Macronutrients often referred to as macros are essentially the sources of our energy. There are three kinds of macros: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. You can check Wikipedia for a good overview.
If you want to gain strength and muscle while having a healthy body it is important that you know how to determine your macros. Luckily for you (also for me to be honest), it is quite easy. You simply need to eat a good amount of all three.
I have made this fancy graphic to show you what that looks like:
You can deviate a bit from these ranges, but you should know that deviating too much can get you in trouble.
How To Determine Your Macros Specifically
In order to know specifically how many grams of each macro you should include in your diet, you first have to do a few calculations.
You want to first determine your maintenance calories and then add relatively few surplus calories that your body can use for building muscle. You can estimate your daily maintenance calories with this equation: bodyweight x 15 for lbs, or x 33 for kg. You then want to add another 150-250 surplus calories.
Given 1 gram of both protein and carbohydrate is 4 calories and 1 gram of fat is 9 calories, you can then figure out how many grams of each.
Let’s say you have determined you should eat 2500 calories daily. In addition, you have decided you want 20 % of your calories from protein, 25 % from fat and 55 % from carbs. With this in mind you can then calculate your specific numbers:
Protein: 2500 x 20 % / 4 = 125 grams or 500 calories
Carbs: 2500 x 55 % / 4 = 343,75 grams or 1375 calories
Fat: 2500 x 25 % / 9 = or 69,44 grams or 625 calories
That is all there is to it.
Below I have listed a free download. It also includes a cool spreadsheet that will calculate all this stuff for you.
Why You Should Eat All Three
I think it is important to stress why you need a good amount of all three macros.
Including all the macros in your diet will help ensure your body is getting everything it needs and that it is functioning well. But, there is also another extremely important reason, that is it will make your life easier.
What I mean by that is that you can be flexible with your food choices and eat what you want.
Most healthy people just don’t function optimally on either a low-carb or low-fat diet. Eating either a low amount of carbohydrates or fat can affect your body in many negative ways.
There are few situations where a person is better off limiting carb intake, but these are in my opinion much rarer than what some nutrition and fitness experts give the impression of.
The ketogenic diet has become very popular recently, and maybe you are wondering how that fits in here. It is working quite well for some to lose, so I have written a specific post on the ketogenic diet for weight loss. Check it out!
Do you know the approximate macronutrients distribution of the food you are eating? I would love to hear from you in the comment section. If you don’t know what is your guess?
The Awesome Nutrition Guide
If you want to learn more about macros, nutrition, building muscle or burning fat, then I would recommend you my top free resource.
It is a 50+ pages pdf that I have titled The Awesome Nutrition Guide. It also comes with an email course!
The purpose of the guide is to serve as your diet and nutrition blueprint to get the body that you want and deserve.
You can get it automatically when you sign up for my email list.