So what is the deal really on macros? What carbs should I be eating? When and how often? If I am trying to loose fat, why am I encouraged to eat them? And what is the big deal about protein?
Hopefully a short and simple explanation without the extra mumbo jumbo will help makes since of the different roles macros have. If you are looking to start tracking your macros, we recommend to start by looking at the Zone Diet to determine what your daily intake should be, but to modify a diet more specifically to your own needs, it’s important that you understand the roles of carbs, fats and proteins. This will ultimately help with performance, fitness goals and achieve an overall healthier lifestyle.
Carbohydrates are the first source that the body will use for energy. They are broken down into glycogen and stored into the muscles and liver. Your muscles prefer this as their primary source as well because carbohydrates are fast and easy to breakdown. Carbohydrates are important for high intensity training, quick recovery, pushing thresholds in distance and endurance training and preventing muscle breakdown. It is important that you eat the right carbs in the right amount to optimize your energy levels for different needs. Learn more about this in our previous blog, Hormones Don’t Have To Be A B****.
Choosing what carbs you’re eating and when you’re eating your carbs will help energy levels stay sustained and your body to use them more efficiently. Your body converts carbs to glucose for immediate fuel, it will also store a small amount of glucose called glycogen, but because it is only able to store such a small amount anything left is stored as fat. This is why it is important to keep your choice of carbs and quantity and frequency of intake in check.
Stick to your fruits and vegetables, eat your potatoes in moderation and stay away from the breads and pastas!! Space your servings throughout the day and eat according to your energy needs.
Fats have a bad reputation! But they are not all bad! Fats are so important and are a key role in recovery. Fats are the second source the body uses for energy. Fats that are innocent bystanders to the bad rep are the unsaturated fats like the polyunsaturated fats (omega-3s) and monounsaturated fats. These fats provide essential fatty acids that the body can not produce on its own, so we have provide in our diet. These fats are known to aid in muscle recovery by decreasing inflammation and aid in growth by preventing muscle breakdown, not to mention the benefits they provide by aiding in heart disease prevention. Enjoy these unsaturated fats in avocados, nuts, peanut butter, seeds and fish.
You should, however, avoid the trans-fatty acids which deserve the bad reputation. These fats increase your risk for heart disease and aid in a domino effect with other related conditions. Avoid these fats found in packaged foods and margarines. Anything that turns to a solid is terrible; imagine that trying to flow through your arteries and veins, its like sludge. You are what you eat, is a little cliché to say, but it is true.
Proteins can be used as a source for energy; however, this is not the primary role. Actually, you want to avoid proteins being used as a source of energy because if they are busy doing this job, they are not fulfilling their role in muscle growth and maintenance. The body may actually take proteins away from muscles and other tissues if they are not available adequately in the diet to sustain energy for life.
Protein is essential for preserving lean muscle mass. We think of them as our building blocks for growth. The majority of protein should come from lean meats, poultry, and fish. Supplements also can be added to help achieve the desired amount of protein for ones diet and performance such as whey concentrate, whey isolate or casein, depending on preference. If you are not sure what supplement you would need, we recommend finding a protein that combines the three that can be taken anytime from a well trusted company, such as Myofeed by Purus Labs.
It is so important to pay attention to what you’re eating and to make choices more than just a simple choice for the day, the week or for any period shorter than our lifetime. Make healthy choices a lifestyle.