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What are Macros? 

Macros stand for macronutrients.  They make up the calories that we eat.  There are 3 that are important in our body composition; fat, protein and carbohydrates. 

Why they matter? 

To have a good body composition we want less fat and more lean muscle.   Looking at the scale is not where it is! Just cutting calories isn’t doing to do it either.  Don’t get me wrong… calorie deficits will help you lose WEIGHT initially but will not give you lasting fat loss and lean muscle gain.  To Improve our body composition, we need to improve the composition of what we eat.

I’m going to hit on each macronutrient a little bit and why they matter.

The first one I’m going to talk about is PROTEIN.  Most of us associate protein with building muscle, when in fact, proteins are the building blocks for ALL living tissue in the body.  Protein IS important for muscle gain, muscle maintenance and repair.  So, a diet too low in protein will inhibit muscle gain and encourage muscle breakdown.

There are a lot of high protein, high fat, low carb diets that have become more popular recently.  A diet TOO high in protein will put too much stress on your liver and other organs because your body can only store a certain amount of protein at a time.  The leftover protein your body doesn’t need (when you eat too much) will be stored as FAT.  More is not always better when it comes to protein. 

Next is FAT.  That dreaded word. 

Fat, in the body, comes in 2 forms.  Fat that is floating around in our bloodstream and can be used for fuel are Free Fatty Acids.  Triglycerides are the form of fat in our fat cells. 

Insulin is the main hormone in charge of regulating whether fat is in the fatty acid form (able to be burned for energy) or triglycerides (the storage form which is the fat that we see on our bodies).   

NOT ALL FATS are not bad for you!

Fats help our bodies absorb vitamins, regulate hormones, and it is a good energy source.

Saturated fats are great sources for energy.  Only when you are eating a diet high in saturated fat AND high in carbohydrates is when saturated fats become a problem.  So a diet high in saturated fat diet AND high carbs is bad.  A diet high in saturated fats and lower in carbohydrates is totally fine!!!

Monounsaturated fats in macadamia nuts, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil, are healthy fats and help our immune system and cardiovascular system. 

On the other hand, trans fats and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, along with too little Omega-3 fats, can cause serious health problems like heart disease and cancer.  These are found in vegetable seed oils, salad dressings, and processed foods.  

Last but not least, CARBOHYDRATES.

Carbohydrates are a source of fuel.  All the carbs you eat are eventually converted to glucose which your body goes to first for fuel. Insulin decides where this glucose goes. If you do not use it for fuel your body stores it.  First, it is stored in your muscle and liver.  When their storage tanks are full glucose is converted to fatty acids… we talked about these before.  If your body doesn’t use them for energy, they are stored in your fat as triglycerides.  Triglycerides stored in our fat cells make our fat cells bigger.

So… if you can get one thing from this remember… eating carbohydrates frequently will increase insulin and insulin controls fat storage.  The more carbs you ingest, the bigger your fat cells will be.

Insulin will also affect your hunger and energy levels.

Higher insulin levels keep the glucose in the storage tank because your body doesn’t need that glucose.  Then your blood sugar levels, which cause you get tired and hungry and crave carbohydrates and more sugar.  Then you eat more sugar/carbs and you get the insulin surge again and then the sugar you eat gets locked into storage, blood sugar drops and the cycle goes on and on.  This is being carb dependent.

This is not healthy for our bodies or our minds!  It causes us to struggle to keep energy levels up since we are so dependent on a steady supply of carbs.  This can cause patterns of frequent hunger, cravings and fluctuating energy levels.

Carbs themselves are not bad for you.  Your bodies need carbs, in moderation!  Some carbs are better than others.  The carbs we get from vegetables, that contain more fiber, are healthier for us than eating processed food like chips and bread.

So a diet low in calories may cause some weight loss initially, since you are in a calorie deficit.  But, it will not give you long term results or success.  You must eat the correct composition of fats, protein, and carbohydrates to target fat loss. 

Additionally, if you feel like you are constantly depriving yourself you will not stick to a program.  It is just a quick fix but in the long run you may gain it back plus more.

There are some things you should consider when you are trying to find a program or nutrition plan.  Find plan that slowly changes your lifestyle with flexibility worked into the program.  Also, it is important to find a plan that helps you grow stronger, improves your energy, and decreases the cravings so you FEEL better and in control!

Talk to you soon!

Kim

P.S The FAST, ATTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION- FAT loss program uses a technique called carb cycling.  This means we pay attention to the carbs, fats, and protein we are eating.  Some days are higher in carbs and lower in fat.  Other days are lower in carbs and higher in fat.  This allows the flexibility to treat yourself occasionally, and STILL get results.  My clients also participate in intermittent fasting, strength training to build lean muscle, and HIIT cardio training to target stubborn fat.  To learn more visit www.refineyou.co