What is a Macro? What use is it to me?
With the craze of “If It Fits Your Macros” all over the internet, a lot of people have been asking me what it is, how it is used and what’s involved because of all the success they are hearing.
I am gonnna bust out what it all means in this post! I’ll keep it short and simple so you can start using some of its strategies right now!
What is a Macro?
A Marco is a Macronutrient. It is the bulk of the food you eat. It is all the carbs, all the protein and all the fat you eat throughout the day! That’s it. There’s nothing special about it. The “If It Fits Your Macros” strategy of eating is mostly focusing on how much you eat of these things.
Step 1- Find out your needed Calorie intake for your goal. This is done through estimation or is based on your previous or current tracking.
Step 2- Choose your Macronutrient ratio or needs for your goal.
Step 3- Build a diet using the information you have gather in step 1 and 2.
Step 4- Track your daily intake of foods and make sure you hit your Macronutrient needs. If it fits your marcos, bro!
That’s all it is, just another way of tracking your calories, but using the Macronutrient of the food you eat.
People have been doing it for a very long time, their just seems to be a name to it now.
“But. But how do I do that?”
I’ll show you my friend! I’ll start by showing how the calculations are made…
A gram of Protein = 4 calories
A gram of Carb = 4 calories
A gram of Fat = 9 calories
So, say if Johnny weighs 100kgs and is eating 3000 Calories per day and decides to eat the standard recommended amount of protein for his weight, 2.2grams per kg of bodyweight, he’d be eating 220 grams.
220 (grams of protein) X 4 (protein calorie makeup) = 880 Calories
Now that leaves 2120Cal left to fill his 3000Cal per day needs.
Fats. Maybe Johnny wants to eat 25% of his calories in fat. Let’s do the calculations shall we?
3000 (cals) X 0.25 (25%) = 750 Calories
Let’s convert that into how many grams of Fat he’ll be eating.
750 (calories) ÷ 9 (fat calorie makeup) = 83 grams of Fat
And this leaves Johnny with 1370Cals left in his 3000Cals per day needs.
What will he use it for? That’s right, his Carb intake.
1370 (cals) ÷ 4 (carb calorie makeup) = 342 grams of Carb
This all ends up to Johnny’s Macronutrient needs.
• 220 grams of Protein per day
• 83 grams of Fat per day
• 342 grams of Carbs per day
= 3000 calories per day
How easy was that?
Now what to do? Eat foods over the day that adds up to your Macronutrient needs at the end of the day. This is what “If It Fits Your Macros” implies.
This is where things get a bit cloudy. Some people go to the extremes and eat whatever they like, which is fine, but in moderation. These people tend to eat junk food all day, every day. This would affect your health in the long term. The more effective way is build your macronutrient needs over the day with real foods that you enjoy for most of the time. Stuff like steaks, chicken breasts, rice, potatoes, fish, fruits and veggies (well these are the foods I enjoy haha). This will help with your micronutrient needs (vitamins and minerals), your fibre and essential fat needs (omega 3 fats) and the benefits of plytochemicals from the veggies and fruits. Then enjoy a treat if you like, have some chocolate, a sweet or enjoy a fast food burger now and then, in moderation.
If you are not an athlete of any sort, I recommend switching to a more mindful eating routine after tracking your food like I just mentioned for a few months because you will have a much better idea of your needed portion sizes. Also the benefit of knowing the make up of macronutrients in certain foods and meals will help make better decisions. The whole flexible dieting that “If It Fits Your Macros” sprouts, isn’t flexible at all if you are are tracking every last piece of food you eat for a very long time.
Share and like this post because it will help others to understand the basics of IIFYM’s