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Macronutrition vs. Micronutrition & Your Beachbody Program

Macronutrition vs. Micronutrition? Could there be a less sexy title? Not likely. Hey, I know when we’re talking about nutrition, things can get a little confusing and a lot bit “Wah wah wah wah… wah wah“. Nutrition is the one topic most of us  think we understand but then fumble with when kicking off a program like P90X, Insanity, Turbofire or even Les Mills Pump or Body Beast. But that’s OK! Don’t you sweat it. This post is designed to 1) help shed some “cut the sciencey-sounding BS”  light on what I’m talking about when you hear me reference “Macronutrients” and 2), why I’m big on Shakeology and all its micronutrients.

So let me throw down a little caveat here at first- Thanks to the evolution of how we consume and attain our food, things have become blurry. Most of us just tend to think in terms of “food” and “full”. We’ve eaten until we’re full and that’s “good”. We go on with our lives, we’re not feeling starved, etc. but… BUT… now it’s time to rethink that frame of mind as you make your fitness program work for you.

Gone are your days of “eating for fullness” instead of eating for nutrition (IE- oh, I’m hungry- here’s a bag of chips or a candy bar or a .99 burger). That frame of mind gets you fat, lethargic and generally feeling like a big turd. It’s amazing the differences you feel when you clean up the diet and understanding macros and micronutrients can really help here.

Onward!

Macronutrients

Let’s start off with macronutrients. Used as “bulk energy”, macronutrients fall into three general categories:

  1. Protein (lean meats, dairy, legumes, tempeh, etc.)
  2. Carbs (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc.)
  3. Fats (avacado, nuts, olive oil, etc.)

Some of these categories obviously cross over (IE- Salmon contains both protein and fats– legumes have a lot of carbs but a good chunk of protein as well) but as a whole, these three nutrients play a key role in how you break down your Body Blueprint and become the basis for terms like 40/40/20 or 1:1. For example, if you’re looking to lose some fat and build some muscle you might go with a daily 40/40/20 macronutrient ratio at a calorie level of 2100. In English, this is basically making sure 40% of your daily food intake (2100 calories in the example here) comes from protein, 40% from carbs and 20% from healthy fats. Easy peasy. That’s basically eating the equivalent of a chicken breast, a serving of brown rice and a salad with olive oil and vinegar.

Macros are pretty easy to understand, easy to track (thanks to Myfitnesspal and Livestrong) and easy to maintain once you know how your daily nutrition requirement breaks down. Of course, within “macronutrients” are “micronutrients”- the stuff that’s broken out of the macros and distributed through digestion. These are the power players– but players you don’t often think about. So let’s get into them, shall we?

Micronutrients

The easy answer: Micronutrients are a large array of vitamins and minerals.Here’s an official-ish definition:

“Micronutrients are nutrients required by humans and other organisms throughout life in small quantities to orchestrate a range of physiological functions, but which the organism itself cannot produce. For people, micronutrients include dietary trace minerals in amounts generally less than 100 milligrams/day. Micronutrients also include vitamins, which are organic compounds required as nutrients in tiny amounts by an organism.”

That said, consider this car analogy definition (and to be honest, I don’t know if it’s the best but bear with me):

“Nailing your macros is like filling up with cheap gas. Yeah, it works and gets you to where you want to go but let’s be honest… over time it can build up deposits, it pings it knocks. The more expensive stuff- the premium gasoline- treats your engine right and actually helps your engine in ways you may not see or notice leading to more longevity. Micronutrients are the “Premium Gasoline” of nutrition.”

Basically, you want your macros packed with micros. Refined carbs (white bread, white pasta) have very few micros. A steady diet of meat has very few micros. A lack of vegetables/limited vegetable/fruit intake is short on micros.

Hopefully things are starting to come together now… a lack of micros is the reason white flour and processed foods earn their bad rap: they’re stripped of micronutrition (the fiber, the minerals and other components that may give something texture and taste) and injected with chemical and man-made stuff that won’t kill you in the short run but isn’t food in the least (preservatives, artificial sweeteners, fillers, etc.).

Getting Your Micronutrients

When you read your Insanity, Body Beast or Combat nutrition guide, you’ll notice they ALL of them use boatloads of variety and whole food (food not out of a box) ingredients. There’s a reason for this… the more variety you eat (and especially vegetables/stuff that grows in the ground or on bushes/trees) in natural form, the more chance of getting those “micros” your body needs. Even better, the more COLORFUL your plate is thanks to fruits and veggies (emphasis on the veggies), the more you’re on the right track.

“Eat your vegetables” isn’t just a line your Mom nagged you with. It’s a truth: vegetables are teeming… BURSTING… with micronutrients. Think about it- how do you visually respond to a beautiful, colorful salad or plate as opposed to plate with brown steak, white potatoes and white rice or white chicken, yellow corn and white potatoes? The colorful is always more appealing. Why? Because it’s what your body NEEDS. After all, without micros, your body runs into health problems and body systems break down. Brain damage, sight damage, susceptibility to illness (and getting sick more often), etc.

Easy Micronutrient Powerhouse: Shakeology. Yes, Shakeology.

No, this isn’t a pitch. Straight up, pure and simple, micronutrients are a primary reason I recommend Shakeology (check it out here) far and wide, all day long and without apology.

Fact: Even if you eat like an incredible looking Body Builder or fitness model every meal (meat, complex carb like brown rice or sweet potato, broccoli) your diet is very narrow in the micronutrients you need. That’s why these epitomes of fitness use multivitamins… to fill that gap. Thing is, most of that mass-produced stuff is lab created and not as readily absorbed as vitamins and minerals in their natural state.

Shakeology, on the other hand, uses real organic vitamins/minerals/superfoods unprocessed and left in their natural state for maximum absorption and use by your body as it contributes to a cumulative effect on your overall health (all that good micronutrition adds up to illness and health problem fighting power). Looking good on the outside is great, but bodybuilding and fitness modelling on the inside– that’s what will keep things looking AND working great.

So yes- I do recommend Shakeology like it’s going out of style. And that’s for a reason. Most people do not get their micros– or anything even close to the wide, orchestrated and full range Shakeology offers. It just helps that it tastes AWESOME and has protein and complex carbs loaded in there as well. It’s awesome, easy and the real deal.

All said and done, micros are your body’s best friend. Nailing your macros will get you the body you’ve always wanted… but nailing your micros on top of that? It’ll get you the health you’ve always wanted.

Beginning your fitness journey? Want results? Email me via the contact link or at dan@howdoigetfit.com. Better yet, let’s get you the support you need to line up your nutrition goals right now. Make me your (free) Beachbody Coach right here and we’ll get crackin’! 

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One Comment : Leave a Reply

  1. Romall Smith says:

    It is crazy how much is going on , on your plate when you pay attention to the macro and micros of food.

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