It’s a carb...It’s a protein...It’s a fat!
Does it matter?
When people begin the process of changing their eating habits, we guide them towards just being mindful of what they’re eating and how often they eat. As they get deeper into their nutrition work, it’s very important to track food, plan what we’re going to consume and understanding macronutrient contents.
Macronutrients are, as we stated earlier, protein, carbohydrates and fat. Every food falls into one of these three categories, however, many foods are deceptive. They can have protein, fat and carbs all in one bite. As someone gets further down the nutrition rabbit hole it’s important to hit a certain range of each macro in every meal, but that’s impossible without knowing the data!
Let’s dig deeper…
Common Confusing Foods
Cheese - Keep in mind that not all cheeses are created equal and this is a broad category. Cheese tends to be high in both fat and protein, depending on the type. Generally speaking, cheese is a fat.
Peanut Butter - There are low fat, protein and powdered peanut butters out there, but for arguments sake we’ll stick to good ol’ Skippy. With that being said, peanut butter has a decent amount of protein, but a higher amount of fat. When food journaling, definitely count it as a fat.
Eggs - Chicken eggs are considered to be a protein in this context. They beat out fat by about one gram.
Easy Macro Counting Tips
Read Labels - Buying a prepackaged food is good in this case because all of the macronutrient information is right there on the label. Check out (lost in the supermarket post link) to help with label reading!
Do the Research - Information can be found on just about any food! Look up “__whatever food__ macronutrients” to ensure there are the right amounts of macros in each meal.
Know Calories per Macro - There are about nine calories in just one gram of fat. Both carbohydrates and protein have approximately four calories in one gram. It’s easy to overdo it on a macro (especially fat) if we aren’t aware of the caloric load it has.
Understand Amounts - Macro guidelines per meal are as follows: Protein: Women - 20-30g/meal. Men - 40-60g/meal. Fat: Women - 7-12g/meal. Men - 15-25g/meal. Carbohydrates: Women - 20-30g/meal. Men - 40-60g/meal.
Food Tracking - Journaling everything we consume is important to find trends related to what we eat, when we eat, see what foods we should eat less of and where we’re lacking in terms of macronutrients.
Fitness and nutrition goals go hand in hand. We cannot expect results without trouble shooting both, learning what works for us and finding ways to stay balanced. Counting macros can be a somewhat tedious but effective job once we apply these simple tools!