What are macronutrients? Training for Warriors Portland



Macronutrients are ALL the rage in the fitness industry right now and have been for the last few years. The prolific marketing of diet books has churned out titles and theories about what kind of new diet will make you lean and mean, with diets like "If It Fits Your Macros" (IIFYM) and paleo/Atkins variants. So.......

What are Macronutrients? Why are they important?

Let us begin with defining our terms. Macronutrients are categories of energy substrates, the main sources of energy for everything your body requires to live. Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates are the Macronutrients that make up the food that we eat.

Fat breaks down into three subcategories which are: Saturated, Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated. Fat is EXTREMELY important. It shows benefits to your cardiovascular health, improves body composition, alleviates depression... along with some evidence about cancer prevention, eye health, preserve eyesight.

Protein is made up of amino acids, the building blocks of life. Amino acids make up everything in our bodies from DNA to muscle fibers. They are distinguished as essential or non-essential amino acids. Essentials are found only in the food we eat. They are complete proteins (from animal products) or the combined aminos from grains and legumes. Non-essential amino acids can be created within our bodies when needed or lacking the food resources.

Carbohydrates are made up of sugars; sugar molecules linked together are starches. These provide short term energy for our bodies and brains. Carbs are the main source of glycogen (fuel source embedded in your muscles and liver).

Fat, protein, carbs! All the things you need for your warrior training ;)

Fat, protein, carbs! All the things you need for your warrior training ;)

So now you know WHAT the macronutrients are. How do you know what to eat? It depends on who you are and what you want. Essentially:

- The more fat you eat, the more fat you burn.

- The more carbs you eat, the easier it is to add muscle.

Now let us answer the question, "What if you want to add muscle and burn fat at the same time?"

No problem! Follow these formulas:

If body fat percentage is above 20% (male or female), eat 40% or more of your calories from fat AND lift weights. You will lean out, while you maintain/add strength and muscle.

If you are under 12% (male) or 19% (female), then you should eat more carbs (40% or more of your calories) and lift weights. You will add muscle nicely without putting on fat.

So your diet to lean out might be:
Fat 45%
Protein 30%
Carbohydrates 25%

Why are we so confident about this plan?

1. It is easy to modify.

2. I've seen so many people be successful at this!

If you take on a nutrition plan at this rate, you can personalize it by taking from one category and placing calories in another. This will change the way your body responds to your eating and will give you slightly different results.

Post your questions and comments down below! Coach Josh here at TFW Portland, helping YOU bring out the warrior within.