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Macros: What are they, how much you should have and why.

Updated: May 25, 2022



Carbs:

AKA Glucose, these are the main energy source of your diet, and generally should make up the highest percentage of your diet. Examples of carbs are fruit, veggies, grains and dairy. Carbs can be processed by your body the easiest and quickest making them great to digest prior to or even during exercise. You can calculate how much carbs you need by first calculating how many calories you should have ( see below for that equation), carbs should be 40-50% of those total calories.



Fats:

Fats are primarily used as stored energy. They take longer for our body to break down but once created into fatty acids can be used as an energy source. Fatt acids also protect your organs, support cell growth, keep cholesterol and blood pressure under control and allows your body to absorb vital nutrients. Examples of Fats include, oils, butter, egg yokes, animal products Fats should make up 25-30% of your total calorie intake.




Proteins:

Proteins are also used as energy but are primarily used to build muscle and essential hormones' after being converted into amino acids. Examples are, meats, cheese, eggs, nuts. Proteins should also make up 25% - 30% of your total calorie intake.

*Note: that even the most sedentary individuals should be consuming at least 50% of their body weight in grams of proteins. However if you are exercising at all its recommended to have at least 75% of your body weight, and if you are wanting to increase your muscle with regular exercise you should be consuming at least 100% of your body weight in grams of proteins.


How to calculate your daily calorie goal:

  • For women, BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 x weight in kg) + (1.850 x height in cm) - (4.676 x age in years)

  • For men, BMR = 66.47 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5.003 x height in cm) - (6.755 x age in years)

Now take your activity level into account and multiply your BMR by the following.


  • Sedentary (little or no exercise): AMR = BMR x 1.2

  • Lightly active (exercise 1–3 days/week): AMR = BMR x 1.375

  • Moderately active (exercise 3–5 days/week): AMR = BMR x 1.55

  • Active (exercise 6–7 days/week): AMR = BMR x 1.725

  • Very active (hard exercise 6–7 days/week): AMR = BMR x 1.9



How to regulate all of this:

A great tool, is a free app called MyFitnessPal. This will help you easily log your meals and keep track of your daily macro goals. You can actually scan the bar code on any food label and it will pull up how many calories each serving is and what the macro break down is. To ensure we are actually consuming a full serving however, I would recommend using a small food scale to weight the grams/ounces of your daily meals to get an idea if you are close to hitting your goals. I am not saying you need to do this forever but it will give you a better understanding going forward.




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