First things first: What are macros? Simply put, macros are types of food (carbs, fats, and proteins) that we require a lot of in the diet. They make up our calories and give us the energy that we need to survive.
Carbohydrates provide energy. Quick energy carbs come from fruits, candy, sports drinks, and processed starches, like white bread and crackers. They should be eaten around a
workout so your body uses the energy that they give. When you eat simple carbs and do not use the energy they provide, the excess energy can be stored as fat. Slowly digested, or complex carbs, have more fiber, which prolongs their release of energy and helps to keep digestion regular. Some examples of complex carbs are whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and quinoa. These carbs are ideal when activity isn’t in the immediate future.
The types of fats that we eat are important. Fats from plant sources like nuts, avocados, and vegetable oils are excellent sources. Fats from animals have their place in a healthy diet, too, but should be eaten in lesser amounts since they are higher in saturated fats, which can affect heart health. When you eat fats is also important. You should try to consume fats in each meal since they will help to keep you fuller longer. Fat shouldn’t be eaten right before or during workouts since your body requires quick energy during those times.
Protein is essential for building muscle and repairing damage throughout the body. It is made up of building blocks called amino acids. Some amino acids can be produced in the body and some need to be eaten in food. Your protein intake should depend on your weight and activity. And while getting in enough protein is important—more is not always better. Too much protein, and not enough carbs and fats, can result in the body relying on protein for energy instead of using it for gaining and repair muscle. Knowing your protein needs is key for reaching your weight and activity goals.
Calculating your personal macro goals can be done in a variety of ways – and everyone does it a little differently. This first calculation should be a starting point for you in your journey to figure out what ratio is best for you.
In the coming weeks, take note of how you FEEL with regard to energy levels, workouts, sleep, etc. Even a single week can provide you insight into what’s working and what’s not. From there, you can always make tweaks on your own or work with me to determine the right macro ratio for you.
Here’s a breakdown of how to calculate your own macro numbers:
1. Determine your maintenance calories
This is calculated by obtaining the number of calories you need to maintain your body weight by multiplying body weight (in pounds) by 14 (or 15 if you are very active and/or have a low body fat percentage).
2. Set deficit (or surplus) calories:
If your goal is fat loss, a good place to start is by subtracting 200-500 calories from step 1 above. (If you’re looking to gain weight, add calories to the number you received from step 1.) This number is mainly determined by your goals/how much weight you want to lose as well as your current body fat %.
3. Set your protein goal:
Multiply your body weight (pounds) by 0.8. This will give you your protein goal in grams per day
4. Set your fat goal:
Multiply your body weight (pounds) by 0.4. This will give you your fat goal for the day.
5. Set your carb goal:
Divide your remaining calories by 4. This will give you your carb goal.
*There are 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per gram of carbs, and 9 calories per gram of fat.
Please note: This macro calculation is for the masses. When we calculate macro goals for our clients, we incorporate personal goals, activity level, type of exercise, occupation, body type, and more. The results that you calculated, while not individual, are a great starting point for your macro tracking journey!
Once you’ve determined your macro goals, it’s time to enter them into a tracking app, such as MyFitnessPal.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always more than willing to chat!
P.S. If you’d like your personalized macro goals calculated, our MACROS PLAN is for you!