Did you know that there is a way to calculate the number of calories you need each day, and it doesn’t involve counting every single one? This magical calculation is called a “macro.” Macros (short for macronutrients) are the nutrients that provide your body with energy: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. In this post, we’ll discuss what macros are, how to calculate them, and some tips for hitting your target numbers. Let’s get started!
What are macronutrients?
Macronutrients are molecules we need in large amounts to keep our bodies running. They include water, protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Of these nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat provide us with energy in the form of calories.
Carbohydrates give you quick energy in the form of sugar. They are found in foods like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables.
Fats are a concentrated source of energy. They are found in oils, butter, meats, nuts, and seeds.
Protein is essential for rebuilding muscle tissue and can also be used for energy. It is found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and beans. Although protein is a necessary part of the human diet, it is not considered a macronutrient because we only need small amounts of it.
Water is the most abundant substance in our bodies and is required for all cellular processes. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to function properly.
How many macros should I eat per day?
The amount of macros you need per day depends on your individual needs. To calculate your own macro goals, start by determining your calorie needs. Once you know how many calories you need to consume each day, you can then break those calories down into percentages of carbs, fat, and protein.
For example, let’s say you need 2,000 calories per day to maintain your weight. Of those 2,000 calories, you would want to consume:
– 40% carbohydrates (800 calories)
– 30% fat (600 calories)
– 30% protein (600 calories)
To get started, use an online macro calculator or talk to a registered dietitian.
Tips for hitting your macro goals
Once you know how many macros you should be eating each day, here are some tips to help you hit your targets:
– Plan ahead by prepping meals and snacks that fit your macros. This will make it easier to stay on track when you’re busy or on the go.
– Make sure you’re getting enough fiber by including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Fiber not only helps keep you feeling full, but it also aids in digestion and can help lower cholesterol.
– Choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts. These foods not only provide energy but also contain essential vitamins and minerals.
– Include a source of protein at every meal to help repair and build muscle tissue. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, and eggs.
Macronutrients in Common Foods:
|Apple||1 (4 oz.)||0.27g||14.36g||0.18g|
|Banana||1 (6 oz.)||1.85g||38.85g||0.56g|
|Orange||1 (4 oz.)||0.79g||11.79g||0.23g|
|Pear||1 (5 oz.)||0.54g||21.91g||0.17g|
|Peach||1 (6 oz.)||1.2g||12.59g||0.33g|
|Beef, regular, cooked||2 oz.||14.2g||0g||10.4g|
|Chicken, cooked||2 oz.||16g||0g||1.84g|
|Fish, Catfish, cooked||2 oz.||9.96g||4.84g||8.24g|
|Pork, cooked||2 oz.||15.82g||0g||8.26g|
|Shrimp, cooked||2 oz.||15.45g||0.69g||1.32g|
|Bread, white||1 slice (1 oz.)||1.91g||12.65g||0.82g|
|Caesar salad||3 cups||16.3g||21.12g||45.91g|
|Dark Chocolate||1 oz.||1.57g||16.84g||9.19g|
|Pizza||1 slice (14″)||13.32g||33.98g||12.13g|
|Rice||1 cup cooked||4.2g||44.08g||0.44g|
|Sandwich||1 (6″ Subway Turkey Sandwich)||18g||46g||3.5g|
|Coca-Cola Classic||1 can||0g||39g||0g|
|Diet Coke||1 can||0g||0g||0g|
|Milk (1%)||1 cup||8.22g||12.18g||2.37g|
|Milk (2%)||1 cup||8.05g||11.42g||4.81g|
|Milk (Whole)||1 cup||7.86g||11.03g||7.93g|
|Orange Juice||1 cup||1.74g||25.79g||0.5g|
|Apple cider||1 cup||0.15g||28.97g||0.27g|
|Yogurt (low-fat)||1 cup||12.86g||17.25g||3.8g|
|Yogurt (non-fat)||1 cup||13.01g||17.43g||0.41g|
How do I calculate my macros?
There are a few different ways to calculate your macros, but we recommend using the following method:
First, determine your calorie needs. You can use this calorie calculator to get an idea of how many calories you need per day. Once you have your calorie needs to be figured out, you can then begin to calculate your macros.
Next, you’ll need to decide how many calories you want to come from each macronutrient. For example, if you want 40% of your calories to come from carbohydrates, you would multiply your calorie needs by 0.4.
Lastly, you’ll need to convert those percentages into grams. For example, if you want 40% of your calories to come from carbohydrates and you need 2,000 calories per day, that would be 800 calories from carbohydrates or 200 grams.
Now that you know how to calculate your macros, let’s talk about some tips for hitting your target numbers.
Tips for hitting your macros
1. Track your intake.
Use a food journal or an app like MyFitnessPal to track the foods you’re eating and their nutrient content. This will help you to see where you’re getting your macros and where you may need to make adjustments.
2. Make sure you’re eating enough protein.
Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, so if you’re working out regularly, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting enough. aim for 0.36 grams per pound of body weight (or 0.8 grams per kilogram).
3. Get your carbs from whole foods.
When trying to hit your carb target, focus on eating healthy carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid processed carbs such as white bread, pastries, and sugary drinks.
4. Don’t fear fat.
Fat is essential for hormone production, brain function, and absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. Aim for 20-35% of your total calories from fat.
5. Drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal health, so make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces (or 1.5 liters for those of you using the metric system).
By following these tips, you can be sure you’re getting the right amount of each macronutrient to support your health and fitness goals.
Eating the right mix of macros is essential for optimal health and fitness. Use the tips above to help you hit your target numbers each day. And don’t forget to track your intake so you can see where you need to make adjustments.
How many carbs should I eat per day?
This will depend on your individual needs, but we recommend getting 40-50% of your calories from carbs.
How many calories should I eat per day?
This will depend on your individual needs, but we recommend using a calorie calculator to get an idea of how many calories you need per day.
How much protein do I need?
We recommend getting 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight (or 0.8 grams per kilogram).
How much fat do I need?
We recommend getting 20-35% of your total calories from fat.