If you are health conscious or someone from the gym circuit (gym trainer or go-er), you probably might have heard the phrase ‘calculating macros.’ So, what does it mean? This term is used a pretty lot in the health circuit. Calculating macros refer to the number of macronutrients you intake.
People misunderstand that you only calculate macros when you need to lose weight. But this actually goes both ways. Calculating macros also come in handy when you need to gain or just maintain weight. As I said, it is just the number of macros you intake. If you have certain health goals, you must watch the numbers you eat.
But it is a little difficult to keep track of such a thing manually. So, there’s something people use called a macro calculator. A macro calculator helps you calculate macros to keep track of your intake. Today, I’ll tell you what macros are and how to calculate macros using a macro calculator.
What Are Macronutrients?
Let’s start with the basics. Carbohydrates, fats, and protein are macronutrients. They are the nutrients that our body needs and consumes in bulk. They are important to provide energy and keep a person healthy overall.
Carbohydrates include the sugars, starches, and dietary fibers present in the food. Carbohydrates are essential for energy. They are broken down in the body for an immediate rush of energy or stored later. Carbohydrates generate about 4 calories per gram. This is how they are calculated as well.
You can find carbohydrates in grains like rice and wheat. They are also present in starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, beets, beans, etc. You can also find carbohydrates naturally in sugary foods, dairy products, and fruits.
The intake of carbohydrates depends on the type of diet you follow. If you are on a low-carb diet, you reduce the intake of sugars and starches. But your body still needs fibers. So, it isn’t advisable to extremely lower your carbohydrate intake. This will result in low blood sugar, which isn’t good for many reasons.
It is normally suggested that you keep your calorie count from carbohydrates between 45%-65%. This will help you stay healthy without the problems that ensue with low blood sugar and low dietary fiber.
The reason why all health-conscious people dread fats is that they translate to the most calories. They convert to 9 calories per gram (trust me. That’s a lot). But fats can’t be left out of your diet as well. They play an important role in regulating the body’s temperature, regulating the production of hormones, and the absorption of other nutrients.
Also, we are talking about the intake of good fats and not Trans fats. You can find fats in oily foods like oils and butter. Fatty fish is also enriched with good fats. Other than that, you’ll find them in avocado, nuts, and meat.
The suggested fat intake ranges from 20-35%. It would be best to intake at least this much for your body to function properly. But many people confide in a low-carb, high-fat diet that helps them lose weight quicker. Although, if you have health goals for the long run, you should keep your intake within the suggested range.
The last among the three macronutrients are protein, last but not least. I want to quote my science book, “Proteins are the building blocks of the body.” Proteins also have a lot of important and non-negotiable functions. Besides building tissues, hormones, and enzymes, proteins also participate in important functions like cell signals and improving immunity.
You can get protein from poultry that includes chicken and turkey. Eggs are also a great source of protein. You can get protein from tofu, fish, lentils, and legumes other than bird-related products.
The intake of protein varies with age, health, and other things. But the suggested protein intake range is between 10-35% of your total calorie intake. Their translation to calories is like that of carbs. Protein makes for 4 calories per gram.
What Diet Needs To Calculate Macros?
Not all diets will tell you to calculate macros. But there are a handful of diets that follow a macro-based approach. You need to watch how much macros you consume when you follow those diets. Some of the diets are mentioned below;
- IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros Diet) Diet
- Keto Diet
- Paleo Diet
- Weight Watchers
So, this was all about the macronutrients. Now, let’s see how you can calculate macros using a macro calculator.
How To Calculate Macros Using A Macro Calculator?
The best way to calculate macros is by using a free Macro Calculator. It is a perfect way of keeping track of your development online. It helps you keep track of your burned calories, water consumption, and nutritional information for your recipes correctly.
Don’t complicate it too much! Using the macro calculator isn’t as difficult as it seems. The Macro Calculator by calculators-online.net is a good one. You just need to fill in the information the macro calculator asks for, and it’ll do the rest. Before you do that, you should have your goals clear. Your macros intake depends upon the fact if you lose, gain, or maintain your weight.
You must also understand that your level of activity also plays a key role in calculating macros. You need to mention whether your activity level is sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, very active, or extremely active. This plays a key role in your diet plan.
Let me tell you a step-by-step guide for using a macro calculator to calculate macros.
- The first thing you need to do is enter your age into the calculator.
- After that, select the drop-down menu and select your gender.
- Then, add your height. You can add it in feet, inches, or cm. Make sure you specify your preferred unit.
- Your current weight will be filled next. You can add that in pounds or kgs. Again, the specification of the unit is crucial.
- Then, select your primary goal from the menu. The menu of primary goals includes maintaining weight, accelerating weight loss, lose fat and muscle gain. Your primary goal can be any of these.
- You also need to select your meals per day. The menu includes options; all, 3, 4, and 5.
- You are also expected to mention your activity level. Choose from the 5 options from the drop-down menu. The 5 options include sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, very active, and extremely active.
- Select your exercise days per week from the drop-down menu.
- Lastly, you need to choose the formula you want to use for calculating macros using the calculator. You have three options; Revised Harris-Benedict, Mifflin St Jeor, and Katch-McArdle equations. The usual formula is the Revised Harris-Benedict. In case you use the Katch-McArdle equation, you’ll need to add your body fat percentage as well.
- After the information is filled in, you need to click the calculate button. The calculator will generate the results based on your inputs.
The macro calculator will show you your daily calorie intake. It will also break it down into macro intake. So, you’ll know how much carbohydrates, protein, and fats in grams you need to consume in a day based on your goals.
If your goal is to lose weight, it’ll give you a calorie deficit, whereas if your goal is to gain weight, it’ll give you a calorie surplus. That’s why it’s essential to be clear about your goals. Other than macronutrients, it also tells you how much sugar and saturated fat you can take in a day.
Benefits Of Calculating Macros
There are a few minutes of calculating benefits.
- Improvement In Diet Quality – Calculating macros helps improve one’s diet quality. You might eat two similar foods with the same calorie count. But one might have the required macros while one may find a huge quantity of a single macronutrient. This helps you get balanced nutrients while taking your regular calories.
- Helps In Losing Weight – As I have mentioned, calculating macros helps lose weight. If your goal is losing weight, you can intake your meals according to the suggested ratio of carbs, fat, and proteins. It’ll come in handy when you follow low-carb-high-fat diets or a high-protein-low-carb diet.
- Helps In Achieving Set Health Goals – If you have other health goals like maintaining a set weight or toning your body without losing weight, calculating macros can help with that. If you eat calculated macros specifically targeted for your health goal, you’ll achieve your goal sooner.
So, now we know all about macros and how you can calculate them using a calculator. We also know the benefits of calculating macros. You can calculate macros manually by using formulas and keeping track of calories in a diary. But when you have a simple solution, why should you sweat thinking about it. I hope you found this article helpful. I’ll see you soon with another article. Until then, stay happy and healthy!