WHAT ARE MACRONUTRIENTS?

Nutrition can often seem a daunting subject when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. A lot of people are very confident when it comes to their daily gym routine, but can sometimes become stuck when it comes to nutrition. There is so much contradicting information out there and the internet can paint a picture that you need to be on a vegan, keto, paleo, lactose free diet in order to see the results you are working so hard for. 

It doesn’t have to be that difficult, with a relative understanding of the roles certain nutrients play in our bodies you will be able to move quicker towards your goals. 

In this article I am briefly going to explain the three macronutrients we all consume on a daily basis and the breakdown of them. These being protein, carbohydrates and fats. Each macronutrient plays an equally vital role in our day to day life.

PROTEIN – 4kcal per gram

When you hear the word protein, most people think of ‘hench’ bodybuilders chucking iron about in the gym whilst sipping a protein shake. Protein should however be a vital component in everyone’s diet, it plays a vital role in building and repairing body tissue (muscles) and also in the production of enzymes and hormones. Protein is also very satiating which means you are more likely to feel fuller for longer with a high protein diet, and consuming a quality protein source. Consuming protein around your training is going to help you recover quicker and no ladies, you aren’t going to turn into the incredible hulk overnight so don’t be scared of protein, it is pivotal in you reaching your goals whatever they may be. For anyone wishing to tone, build strength or lose some weight protein is a must have component of your daily life.

Below are a few sources of protein:

ANIMAL SOURCES

NON-ANIMAL SOURCES

Meat (Beef, Lamb) Pulses
Eggs Beans
Poultry (Chicken, Turkey) Tofu/Tempah

CARBOHYDRATES – 4kcal per gram

No carbs before marbs? Often seen as the devil when it comes to dieting however carbohydrates are the body’s number one energy source, so again plays a massive part in our day to day functioning. They often get portrayed in a bad light and you may have been told that in order to lose weight you need to cut them out. Yes, you would inevitably lose weight by cutting them out as you are taking away a whole food source, but I would put my house on it that you wouldn’t be able to sustain this long term. When it comes to nutrition, you should be looking at it as a lifestyle change and not a quick fix. You need to ask yourself, can I sustain this for the next 5 years? Not 5 weeks. You will find some sort of carbohydrate in almost everything you eat but they can be broken down into simple and complex forms. Simple sugars are the ones that will be digested quickly and complex take a little longer and provide a slow release. This is why you will see endurance athletes reach for Jelly Babies over a bowl of porridge as they need the energy now rather than in 2 hours time.

Below are some sources of both simple and complex carbohydrates:

SIMPLE SUGARS

COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES

Fruit (Fructose) Oats
Honey Rice
Energy Drinks/Sweets (Glucose) Root Vegetables

 

FATS – 9kcal per gram

Firstly, fats will not make you fat. They play so many roles within the body and are an essential part of your diet, cutting these out completely could have a detrimental effect on your overall health. There are 3 types of fat that should make up between 20 and 25% of your total daily intake. You do also have trans fats, but you don’t want to look to include these in your diet as these are produced by a chemical process known as hydrogenation where hydrogen is added to harden the structure. There are not any benefits with trans fats.

Below are some examples of the 3 different types.

SATURATED

MONO-SATURATED

POLY UN-SATURATED

Meat  Avocado Fish (Tuna, Mackerel)
Butter Olive Oil Vegetable Oils
Coconut Oil Nuts (Almonds, Cashews etc) Nuts (Brazil, Pine etc)

So, hopefully the above information gives you a better understanding of what we are consuming everyday. They all play a key role and should all be included within our daily diets. As touched on above, when you are looking to make a change with your nutrition, please look at it as a lifestyle change and one that you can sustain. I know we all want quick fixes and it would be great to wake up tomorrow a stone lighter. If you lose a 1lb a week by making a small simple change, yes it would take you 14 weeks to reach your goal, but once you are there you are much more likely to stay there than if you starved yourself for a week to lose it. 9 times out of 10 if you crash diet you are likely to put the weight back on, if not more. 

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR ARTICLES ON MEAL PREP AND OUR VEGAN SWEET POTATO AND LENTIL CURRY RECIPE? CHECK THEM OUT AND LOADS OF FITNESS ADVICE ON OUR HOME WORKOUT HUB.