The importance of incorporating micronutrients into your diet.

What's More Important Than Tracking Calories and Macros?

Dec 11, 2020

When it comes to health and fitness, we find that people often solely focus on calories, and at best, they pay attention to macronutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. There’s all this talk about foods fitting your macros (e.g., “if it fits your macros”), but when did we forget about the importance of MICROnutrients?

At KJO Coaching, we firmly believe in the importance of a well-rounded diet that includes an array of essential vitamins and minerals. In other words, your mom was right. You do still need to eat your veggies!

While we’re all about flexible dieting and enjoying all foods in moderation, you can’t forget that our approach to nutrition also means we prioritize whole, nutrient-dense foods. We also encourage our clients to actively track their macros to increase their awareness of how the macronutrient composition of their meals makes them feel. You can read more about that here.

In this blog post, we will explore why prioritizing micronutrients is essential for optimizing your overall health and why focusing solely on macros may not give you the best results for your fitness goals. 


Does "If It Fits Your Macros" Work?


So suddenly, you joined the culture where no food is inherently bad or good, and YES, you can finally have dessert with your meals. You’ve joined a world where pie and cake fit into a healthy lifestyle, and you have food freedom again! YAY!

But what does that mean for the “rules” your parents and grandparents spent years trying to ingrain into your brain??

We’re here to play devil’s advocate and tell you that while, yes, you can make a food fit into your daily allotted macros, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should make it fit.

Let’s think about your fitness goals. 

You are on this journey to become the healthiest version of yourself, right? Lead a healthier life? Possibly pass on some healthy habits to the next generation?

Well, then, you need to consider the nutrient components of your daily food choices! Every food choice you make contains something called “micronutrients.” These are the vitamins and minerals that make up the foods that we eat.





Where “If It Fits Your Macros” Falls Short


While tracking macronutrients is beneficial for managing energy balance and body composition, solely relying on macros can have limitations. 

Just because a food fits within your recommended macronutrient goals doesn't guarantee that it provides you with the necessary micronutrients for optimal health. Processed and refined foods may fit within your macros, but they often lack the essential vitamins and minerals found in whole, nutrient-dense foods.

You could technically hit your macro and calorie targets while only eating doughnuts and chips, but consider how differently you’d feel if that was your approach compared to meeting your macros by eating oats and berries, a fresh summer salad, grilled chicken or tofu, and peanut butter on multigrain toast. 

Not only would the latter options leave you far more satiated, but they’d give you significantly more energy and be much more helpful for reaching your fitness goals. 


The Importance of Micronutrients


While the requirements of micronutrients are a highly complex topic (it was literally two full semesters in graduate school), we will do our best to make this concise.

Micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals, are essential for the proper functioning of your body. They play a vital role in numerous processes, such as energy production, immune function, and cell repair. 

While macronutrients provide the energy you need, micronutrients act as the building blocks for optimal health and well-being. Neglecting the importance of micronutrients can lead to nutritional deficiencies, poor performance, and slowed down or lacking progress toward your health and fitness goals.

Your daily intake should contain at least 1 ½ cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day in order for you to maintain a healthy balance of micronutrients. These can come from a variety of sources, including fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and veggies! 

(If you are buying canned or frozen, look for options without added sugars or salt.)

Each fruit and vegetable choice contains a different balance of vitamins and minerals, so make sure you eat the rainbow and vary your food choices! That’s the key to optimizing how you feel. 


Learn to Effectively Track Macros


We encourage you to recognize the importance of micronutrients in achieving your health and fitness goals. While macros play a role in energy balance, prioritizing a variety of nutrient-dense foods ensures you get the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at its best. 

Remember, health and fitness are not just about numbers like your macro intake or the number on the scale; they're about nourishing your body with the micronutrients that support a long, healthy, and energetic life.

If you’re ready to take a more mindful approach to your nutrition, you may want to check out our FREE macro tracking guide. This guide will teach you what macros are, why you should track them, and how to use macro tracking to achieve your fitness goals. 

If you practice active macro tracking, this guide will help you get a solid variety of macro and micronutrients so you can feel your best and achieve your fitness goals sustainably.  


Get access to the free guide here.


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Hi, I'm Kasey!

I coach, mentor, write, and teach with one main focus: Build strong bodies and healthy lifestyles, starting with your mindset.


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