The “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFIYM) diet is the latest weight-loss trend sparking eye-popping before-and-after transformations across the Internet. If you want to try it (or other popular macro-counting diets, like the ketogenic diet), you need to understand exactly what macros are. Dr. Pat Salber, Founder of The Doctor Weighs In and Board Certified Emergency Physician and Internist says, “Macros as used in IIFYM talk stand for macronutrients or broad classifications of food types. Protein, carbohydrates, and fat are the three primary macronutrients that we consume to supply our bodies with the energy it needs to function properly.”
What can be easily skimmed over in a diet that looks broadly at macros is the great variability within each macronutrient group. All carbs, for example, are not equal. “Table sugar (sucrose) and split peas are both examples of carbohydrates, but the body reacts to each of them differently,” Dr. Salber says. “Sucrose is rapidly broken down into its components, glucose and fructose, which leads to a rapid spike blood glucose and insulin, followed by a relatively rapid decline in blood glucose levels. This may lead to an early return of hunger sensations. Split peas, on the other hand have a high fiber content. Fiber is a carbohydrate that the body cannot break down so it stays in the gut after ingestion and helps to make the stool bulky and easy to pass. It also is calorie free,” Dr. Salber adds.
Excerpted from Reader’s Digest