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Should you counting Macros?

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

So you hear about these three little things called “macros” by surfing the web, social media, or even from someone in your social circle. Macronutrients, aka macros, are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats - these are the three primary sources of calories consumed. Let’s start with a bit of information about each macro.

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Protein

Proteins are typically things like meat but also come from a variety of other sources. Proteins provide our body’s structure and components of enzymes, regulate body function and immune system health, and aids in hormone regulation. Calories from protein should comprise about 30% of our daily calorie intake.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates vary depending on the source. These are things like fruit, sugar, vegetables, and much more. Carbohydrates, aka Carbs, are our body’s leading source of fuel. Carbs keep protein from being used as energy and aids in the oxidation (breakdown) of fat. Calories from carbohydrates should comprise of no more than 40% of our daily calorie intake.

Fats

Fats come from plant and animal-based sources. Fats are a component of our membranes, aids in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and is used as a source of energy. Calories from fat should comprise about 30% of our daily calorie intake.

Now that you know a bit more about them - should you be counting them and what does that mean? So what is it? Macro counting is calorie counting, but with more specific targets to stay within a certain range of each macro. These numbers are determined in various ways but the main idea behind them is calories in versus calories out. In order to lose weight, you need to expend more energy than you consume.

Let’s move on to the most important question - should you be counting macros?

For most people, logging food and counting macros will provide them with the guidance they need to meet their long term goals, but it isn’t always the best solution for everyone.

Here are a few things to consider:

* Does it fit in with your current lifestyle?
* Do you want to weigh and measure the foods in order to log them?
* Do you need the added level of accountability?
* Can you consistently log everything you consume every single day?

If logging your food doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, then it probably isn’t. Here are a few things I look for in clients before asking them to log food:

* Consistently eating vegetables
* Eating every 3 to 4 hours
* Has a good daily routine and can easily add this task (as far as time is concerned)
* Is cooking and preparing at least 50-60% of their meals at home.

Do a quick self-analysis by answering these questions to determine whether or not you think macro counting is ideal for you.

Not sure or want to get more help?

Just book a free intro at www.activate.ie and let one of our experienced nutrition coaches guide you to the right answer for you and your goals!

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Photos from Kerry Ladies Football team homecoming at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday night

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Danny Healy-Ray, Patrick Connor-Scarteen, Minister of education Norma Foley and Francis Flynn pictured at the Kerry Ladies homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Kerry Ladies Senior Football managers Declan Quill and Darragh Long pictured with Elaine Kinsella Radio Kerry at the Fitzgerald stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGogh
Kerry Ladies Homecoming. Photo : Tatyana McGough
Kerry Ladies Homecoming. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Kerry Ladies Homecoming. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Faces in the crowd. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Faces in the Crowd. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Cllr Donal Grady and John Francis Flynn at the Kerry Ladies homecoming. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Kayleigh Cronin (2nd from left) pictured with her teammates at the Kerry Senior Ladies Homecoming at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough
Selina Looney Kerry Ladies Chairperson (front centre) pictured with Kerry players at the Kerry Senior Ladies Homecoming at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough
31 July 2022; Kerry supporters during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final match between Kerry and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
31 July 2022; Kerry supporters during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final match between Kerry and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
31 July 2022; Kerry supporters during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final match between Kerry and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Photos from Kerry Ladies Football team homecoming at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday night
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Keep indoor plants out of full sun

By Debby Looney, gardening expert I was sitting in the dining room looking out at the garden through sheets of rain, when something caught my eye; a dead plant. I […]

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

I was sitting in the dining room looking out at the garden through sheets of rain, when something caught my eye; a dead plant.

I shifted my focus, looked around me, and observed quite a few plants close to the point of no return! Indoor plants are easy to forget about, especially when the weather is fine. It is hard to believe but several spider plants, an orchid and a Saintpaulia ended up on a certain compost heap this week.

Houseplants do not need a huge amount of care during the summer months, but there are a few things we must not forget! For example, the most obvious is watering. This is the main growing season for houseplants, so watering is essential as is adding some fertiliser. I use specific feeds for my plants, as the balance of nutrients needed can vary hugely depending on the type. As you can imagine, a large, leafy plant will have different requirements to, say, a cactus, or a gerbera. Most plants prefer to dry out slightly between watering, though not as much as I had let them dry out.

Most indoor plants prefer to be out of full sun as they scorch easily. In particular, leafy plants are susceptible to this. Cacti and succulents are ideal for south facing windows during the summer months. Move any leafy plants to a spot away from south facing windows where they can enjoy a more stable temperature and a slightly shaded light.

Often when plants are under stress, both indoors or outdoors, they become prone to disease, a bit like ourselves. For example, plants which dry out frequently are a prime target for whitefly. They often go unnoticed until there is an infestation, at which point you will see woolly cocoon like clusters, as well as clouds of tiny white flies. Blackfly and greenfly are also common pests indoors. The best course of action, after prevention, is to spray the plant at regular intervals with a pesticide. As it is indoors, I would strongly recommend the use of organic spray, or even soapy water. Alternatively, use a pesticide which can be watered onto the soil, such as ‘bugclear ultra’, as this will have a systemic effect.

This time of year is also suitable for repotting your houseplants, if not done in spring, as they will still get a few months of benefit and strong growth. I mix my own compost as I generally have quite a few to repot. I mix four parts good quality compost, one part sharp sand, one part perlite and one part vermiculite by volume. When repotting cacti and succulents I reduce the compost to two parts, and when repotting orchids, I substitute the vermiculite and perlite with two parts fine bark mulch. I never use homemade compost, as I find there are a lot of insects and ‘other creatures’ in it which is fine used outdoors, but I don’t want to invite too much wildlife inside! It is possible to sterilise homemade compost by steaming it, but this is quite an operation, one which I have never undertaken. Alternatively, there are specialist composts available for every type of houseplant. When repotting, use a pot which is about two sizes bigger, unless the plant is a very vigorous one.

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