Yo Coach! What's a macro?

Welcome to my first blog post! I get asked questions about training and nutrition ALL the time. No matter where I work, somehow or another I instantly become the "go to" person for fitness advice. I also get hit up by strangers when I'm grocery shopping. I've spent many a long checkout line breaking down how to lose belly fat, how to put on mass, and what to eat to lose weight. These are loaded questions which are VERY difficult to explain within a few minutes. So...I've learned it's best to give the Cliff's Notes version. I've fine-tuned my elevator fitness pitch! Want ABS? Eliminate alcohol, bread and sugar. ha! Doesn't get more concise than that!

SO....in order to reach your fitness goals you gotta know where your calories are coming from. Is it just about calories in vs. calories out? Nah. You also have to factor in the quality of calories, metabolism, hormones, the gut microbiome, supplementation (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids) etc. BUT, the types of calories are damned sure important. This is where macronutrients come into play. The only nutrients that provide energy are carbohydrates, protein and fat...aka...macros. I'm going to keep things simple! This is going to be Macros 101. If your knowledge base about nutrition is already at the AP level, this post will surely be review. However, let any newbs (newbies) know where they can come to find great content about the basics of nutrition! ;) 

COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES:  (4 calories in 1 gram of carbs)
Cereal grains
*fiber (passes largely unchanged through stomach and intestines)

-glucose: blood sugar
-fructose: fruit, sugar, honey, sweet veggies
-galactose: milk sugar etc.
-sucrose: table sugar (combo of glucose & fructose)
-lactose: contained in milk (combo of galactose and glucose)
-maltose: found in malted products (beer)
-high fructose corn syrup: corn syrup (boo!)

PROTEIN: (4 calories in 1 gram of protein)
1 Egg
4 Egg Whites
4 oz. Chicken (breast or thigh)
4 oz. Flounder
4 oz. Grass fed beef
4 oz. Ground Turkey
4 oz. Halibut
4 oz. Lobster
4 oz. Orange Roughy
4 oz. Oysters
4 oz. Perch
4 oz. Red Snapper
4 oz. Salmon
4 oz. Scallops
4 oz. Shrimp
4 oz. Sole
4 oz. Swordfish
4 oz. Swordfish
4 oz. Tilapia
4 oz. Tuna (solid albacore)
4 oz. Turkey Breast
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Goat Milk
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
1 Slice Swiss Cheese
1/2 C. FrozenYogurt
1 Container Oikos Greek Yogurt (plain)
1 Container Chobani Greek Yogurt (plain)
1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese (grated)
1/2 Cup Non Fat Mozzarella
3/4 C. Yogurt (plain)

SATURATED FAT: (9 calories in 1 gram of fat)
Bacon, cooked, regular or turkey 1 slice
Butter, reduced-fat 1 tbsp
Butter, stick 1 tsp
Butter, whipped 2 tsp
Coconut, shredded 2 tbsp
Cream: half-and-half, whipped 2 tbsp
Cream, heavy: 1 tbsp
Cream, light: 1 ½  tbsp
Cream cheese, reduced-fat: 1 ½  tbsp
Cream cheese, regular: 1 tbsp
Oil: coconut, palm, palm kernel 1 tsp
Shortening or lard: 1 tsp
Sour cream, reduced-fat: 3 tbsp
Sour cream, regular: 2 tbsp
Sucrose : table sugar; combo of glucose & fructose
Lactose: contained in milk;  combo of galactose and glucose
Maltose: found in malted products (beer)
High Fructose Corn Syrup (boo!)

Almonds: 6
Avocado: 2
tablespoons (1 ounce)
Brazil nuts: 2
Cashews: 6
Filberts (hazelnuts): 5
Macadamia nuts: 3
Nut butters (trans-free: almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter 1 ½  Teaspoon
Oil: canola, olive, peanut 1 tsp
Olives: black 8
Large Olives, green with pimento: 10Large
Peanuts: 10
Pecans: 4 halves
Pistachios: 16
Walnuts: 4 halves

POLYUNSATURATED FAT (*Not the healthiest options)
*Margarine, low-fat spread, 30 to 50 percent vegetable oil, trans-free: 1 tbsp
*Margarine, trans-free: stick, tub, squeeze 1 tsp
*Mayonnaise, reduced-fat: 1 tbsp
*Mayonnaise, regular: 1 tsp
*Mayonnaise-style salad dressing, reduced-fat: 1 tbsp
*Mayonnaise-style salad dressing, regular: 2 tsp
*Oils: corn, cottonseed, flaxseed, grape seed, safflower, soybean, sunflower: 1 tsp
Pine nuts: 1 tbsp
*Salad dressing, reduced-fat: 2 tbsp
*Salad dressing, regular: 1 tbsp
Seeds: flaxseed, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower: 1 oz
Tahini (sesame paste): 2 tsp

Like I said before, nutrition is a complex topic! I could go into depth about a lot of this stuff. How does fiber help differentiate between total carbs and net carbs? Why does high fructose corn syrup by pass the metabolic pathway and begin creating fat in the liver unlike other sugars? Why is saturated fat not the actual cause of plaque build up in the arteries? How much water do I need to drink? See! The opportunities for me to digress are endless! Let's just focus on the amount of these macronutrients that we should be eating each day. Is that cool?

First, let’s use a simple equation to find the total calories you need per day and then we can work backwards from there. We won't go off some arbitrary "Based on a 2000 calorie diet".  Not everybody has the same dietary needs. I will share a general and easy way to calculate your total calories. If you are an athlete or if you're on the spectrum between moderately active to highly active you can consume 15 - 20 calories per pound of body weight. I currently weigh 125 lbs. When I multiply that by the lower and higher end of the spectrum my range is 1875 - 2500 calories/day. Now let’s figure out how the macros fit into the bottom range!

There will be some calculations that use kilograms. For all you Yankees not up on the metric system, this is how you convert your weight to kilograms.
Weight / 2.2 = ________ kg
Example: 125 lbs/ 2.2 = 56.8kg

20 - 30% of total calories
*This percentage is higher if you're on a ketogenic diet...more about that in a later post!

---1875 calories x 30% = 562 calories/9 = 62.5g---

Civilians: (aka general public): 1.8 - 2.9g/lb OR  0.8 - 1.3 g/kg
Weight lifters: 0.8g - 1g/lb or 1.8 - 2.2 g/kg
Bodybuilding: competitors on a restricted calorie diet: 2.3-3.1g/kg

---56.8kg x 3.1 = 176g (multiply by 4 to get calories = 704)---

So far we've got 562 calories + 704 calories = 1266 calories. If we subtract that from our total there are 609 left for carbs. To see what that equals in grams we divide it by 4. 

---Carbohydrates:  609 calories/ 4 = 152g---

DAILY TOTALS for Coach Jones (125lbs)
Fat: 62.5g / 562 calories
Protein: 176g / 704 calories
Carbs: 152g / 609 calories

Hey, I get it. Some people would rather just have someone tell them what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat it. Sometimes the math makes eating feel more difficult than it needs to be. Plus, there is no "one size fits all" approach. So many variables go into a nutrition plan. If you have been spinning your wheels trying to reach your goals perhaps you should consider my online training program! My goal is to provide nutrition and training programs that improve health and inspire people to look and feel their best! If you need help with your fitness goals Coach Jones has got you! It’s important to understand why I make my recommendations, but I can go into more detail while working 1 on 1 with my clients.

For more info on nutrition and training follow me on social media:
Instagram: Jones_Strength

Twitter: jonesstrength