• Phil

Should We Watch Our Macros?

For those of you that aren’t in the macro-know, they the big building blocks of food, aka proteins, carbs and fats. Not to be confused with the smaller and more weasley "micros"... little tings, like vits and mins.

I believe the basic premise of human life is that you need a decent balance of all of the above, nevertheless you often hear things like “I’m on a low fat diet,” or “I’m cutting out carbs,” which speaks to the idea that you can get a better result in your health by penalizing one macro and rewarding another. Is anything to be gained by structuring your diet in this way?

Let’s us begin with the end, the answer is yes and no, but mainly NO. If I had my way it would be a straight “no,” but the “yes” is a necessary inclusion because we have to talk about that strange group of people who spend far too much of their lives trying to get their body fat percentage down to minus 1, so they can cover themselves in spray tan and appear on the front covers of magazines with quotes like “follow your bliss!” Fitness models and competitive body builders - demographics that represent 0.01% of the population - do need to consider macros because they're looking for extreme. For the rest of us “normal” people, it isn't necessary.

Rats and hens are omnivores, and as such, can eat the full gamut of macronutrients, without favouring one over another, and yet you never see a portly hen or a fat rat when they are in their natural environment. Why is that? Why is it the only time you’ll see animals out of shape is when human beings are making food decisions for them? If you can name me one single instance where there has been a long-term net benefit from man meddling in the food supply, I will do a full 180 and encourage you all to go carb-free, high fat, high protein… whatever – but until then, cast your lot with mother nature, she will not let you down.

The reason why these myths won't die is because to a certain degree, they work. Supplements, counting calories, the gerrymandering of your macronutrient intake - can all create positive changes in your body. But just because something can be done, does not mean that it should be done. I would advise you to consider whether or not it’s a good idea.

Nature is balance. Low carb, high protein, low fat – this is imbalance. If you’re looking for optimal health, that’s dumb. Each macro delivers specific health benefits. Proteins tend to repair your body, carbs tend to supply energy etc. If you cut out the nutrient, you cut out the health benefits. Low carb seems to be gaining popularity at