🍽️ Decoding Macros: A guide to calculating your own!
Hello Fierce Fam!
As you may or may not know, during Covid I set myself some pretty extreme & ambitious fitness goals. Whilst I was fit in the sense that I could hike and bike, I had never picked up a dumbell before and had certainly never set foot in a gym!
In addition to training like a boss, I learned how to calculate and track my macros which made a whopping difference in my progress. It's not for everybody! It certainly demands a huge amount of self restraint, focus and attention to track every meal, weigh every ingredient & its basically all I thought about for an entire year.
I created this simple guide to get you started on how to track your macros if you want to see better results from your workouts and keep an eye on how you're fuelling your body. I would actually recommend every one try this for a couple of weeks, regardless of your fitness aspirations, to get an idea of the nutritional content of foods you love to eat - it can be pretty eye opening!
So lets dive in:
The Macro Breakdown: What Are Macros, Anyway?
Macro, short for macronutrient, is a fancy word for the nutrients your body needs in larger quantities: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
🥖 Carbohydrates (Carbs): Your body's primary energy source, carbs are found in foods like grains, fruits, and veggies. They're the fuel that keeps your engine running smoothly & despite what some fad diets claim, carbs are super important to overall health.
🥚 Proteins: Often dubbed the body's building blocks, proteins are essential for muscle repair, immune function, and countless other vital processes. Find them in sources like tofu, tempeh, poultry, beans and eggs.
🥑 Fats: Contrary to the misconception, fats are necessary for good health. They support brain function, hormone production, and overall cell health. Some excellent sources include avocados, nuts, oils, and fatty fish.
Crunching the Numbers: How to Calculate Your Macros
Now that you're familiar with the macro lineup, let's tackle the big question—how do you figure out the right balance for your unique needs? It's simpler than you might think:
Determine Your Goal: Are you looking to shed a few pounds, build muscle, or simply maintain your current weight? Your goal will guide your macro distribution.
Calculate Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): This is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. Several online calculators can help with this, here's one I use: https://fitnessvolt.com/tdee-calculator/
- Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage: there are lots of fancy & expensive machines to do this, but a easy & free way is to use a tape measure to get measurements from your neck & waist. Here's a calculator I have used: https://www.calculator.net/body-fat-calculator.html
Assign Macro Percentages: Now you have your total daily calories & depending on your goal, you'll adjust your macro percentages. For instance: Strength Training: Protein 30-35% of your total calories. Carbs 40-45% and fats 20-25%. Endurance Training: Carbs 50-60% of your intake, Protein 15-20%, Fats make up the rest. Powerlifting: Protein: 25-30% of your intake. Carbs 40-45% and Fats 30-35%.
Food Diary Magic: Tracking Your Macros Now comes the fun part—tracking! Apps and online tools make it easy to log your meals and see how they align with your macro goals. I use MyFitnessPal
Keep experimenting, discovering new foods that fit your macros, and building a repertoire of meals that power you toward your aspirations. Macros are just one layer of the journey. It's not just about the numbers on your plate; it's about mindful choices, nourishing foods, and listening to your body's cues.
As always, if you have any questions or would like to chat about how my range of healthy ready meals can help with your lifestyle, just reach out anytime. Clare