What are Macros and Why Should I Care?

freestyle-fitness-reno-summer-blitz-fitness-challengeWe’re gearing up for our next 30-day fitness challenge, Summer Blitz, and interest is piquing about the nutrition component. We’ll be calculating target macros for each challenger in addition to offering a meal guide, so folks can customize nutrition to their specific needs and goals. So what are macros, and why should you care?

what are macros?

It’s short for macronutrient, the compounds making up the caloric content of a food. The three categories of macronutrients are fat, protein and carbohydrates, and the daily combination of these macros adds up to all the calories you eat in a day. One gram of both carbs and protein equals four calories, and one gram of fat is equal to nine calories.

So why do macros matter?

If you’ve ever struggled with counting calories, or you’ve got that last five, ten stubborn pounds that you can’t seem to lose no matter how hard you train, your macros may be to blame. Why? Because it’s not just how many calories you’re eating, but the quality of those calories.

When you track your macros, you end up eating a far more balanced diet – and probably getting a lot more nutrients. When your focus is on limiting calories alone, it’s easy to be sold on low-fat bars, cereals, meal replacement shakes, fat-free, ready-made meals. And guess what? Most of that is junk. By eating a balanced diet that fits your macros, you’ll notice improved energy, better workouts and improved results. Awesome, right?

what are target macros?

Since we’re all special snowflakes with unique body composition and goals, our target macros vary. We can calculate target macros, which is simply the number of grams of carbs, protein and fats you should aim to consume in a day. They’ll vary depending on whether you’re trying to lose fat, build muscle or maintain.

Once you have your target macros, the next step is tracking. It’s a little time consuming, since you’re literally tracking everything you eat in an app. You’ll enter the foods and servings you eat in a given day, and then you’ll have proof, right there in the palm of your hand, that this vague notion you had that you eat “healthy” is pretty far off the mark. So you can strt making adjustments – more protein here, a little less fat there, definitely fewer carbs here – and just like that, you’re tracking your macros.

Tracking your macros quickly becomes a habit, and the beauty of this way of eating is in its flexibility. In fact, it’s dubbed “flex dieting,” because it gives you the space to indulge – without the guilt. Fit a treat into your macro allowance, and you’ll cut the chances of burnout, which is the all-too-common fallout of any traditional diet, and even eating clean.

the summer blitz

When you join Summer Blitz at Freestyle Fitness in Reno, we’ll calculate your target macros, give you a meal guide and then walk you through the tracking process. When you have questions, we’ll have answers. Our nutritionist, Morgan Vitti, will also be available via phone, text and Facebook to help you out. We’re teaching you how to take control of your nutrition. That’s a big deal, and it’s something that will serve you for the rest of your life.

In addition to the nutrition component – which is the hardest part, no question – you’ll get 30 days of unlimited fitness classes. Hit 24 classes during the 30-day challenge, and you’ve earned a free month of classes when the challenge ends.

This is a game changer, no lie. You don’t need to eat oatmeal and cod and broccoli all day, every day, to meet your fitness goals. Tracking your macros is a smarter, far more sustainable way of fueling your body. If you’re already committing to your fitness – hitting the gym or running or whatever you do – then it’s likely nutrition is the missing piece. This is how to change it. Sign up now. Space is limited – don’t wait.

 

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