Your Complete Guide To Macros
Woman's Own Lifestyle Special|Issue 1, 2020
They’ve become a buzzword for health and fitness gurus, but what are they? What role do they play in our nutrition? And how much attention should we pay to them?
Claire Swatman, Lucy Gornall

You may have heard about counting macros – even if it’s just in passing. Or perhaps the idea of ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ has been thrown your way. But how much do you know about macros, and how much do they matter to our overall health? Georgia Head, nutritionist at Fresh Fitness Food, gives us an insight...

What are macros?

In a nutshell, macros is short for ‘macronutrients’, which are components required in our diet in relatively large quantities to keep the body functioning optimally. In other words, macros are protein, carbohydrates and fat. ‘These three all have different responsibilities within the body,’ explains Georgia. While you don’t necessarily need to swear by macro counting when assessing your diet, it can be useful to have a rough idea of what exactly makes up your food.

IIFYM

No idea what this means? Don’t worry! It stands for ‘If It Fits Your Macros’. It means that, as long as a food fits, nothing is off-limits. That includes sugary and high-fat items.

Protein

Proteins are required for growth and repair, hormone and enzyme production, healthy skin, hair and bone health. ‘Protein is made up of essential and non-essential amino acids, the building blocks of our muscles,’ explains Georgia. ‘Essential amino acids are only obtained from foods. Without them it would be impossible to build, repair or maintain muscle mass.’ Lean proteins contain four calories per gram and include chicken, fish and eggs, as well as beans, lentils and chickpeas.

Carbohydrates

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