If you’ve recently started on your health and fitness journey, you may have heard the word ‘macros’ floating around. If you’re looking to really focus on your nutrition to aid in your fitness goal, whether that goal is to lose weight, bulk up or get lean, knowing about macros can be really vital to your journey.
So what are macros?
The word ‘macros’ is short for ‘macronutrients’. Everything we consume can be divided into two categories, macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are the nutrients that provide the body with energy (calories), and are divided into three different types: fat, carbohydrate and protein. Micronutrients are much smaller nutrients that the body still needs and take the form of vitamins and minerals.
How does this help me?
Now that I’ve bored you with the scientific part, let’s talk about how macros can help you and your goals. Personally, I count my macros, this means that I have calculated the amount of each macronutrient I should be having every day, and for me this is 187g of carbohydrates, 62g of fat and 140g of protein. By counting macros, I am ensuring that my body gets the right amounts of each macronutrient in order to aid me in my personal goal (to lose fat percentage and get leaner). Depending on your goal you can play around with the different percentages of macros (so in % terms mine would be 40% carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein) and you can really see progress by sticking with these.
So what macros are right for me?
I know it’s confusing, I was really confused at first, but finding the macros that work for you takes experimentation and there are various factors you need to consider. If, like me, your goal is to cut fat, then perhaps think about a moderate carb diet, with high protein and moderate fat, on the other hand, if you’re wanting to bulk up, then higher carbs with 40-50% of your daily calories being made up by carbs might be better. It’s also important to take into consideration your body type and your gender, as these differences can play an important role in figuring out what’s for you. Bear in mind that there’s no clear rule for calculating your macros and that it will take time and some research to figure out what’s best for you.
Don’t forget about calories
Ok, so you think you might have got it? Well don’t forget about your calorie intake. Your macros percentages could be on point, but if your calorie intake is too low or too high, you won’t be getting the results you want. If your goal is to lose weight for example, regardless of how much of each macronutrient you’re consuming, you need to be consuming less than your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure a.k.a how many calories you burn each day), in order to lose weight. To calculate your calorie intake I would recommend The IIFYM Calculator (IIFYM = If It Fits Your Macros) and to track my daily intake of calories and macros I use MyFitnessPal.
I know it can seem a bit daunting at first, but trust me, just throw yourself into it, have a play around, and you’ll soon be feeling like a macro-counting pro!
For more nutritional advice and recipe ideas feel free to check out my Instagram @hannahrosefit and my blog Hannah Rose Fit.
Instagram – @hannahrosefit
Twitter – @hannahrosefit
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