How to Count Macros
Before we get into how to count macros, lets understand what they are exactly. Macro-nutrients are the breakdown of all the basic foods we consume. There is a science to losing weight and/or gaining muscle. By counting your macros you calculate how much energy your body requires to maintain your weight. When I first starting counting macros I was extremely intimidated, so I wanted to take a minute to break it down, and make it easy to understand! Trust me…If I can do it, so can you!
Macros are divided into 3 categories: Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates
Protein is what our bodies use to build and maintain our muscles! This is a MUST if you are trying to lose weight and want to keep your muscle composition while you are in a calorie deficient state. Protein is the hardest macro for our bodies to digest, therefore the digestion process burns higher amounts of calories. Eating protein will also keep you feeling fuller longer.
Fat…while it may sound gross, it is essential for brain function, vitamin absorption, and even hormone regulation. Our bodies have to have fats to live. The key is to consume “healthy fats”, and steer clear of trans-fats!
Carbs…admit it, you may have a love/hate relationship with carbs. Keep reading though! The main purpose of carbohydrates is to provide energy. Who doesn’t need energy?? The key is to understand the difference between simple carbs and complex carbs.
Simple Carbs- easily digested, provides quick energy. Examples: sugars, soft drinks, candy, honey, and fruit.
Complex Carbs- more nutritious than simple carbs, higher in fiber, and take longer to digest so your fuller longer. Examples: oats, vegetables, and whole grains.
How to Count Macros
Before you can understand how to count your macros you need to figure out what macros you are going to follow. Most personal trainers and nutritionist will calculate this for you. If you are doing it own your own there are lots of Macro Calculators online that will have you select your goals, enter your details, and will calculate your numbers.
I personally use My Fitness Pal App which makes it INCREDIBLY easy to count macros. Here is how it works…
Once you set up health goals you will enter or scan your foods…. Here is an example of one of my full days of eating:
IIFYM “If It Fits Your Macros”
When you first start counting macros it feel like a complicated puzzle. The key to to think ahead and prepare your meals based on fitting your macros. For example,when I was losing my baby weight I needed 130 grams of protein per day so I would have to tinker back and forth with my portion sizes. This is where a food scale is vital! Lets say I needed more protein, but did not have any carbs let. Answer….add more ounces of my lean meat or say add an extra egg. Same goes with if you need more carbs, but don’t want to go over on your fats.. simply increase your carb portion size, of rice cakes for example.
It will honestly take you downloading the Fitness Pal App and playing around with your meals and snacks before you truly get the hang of it. I promise it makes the process of how to count macros super easy, and takes the guess work out of it!
Here is a pie graph and break down of the entire day of eating:
Your main goal should be to get as close as you can to meeting your macros each day. Cut yourself some slack, and understand that every day will not be perfect. Some days we really NEED that doughnut- Right?? Fitness is a lifestyle not a short term goal, so do your best and that is all that matters at the end of the day!!! Please keep in mind I am not a trainer or RD…just a girl who loves fitness! Happy to help if you need anything!
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