I’m sure you’ve heard the term macros before. If you’ve hung around the gym for any length of time or surfed the internet on healthy eating, you’ve most likely come across it. It sounds like a very scientific and complicated process but really, it’s very simple. This article will help you understand what macros are and how you can count your macros to get rid of your belly fat or gain those 5 pounds of lean muscle.
The Macronutrient Trifecta
There are three macros; protein, carbs, and fats. It all boils down to those three foods. Depending on your fitness goals, your desired ratio of protein to carbs to fat in your diet will be different.
Protein: This is an important macro for those looking to get lean and build muscle. Of course, it does much more than that. Proteins will help with healthy weight for women by helping them to stay full and keep their metabolism high. Protein will help men to build muscle and stay slim.
Best sources of protein: lean meats, eggs, fish, lentils, protein snacks from Fit Lifestyle Box .
Carbohydrates: This would be considered the energy macronutrient since it is either used immediately for energy or stored as glycogen for use as energy later. It is usually the biggest portion of people’s diet, but many people shy away from too many carbohydrates trying to keep a healthy weight for women.
Best sources of carbs: complex carbs like fruits and veggies, whole grain starches, beans.
Fats: Fats is usually a scary word for people looking to lose belly fat but they actually are very important for many different functions of the body. For instance, it helps the body to absorb the nutrition it eats, keep the body at the right temperature, and keep hormones level.
Best sources of fats: avocado, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts.
What should your macro ratio be?
There is a formula to use to find out how much of each macronutrient you need to achieve your goals. If you follow it step by step, you can eat the right ratio for your desired body physique.
Step 1: Find Your Daily Energy Expenditure
To figure out how many calories you use each day, you need to figure out how much energy you expend each day. There are two numbers to find, your calories burned while at rest, and your calories burned while active. When you add the two you get your TEE or total energy expenditure.
This calculator will give you not only your TEE but also how many calories per day you need to eat based on how many calories you are trying to lose per week. It’s a great tool to help you get rid of body fat.
Step 2: Find your Macros ratio
Now that you know how many calories you need to eat a day, you can turn that number into a fraction based on your desired results.
There is no one size fits all ratio but there are ballparks that everyone should be close to.
The recommended macros ratios look like this:
45-65% of your calories should come from carbs
10-35% of your calories should come from protein
20-35% of your calories should come from fats
These numbers are still very flexible. There are plenty of online calculators out there. I found that this one is the easiest to use and most comprehensive.
Step 3: Adjust Your Diet
Now that you know your macros ratio, it's time to put it to use. It’s important to remember that the ratio is in relation to your calorie intake, not your plate. So, you will have to be doing some calorie counting to get your macros right.
A food journal can come in handy here. It is easier to keep track of your calories, carbs, fats, and proteins when you write everything down. It may be a hard habit to start but it could mean success when reaching for a healthy weight for women or bulking up for men. Before you know it, counting macros will become second nature.
TL;DR: Counting macros means getting the right amount of protein, carbs, and fats for your goals.