How do you calculate your macros?

How do you know your nutritional needs to get the best silhouette results? That's the point of knowing how to count your macros.

Well, I'm warning you right now, it's going to be a little boring. The purpose of this article is not to get drunk with an avalanche of numbers, but to answer questions from readers like: How many spoons of peanut butter can I eat per day? Is it better if I eat Wasa instead of bread? I'm a vegetarian and I'm a fitness student, do you think I should supplement my diet with protein?...

Once you have calculated your macros and compared these 'theoretical' numbers to what you eat in practice, you will then be able to answer these questions on your own.
What are macros?
Macronutrients are proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Calculating macros means calculating the number of grams of protein, fat and carbohydrates you need.
What is the point of calculating macros?

If you don't have a particular goal, there is no interest and no reason to take the lead. There are a lot of very "fit" people who have never counted their macros and never needed them.

That said, if you have a goal that is very focused on physical appearance, knowing the ideal number of carbohydrates, fats and proteins for the goal in question will be much more effective than counting calories without distinguishing carbohydrates/lipids/proteins.

What are the recommended percentages?

That is where there is a debate. Recommendations vary widely depending on the source.

How do you calculate the number of grams you need for each macronutrient family?

The first thing to do is calculate the total number of calories you need. There are many formulas for this, for example here is one here.

Another faster formula for people in a hurry is to multiply your weight by a figure between 28 and 34 (rather around 28 if you are rather inactive or want to lose weight, rather around 34 if you do not want to lose weight or if you are very active).

For example, for a 60 kg woman who would like to refine herself a little but without losing weight, we could choose the multiplier 30. 30 x 60 - 1800 calories per day.

But as I said, it is a quick formula. There are many other formulas and many calculators on the Internet to take into account more criteria like age, percentage of fat ect. in the calculation. (If necessary, do a little Google search by typing "calorie calculator". Most U.S. calculators also have an option to enter their numbers into a metric system.)

Once you get your daily calorie count, you're going to "cut" that number based on the percentages you've chosen.

If we choose fitness recommendations of the type 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 30% protein, this will give for our example to 1800 calories:
  • Carbohydrates: 40% of 1800 - 720 calories
  • Protein: 30% of 1800 - 540 calories
  • Fat: 30% of 1800 - 540 calories

720 calories will come from carbohydrates, 540 calories will come from protein, 540 calories will come from fat.

Knowing that:
  • 1 g carbohydrates - 4 calories
  • 1 g protein - 4 calories
  • 1 g fat - 9 calories

The number of grams for each macronutrient family can then be calculated:
  • 720 - 4 - 180 g carbohydrates
  • Protein: 540 - 4 - 135 g protein
  • Fat: 540 - 9 - 60 g fat

So of course, it may sound like a lot of protein, but that's because we chose fitness ratio recommendations.

If we choose the official recommendations (55% carbohydrates, 15% protein, 30% fat), we get for our example at 1800 calories:
Carbohydrates: 247.5g carbohydrates
Protein: 67, 5 g protein
Fat: 60g fat

Some people will find the fitness recommendations far too high in protein, others will find the official recommendations too high in carbohydrates, especially for our sedentary lifestyles.

In short, whatever ratios you choose to calculate your macros, you will always find someone to tell you "these are not the right ones". For example, one can criticize the fitness ratios 40%/30%/30% and find them too high in protein and therefore acidifying for the body. This is true if you don't eat enough vegetables, but not necessarily true if you eat mostly green vegetables as a source of carbohydrates rather than bread and pasta.

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