food

How to Calculate your Macro Nutrient Percentages

First, some information about what a “macro” is… There are 3 macro nutrients: Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins.

Carbohydrates:

Carbs are NOT your enemy.  Simple processed carbs, however…are.  Healthy carbs provide your body with glucose, which is then converted into energy to support bodily functions and physical activity.  Generally, diets should contain 40-45% carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, veggies, fruits and beans.

Fats:

Fat serves as an energy source during rest.  It is also responsible to construct every cell in our body, and regulates a lot of our functions and hormones.  Fat is NOT your enemy, similar to carbohydrates.  In fact, buying everything “low fat” can have more of a negative effect than buying the regular version.  Keep your fats clean (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), rather than eating trans fats and saturated fats.

Protein:

Protein is the essential nutrient your body uses to build new cells, maintain tissue, and ensure proper protein synthesis.  The reccomended daily allowance is .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight, however if you are looking to gain muscle, you need to ensure your calories are above your bmr, and your protein is more towards the 1.2-1.5g per pound of body weight.
How to calculate how many of each you need:

THIS IS A STARTING POINT, YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION RELIGIOUSLY.  Everyone is different-Some do better on higher fats, some on higher carbs, and some higher protein.  This is just the “general rule of thumb”.  First, calculate your calorie requirements.  (See blog article “How to Calculate your BMR”.)

1g of protein and carbohydrate=4 calories
1 g of fat=9 calories

Start with 1 g of protein per pound of body weight..if you want to build, do 1.2-1.5.
To find your fat, 25% of your calories can come from fats.  Once you have the amount of calories, divide by 9 to get how many grams should come from healthy fats.

To find your carbohydrates, figure out how many calories you have left, and then divide by 4 to find how many grams you need.

You can enter these numbers manually into my fitness pal.  Just go to the tab “goals”, then click on “calorie and macronutrient goals”, then alter them to fit what you have calculated.  Sometimes, the numbers will be a bit off if you don’t pay for the premium version of MFP.