How Managing Macronutrients Can Help You Control Body Weight, Composition
We’ve been conditioned for years to think about food in terms of calories [hyperlink to definition – don’t need to give it] and managing caloric intake. The Office of the U.S. Surgeon General notes that “as described in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eating healthy means…balancing caloric intake with calories burned to manage body weight.”
It’s a simple equation:
Calories Consumed - Calories Expended = Caloric (Energy) Surplus or Deficit
Indeed, this calories in vs. calories out equation has been used by everyone from doctors to fitness trainers to optimize people’s body weight and composition.
Not so fast.
“Calories in vs. calories out” thinking—or a calorie counting approach to weight management—may not be precise enough to manage metabolism, the physical and chemical processes our bodies use to convert or use energy.
While the basic equation is sound, modern nutrition and sports science underscore its limitations. In a sense, relying on the caloric formula to achieve your body composition goals is like calculating the time a long road trip will take solely based on mileage and estimated speed of travel. In reality, however, your actual travel time depends on a broader range of factors, including weather, traffic, terrain, and more.
Instead of counting calories, we advocate macronutrient management.
Macronutrient management is a more effective way of influencing the cornerstone of body weight and composition: your metabolism.
In order to better control and succeed in your life and sports performance journeys, you need to take a closer look at the details of the foods you consume. All food can be broken down into three categories, or macronutrients: (1) proteins, (2) carbohydrates, and (3) fats. The more you know about each macronutrient, the better you can steer your metabolism and therefore body composition and energy levels.
In upcoming posts we’ll look at each macronutrient and talk about what you need to know to better manage your metabolism and optimize your body weight and composition.
Edited by Dr. Yetsa Tuakli
CommentDiscuss this in our forums
Related ContentWhat You Need to Know About Carbohydrates
The Power of Protein - What Every Athlete Should Know
2 Big Nutrition Mistakes You May Not Know You’re Making