What are macros?
- Activity level
- Fitness goal (building muscle vs. losing fat vs. long distance running, etc.)
- Body composition (lean mass vs. fat mass)
- Body type (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph
- Health status (chronic disease vs. healthy)
Why count macros?
- More tailored to your fitness goal
- Can take the guesswork out of eating and can make tweaks where needed
- Helps to differentiate where your calories are coming from
- Helps you to distribute macros appropriately throughout the day
- Good for people who are already lean and may just need a few small tweaks to get to their final goal (ex. bodybuilders, etc)
- Good for timeline goals
- Makes you more aware of what you’re eating and foods that provide certain nutrients
- Time consuming and tedious
- Not necessarily focused on a well-rounded diet, ex. poptarts and ice cream being included just because they fit the macro count
- Can take enjoyment out of food
- Not recommended for beginners just learning how to eat a healthy balanced diet
- Can become obsessive, especially in quest of a “perfect day”
- Hard to track when eating out
Let’s say you need 1800 calories a day for your fitness goal, and you have decided to eat 40% carbs, 40% protein, and 20% fat. How do you calculate?
- Carbohydrates have about 4 calories per gram
If you are eating 40% of calories from carbs, you multiply 1800 calories x 40%= 720 calories
Next, you will divide 720 calories by 4 calories/gram= 180 grams of carbs per day
- Protein has about 4 calories per gram
If you are eating 40% of calories from protein, you multiply 1800 calories x 40%= 720 calories
Next, you will divide 720 calories by 4 calories/gram= 180 grams of protein per day
- Fat has about 9 calories per gram
If you are eating 20% of calories from fat, you multiply 1800 calories x 20%= 360 calories
Next, you will divide 360 calories by 9 calories/gram= 40 grams of fat per day
- Is this sustainable?
- Can you eat this way for a long period of time?
- Does it fit your lifestyle?
- Are you on a timeline?