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You’re excited about the macro diet. Excited to get healthy. Excited to lose weight. You’re ready to get started.
But wait, what exactly are macronutrients?
We’re not going to lie, they sound pretty intimidating.
Who the heck is doing the macro diet anyway, scientists?
Nope! Great news. Macro dieting is actually pretty simple. Macronutrients may sound overwhelming but we’re about to break down exactly how simple they are.
Macro dieting puts together the perfect combination of macronutrients to help your body run the most efficiently. So you can see, it’s important to understand what these interesting little nutrients are.
Once you understand the building blocks of the macro diet, you’ll be right on your way to macro dieting success.
Need to start back at the beginning? Check out our complete beginner’s guide to the macro diet, and 6 macrobiotic diet myths explained.
What Exactly Are Macro Diet Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are three major categories of nutrients. You’ve got your carbohydrates, your proteins, and your fats.
They are the three types of nutrients that fuel your body.
They aren’t the ONLY things your body needs. Your body also uses micronutrients, just in smaller amounts.
Most foods have 2-3 macronutrients, but they’re labeled as the macronutrient that is most present in their make up.
Chicken is a great example. Chicken is for SURE what we would consider a protein macronutrient. But, surprise, it also has a good amount of fat.
We’ll dive a little more into each macronutrient so you can understand how each of these important players will make the biggest impact in your weight loss and health journey with the macro diet.
Carbohydrates are the macronutrient that provide a major source of energy and fuel for your body.
Carbohydrates take two paths when they enter your body. They are either used right away for energy, or they are altered and stored as glycogen in our liver and muscles at a later date.
When carbs come to mind, we’re thinking huge plates of pasta.
This whole macro dieting this is starting to sound pretty amazing. But, wait. Carbohydrates are not all created equal.
You’ll be consuming a significant percentage of carbohydrates on your macro dieting journey, so it’s important to understand which ones will help you, and which ones will hurt.
Healthy Carbohydrate Macronutrients
Yes, not all carbs are created equal, but there are a lot of great healthy options!
Healthy examples of carbs include:
- Leafy greens
- Green beans
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Some dairy products
Protein macronutrients are mission critical for your body. They help fuel major functions like building tissues, immune functioning, hormones, enzymes, and cell signaling.
Yep, we definitely sounds like something we need.
First thing that comes to mind when we talk about protein macronutrients is meat. Meat, meat, meat.
Meats DO have a ton of protein, but there are other options too. Yes, even vegans and vegetarians eat loads of protein and can be really successful at macro dieting.
Healthy Protein Macronutrients
Just like carbs, not all proteins are created equal. The good news is, there are lots of delicious options that will keep your macro dieting progress on track.
Here are just a few healthy protein examples:
- Lean red meat
- Protein supplements
Ah, fats. The macronutrient with the MOST misconceptions.
It’s been a myth for way too long that fats make you fat. Come on people, we’re beyond that.
Fats are actually a totally necessary nutrient to keep your body running efficiently.
Why are they so important?
Well for starters, they are used for energy, body temperature maintenance, hormone production, and nutrient absorption. But it doesn’t stop there. Fat macronutrients are also great for brain development.
So to recap, fats don’t make you fat. You just need to consume them the right way.
Healthy Fat Macronutrients
It’s pretty easy to fall off the bandwagon when it comes to fats. Yep, lots of yummy stuff out there.
So instead, stick to these healthy fat macronutrient options (obviously with some portion control in mind):
- Yogurts (full fat options)
- Cheeses (full fat options)
- Milks (full fat options)
- Coconut oils
- Olive oils
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Some meats
So you can see, macro diet macronutrients aren’t as scary as they seem.
These are actually all foods you most likely recognize, and probably already eat anyway!
The macro diet just helps you organize and measure the right amount of macronutrients to eat, and when.
By some simple rearranging of your diet, you could easily be on your way to the healthy body and life you’ve always wanted.
Want more on macro dieting? Check out our complete macro dieting beginner’s guide.
Curious what it takes to get started with the macro diet? We’ve outlined absolutely everything you’ll need (spoiler alert, it’s not much!).