Macros vs Micros: the Macro Myth Busted!

It’s no secret how much I love tracking my macros, and it’s been a huge key to my muscle mass gaining and body sculpting success. Without a doubt, it’s a great tool to help you achieve any transformation goal—heck…it’s the foundation for our nutrition program in the Transform app! I love the flexibility that tracking macros provides and how it can truly transform your body, but there’s a little something we need to talk about…micronutrients!

As much as you need to make sure you’re getting the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, you also need to make sure the food you’re fueling your body with is packed with micronutrients. You might be wondering what the difference between macro and micronutrients is and how much you should be getting of them, so here you go!

The three major macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein – these are the primary nutrients that equal your total caloric consumption, with protein and carbs equaling four calories per gram and fat equaling nine calories per gram. The short story is your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose—the preferred fuel source for your body. You need carbs to fuel your body! Protein helps you survive and thrive, and your body is always using protein to build, repair, and maintain muscle—it’s needed for nearly every metabolic process in your body! Protein also helps you feel fuller longer and provides a continuous and steady supply of energy too. Fat, on the other hand, plays an important role in making and balancing hormones. Each macronutrient plays a crucial role in your body!

Micronutrients, though, are even more crucial than macronutrients! Micronutrients are nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and they come from clean, whole, nutrient-dense foods like high quality proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats. If your goal is to live a healthy lifestyle, perform athletically to the best of your ability, or just feel energized in general, you should be consuming nutrient-dense, high quality foods a majority of the time. Treat your body well! We believe in the 80%-20% rule. 80% of the time fill your diet with those nutrient dense foods, and 20% of the time with whatever you want!

Now that I’ve told you all about how important micronutrients are, where do you start? How much of each do you to eat? Where to begin?! It may seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be complicated at all! Different foods contain different levels of vitamins and minerals, so if you eat a wide variety of foods from different food groups, and a variety within each food group, you’ll be well on your way to making sure you get an adequate supply of all the micro-nutrients your body needs!

Here are some different vitamins and their roles in the body:

  • Vitamin A: Healthy eyesight and gums
  • Vitamin C: Healthy functioning immune system
  • Vitamin E: Helps fight free radical damage in the body
  • Vitamin D: Strong bones and immune functions
  • Vitamin B: Energy production, nervous system health, and for proper digestion

Here are some different minerals and their functions:

  • Iron: Red blood cell production.
  • Calcium: Strong, healthy bones and teeth.
  • Magnesium: Nervous system health.
  • Zinc: Healthy skin and reproductive and immune function.

And here are some ideas for how to fill your nutrition plan with nutrient dense foods packed with macronutrients and micronutrients:

Macronutrients:

  • Carbohydrates: Oatmeal, brown rice, pasta, whole wheat breads, vegetables, fruits.
  • Protein: Fish, chicken, lean meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy products, tofu.
  • Unsaturated fats: Nuts, seeds, fish, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados.

Micronutrients:

  • Vitamin A: Milk, cheese, eggs, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin B: Legumes, wholegrain cereals, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables.
  • Vitamin C & D: Citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, parsley, cabbage.
  • Vitamin E: Olive oil, avocadoes, whole grain cereals.
  • Iron: Lean meats, green leafy vegetables, legumes.
  • Calcium: Dairy products, almonds, green leafy vegetables.
  • Magnesium: Nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, green leafy vegetables.
  • Zinc: Lean meats, chicken, fish, pumpkin seeds.

See? It’s not that hard to get all your micros if you simply eat a healthy and diet. Remember the keys to mastering those micros: Eat a variety of foods every day, choose fruits and veggies from all the colors of the rainbow, and eat lean protein with every meal. And enjoy all of that yummy, micro-and-macro-rich food!

Xoxo,

Heidi

Related reading:

Eating with Macros: A Day in the Life
Eat More, Lose More: Settling The Fresh vs. Fast Food
Macro Tracking For the Win! All of Your Questions Answered
10 Tips to Crush those Cravings—For Good!
4 Kitchen Must-Haves for Transformation Success
Meal Prep Tips and Tricks You Need to Know


9 Comments

  1. Terra Fleming - October 12, 2017

    Love you guys and miss you on tv. Macros and micros are so confusing so thank you

  2. Michelle - October 12, 2017

    I’m wondering about protein? I have Hashimoto’s and I think I’m having a hard time with protein, how much do I really need or can I do most veggie & fruit and still get in good shape??

    • Team Powell - October 16, 2017

      Hi Michelle: With any health issue, it’s best to discuss your specific nutrition needs with your healthcare team and then follow their recommendations. Not being medical professionals, we’d hate to recommend something that would not be good for you. 🙂

  3. Stephanie - October 12, 2017

    Thank you for this blog! I’ve been confused on macros verse micros. Thank you for all your posts and inspiring videos and comments!

  4. Marissa Sherro - October 12, 2017

    Thank you for enlightening me. I had no idea what micro or macros were before reading this!!!

  5. Amanda - October 12, 2017

    Love this information and the little tip. I’m trying to begin to start macros! Crossing my fingers!

  6. Lindsay freedman - October 12, 2017

    Love learning about macros vs micros. And that it ok to have a micro treat here and there!!! 🤣

  7. Dawn - October 9, 2017

    Can i message you with a question and where would be the best place to do so as to keep it more private to spare myself of embarrassment and shame.
    I really could use some advice as to make a very long history short, I’m at the point where I really
    Don’t want to eat at all because I have dieted for so many years and I’m so terribly confused about good and bad anymore. Every Dr or person that writes a book has the perfect solution. I just am tired. I need to lose weight quickly and healthy. I’m very interested in whole food, plant based. I’m willing to eat some chicken and bacon Can you be of any assistance. I’m lazy as hell and trying to get motivated to start walking again but feel it’s useless at this point. God Bless you Heidi. Anything would be helpful at this point.

    • Team Powell - October 10, 2017

      Hi Dawn: Thank you for your comment. 🙂 Have you heard about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program? It’s amazing, it’s doable, and it works! You can learn about it the first steps you can take on your journey here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. You might also be interested in their new app, which offers you a customized nutrition and workout program, and it’s amazing and totally doable too! You can learn about their app here: http://thetransformapp.com. Both options can work – you can do this! 🙂

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