What the *bleep* are macros?

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These days the way you train and eat largely depends on what trend you follow or how cool your friends are. There’s a ton of ways to eat: counting calories, eating clean, being vegan, avoiding anything that’s “processed”, etc. 

If you haven’t heard the word ‘macros’ lately, you probably don’t have a Facebook or Instagram account. Assuming you are not 84 years old and do have one of those, you might be wondering what macros (short for macronutrients, by the way) are and how these macros-thingies can help you achieve your goals.

What are macronutrients, or macros?
Macronutrients are best defined as chemical compounds humans consume and which provide the most energy. Whenever you consume food or drinks, you consume calories. In turn, calories consist of protein, carbohydrates or fat. Alcohol (ethanol) can be classified as a macronutrient, as it provides energy, but it’s not essential for the body to function. So whenever someone discusses macronutrients, it’s safe to assume alcohol isn’t considered one.

In short: macros/macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fat. Nothing more, nothing less. Kind of a boring bummer, isn’t it?

It’s somewhat important to note there are people who say counting calories is useless, but counting macros is not. That’s somewhat strange, since calories consist of macros. Protein and carbs contain 4 kcal/g and fat contains 9 kcal/g. So if you’re counting macros, you’re one small step away from counting calories as well. It’s just not your main focus.

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  1. Gillian

    Can you recommend any tools for calculating ideal macros and keeping track daily? Cheers!

  2. Michaela

    Helder verhaal, thanks! Alleen welke verhouding verzadigde/onverzadigde vetten zou ik moeten aanhouden? En maakt het nog uit of ze enkelvoudig of meervoudig zijn?