Are you working towards weight loss, muscle gain or anything close to that? Then you know that your diet will affect your goal. Whether or not you are going to be successful in your diet goals will depend on a number of factors, including calorie intake and macronutrients intake. Our attention today is on the later, also known as macros. We are going to briefly look at how to calculate your macros for an effective diet. Let’s dive in!
The word ‘macro’ is a short form for macronutrients. Macronutrients are the type of foods including carbohydrates, proteins and fats required in substantial amounts in the human diet. We wouldn’t want to dwell on what these foods but let’s just remind you how beneficial they are in our bodies.
Carbohydrates provide energy to our muscles as well as our central nervous system. They are actually critical to brain functioning and play a key role in influencing memory and mood. When was the last time you ate ice cream? Didn’t you feel so good after? That’s the work of carbs!
Proteins are extended chains of amino acids that make up everything in your body including bones, muscles, skin, hair, and more. Your organs cannot exist without protein. Protein is derived from animal foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, as well as plant-based foods such as beans, seeds, nuts, and quinoa.
Fats and I mean dietary fat, is an energy source for our bodies. Your body stores fat (not to make you fat though) and uses it as energy when your carbohydrates reserves are depleted. Fat sources include butter, oils, fatty meat, fatty fish, and seeds. Keep in mind that not all fats are good, but that’s a topic for another day.
You now have a good understanding of how every macro is essential to your daily diet. The big question is, how much of every macro do you need?
First of all, you need to know that:
Now, let’s take an example from one nutrition label:
From the label above, you can see that the Pinto beans contain:
Based on the knowledge that carbs and proteins contain 4 calories per gram, and fats contain 9 calories per gram, then we’ll have:
63g x 4 calories per gram = 252 calories from carbohydrates
21g x 4 calories per gram = 84 calories from proteins
1.2g x 9 calories per gram = 10.8 calories from fats
If you have specific macros goals, it is important to calculate your macronutrients intake each day. Apps such as loseit.com and myfitnesspal.com can make it easy for you to track your macros on a day to day basis. All you have to do is enter your foods and amounts, and the app will tell you the total number of each macro in your meals. Perhaps the only downside with these apps is that they generate generic results instead of a custom plan for you. If you want a more customized macro plan, seek help from a health and wellness coach.
It depends on your diet goals. Just to give you a few examples, if your main goal is:
Still not convinced? Here’s why you need to track your macros:
Yes! There’s room for adding some chocolate, ice cream or cheeseburger. Most people lose interest in following a restricted diet, so counting your macros gives you so much freedom to mix things in a healthy manner.
Sticking to a particular diet and keeping a social lifestyle can be tough. Most diets restrict you from eating out, which in most cases forces you to carry your prepped food to work. If you are counting your macros, you simply need to check the nutritional value of the meal you want to eat in a restaurant. Most restaurants or eateries will usually have the nutritional value of their menus online.
Typical dieters spend many hours prepping meals each and every week. Since no food is off the limits when counting macros, you can be more flexible in what you eat. Furthermore, you can stock your kitchen with a variety of nutritious foods and some of your favs.
As mentioned earlier, counting your macros, especially carbs and fat, can effectively power you through your workouts. The results will speak for themselves later.
As you count macros, you get to know a lot about the nutritional content in your favourite meals. While it’s hard to keep on tracking your diet for life, you will learn how to make proper food choices. In any case, knowledge is power.
Starting a macros plan can help you achieve your diet goals, whether fitness, weight loss, keto or any other.
Don’t forget to make it fun; doing the same thing over and over is boring. Luckily, there’s flexibility in calculating macros.
The head Chef and founder of ChefDine.
ChefDine provide a Meal Prep service that covers the Melbourne metro area. ChefDine take care of all your shopping, meal prep and cooking. Leaving you with a fridge of healthy meals.
We cover a range of diets, including:
Paleo, Fertility & Pregnancy, Weight-Loss, Fodmap and in-training meals.
With packages starting at just $210 per cook it is Melbourne’s most practical and affordable chef service.
As Professional Chefs our focus is not only on providing healthy and nutritious meals but also to save you as much time as possible.