What in the world are macros? We constantly read about counting macros, eating for our macros, changing our macro balance etc. etc. But what are they really, and why do they matter?

This blog post unpacks just that.

What they are

The term ‘macros’ is an abbreviation for macronutrients. Macronutrients are what make up calories, and come in three distinct types: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Each one of these types of nutrients carry different calorie density. 1 gram of protein is equal to 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates is equal to 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories. This means that fats are the most calorie dense.

Why they matter

Macros are important because of their different calorie densities and because of the different ways the body breaks them down and extracts nutrients from them.

Proteins are the hardest for the body to break down which means that they require more energy, and thus help with weight loss. Fats, because of their density, are very filling, even in small amounts, so you feel fuller without needing to eat as much. Carbs can be difficult or easy to break down depending on how processed they are and whether they are complex or simple. Complex carbs will tend to keep you fuller for longer than simple ones, and won’t result in drastic changes in blood sugar level like simple ones do.

Knowing this is the key to eating for more muscle and burning more fat.

How to make macros work for you

The truth is calculating macros can be pretty tough. Using an app like Lifesum makes it easier. Lifesum has designated health plans like the keto diet and the high protein diet which make managing macros easier. Simply tell the app whether you want to lose or gain weight and it will tell you what to eat and how much you need to eat each day. Sound too good to be true? Trust us, it’s not!

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

All posts by Femi A-Williams