Why Are Macros Important?

Calories make up all the foods we eat (sadly so as I think about that extra brownie). Now do you know what makes up these calories? That would be macronutrients, otherwise called macros. Calories can be divided into either fats, protein, or carbohydrates. For every gram of fat there is 9 calories, while every gram of protein and carbohydrate each contains 4 calories. This explains why the serving size of peanut butter seems so small but in reality it is very calorie dense. 

For years, there have been constantly new trends in relation to macros. In the 90s there was a strong fat- free infatuation. Fat free this, fat free that, advertised everywhere. But then more research came out and it was discovered there were numerous benefits to healthy unsaturated fats such as avocados and nuts. These benefits take part in the brain, heart, and have even been shown to benefit in fat loss. Following this fat free craze, there came the Atkins diet which focused on cutting carbs. However, this approach did not necessarily provide any benefits either given the research. 

So what proportions of macros should I be eating? 

The acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) for carbohydrates is 45-65%. This means that this percentage of your calorie intake should come from carbs. About  20 -35% of your calorie intake should come from fats while 10- 35 % should come from protein. Everyone is different and everyone has different needs. A marathon runner needs an abundance of carbs while a powerlifter needs an abundance of protein. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that athletes get 60- 70% of their calories from carbohydrates. Therefore, if you are one that does not like to participate in much physical activity you may have a smaller ratio between the three macronutrients. 

What’s the difference between micronutrients and macronutrients? 

Our body needs a lot of macros while our body needs a very small amount of micronutrients. However, they are still very essential to a healthy diet. While macronutrients are divided into three categories. Micronutrients are divided into four categories: water soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, macrominerals, and trace minerals. 


While monitoring your macro content to the T may be the nutritional ideal way to ensure you are staying on track, it’s not always very practical. It doesn’t have to be hard to ensure you are consuming all three macros. Too often we wake up and grab a granola bar and apple for breakfast not realizing we are not providing yourself with any protein or fat. Without protein and fat, you are only going to become hungrier quicker due to fat and protein’s benefit of delaying gastric emptying, aka slowing digestion. On top of this, rather than simply focusing on your calorie amount and macros it should be a priority to focus on consuming foods that you know will benefit you. Yes, a donut and an avocado may have the same calorie content but which will provide you with sustained energy as well as beneficial micronutrients.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *