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Do Macros Matter or Should I Focus On Calories?

By Hybrid Gym LA

Torrey Patterson

In nutrition, the term macronutrients refers to the three energy-yielding nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and lipids (fat). The term micronutrients refers to vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which are compounds found in plants that provide various health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The three macronutrients are energy yielding in that they provide usable energy by cells for various biological processes. Protein and carbohydrates both provide 4 calories per gram, while lipids provide 9 calories per gram. 

During digestion, they’re broken down into smaller parts. These parts are then used for bodily functions like energy production, muscle building, and giving structure to cells.

Most carbs are broken down into glucose, or sugar molecules. This doesn’t apply to dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate that isn’t broken down and passes through your body, Some of the main functions of carbs include Instant energy. Glucose is the preferred energy source for your brain, central nervous system, and red blood cells. Storing energy. Glucose is stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver for later use when you need energy, for example after a longer period of fasting, Digestion. Fiber promotes healthy bowel movements. Helps you feel full. Fiber fills you up after eating and keeps you feeling full for longer.

Proteins are digested into amino acids. Twenty amino acids have important functions in your body, 9 of which are essential and must be obtained from foods Some of the main uses of amino acids from protein include Building and repairing. Amino acids help create new proteins within your body. They’re also used to build and repair tissues and muscles. Providing structure. Amino acids provide structure to your body’s cell membranes, organs, hair, skin, and nails. pH balance. Amino acids help maintain a proper acid-base balance within your body. Creating enzymes and hormones. Without the right amino acids, your body cannot create enzymes and hormones.

Fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol Some of the main functions of lipids, or fats, include: Cell membrane health. Lipids are an essential component of cell membranes. Storing energy. Fat stored around your body serves as an energy reserve that can be used during periods during which you eat fewer calories than you burn. Transport and absorption. Lipids help transport and promote the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins K, E, D, and A. Insulation. Fat insulates and protects your organs.

The overall use of Macros is that your body breaks down the macronutrients you eat into compounds used to help create energy, build body structures, create chemical reactions, and stimulate the release of hormones. Which means they can impact how you feel, perform, and even behave

When you track macros, you don’t need to count calorie intake directly. Instead, you log how many grams of each macronutrient you eat every day. That’s because each macronutrient provides a certain number of calories:

1 gram of protein = 4 calories

1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories

1 gram of fat = 9 calories

(1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories)

As a result, tracking macros means you’re automatically tracking calorie intake. It’s just that you’re ensuring a certain number of calories come from protein, carbohydrates, and fat, respectively. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might eat a higher proportion of protein, since it can help you feel satisfied longer after meals. Or if you’re a very physically active athlete, you might want a higher ratio of carbohydrates to meet your greater energy demands. Overall, Tracking Calories is great but that will only ensure that you lose weight. Marcos do matter especially for muscle growth. Calories should be kept in a deficit to ensure weight loss if that what is expected for a client.