google-site-verification: google36bd47c9456e9204.html
top of page

Your Essential Guide to Macros

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Macronutrient is a bucket term for the three types of nutrients that make up the bulk of what we eat: carbohydrates, fat and protein. Our bodies require ample amounts of each to function properly. On the other hand, alcohol also provides calories (7 calories per gram), but it’s not considered a macronutrient because we don’t need alcohol to survive, unlike fat, carbs and protein. Macronutrients are augmented by micronutrients, aka vitamins and minerals, to meet all of our nutrition needs.

Learn more about each type of macro and its role in a healthy diet:

  • Carbohydrate

  • Fat

  • Protein


Where to Find Macros


Whether you’re using macros to drive your food choices or just trying to eat a balanced diet, it’s good to know which foods contain more of which macros.

  • High-carb, low-protein: fruits and vegetables

  • High-carb, low-fat: pasta, rice, cereal, bread, legumes, fruits, vegetables

  • High-fat, low-carb: nuts, seeds, olive oil, cheese

  • High-fat, low-protein: avocado, olive oil, coconut milk

  • High-protein, low-carb: eggs, meat, fish

  • High-protein, low-fat: nonfat Greek yogurt, cottage or cream cheese, turkey or chicken breast, lean ground beef, whey protein powder

In Defence of the IIFYM diet


One way to eat better and/or lose weight is to focus on macros instead of calories. Often called IIFYM — “If It Fits Your Macros” — this way of eating is increasingly popular among MyFitnessPal users who like the combination of accountability and flexibility. The guiding principle of IIFYM dieting is that you can eat whatever you want and still attain your goal of losing or gaining weight as long as you stay inside your macronutrient “allowance.”


You get an allowance in grams for fat, protein and carbohydrates, but how you spend that allowance is up to you. If you spend your carb allowance on jelly beans instead of oatmeal, that’s up to you (but you’ll miss out on fibre). If you want to eat pepperoni pizza instead of salmon and brown rice, that’s allowed, too. Anything goes, as long as it fits your macros.


Macros Are Not Created Equally


Yet, while 100 grams of salmon and 100 grams of hot wings may have the same macronutrient profile (both are about 60% protein and 40% fat), they are hardly nutritional equivalents. Jelly beans and sweet potatoes are both about 100% carbohydrates, but, again, there’s no comparison when it comes to nutritional value. Could you lose weight eating nothing but hot wings and jelly beans — as long as they fit your macros? Probably. But most people doing IIFYM quickly discover they feel much better when they spend most of their macros on fruits, vegetables, nuts, healthy fats, legumes, whole grains, lean protein and other wholesome foods, which tend to be more filling as well as more nutritious.


While we know a calorie isn’t just a calorie and your food quality matters, IIFYM may help those who feel jaded by choosing “healthy” food all the time. After all, nutrition is not one-size-fits-all. If you’re a healthy individual, it’s helpful to explore different options and find one that works for you — bonus points for making it a sustainable habit.



7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page