If you are in, or anywhere close to a bodybuilding community, odds are you’ve heard this question, or variations on this question: Are you hitting your macros?
But what’s it mean?
And how exactly does one hit their macros?
But first…what is a “Macro”?
Here’s the formal definition: A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required in relatively large amounts: protein, carbohydrate, fat, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Macro dieting, or “flexible dieting,” is all the trend these days. While it may seem like just another fad diet, its principles are actually well-rooted in science and well-established (especially in bodybuilding arenas).
It’s simply a method of dieting that revolves around hitting daily macro nutritional intake targets, while ignoring what you eat to hit those targets. Ice cream, donuts, fast food…no matter. Just as long as you’re hitting your macros.
To ensure you’re staying true to your macros, you organize your daily meals to provide you with a particular supply of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, depending on your Greenville gym fitness goals (lose fat or build muscle). Essentially, it’s a type of calorie counting (a gram of protein and carbohydrate both contain about 4 calories, and a gram of fat contains about 9).
According to this dieting theory, it doesn’t matter which foods you consume to hit your designated macros. And it works.
But when should you consider this form of dieting?
If you want to lose weight while also maintaining as much lean mass as possible, you need to do more than just maintain a caloric deficit diet, including:
- Eating adequate daily protein to maintain muscle.
- Eating enough carbs to provide your muscles with the glycogen stores necessary to keep up with your training intensity.
- Eating enough healthy fats, which play a major role in hormone synthesis.
Macro dieting involves striking the appropriate balance of these nutrients, to send you down the path to sculpted, lean mean success.
And while, yes, you can eat whatever you want to hit your macros, remember this: “You are what you eat.” Eat excess junk food and you will surely develop vitamin deficiencies and put yourself at greater risk for disease (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) Stick to this mantra: All things in moderation. Being fit and healthy extends far beyond your physical appearance. Treat your insides well, too.
Have questions? Consult our nutritional experts at the Greenville health club.