” and stick to more quality nutritious foods, but there IS room for both. So eat the “bro” foods (chicken, rice, fish, oats), your fruits and veggies, and occasionally treat yourself. Just track account for your macros, which if you’re wondering how much of each you should consume I’ll be breaking down all three in their own chapter. Beginning with…