How to calculate your macros? Are you looking to lose weight? You’re not alone. Millions of people are trying to lose weight, and it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we created this article that will help you learn how macros work so that you can finally reach your goals!
We have a lot of information for you, but the most important thing is learning about what macros are and how they affect your body. Once you understand how they work, everything else falls into place. It’s time for a change. Let us show you the way!
- What is a macro?
- How to calculate your macros?
- How to apply it to your diet? Applying the correct macronutrients in your diet
- Why should you care about calculating your macros?
- Benefits of calculating your macros
- Disadvantages of calculating your macros
- 5 Apps to find the macronutrients of food
- FAQs on macro counting
What is a macro?
Macros are the nutrients that provide energy for your body. The three macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Knowing what macronutrients you need to eat is important because it can help you maintain or lose weight, build muscle mass, and feel satisfied throughout the day!
Macronutrients provide your body with the energy that it needs. Macronutrients are different from micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), which can’t provide energy, but they are always good for you to have.
Your macronutrient ratio should aim to get about 20-30% of your calories from protein sources (such as lean meats), 40-50% of your calories from carbs (such as whole grains), and 30-40% of your calories from fats (such as avocados). If you’re trying to lose weight, try cutting down on carbs until you reach a healthy weight goal. If you’re
Carbohydrates. The body’s primary source of quick energy and the one most often used for a day’s activities.
We can find carbs in sugar, fruit, honey, milk, grains, potatoes, and beans are all high in carbohydrates. A person needs 3-5 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight each day. You can obtain 4 kcal from each gram of carbohydrates. Therefore, they should make up 50-55% of your calorie intake.
Fats are vital for the proper functioning of your body. They contain large amounts of energy that are incorporated into cell membranes, fats, and cholesterol.
They’re a type of macronutrient known as lipids. Also, they offer a lot of energy in tiny packages, and it is essential to eat them even if you need to lose body fat.
We can find them in the majority of animal-based items and a few oily veggies. They provide 9 kcal/g of energy. However, according to recommendations, they should not account for more than 30% of total calories in the diet.
It is preferable to obtain them from unsaturated fats, which are very beneficial for the body. You will find them in extra virgin olive oil, salmon, tuna, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
Proteins are complex molecules used for the development and maintenance of your body’s tissues. There are 20 amino acids, and you need to consume all of them to function properly.
Proteins are important macronutrients. They provide structural support as well as energy. They provide 4 kcal per gram of food.
Protein intake is essential because it is responsible for many functions in the body, such as building and maintaining muscle mass.
They are present in many different foods, including milk, eggs, meat, and fish. Legumes, on the other hand, have a significant vegetable protein content. Protein has to constitute 10-12% of your daily energy intake.
How to calculate your macros?
Your macros are a lot like your life’s budget. Your daily intake and expenditure will dictate what you can spend or eat on a day-to-day basis. However, knowing the numbers is important for long-term success.
1 gram of fat provides 9 calories, so 100 grams provides almost 900 calories worth of fat alone. Keep in mind that this number is just for one nutrient! It doesn’t account for carbohydrates, proteins, and vital nutrients like vitamins.
A person who needs about 2000 calories per day would need to consume at least 300 grams of carbohydrates, 125 grams of proteins, and 50 grams of fat (assuming their calorie requirements are spread evenly over the three macronutrients).
A gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories. Protein provides 4 calories per gram, and fat provides 9.
The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the total energy expended while resting in a neutrally temperate environment. It can be used as an indicator to measure one’s metabolic efficiency. To calculate BMR: multiply the weight by 10 for women and 11 for men; height in centimeters should be divided by 100
It’s a straightforward set of calculations, but here’s an illustration of a 75-kilogram woman who is 1.65 m tall and is 42 years old.
Determine your body weight in kg (if you reside in the United States, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to obtain your kg).
Data to make the calculation
- Multiply your weight (kg) x 10. Example: 75 x 10= 750
- Multiply your height (cm) x 6.25. Example: 165 x 6,25 = 1.031,25
- Multiply your age (years) x 5. Example: 40 x 5= 200
Total sum. Example: 1,981.25
If you are a woman: Subtract 161. Example = 1,820.25 calories
If you are a man: Add 5
In addition, it doesn’t matter if your goal is weight loss, weight gain, or maintaining your weight. Depending on your physical activity level, you must multiply this amount by:
Data according to your activity level
- 1.2 if your activity level is low. You exercise little or not at all.
- 1.375 if your activity level is medium. You exercise1 or 2 days a week.
- 1.55 if your activity level is high. You exercise 3 or 5 days a week.
- 1.725 if you exercise every day.
The woman in our scenario must consume at least 1,820.25 kcal every day. She usually works out twice a week, so we multiply her basal metabolism by 1.375 to arrive at 2,502.84 kcal per day that she must ingest.
If that’s not your thing, I’ve included a calorie macro calculator with the Harris-Benedict method. This is a weight loss calculator, but it will calculate the precise number of calories you’ll need to achieve your objective.
How to apply it to your diet? Applying the correct macronutrients in your diet
You have a few more computations to perform to distribute your macronutrient intake according to the recommendations of a healthy and balanced diet. The total amount of 2,502.84 kcal required in our example would be distributed as follows:
Carbohydrates should make up 50-55% of your energy intake daily. This is equivalent to 1,376.56 kcal in our scenario.
Considering that carbs provide 4 kcal per gram, the advised daily amount is 344.1 grams of carbohydrates. (This figure is obtained by dividing the recommended daily intake by the contribution per gram: 1.376,44/4).
For fats, the accepted daily amount is 30-35% of your daily calories. This equals 825.94 kilocalories in our example. The number of grams to consume every day considers that each gram of fat provides 9 kcal, implying that you should eat 91.8g of fats daily.
For proteins, the suggested daily intake is 10-12%. This comes to roughly 300.34 calories in our example. Therefore, the amount to consume according to the 4 kcal per gram of fat ratio, the amount to be consumed every day is 75.1 grams of protein.
Now that you’ve learned how many macronutrients you should eat every day, it’s time to figure out how often. Remember that you’ll want to distribute them across five meals and prepare various foods from your favorite sources.
Why should you care about calculating your macros?
An advantage of counting macros is that it ensures that you get the essential nutrients into your diet instead of focusing solely on calories. Counting calories takes no account for any other factors.
Using macros to determine your daily calorie intake also ensures you get a balance of important nutrients into your diet: proteins, carbs, fats, plus other essential vitamins and minerals.
Benefits of calculating your macros
The benefits of calculating your macros are:
Weight loss or weight gain control
You can use your calorie intake to manage your weight with macros. This means you can cut back on junk food, and you will still lose weight as you are getting enough protein, carbs, and fats.
To improve your performance in the gym or sports, you take part in
Some people find counting their macros helps them get better results from their training. This is because you are getting the right balance of nutrients for your daily activity.
If you have too many carbs for breakfast, you could cut back a little. Or, if you find that you have low energy levels, then increase your fats slightly to meet your goals.
You will know if you are eating enough food.
You know you’re eating enough to fuel your body and support growth, health, and recovery from exercise by calculating macros.
You will have a balanced diet.
If you count your macronutrients, you will have a balanced diet with essential nutrients such as proteins, carbs, and healthy fats.
You are likely to feel more satisfied with your diet
Many people report that they feel much more satisfied with their diet after counting macros. This is because you are getting a balance of nutrients, which can, in turn, reduce cravings for junk food.
Disadvantages of calculating your macros
You may feel you are restricted in your diet.
Counting macros can take some getting used to as you have to record everything you eat, which might be difficult if you eat out a lot.
It takes time and effort to count macros. It takes time and effort to count macros. If you want to focus on weight loss, you might find it easier just to count calories.
If you’re not careful, you could still eat too much junk food A major disadvantage of counting macros is that you could accidentally eat too many carbs or fat by mistake. This would mean you don’t get the balance you need between proteins, carbs, and fats. So you are likely to feel you have too much or aren’t getting enough of a certain nutrient.
You could get it wrong and end up eating the wrong amount of calories
Some people go to the gym every day, while some never go. By calculating your macros, you are factoring in all your activities into your daily calorie intake. This means you might end up eating more than you need on a day you don’t go to the gym. Or you might eat too little or miss out on meals if you’re never at home.
It’s not always easy to calculate your macros accurately
While some apps and websites help you do this, it can be hard to get the calculations right as everyone is different. The amount you have to eat on some days might vary depending on your activity levels.
You can still eat junk food and fail to lose weight
Counting calories is simple. You have to look at the nutritional information on the packaging. You could get by without counting your macros as you would still be eating a healthy balanced diet. Calculating macros can be more accurate, but you need to have a certain level of discipline.
One size fits all approach isn’t always suitable for everyone
There’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to counting macros. The amount you need to eat depends on your body type, fitness goals, and activity levels each day. So you might not get the right balance of nutrients you need, and you won’t see the results you want.
5 Apps to find the macronutrients of food
One of the most well-known food tracking software, MyFitnessPal, is loved by many. It has a macro tracker and a huge collection of fresh and packaged meals to choose from.
FatSecret is a free app. This version allows you to track macros effectively and join a community of other users striving for similar goals in their own lives.
Cronometer also helps you track your health objectives, calorie count, maintain a food diary, and link to various activity trackers.
Do you need new recipe ideas? The app includes an in-app recipes library. You may also track by macronutrient or meal and see a daily macronutrient snapshot to help you keep track of your progress and better food choices.
This app is ideal for you if you enjoy eating out (or ordering in!) It contains data from hundreds of restaurants, as well as a wealth of information about packaged groceries.
FAQs on macro counting
Do counting macros really work?
If you track what you eat can help in your fat loss challenge. But there isn’t any evidence that tracking macros can offer a greater advantage than other calorie-counting diet plans. Food quality matters with all eating plans.
What is the macro counting diet?
A macro diet is much more stringent than a calorie counting meal plan. You count the macronutrients—particularly grams of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats—you consume within your calorie goal in what proportions.
Is it better to hit macros or calories?
If your goal is to have a fitness hourglass figure or poppin’ six-pack, then counting macros ensures that the weight you’re shedding is unwanted fat.
Can you lose weight without counting macros?
To lose weight, you don’t need to count macros or calories. However, to maintain a healthy weight, you must consume fewer calories than you use each day.
What is clean eating?
The phrase “clean eating” has no formal definition but usually refers to plant-based, minimally processed foods you prepare at home.
What are the best macros for fat loss?
The healthy macronutrient distribution is 45–65% carbs, 20–35% fat, and 10-35% protein. Therefore, you must find the ratio that works for your lifestyle and eat fewer calories than you burn through exercise or activity each day to lose weight.
How much protein should I eat a day to lose weight?
To lose weight, you should eat between 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound you weigh.
Can you still gain muscle if you don’t eat a certain amount of protein?
It’s possible to build muscle without eating large amounts of protein. The body can manufacture complete proteins with essential amino acids from other nitrogen compounds found in the blood, some already present in your cells, and a few you take in through your diet.
What should my macros be for fat loss and muscle gain?
A typical macro ratio for fat loss and muscle gain is 40 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent carbohydrates. So to lower your body fat percentage and build lean muscle simultaneously, it’s important to understand how your body healthily addresses different types of mass.
I know it can be overwhelming to figure out how many calories you should eat and your macros. But take the time to do some research on this now so that you don’t have to worry about it later!
As always, we’re here for you and would love to help tailor an eating plan with all of your specific goals in mind. If anything else is unclear or confusing, please get in touch with one of our dieticians today. They’ll set things straight. (Trusted sources 1*, 2*, 3*)
Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.