WHAT ARE MACROS?

These are the types of food that your body requires in large amounts in the diet. They are broken down into carbohydrates, protein and fats and each group provides different nutritional components, and they deliver Calories to the body.


  • Protein provides amino acids used in building muscle. Found in foods such lean meats, eggs, fish, dairy


  • Fat is used in cellular transport, hormone regulation, cell support and brain function. Found in meat, fatty fish, nuts, oils


  • Carbohydrates provide the body and brain with energy to use and store. Found in foods such as fruit, vegetables, grains.


See Also >> The No.1 way to lose fat and keep it off! 


MACRO RATIOS




The key with counting your macros is the ratio you consume of each. As a guide you should aim to have the most carbohydrates, followed by protein and fat, however the ratio can be tweaked depending on what your health and fitness goals may be.


Your body needs different amounts of each of the macronutrients depending on physical activity levels, age, gender, health status, etc, so there is no one size fits all approach to determining how much you need. Most people just use an app or website, punch in their age, height, gender and physical activity level, and an approximate guide to daily Calorie intake is provided.


If you wish to maintain the same weight, the Calories consumed should be equal to the number provided. If weight gain or loss is the goal then you simply add or avoid a few extra calories each day. It is accepted that for the average individual 45-65% of your daily Calories should be coming from carbs, 20-35% from fat and 10-35% from protein. However, as previously mentioned, studies have shown that altering these ratios appropriately may give you an extra edge in reaching your goals.


WHERE DO I START?




1) Calories Per Gram

We need to first consider how many calories each of the macronutrients contribute per gram; protein and carbs provide 4 Calories per gram, fat provides 9 Calories per gram (and don’t forget that alcohol is the only other food to provide Calories at 7 per gram).


2) Calculate

You’ll next need to jump on your trusty nutrition calculator app or website and find out approximately how many Calories you should be consuming a day. Here you enter your age, gender, height, and physical activity levels - the number of calories provided by the calculator will be what you need to maintain your current weight.


3) Decide what your goals are

Weight loss, maintenance or gain, lean down, build up? Because at this point we start to work out our macro ratios in order to reach that daily Calorie goal, and you can tweak your macros in order to give you a boost in achieving your specific goal.


Goal: Building Muscle = 40-60% carbs, 25-35% protein, 15-25% fat


Goal: Maintenance = 30-50% carbs, 25-35% protein, 25-35% fat


Goal: Fat Loss = 10-30% carbs, 30-40% fat, 40-50% protein






4) Calculate Each Macro Group

Based on your goals and the macro ratio that supports them, work out how many calories from each food group you will be aiming for.


5) Measure Your Food

Here is the challenging part – once you know the amounts you’re aiming for, it’s time to measure the protein, fat and carbs in what you consume. This can be quite easy if you’re consuming packaged food – you just read the nutrition label and multiply the grams of each macro by their caloric value (e.g. if there are 8 grams of protein, then you just calculate 8 x 4) to find out how much they contribute to your daily total.


The challenge comes when you are eating out, or consuming foods without a label such as fruit and veggies. Here you will need to research each food’s macro content and average serving size and work out how much to include. Remember to count all of the macros in a food you are consuming, not just the main one.


PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT




This is a practice makes perfect endeavor; initially it will be time consuming, challenging and a bit frustrating, but the longer you are on the wagon the more streamline the process becomes. If you want to get a taste of counting macros without the initial steep learning curve and time expenditure, there are plenty of companies providing people with macro friendly ready-made meals.


It’s actually a good way to learn more about exactly what makes up the food we eat every day, however, it’s not necessarily for everyone and though it may help you along the way, it’s not always necessary to reach your goals. The most important factor to remember is that while you’re monitoring your macro intake, the key is to nourish your body from high quality sources; think fruits, vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, wholegrains and lean protein.


Struggling to hit your daily protein macros? A scoop of OxyWhey between meals is the perfect solution! 





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