A Simple Look at Macronutrient Focused Dieting

Do you count your calories and your macros? What is a personalized macronutrient focused diet plan? Find out more here.

What is Macronutrient Focused Dieting?

A Macronutrient is a nutrient that is required in large amounts by the body. The most popular macronutrients or  "macros" that you hear about are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Alcohol is also a macronutrient but, it is not usually discussed as part of a diet.

Why Macros Matter

Macros range from essential to non, they make a difference in body composition and performance. Some people with special health conditions seem to fair better on certain kinds of macros or may process them differently. I have three clients with PCOS and they seem to get better health outcomes on these sorts of low carb diets.

What Scenarios Might Influence Your Macros

What you're doing will affect the kinds of macros you'll want to be eating. If you're in sports, carbs are a preferred fuel source with:

  • Sprinting
  • Lifting really heavy things for an hour
  • Other high intensity activities

For a pretty good lecture on the subject of athletes and performance on low-carb diets, look no further than this presentation by Alan Aragon and Jeff Volek at the 2013 National Personal Trainers conference.

When you participate in athletics, have a child or go on a diet that puts you in a caloric deficit, your protein needs go up. Fat are important because they are used in the formation of hormones. There's not an actual recommendation for these so we can assume that when your need for carbs goes down but, you need energy, you can eat more fats.

Broad Kinds of Macronutrient Focused Diets

I'll go into these categories of Macronutrient focused diets in later posts.

There are generally a few:

  • Low-Fat
  • Low-Carb
  • High-Protein
  • IIFYM (If it fits your macros)
  • Low Energy Diets
  • Ketogenic Diets (A subcategory of low fat)

There are different measure of what makes diets lower in carbohydrates, fats or higher in protein. The recurring theme is a purposeful limitation or control over one of the three main macronutrients.

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