You may have heard this word around the gym, at the office or on zoom in the past couple years and thought, “what the heck is a macro?” Well, let your friendly neighborhood Registered Dietitian explain…
“Macro” stands for macronutrient and is a word used to describe three of our six essential nutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. They are the nutrients that provide calories.
It’s so funny to me that “macros” are often referred to as a type of diet. In reality, they are simply a teaching tool used by dietitians to educate clients on how to eat a balanced plate in order to:
– Improve satiety and curb intense cravings
– Balance blood sugar, which lowers your risk for chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes
– Feed your gut a variety of options, improving the balance of organisms and thereby improving overall gut health
– Provide your hormones with the precursors, enzymes, and fuel they require to function optimally
– Fuel your workouts properly, recover well, and make the kind of #gainz you want to make (whether they are #strengthgainz #endurancegainz or #mobilitygainz)
“Ok, cool. Well I did this macro calculator once and it said-“
NOPE. Let me stop you right there. While there are some calculators out there that are better than others, the bottom line is that an algorithm on the internet or in a food tracking app does not know your needs, medical history, disease state, or barriers to achieving certain goals. It’s important that you find someone who is educated, and RDs really are the top choice in this scenario. Here’s why:
– Advanced human nutrition classes cover macro and micronutrients IN DEPTH. I’m talking two full semesters worth.
– Organic chemistry and biochemistry classes taught us what happens when these foods enter your body (*shudders thinking about esters and ethers*).
– Medical nutrition therapy classes and clinical rotations taught us how to manage and/or avoid various disease states.
– Counseling classes taught us how to MEET YOU WHERE YOU ARE. And not just tell you to “try harder”.
…so please, let us do this for you.
Interested in learning what YOUR calorie and macro needs are? Read more here about how to calculate your own, or get professional help with The Macro Jump Start.