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  • Writer's pictureTerri Windover

Macros... what are they and why do they matter?

Macros is simply a short form for the 3 "macronutrients" in our diets that provide us with calories (energy): carbohydrates, fats, and protein. It is important to know what your macro ratio is in a day as it can be a huge tool in losing body fat and building a lean and healthy body. Don't run away screaming! I'm going to help you how to figure out what you need.

We need to start by figuring out your BMR.   The first step of meal planning is to determine basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the number of calories the body requires daily to function without addd exercise. This can be found online using any BMR calculator . Once we have that we are ready to figure out our macro needs. 

First, macro math requires knowledge of how many calories are in 1 gram of all three essential nutrients: 4 calories per 1 g Carb 4 calories per 1 g Protein 9 calories per 1 g Fat

(*7 calories for alcohol like rum, rye etc with minimal to no nutritional value) So let's say my BMR is about 1300 calories and I workout daily so I expend more energy than that. Let's say about an additional 300 calories, so my daily caloric intake should be about 1600 calories. Keeping in mind the fact that I live an active lifestyle, I want my macronutrient breakdown to be roughly 40% carb, 35% protein, and 25% fat. This will let me build lean muscle (protein), give me the energy for daily life plus high intensity training (carbs) and support brain and body function and low intensity training (fats). Here's a sample based on 1600 calories: 

Or you can use the handy macronutrient calculator. 

To find out how many grams, you simply divide the calories of protein and carb by 4 and the calories from fat by 9: -640 calories carb ÷ 4 calories = 160 g carb -560 calories protein ÷ 4 calories = 140 g protein -400 calories fat ÷ 9 calories = 44 g fat Now all you need to do is download the My Fitness Pal app to help you track your food intake and it will also show you your macros.  

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