When you look at a label for nutritional facts, the first number you probably see is the calorie field. Looking at your calorie field is a great way to meet health and fitness goals, but to dive deeper, understanding macronutrients is helpful.
Counting macros can show you which food combinations you know and do your best, and help you change your eating habits to healthier patterns in the long run.
What are macronutrients?
Macronutrients are molecules we need in large quantities, or the most important nutrients we need to survive. Micronutrients, on the other hand, are substances required in much smaller amounts, such as vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
The three macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Despite fladieter you need all three: Cutting out a macronutrient gives you the risk of nutritional deficiency and disease.
Carbohydrates give you fast energy. When you eat carbohydrates, your body converts them into glucose (sugar) and either uses the sugar immediately or stores it as glycogen for later use, often during exercise and between meals.
Complex carbohydrates – such as starch vegetables and whole grains – also promote digestive health because they are high in dietary fiber.
Protein helps you grow, repair damage, build muscle and ward off infections, to name a few features. Proteins are made from amino acids, which are the building blocks of many structures in the body. You need 20 different amino acids, nine of which are essential amino acids, which means your body cannot produce them on its own and you need to get them from food.
High protein foods include poultry, beef, fish, soy, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products. If you stick with a plant-based diet, some starches, vegetables and beans are also good sources of protein.
Dietary fat is required for the body to be able to do its many jobs. You need fat to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) to isolate your body during cold weather and to go long periods without eating. Diet fat also protects your organs, supports cell growth and induces hormone production.
Calorie Amounts in Macronutrients
Each macronutrient corresponds to a specific calorie amount per gram: [carbohydrates have four calories in each gram [Proteins have four calories per gram]
Each person is different, and as such, each person's preferred macronutrient intake will be different. However, the federal dietary recommendations suggest this macronutrient ratio:
- 45 to 60 percent carbohydrate
- 20 to 35 percent fat
- Remaining from protein
The federal proposal is based on the fact that carbohydrates serve as the body's main fuel source, and is it the easiest macronutrients for the body to convert from food to energy. The metabolic processes of fat and protein are much more complex and take longer, which would not work well when you need fast energy.
Your macro relationship depends on your health and fitness goals, as well as how your body responds to certain foods. For example, many people thrive on a low carb diet, but the idea of a low-carb diet for me makes me shorter. I do my best when I eat about 50 percent carbohydrates.
Similarly, you can do well on a protein with high protein content, while someone else may experience indigestion from consuming too much protein.
How to calculate your macros
Now you know which macros are and how many calories they have. Then you have to do some math. This is because your intake ratio is written in percent, but nutritional information is given in grams. I use my macro intake as an example.
- First, you need to know how many calories you eat (or want to eat) each day. I eat about 2300 calories a day.
- Then you determine your ideal relationship. I like to eat about 50 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent fat and 25 percent protein.
- Then multiply your total daily calories by your percentages.
- Finally, divide the calories by calories per gram number. 19659041] How to calculate my calories for each macronutrient:
- Carbs: 2,300 x 0.50 equals 1,150. I eat 1,150 calories worth of carbohydrates each day (hi, extra slice toast).
- Protein: 2,300 x 0.25 is 575, so I get 575 calories worth of protein.
- Fats: 2,300 x 0.25 is 575. I also get 575 calories consisting of diet fat.
To calculate the actual gram amounts:
- Carbs (four calories per gram): 1,150 divided by 4 is equal to 287.5 grams of carbohydrates.
- Protein (four calories per gram): 575 divided by 4 plus 143.75 grams of protein
- Fat (nine calories per gram): 575 divided by 9 equal to 63.8 grams of fat.
If you don't like math, don't worry.
The best macro calculators
Price: Free, but you need to enter your email address to get your results.
The best macro calculators
Price: Free, but you must enter your email address to get your results. ] IIFYM stands for "If it suits your macros" – a phrase and popular hashtag used by the macro tracking group to refer to their flexible dieting approach.
This counter is one of the most comprehensive available. It brings together lifestyle and health information that many calculators do not do, such as how active you are at work, what kind of requests you have and if you have any medical conditions.
Healthy Eaters macro calculator calculates your macro nutrition ratio based on your age, sex, height, weight and activity level. You can customize your relationship based on whether you want to reduce your weight, lose 10 percent body fat, maintain or increase.
I like this macro calculator because you can see your relationship throughout the day, three meals, four meals or five meals.
Muscle for Life
The macro calculator Muscle for Life is another very detailed calculator. It takes into account your weight, your body fat percentage and your activity level. From there, this calculator determines your lean body mass (LBM), basal metabolic rate (BMR) and total daily energy consumption (TDEE).
The essay for this calculator is that you get a more precise relationship because it takes into account more factors. The downside is that you need to know your body composition before using it.
You choose whether to win, lose or keep your current weight and you can use the slider at the bottom to adjust your relationship if the automatic recommendation is not ideal for you.
How to track macros
Your macro numbers are not very helpful unless you use them.
"Track macros" refers to the process of logging your entire food all day and breaking down your macro relationship to eat according to your goals. It sounds scary, but again the web comes to rescue with a number of digital tracking programs.
The Best Macro Tracks
Price: Free or $ 9.99 per month
The free version of MyFitnessPal does not allow you to enter grammar rates for macros, only percentages. If you're just comfortable with percentages, MFP is a great free option because of its barcode search and massive database of food and drink.
With a premium subscription, you can track grammar rates and percentages, and you can see macro breaks for each meal and snack. A premium subscription also gives you extra features such as food analyzes (the quality of what you eat), food stamps (when you eat) and weekly reports.
MyMacros + is another great app with a large food database and barcode search function.
You can also track your body weight and set custom foods for homemade recipes so you don't have to log in the individual ingredients. My favorite thing about MyMacros + is that it can be used without the internet, so you can track even when you are offline.
Tip: Food databases are useful, but they often contain multiple entries with different tasks for the same thing, which can get confusing.
Price: $ 2.99 for download, $ 5.99 per month. Free version available.
The chronometer tracker tracks vitamins and minerals in addition to macros. It also allows you to track important biometric data, eg. blood pressure, cholesterol, sleep, mood, pulse and more – but you first need this information to use the functions.
If you have access to that information, Cronometer can provide insight into long-term trends and a clear snapshot of your overall health. The cronometer is impressive, it can be a bit overwhelming if you just want to track macros, and not the rest of the metrics it offers.
Are you going to track macronutrients?
Know that you do not need to track macros to be healthy,to build muscle or to reach other health problems. The only time you actually need to track macros is if your doctor told you that.
It can be frustrating and time consuming, but it is worth noting that you are pretty good at the eyeball parts if you track a habit.
Trace macros can definitely be useful for some things, such as preparing a bodybuilding show or optimizing athletic performance. It can also be helpful if you want to carry out "flexible dieting" or the exercise to eat foods you want, as long as they fit into your macro nutritional relationship.
In addition, many people like to track macros because it helps them understand what types of foods are best for their bodies. Try to see if it works for your lifestyle, but don't feel you ever need to track your macros.