Written by Coach Lauren, B.S. Nutrition
So what are macros? Macros is a term that is short for macronutrients. Macros are the nutrients that your body needs in large amounts… think fats, carbs, and protein. Each macro plays a specific role in the body and is important for different reasons. This is why here at Fit By Katy we focus on tracking macros and not just calories. So let’s talk about each macro and why it’s important.
Carbs are our body's preferred energy source. Carbs are essential for energy throughout the day, energy for training and cardio performance, strength in the gym, recovery, cognitive function, mental clarity, and digestion. Some great examples of carb sources include rice, pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, English muffins, bagels, fruit, oatmeal, cereal, and honey.
Protein is important for building and maintaining muscle, recovery, bone health, immune system function, and satiety. Some good examples of protein sources include chicken, lean ground beef, turkey, seafood, greek yogurt, egg whites, and protein powder. If you are vegan- tofu, tempeh, meat-free alternatives, beans, edamame, nutritional yeast, and vegan protein powder.
Fats are especially important for women, as they play a large role in hormonal health. They also help provide energy and help with the absorption of important vitamins and minerals. Some good examples of fat sources include nuts, peanut butter, avocado, hummus, guacamole, olives, and olive oil. whole eggs*, full-fat dairy*, and fattier meats* like chicken thigh, salmon, and less lean ground beef/turkey. (*Foods that also provide a good chunk of protein).
SO, WHAT ABOUT TRACKING?
First, I would recommend downloading an app to track your intake. MyFitnessPal or My Macros + are two common tracking apps. From there, just practice tracking and logging what you are currently eating. This will give you a good idea of your current nutrition habits and help provide insight into where you may need to make adjustments. Some other good habits to start being mindful of would be prioritizing protein with all of your meals and snacks, eating more fruits and veggies, and drinking a gallon of water a day. I would also recommend focusing on building a “balanced plate.” This means including a protein, carb, fat, and veggie source with your main meals. These tips will help give you a little more structure before we start the next challenge.
It’s important that we know more about macros and the role each macro plays in the body to prioritize hitting all 3 of our targets. No matter our goal, we need to make sure we are giving our body all the fuel and energy that it needs. Macros can be a little bit of a learning curve at first, but I promise, the more you do it, the easier it gets! Just have to practice, plan ahead, and put in the effort and you’ll be a natural in no time.