What are macros? Why do I need to know this? What’s in it for me?
Knowledge. That’s what is in it for you. And knowledge is power. While writing my blog post, Calories In versus Calories Out, I came to the conclusion that a little lead-in information would be good. A good foundation to start from. A general overview. So that’s what this is. The down, the dirty, the easy explanation of macros.
Macros, or macronutrients, are what make up the caloric content of food. There are three categories of these macronutrients: fats, proteins and carbohydrates. You’ve probably heard of these. They are all a necessary part of our diet and the sum of these three together is what makes up that OTHER number = calories!
Here’s the breakdown of each macro:
1 gram of fat equals 9 calories
1 gram of carbohydrate equals 4 calories
1 gram of protein equals 4 calories
Generally, your total caloric intake should be made up of 30% proteins, 30% fats, 40% carbs. Generally.
You may have read my blog post about calculating your daily caloric needs for fat loss here. If not, check it out HERE and you can calculate yours! So in my example, my TDEE calories for fat loss are around 1595 calories. For my percentages of macros, it would be 480 calories for protein and fats and 635 calories for carbohydrates. Then to break them down into grams for each macro, I take 480 calories of proteins divided by 4 calories per gram of protein (120 grams); 480 calories of fats divided by 9 calories per gram (53) and 635 calories of carbohydrates divided by 4 calories per gram (159 grams). The one I want to pay most attention to hitting during the day is protein.
Personally, I don’t buy into the bs that some people say you can’t just look at calories. While it is true that you aren’t going to do your health or weight loss any favors by hitting your total calories eating Frosted Flakes and ice cream, you don’t have to be so restrictive and eat EXACTLY your macros. I would go nuts if I had to calculate my food to EXACTLY 120 grams of protein, 53 grams of fats and 159 grams of carbohydrates. Who needs that kind of stress???
There’s the general overview of macros. Check out my post about Calories In versus Calories Out to see how much easier it is to achieve fat loss without crazy restrictive dieting or demonizing foods.