What are Macros, and Should You Count Them?

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Macro is just a nickname for macronutrients. A macronutrient is one of the three main nutrient groups; proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

We know that our sugars, starches, and fiber all count towards the carbohydrate breakdown.

One will find healthy fats in things like olive oil, avocados, nuts and meaty fish with high Omega counts similar to salmon.

Proteins are meats like chicken, eggs, non-fatty fish, or lentils.

How to Count Macros

For those looking to get the most out of their health and wellness routine, lose weight, gain muscle or accomplish their health goals counting macros is a definite must add to their daily regimen.

I know that the thought of counting macros is a little overwhelming but rest assured that this is not near as difficult as it sounds.

This is simply a higher form of calorie counting, since it takes the caloric intake and literally breaks them down into the three categories, so you know exactly what your daily intake is, and how to adjust to meet your individual goals.

Not to mention you will love to have the know-how just in case your macro calculator app glitches or for some reason can’t find your phone.

Counting Macros for Weight-Loss

Let’s start with calculating your optimal caloric intake for your goals. I would use the Mayo Clinic calorie calculator to determine your estimated calories to maintain your current weight.

For weight loss, we are going to reduce this by 20%. For instance, a 40-year-old woman who weighs 165 pounds at 5’5, has an active lifestyle needs to have 2150 calories to maintain their weight.

To lose weight using a macro calculation you will want to reduce the 2150 calories by 20%. So, 2150 x .20 = 430. 2150 - 430 = 1720

Best Macronutrient Ratio

After we know this, we can determine the macro rations that will aid you best for weight loss.

If you are more active, you will likely need to adjust this to include more carbs. I recommend a 20% carb, 45% protein, 35% fat ratio.

For bodybuilding, I recommend 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat.

Maintenance is closer to building start with 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fats.

The average macros needed to maintain on the Keto diet is 7% carbs, 23% protein, 70% fats.

Final Thoughts

Overall, counting macros for your goals is the best way to reach and maintain a goal because calorie counting will include empty calories, filler calories, and any others.

Counting macros ensures that you are getting the right type of caloric intake.

It also helps when planning meals for the week, budgeting and making sure that you are eating foods you love without guilt.

If you aren’t wanting to spend time calculating there are a lot of apps out there that will work as calculators and do the hard work for you.

I would take a look at MyFitnessPal, Fitocracy, or MyMacros+.

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