Understanding macros is an important component to determining how you should be fueling your body. There are three core macros: protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
One gram of protein has four calories. Think of protein as the building blocks for muscles. If you don’t eat enough protein, your body will take muscle it believes you don’t need and apply it to other areas. Consuming excess protein is also not a good approach, as the excess can be stored as fat.
One gram of carboyhydrate also has four calories. For each gram consumed, the body will try to use those carbohydrates for energy. Simple carbs will be turned into blood sugar and used to fuel movement. However, if the body gets too much, it has no option but to store the excess as fat.
One gram of fat has nine calories. Fat is the first macro that your body will use for energy. This process forms ketones, which are also used for energy. So one gram of fat provides a great deal of energy, more so than that of the carbohydrates or protein.
A high fat, low carbohydrate perspective is popular because fat cannot be stored as fat, while excess protein and carbohydrates can become fat. While your body needs certain levels of protein and fat, your body can function in a healthy manner without any carbohydrates. If you choose to eat carbohydrates, select fiber or nutrient dense foods like broccoli, kale, and asparagus.
In the end, there is no one size fits all solution for everyone. Each body is unique and its needs can even change daily. By understanding macros, you can focus on getting the proper nutrition that will allow your body to thrive, not just survive.