Macro is a shorthand version of the word macronutrients, which is a term for the 3 key nutrient groups that keep your body in healthy, working order: carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
You’ve heard this metaphor before, food is like gas in your car, macros are the ingredients or ‘fuel’ your body needs to function on a daily basis. No matter if you have a sedentary or active lifestyle.
Eat some form of protein for breakfast
Regardless of your goals, this will make a difference to your health and performance. Breakfast is often one of the meals people eat as a solely carbohydrate-based meal. (Cornflakes and milk or toast and bagels) Some people often go until noon or later before eating any type of protein (it is usually just a small amount). If you want to build muscle and lose fat then have some protein for breakfast!
So why is having protein at breakfast is so crucial?
- Boosts neurotransmitter production – improves memory, attention and energy for the day ahead.
- Linked to eating less during the day
- Stabilises energy levels – no mid-morning energy dips
- Creates amino acids to build muscle and recover from training.
It doesn’t matter whether you train morning or evening; you need protein at breakfast.
Here are some great breakfast ideas:
Eggs – any way you like, add veggies, add meat, add fish, be creative.
Keeping your cooking simple and keep the hassle to a minimum. Both will assist you to stick to your meal plan and nutrition.
Meat and nuts –some athletes swear by this. Try it. Trust me.
Chia seed puddings – google them. So versatile and can stand in for snacks and desserts as well.
Greek yogurt – add nuts, seeds, berries, or protein powder
Smoothies – get yourself a blender. A great way to incorporate lots of different superfoods and nutrients. Add spirulina, matcha and tyrosine into a morning smoothie.
Train hard Recover well
Whatever your exercise preference (crossfitter, runner, boxer, or powerlifter), recovery is crucial to successful development, growth and longevity. You need to beat well after each session. Make sure that you consume adequate amounts of protein to refuel your body and give the components to grow and recover.
Figure out how many calories you really need to eat
Your basic metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy your body needs to survive each day. This energy drives all the processes needed for a body to function.
Your body does more than just run its internal processes, energy is needed for daily activities too. The 2 together are the Total Daily Energy Expenditure, (TDEE). This depends on your unique specifics and is different for each of you.
Once you determine how many calories you need to fulfill the TDEE, you need to decide what you want to achieve. Perhaps, build muscle and bulk up or lose weight? Take this into account and adjust your total amount of calories. You must eat enough of the right thing if you want to add muscle it won’t happen, no matter how effectively or hard you train.
Track your macros
You must record your progress. This is called tracking your macros (macronutrients). Then you can see if you are eating enough to achieve your goals.
Eat the rainbow
Many people underestimate what eating vegetables can do for health and performance. The intensity of your training demands more nutrition than normal. Your body needs a wide range of nutrients.
A recent study found eating more vegetables lowers the mortality risk of all diseases, particularly cardiovascular mortality. No supplements have these effects. Including more vegetables (particularly green vegetables) in your meals is where you start. Add kale and/or spirulina into your morning smoothie, spinach to your omelet and a variety of other above ground veggies to your lunches and dinner. Eat vegetables with every meal.
Staying hydrated doesn’t get enough attention, but it really affects your performance. Losing just 2% of total body fluid can reduce your athletic performance by 10-20%.
Water cools your body, so dehydration produces fatigue and affects performance. A 3% loss of fluids leads to dysfunction and developing a heat-related condition (heat cramps, heat exhaustion, even heat stroke).
Get yourself a good quality water bottle. If you keep it a water bottle with you, it will remind you to stay hydrated.
Water is your main source of hydration. It can be sparkling and even flavored. But watch out for unhealthy additives like artificial ingredients and flavors. Avoid soda and juice because your body has to process the soda or excess sugar before it can use these and for hydration.
Individualise your nutrition
Discover what works for you. This takes some self-awareness. Do you sometimes feel superhuman? Write down what you ate for the meals just before feeling this way. On the flip side of the coin, it is just as important to notice the foods you ate that left you feeling like death warmed over.