There are three essential nutrients that large amounts of energy come from – carbohydrates, protein, and fat. The body does depend on micronutrients (which are mostly vitamins and minerals) and water, but macronutrients are responsible for the major supply of energy… hence the prefix, macro.
Energy absorbed from macronutrients are described in terms of calories, and are as follows:
1g Fat = 9 calories
1g Carbohydrates = 4 calories
1g Protein = 4 calories.
Personal trainers and fitness apps for your phone generalize these nutrients by calling them ‘macros;’ and either the reference is made to the macronutrient ratio in a diet, or the predetermined amount of grams allotted each day.
Nutrition plans and diets focus on the consumption of macros. There are apps for phones and tablets, websites (http://macronutrientcalculator.com/), and other mediums for calculating and determining your percentage breakdown of macros in a day. Paying strict and careful attention to your macros is important to when dieting with a specific purpose. For instance, Low-Carb diets emphasize high-protein (40%) and high-fat diets (40%), leaving less than 20% of your calories consumed carbs; gaining muscle makes you shift focus to something closer to 50% protein, 40% carbs, and >10% fat, although this isn’t always the case.
There are a plethora of ratios and reasons why you should follow each one, as there isn’t an exact science to dieting. Each body is unique, and so responses to diets vary from person to person. Really, a ratio should be used as a general guideline, and the individual should note how their body responds. From there, you can adjust your diet and ratio tailored to each goal as they develop.
If It Fits My Macros
Once you’ve determined your macro ratio, it’s pretty simple to determine how many grams of each nutrient you need to consume daily, and per meal. The following is how to calculate them.
You need to take your Daily Caloric Intake and extract the calories per nutrient from your ratio. Once you have the amount of calories for that nutrient, you divide it amount of calories per gram. The result is the amount of grams of each nutrient you can eat.
That was a lot of words, so I’m going to give you a sample equation. This is the breakdown for a 2,400-calorie diet, where the ratio is 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat.
Carbs and Protein (both 40%):
2400 (daily calories) X .40 (%) = 960 calories
960 calories / 4 value in grams = 240 grams/day
2400 daily calories X .20 (%) = 480 calories
480 calories / 9 fat value in grams = 53 grams/day
So, your macros that you need to consume per day would be: 240g of protein, 240g of carbohydrates, and 53g of fat.
If you want to know how many grams of each nutrient you need to consume each meal, just divide each number by the amount of meals you eat per day. Pretty simple.
You will start to look like you’ve lifted a weight in your life. If you’re sick of not gaining mass, or can’t wear down the last of your spare tires, paying attention to your macros will definitely get you to see the results you’ve been slaving for.
Any success in fitness is attributed not only in what you do at the gym, but what you do in the kitchen. Therefore, focusing on your macros is that critical step you need to take to be successful in fitness.
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