Being in the health care industry you come across so many terms and phrases that confuse many of us. Take for example the term “MACROS”. Does this refer to some economic or biological scale? In this case: NO. This has to do with nutrients.
There are two major groups of nutrients that the body requires all it nutritional needs. The first groups are macronutrients, which consist of complex carbohydrates, protein, and the lipids – good fats. The other group, micronutrients, consists of all vitamins and minerals, which I will discuss at another time. This article will focus on MACROS.
What do these Macros do? Carbohydrates (Carbs) and lipids are the fuel source for the human body. Protein is needed to build and repair the body. Our body cannot function properly without them. The Macros are broken down in the small intestine where the majority of nutrients are absorbed into the body and translated by the receptors. Because receptors are “translators” for your macro and micro nutrients this means that there is an inherent physiological reason why we can eat a steak dinner and stop before we completely gorge ourselves yet we can not seem to put down the half gallon of our favorite ice cream. This is because there really isn’t any nutritional value in ice cream and therefore our receptors cannot translate them for absorption into our body. A steak (Protein), whole grain rice (complex carb), green vegetables (fiber) and olive oil (lipids), will be translated and tell the brain to stop eating.
What’s the point of all this: we are surrounded with processed foods and simple carbs (sugars, candy’s, pop, etc,.) that are “false foods” that the body will not “understand” and therefore will not metabolize so it stores it as fat. Coca-Cola will try to tell customers that “a calorie is a calorie” in regards to how it burns in our bodies – and that is a flat out lie!! It all matters. When we were kids, we learned that “you are what you eat” – that is so true!!
There are methods to eating Macros in a correct manner. Matthew Curry, Personal Trainer and National Physique Competitor states that there is a correct ratio to consume even healthy food. “If you consume too many carbs – even good complex carbs, your body will not be able to burn off that energy and it will just convert it to fat; if you consume too much protein and not enough complex carbs – you will not have the energy you need; and if you consume too much lipids – that just becomes fat!! The ratio option I prefer for the anybody is 40% Complex Carbs, 35% Protein and 25% Lipids. Trust me – most people in the U.S. consume about 80% carbs – and usually it consists of way too many simple carbs – which can lead to many illnesses such as gum disease, tooth decay, heart disease and even cancer.”
When do you eat these carbs? Matthew will tell you to break it out through the day of 5 meals each consisting of about 300 – 400 calories for the average person – about every 3 hours. Seems crazy? Using this methodology can not only make your body more efficient at burning calories and creating energy but will help you reduce your body overall BMI ( Body Mass Index) which will, in turn, lead to a longer, healthy life.
By: Mike Agemy – Powerhouse Gym Dearborn, Lincoln Park & Brownstown, MI