Macros are the foundation to a great, flexible diet. The term “macro” is short for macronutrients and basically means focusing on the 3 most important ones:
There are a few skills you need to calculate your macros and that’s what you’re here for!
What you need to get started counting macros.
You need to calculate the number of calories that your body needs to reach the target weight loss or muscle gain that you’re aiming for. There are a number of calculators online which takes into account 5 key factors:
- Your gender
- Your age
- Your current size
- Your activity level
- Your goals
Here is the calculator that I recommend using. It is the most accurate I have come across so far. It also gives you much more information about your requirements and any adjustments you might want to make.
Once you have that number, you need to know how you reach it daily and for that you need…
Oh god, not math. It’s real easy. When you look at the label, you’re looking for the three key macro nutrients. There’s no easy way to say it, but you’ll need to multiply:
- Grams of proteins times 4
- Grams of carbohydrates times 4
- Grams of fat times 9
- Grams of alcohol you can either calculate as you would fat OR carbohydrates. Make sure your track them the same macro nutrient as you calculated them.
Once you do that, you can know the calorie count that this bite of deliciousness that you’re about to consume will add to your macro count. Write it down. Macro counting without writing down your numbers is like watching a movie with no sound. Sure, you might know that you’re watching a Marvel Movie, but how will you keep up with the twists and turns in the interlocking story lines?
Only those 3 (or 4) things matter, most of the rest of the label can be ignored. Calculate the total calories per serving, then multiply that by the number of servings, and finally write the number down. Boom! You’re macroing. Once you’ve hit your daily limit, stop eating! It’s as simple as that.
(Note: nutritional information for foods without a label is easily found on the internet. Use Google or your favourite app to find out how much your fruit and veggies are adding to the calorie count!)