FITNESS & BEAUTY · AUGUST 2018 WHAT ARE MACRONUTRIENTS AND HOW CAN THEY HELP YOU REGAIN HEALTHY HABITS? H ave you counted your macros today? Do you even know what the word macros means? Up until relatively recently, I had no idea macro- counting was a thing. Apparently, YouTube bloggers and people in “the know” have been doing it for some time as part of their diet and exercise programs. (And if you have seen these people, you will know they must be doing something right.) After hearing the term repeated by all the “experts,” I went in search of more information. What I found was a rabbit hole of credible sources touting the benefits of macro-tracking or counting. While the term is very ‘science-y’ sounding, the idea is quite simple to understand. The term is short for macronutrients. These are nutrients our body needs for optimal health. We need to maintain a healthy supply in our bodies. Carbs, proteins, and fats are what we are looking for. Just like bodybuilders or fitness experts, we have to keep track of our daily intake of these vital nutrients. What they do is give us the energy (in the form of nutrients) to keep our bodies moving and to help prevent injuries while exercising. That energy translates to quality high-performance workouts minus the extreme fatigue that can sometimes follow. Enough nutrients to get us through a workout means a better workout with better results. It is a win-win if you know how to track. This is not a diet that deprives you of the stuff you love. This is about a healthy balance with room for a little indulgence. Who would not want a piece of chocolate 42 HEALTHY MAGAZINE ganache cake at the end of the day? If you learn to keep track of your macros, you can indulge in your favorite snacks. Seriously! Here’s the math portion of this lifestyle change: Apps are your friend in this journey. Find one like “My Fitness Pal” to measure your protein, carb, and fat intake. It is that simple. Let it calculate your optimal macro intake based on your weight, fitness level, and measurements. After you have your personalized numbers, set macronutrient goals for yourself and follow the guidelines to get you to your daily goal. One day at a time is the key here. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Just focus on the here and now. This is about consistency and focus. Once you wrap your mind around it, it will become like second nature.