In this blog post, we are going to show you how to count your macronutrients. At very it may seem daunting, but it becomes easier and easier the more that you practice – just like any skill that you want to develop.
However, I promise you that once you read this article and applying what we have outlined that it will be incredibly simple for you.
WHY LEARNING TO COUNT MACROS MATTERS?
Calories and macronutrients change your body composition. Despite what you might see on the news, in magazines, or from your favorite guru… specific foods DO NOT magically cause weight loss or weight gain. Instead, what matters are the calories and macros inside the foods that we eat.
Learning to count macros will help you understand what is in the foods that you eat on a day to day basis and help you better understand nutrition. Unless you are tracking your calorie intake, you simply do not know how many calories you are eating (and we are TERRIBLE at estimation).
Mastering this skill will set you up with a lifetime of success with losing weight, keeping it off, and building muscle – something that each of us dream could be a reality.
WHAT ARE MACRONUTRIENTS?
Your macronutrients are your protein, carbs, and fats and they are in every food that we eat. These macronutrients make up the calories that we consume.
1g of protein = 4 calories
1g of carbohydrate = 4 calories
1g of fat = 9 calories
HOW TO READ NUTRITION LABELS AND TRACKING MACROS
You will need to read the nutrition label to see how many macros are in the foods you are eating based on the serving size. You will see these macronutrients on the nutrition label of the foods that you are pulling from the shelf. If you are buying food that does not have a label (raw meats, veggies, etc) you can find the nutritional information on this food by doing a quick google search (i.e. Celery Nutrition Information).
There are 4 key areas in which you want to pay attention to:
The amount of each macronutrient is based on the serving size shown.
You might see something like:
Serving Size: 112g
Total Fat: 2.5g
Total Carbohydrate: 4g
And this means that for each 112 gram serving of this food there are 2.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 13 grams of protein.
Simple as that – and this is one of the reasons why you will need a food scale to accurately track your macronutrient intake.
Now… let’s say that you measure out a 224 gram serving of the food above. What happens then? It’s simple! You just have to do some quick math. You know that there are 2 112 gram servings in a 224-gram serving. Therefore, you would multiply each macronutrient on the label by 2.
The macros for a 224-gram serving would be:
Serving Size: 224g
Total Fat: 5g
Total Carbohydrate: 8g
And that is essentially how you are going to track your macros based on the nutritional label of foods.
Pretty simple, huh? I told you that it would be. It might just take you a little bit of time in the beginning to master it but once you get going it’s very easy.
The number one thing to keep in mind is that whatever serving size you are using based on what’s listed on the label that you multiply each macronutrient by the same ratio as you did the serving size.
If you are only using 1/2 of the serving listed, use 1/2 of the macronutrient amounts on the label.
If you are using 2 times the serving listed, use 2 times the macronutrient amounts.
And so forth.
You will track your macros all the way until the point where you have run out of macros for the day.
Let’s say that you have 200 grams of protein, 250 grams of carbohydrates, and 60 grams of fats to eat for the day. You will simply select the foods that you enjoy eating and track them until you are close to each number.
You will be able to get closer and closer to each the more that you track. You don’t have to hit these spot on either – seek to come within 5-10 grams of each when you are starting out.
APPS TO MAKE MACRO COUNTING SIMPLE
If you are not a fan of math, you are in luck.
There are a handful of apps that can do all of the work for you and make macro counting simple. The one that we recommend the most is MYFITNESSPAL. I would highly recommend using this app as you are starting out. They have a BIG database and using it will allow you to track your food intake as you go. It will also let you know how many macros that you have left for the day.