The Mighty Macros

Lets start at the beginning, a very good place to start, when you read you begin with ….. A-B-C when you eat you begin with …. P-F-C (P-F-C). The three mighty macros just happen to be P-F-C (P-F-C) …. Proteins, Fats and Carbohydra-a-a-a-a-a-a-ates. “

{ That was to the tune of Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music if you hadn’t guessed…                            yes I am weird but that’s just me 🙂 }

But seriously – Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates are the basic components of our diets. Yet some of us are confused as to what each of these are and whether or not they are good for us. All three are classed at Macronutrients (or macros) as they are required in large quantities within our diets; but what exactly are these three Mighty Marcos?

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Firstly lets look at Proteins.

Proteins are an essential part of every living organism. They are the structural component of body tissues (hair, muscles etc…) and their primary function is to help you grow and repair.

Other functions include:

  • Enzymatic Function
  • Transport Function – as in other nutrients round the body
  • Hormonal Function
  • Immune Function – antibodies
  • Buffering Function – PH maintenance in blood

So as you can see Protein’s play a big part in our make up and therefore are integral to our diets.

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However, we have been programmed to believe that all of our protein comes from meat, and this is not the case. Other great sources of protein include vegetables/plants, beans, chickpeas, eggs, nuts, seeds, tofu, oats, seiten, quinoa, soy…. and the list goes on. No one has ever been found to have a protein deficiency; as protein is apparent in the majority of things that we eat, so don’t panic about always basing your meals around meat or fish… what’s more important is the quality of your food.

You ingest whatever happened to your food before it got to your plate, as well as the food itself. So if your food was pumped full of hormones, carried diseases or has been injected with preservatives you are taking that in too when you eat it. So make smart choices, do a little bit of research into where your food has come from and mix it up when it comes to your protein. Remember variety is a key component to a healthy diet.


What do fats do?

  • Provide a protective layer for organs
  • Provide Essential Fatty Acids (EFC)
  • Act as a carrier for certain vitamins and antioxidants
  • Insulates body and preserves energy
  • Forms brain tissues and nerve membranes
  • Are needed to make hormones

What do fats not do?

  • Make you fat.

Fats are an important part of our diet but a lot of us are scared of them due to their name. They have developed a bad name because of how the media and diet companies portray them…but remember their aim is to make money not ensure you’re living a healthy happy life. Don’t be fooled by the buzz word “Low-fat” and think “hey, if I eat this over something that is full-fat I wont get fat” … in actual fact when products have had the fat taken out of them a lot of the flavour will have gone too; and so in replacement of the tasty fat there will be lots of unnatural enhancers, probably that you can’t even pronounce, that provide you with no nutritional value what so ever… if anything they provide you with things your body would be better off not ingesting.

Lets be friendsEssential fatty acids are named so for a reason – they are essential! They boost your metabolism, reduce inflammation and help depression to name a few in a long list of things that they actually do for us.

So sure fat may have the highest calorific value out of our three mighty macros but you should not be cutting it from your diet; instead you should just be being more mindful of the portions you are plating up. Don’t be eating a handful of nuts, followed by a spoonful
of nut butter, followed by a yoghurt, 2 avocados, then some cheese and olives, a slab of red meat next to… well you get the idea. Fats are important! Don’t be scared of them! Just eat them in moderation – another key element of a healthy diet.

Lastly Carbohydrates.

Unfortunately Carbs have also been given a bad name alongside their friend Fats. When you prescribe to any quick-fix, faddy diet the first thing you will probably notice is the lack or complete non existence of carbohydrates within the plan. The trouble with this is it is not sustainable! Meaning the moment you start to eat carbs again the ‘progress’ you made will disappear (which is what the faddy diets want to happen so you buy their products time after time to keep losing the weight you have yet again put back on).

Carbs provide us with energy, maintain our blood glucose levels, play an important role in our gastro-intestinal functions as well as having an important role in the structure and function of cells, tissues and organs. The issue when it comes to carbohydrates is where we get them from and how much we pile onto our plates (similar to fats).

Again (like proteins) carbs are found in more places that just the generic bread, pasta, rice and potatoes that we are programmed to see as our only sources of carbohydrates. In reality we will find carbs in:

  • Grains – bread, rice, cereal etc
  • Legumes – beans and other plant based proteins.
  • Vegetables – especially starchy veg such as potatoes and corn.
  • Fruit – both whole fruit and fruit juice.
  • Dairy – milk, cheese, ice-cream etc
  • Sugary Snacks – biscuits, cakes, sweets etc (these should be limited)

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Much like protein and fats its important you are including carbs in your diet but that you are conscious of where you are getting them from. You should aim to choose wholegrain as often as possible, be aware of your portion sizes and avoid or limit refined carbs – your processed, low fibre and sugary foods. But Carbohydrates should not be feared or eliminated from your diet! Life is about balancing not eliminating. So balance your plate and your diet with a portion of good carbohydrates – and enjoy them!

Our Mighty Macros are not something to fear, avoid or be confused by. To break it down into the simplest of terms…

We need a diet rich with protein, fats and carbohydrates but you should be aware where your food is coming from, how much you are ingesting and ensure you are finding your macros from a variety of different places.

Variety. Moderation. Balance. 

So don’t go on a diet. Go and enjoy your diet (aka your food). Mix it up. Experiment with ingredients and flavours. Feed your body and your soul.

You’ve got this.

#bettyoucan #bettican #bettwecan







Published by lauraalicebetts

Hi, I'm Laura; a Personal Trainer with a passion to help people fall in love with themselves!! #BETTYOUCAN

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