Have you ever wondered what macros are and why you should care about them? Macros are more than just a popular buzzword. They’re a strong foundation for a healthy lifestyle, and they’ll help you hit your goals faster and more effectively.
What Are Macros?
Macronutrients (or macros) are the molecules our bodies need to grow and be active. We use these molecules as energy to do work on a cellular, tissue, organ, and organismal level. This energy helps us break down nutrients, repair damaged cells, grow new cells, and more. Macronutrients are broken down into three basic categories: carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Clients of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss learn how to track macros right away. This is not a “calories in, calories out” program because that simply isn’t enough. We eat the right macronutrients at the right time (through Intermittent Fasting) and for the right reasons.
We not only track our macros in FWTFL, but we also cycle our carbs and fats. This may sound a little overwhelming, but it’s actually a very simple practice of varying our carbohydrate intake each week to maximize the body’s ability to burn fat.
How Do Macros Work?
The carbs, fat, and protein we eat on a daily basis have a big impact on our bodies. For optimal health, you need to fuel your body with the correct fuel. You wouldn’t fill your car’s gasoline tank with diesel fuel, so treat your body with the same care.
Here’s how it all fits together!
Carbohydrate metabolism: Carbs are the primary fuel source for the body. Most people love to eat carbs (any bread junkies here??), which usually leads to overeating of carbs. It may sound like a good thing to have a little extra energy for the body, but when the body can’t use it, all those excess carbs are stored as fat.
Avoid excess carbs if you want to avoid fat accumulation.
Fat metabolism: Fat contains much more chemical energy than carbohydrates or proteins, which is why our bodies use fat to store excess energy when we overeat. We are wired to store fat (energy) for a future time when we’ll need it, but modern society has evolved in such a way that we have less natural opportunity to utilize that stored energy. If we want to use our fat stores, we first need to deplete the carbohydrates we use for quick energy, which is exactly why we cycle our carbs. We intentionally deplete our carb stores so the body can dip into its fat stores. This is when you’ll start seeing real results in your fat loss journey!
Protein metabolism: Proteins are used for fuel—only if the body is in starvation mode. A lot of trainers approach me with hesitation about trying the FWTFL because they’re afraid of losing muscles mass through Intermittent Fasting. The opposite, in fact, is true. IF helps with the maintenance of muscle mass. However, if you’re not eating enough protein, your body WILL go into starvation mode and you will start to lose muscle mass, which is exactly why we track protein.
The way we cycle our carbs is a key element of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss. We have low-carb days (we eat low carb and high fat with moderate protein). We have regular macro days (we balance our macros, which is TYPICALLY 50% carbs, 30% fat, 20% protein)—this helps rev up thyroid function with an adequate amount of carbs. We also have low macro days (we drop down on calories a bit), and we have occasional 24-hour fast days.
Most people will start out using the typical proportions, but be aware that as you progress on your fitness journey, you’ll need to adjust your macros. The real question is when and how, which we cover in detail in the FWTFL program! We make it very simple to track macros and accessible even to beginners. If you’re interested in more information or signing up for the next round, click here!