Posted 1 month ago

Macros are cool, but don’t forget about the micros!

Does nutrition confuse you? Do you struggle to separate BS from helpful information?

At the start of a fitness journey, most people understand the importance of tracking nutrition in some shape or form. We’ll typically start off looking at calories, and as our knowledge evolves, we start to look at the importance of the types of calories we consume.

That is, we start to think in a bit more depth about the source of our calories, and how we distribute those between the three main macronutrients: that is, carbs, protein and fats.

Finding the right split between these three macronutrients can make a huge difference to your progress at the gym, as the way you eat influences everything from performance, to recovery, to satiety.

Therefore, tracking your macros is an incredibly important – and critical! – aspect of any journey you embark on to achieve an elite physique, which is relevant during dieting, maintenance and bulking phases.

However, only looking at macronutrients and disregarding things such as the importance of micronutrients can also be a hinderance for your performance, recovery and satiety.

Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that our body needs in order to perform critical functions in the body, and we must obtain our micronutrients from food.

Therefore, although just focusing on macros might still help you achieve an elite physique, by focusing on micronutrients you are more likely to ensure that process is healthy, effective, enjoyable and sustainable. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that if you disregard the importance of micronutrients, you could be shooting yourself in the foot.

So, here are some of my top tips to make sure you are getting all your micronutrients in:

  1. Where possible, make sure you follow the eat well guidelines and eat at least 5 portions of veggies and fruit a day.
  • Personally, I recommend you focus on trying to eat enough variety of veggies and I typically get clients to incorporate a minimum of 100g of vegetables with each savoury meal. The reason I prioritise vegetables over fruit is because a) vegetables tend to be cheaper, b) they are typically lower in calories, and c) most people do not eat enough variety of vegetables.
  1. Try putting in different colours in each meal.
  • A tool I use frequently with my clients is ensuring each meal has at least two different coloured veggies/fruits, and that a different protein source is used per each meal. In this way, I can ensure a variety of vitamins and minerals are being consumed to support their health.
  1. Don’t shy away from variety!
  • Bodybuilders can be notoriously bad for having a very repetitive diet for the sake of simplicity, but often that comes with a risk of missing out on key micronutrients. Therefore, don’t be scared to jazz things up a little. If you’re following a meal plan, you can ask your coach to help you use apps such as MyFitnessPal to help support your knowledge in how to make dietary changes without it impacting on your results.

In sum, although macronutrients are the key factor in creating body composition changes and improving your physique, how that physique goal is achieved matters too, and that is down to considering both macros and micros as equally important. If you are unsure about where to start with your nutrition, arrange a coaching call here and we can discuss how to optimise your diet.

Clara Swedlund MSc MBPsS