Macros 101

You’ve probably heard friends and family talking about their macros like everyone knows what that is…or cares. We kid! Of course we care when the people we love are doing something to improve their fitness and health. Although it would be nice to know what they’re talking about, right? In order to dive into the basics of tracking your macros, let’s start with a little vocab lesson.

 

Macros: The term “macros” is short for macronutrients in the context of nutrition. This means the food you eat and the form in which they provide you energy: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

 

Keto: You might be hearing this term thrown around often lately with the term macros as well. Keto is short for the Ketogenic Diet, a diet well known for being a very low-carb, high-fat diet, where the goal is to get the body to produce ketones in the liver to be used as energy and burn fat for fuel. You can still track your macros and not consider yourself to be on the Keto diet–finding how what carb, protein, fat combination works best for you–however, trying to do Keto without tracking macros is like trying to find Waldo without knowing he wears a striped shirt, hat, and glasses.

 

Ketosis: Is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. As mentioned above the goal of the Ketogenic Diet is to get the body to produce ketones, thus achieving a state of Ketosis. While many fads come and go, the Ketogenic Diet has been around for almost 100 years developed first as a diet to help control epilepsy.

 

Put plainly, macronutrients are the energy-giving components of our fuel, or food. Macros include carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Tracking macros is commonly associated with the Keto diet because you need to find the right balance of fats, proteins, and carbs in order for your body to enter ketosis, remain in ketosis, and burn fat continuously. Remember, you can still track macros without going totally Keto and you should definitely do your research before settling on macro percentages and/or going Keto.

 

So! How do I know how much of what I should be eating, and in what ratios, and when should I eat it, and what does it all mean!?

Lucky for us, apps have taken most of the guesswork out of tracking our macros. We compared several “Top”, “Best” or “Most Popular” lists of macro tracking apps, and here are a few that made most of those lists:

 

My Macros

My Fitness Pal

Lost It!

 

The guidance is pretty standard with each app. You’ll enter your height, weight, activity level, and maybe some other metrics, and the app will generate a macros plan for you to follow on a daily basis, outlining the amount of carbs, fats and proteins you should be consuming. You then log everything you eat, as you eat it to stay within your daily amounts of each.

 

All this being said, this blog is in no way intended to give dietary advice. This article is simply meant to inform our audience about one of many ways to track your daily nutrition. Everybody is different, with different dietary needs, so it is always best to talk with your doctor or a licensed nutritionist before starting a nutrition plan.

 

Any Pinnacle Fitness Team members tracking their macros? We’d love to know what your favorite apps, recipes, and blogs are. See you around the club!