Tracking macros are essential if you are wanting to get down to single digit bodyfat. Even if you are wanting to lose weight, its always good to know how many calories your a taking in to then know if you need to increase or decrease intake. All foods contain at least one macronutrient out of the 3 which are carbohydrates (4 calories per gram), protein (4 calories per gram) and fats (9 calories per gram) Each macronutrient has their own specific role and functions in the body and therefore our body requires these nutrients in relatively large amounts to allow us to recover, grow and continually develop.
Protein is vital for human life. Our muscles, skin, bones, cartilage, blood and hair are all made up of it. Along with making enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. So making sure you have enough of it in your diet is critical. Especially when you regularly exercise and workout. The protein will be required to aid recovery of your muscles and to build them bigger and stronger. For this reason, when working out your macronutrient split, its always good to start with protein.
Lets make this a case study of someone who is a regular gym goer and who wants to lose body fat and get lean. The case study (called Dave) lol has worked out he needs to be consuming 2000 calories a day for him to be in a deficit.
So like I said, its best to start with your protein intake at first to ensure your requirements are covered. The go to requirement for people hitting the iron is said to be around 1.8 - 2.2 grams of protein per 1kg of bodyweight. So lets take the average at 2g. Dave is 85kg, this means he will be requiring 170g of protein per day. People do seem to go towards the higher end and theres no harm in that. Theres a myth that too much protein is damaging to your kidneys. This is only true if you already have kidney issues. Lets bunk that protein intake to a round 200g
So Dave is now eating enough protein and ensuring the body can recover from his intense workouts. His calorie intake from protein alone is 200g x 4= 800.
Now also essential for life and good health are fats. They serve both structural and metabolic functions. Fat insulates us and protects our vital organs, they are a source of energy, they play a vital role in the formation of steroid hormones, they act as structural elements of cell walls, conduct and relay messages and ensure certain vitamins are absorbed in the body. It is usually said a healthy balanced diet should consist of around 20-30 % of all calories coming from fats. So lets take 25% of Daves calories intake coming from fats. He already knows he needs 2000 calories a day. So 25% of 2000 = 500.
Now he needs to workout how many grams of fat that will be. All he does is divide 500 by 9 (the amount of calories per gram) and it will give him the answer 55.
So now his macro split atm is 200g of protein and 55g of carbs. This totals 1300 calories. The rest of the calories will come from carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are another sauce of energy. Once consumed they are broken down into its simplest form Glucose, before being absorbed into the bloodstream and transported into the body's cells with the help of insulin. In the muscle it is stored as glycogen where it is involved in chemical processes to create energy and movement. If all the cells are full up of glucose and glycogen, then it will be converted into fat for long-term storage of energy. For a more sustained energy release, eat carbs higher in fibre such as oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, sweet potato, brown rice etc. This will release sugar into the blood stream more slowly and reduce the potential for high blood sugar spikes. In return, keeping insulin sensitivity high.
So Dave now has 700 calories to come from carbohydrates. 700 divided by 4 (amount of calories per gram) = 175g.
There it is. Daves macro split is 200g Protein, 55g of Fat and 175g of Carbs.
This will give him his deficit and by counting what he's eating it will ensure him he sticks to the plan and knows where to go from there.
A nice balances diet, ensuring all bases are covered :)
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, it would be awesome if you could let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment in the comments section :)