I have started to get a lot of questions about macros – do I track them, what actually are they, and how do you know what ration to use between fat, carbs and protein? So I thought it may be helpful for me to spell it out clearly on here for you all!
What are macros?
Macros is actually short for macronutrients and these are where you are getting all your calories from. There are 3 types: fat, protein and carbohydrates which are the elements in your diet needed to give you energy, recovery and day to day function. By tracking your macros this can give you a guide to ensure that you are eating the right amount of calories in the day, but also the right sort of calories which will give you what you need based on your activity level during the day.
It’s probably worth mentioning that your macro calculation will be entirely individual – therefore, it is unlikely that you will find a diet out there which will spell out the recommended macros for you unless you are following their guides and meal plans to the letter and they know how much you weigh and your height etc…
Ok.. so how do I know how much of what I need?
So here comes the numbers part (I have used my details for a working example)
First let’s calculate your Resting energy expenditure:
- 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age – 161
= (10 x 58) + (6.25 x 165) – (5 x 28) – 161
= 580 + 1031.25 – 140 – 161
Then we need to calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE):
This is based on your activity level throughout the day. The outcome of this will give you the amount of calories you need within the day.
Normal activity level in the day = REE x 1.2
Light activity level in the day = REE x 1.375
Moderate Activity level in the day = REE x 1.55
Very Active level in the day = REE x 1.725
- I do BBG as my exercise during the week, so I think that my activity level is moderate so my TDEE = 1310.25 x 1.55
= 2030 calories needed in the day
How to break this down into fat/protein and carbohydrate proportions:
- How much Protein do you need?
= 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight
= 127lbs (58kg)
- How much Fat do you need?
= 25% of TDEE
= TDEE x 0.25 = 507.5 calories
= 507.5 / 9
- How many carbs do you need?
= The rest of the calories
= 2030 – 508 (protein) – 507.5 (fat) = 1014.5
= 1171 / 4
= 253 g
What do you do with this information now?
Well I think that there are 2 sensible options – of course, this is only my opinion!
- Sign up to a macro tracker e.g. My Fitness Pal and go macro counting crazy! You can literally type in any food and it will calculate your macros for you.
- Realise that actually you probably need to eat more calories than you do. You probably have just realised that you need to eat more carbs and also more protein that you do. So with all that in mind – figure out how to add more of these calorie types into your diet so that you are meeting (near enough) your recommended daily requirements.
I really hope that this helps and is easy enough to follow. Let me know if you have any queries!