You have probably heard of counting macros as a strategy for losing weight, building muscle and improving overall fitness levels ⚖️💪
But what are macros?
To answer this we need to take a step back and understand what nutrients are. Nutrients are chemical substances found in food, required for energy, growth, reproduction, and disease prevention. There are six categories of essential nutrients: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Minerals, Vitamins and Water.
Nutrients can be broken into two categories: Macronutrients and Micronutrients.
While both types of nutrients are essential, the human body requires more significant amounts of macronutrients than micronutrients, hence the terms macro (large) and micro (small) nutrients.
Macros or macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Macronutrients provide the body with energy in the form of calories, help prevent disease, and allow the body to function correctly. They are considered essential, meaning your body either cannot make them or cannot make enough of them and therefore need to be supplied by our diets.
Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron. These are required for healthy development, disease prevention, and overall well-being, but are not a source of calories. As with macronutrients, micronutrients are not produced in the body and must be supplied from the food we eat.
Counting Macros 🧮
This refers to a diet approach where a certain percentage of calories from each macronutrient group is eaten. At the WLA we do not recommend counting macros in the same way we do not recommend counting calories – it is not accurate, it is not practical and food is not just calories/macros. See our post on “Why Counting Calories is Unhelpful” for more info! The WLA formula considers portion control, balance across your meals and finding a meal structure that works best for you.
Over the next few weeks, we will be delving into the role of the different macronutrients and micronutrients in more detail 🤓
Let us know if this helped you in the comments below.