With more than 45 million Americans going on a diet each year, learning how to monitor what and how much you eat is becoming more and more structured. A big part of that is counting macros.
But what does it mean to count your macros? And how can you do it effectively?
That’s what we’re here to look at today. Read on to find out more about how you can calculate macros and incorporate them into your everyday meal plan!
What are Macronutrients?
There are three main types of macronutrients that you need to track when planning out your meals: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Let’s quickly go over each.
Proteins are important for cell signaling, building tissues, and other key bodily functions. Protein-rich foods include eggs, fish, tofu, and poultry. They contain about 4 calories per gram.
Starches, sugars, and fibers are the most common types of carbohydrates or carbs. These get broken down into glucose and help produce your body’s energy. Grains, some vegetables, and dairy contain lots of carbs.
Fats are calorie-rich macronutrients that help moderate your body’s temperature and produce hormones. They are found in oils, avocados, meat, and fish.
How to Count Your Macros
Knowing exactly what your body needs to get the carbs, fats, and proteins essential to your diet is the key to counting your macros. Let’s break down the most important steps here:
The first step to learning how to count your macros is understanding your caloric needs.
What is your resting energy expenditure and your non-resting energy expenditure? There are plenty of tools to help you find this out. The key is to take in fewer calories than you’re expected to use up each day.
If you’re looking to meet a specific diet goal, you’ll need to break down your macro intake to make sure you’re hitting those objectives.
For example, those looking to get better good blood sugar control and lose any excess body fat might do a relatively even three-way split of carbs, fat, and protein. A keto diet might require more fat and fewer carbs.
If you’re looking for a better understanding of how your macros work and how that can affect your diet, this site can help you get there.
Tracking Calories and Macro Intake
This is where you’re daily tracking skills come in. You’ll have to calculate how much fat, carbs, or protein your daily foods contain each day. This can be done on a website, app, or even by hand.
Check the dietary information on the back of your food labels to see exactly how much you’re taking in. Some keep physical journals to track this, but there are plenty of electronic options out there.
Apps let you scan barcodes for your products to automatically calculate how much of each macro you’re taking in. Understand that you don’t have to hit your macro goals perfectly each day, as in you can be a little below or over.
Tracking Macros to Success
Trying to count your macros can feel like a daunting task, but it’s extremely achievable for even first-time diet plans. Use this guide to help you get where you need to go with your macro-tracking journey.
For more informative articles on diets and nutrients, check out the rest of our site!