If you are someone who has been reading a lot of fitness articles online then you must’ve encountered the term “macros” for a lot of times already. But just to be clear, “macros” is the shortened term for “macronutrients”.
Just like what fitness enthusiasts would always say, “If it fits your macros, go get that macros”. You might have heard them say this over and over again whenever you ask for some diet tips and fitness advice. But you may still have some questions left unanswered on what exactly are macronutrients and how do you get them.
Well macronutrients or “macros” are the energy providers of your body. You get your macronutrients from all the food that you eat on a daily basis. These are the so-called “energy givers” that fuel your body. These energy givers are the protein, carbohydrates, and fat that you will be needing to calculate in order to achieve your target bodyweight.
If you are in any kind of diet, calculating macros plays an important role in losing weight. Most especially if you are on a Ketogenic Diet then you must have your eyes focused on your macros in Keto foods.
Entering Ketosis or staying in a Ketosis phase will require you to fully grasp the concept of macronutrients and how they work for your body. Once in Keto, you have to calculate the right amount of carbs, fat, and protein in order for your body to burn the unwanted fats that you’ve been wanting to get rid off.
For a clearer explanation, let’s try to break down the compositions of your macronutrients.
Let’s think of carbohydrates as the sugar and starches that you consume. Upon dieting, carbohydrates are considered the least important among all the macronutrients. Be it in any kind of diet, the rule would always go, “the fewer the carbs, the better”. This is why carbohydrates are needed to be restricted or limited while on Ketosis. Carbohydrates are fun because they give you energy. But little do you know, they only trick you by craving for more food. This is why a lot of people find it hard to lose weight – blame it on the bad carbs.
When calculating for your net carbohydrates, you have to subtract the amount of fiber from the “total carbs” indicated at the nutrition list. Even though fiber is considered a carbohydrate, fiber is a good one because it helps in digestion.
So “total carbs” – “fiber” = net carbs
Net carbs are the total amount of sugar and starches that you’ve consumed. You will then be using your “net carbs” for your macro calculation later.
Mind you, if there bad carbs as mentioned above, there are also good ones. Good carbs include the sugars from fruits and vegetables while example of bad carbs are the sugar and starches you get from unhealthy foods.
Protein on the other hand is almost everyone’s bestfriend. Protein is effective in muscle repair, muscle growth, immune function, lean mass preservation, and is even a substitute for the absence of carbohydrates. Most especially for bodybuilders, protein is the most important component of the macronutrients. It serves as the building blocks of the body. Without protein, the muscles you’ve tried to work hard for, will just go to waste. Lack of protein may also cause damage in your body resulting to malnutrition and other health problems.
If you are on a Ketogenic Diet, you must not only wish to lose ‘just’ fats. Your mindset must be focused in losing fat and preserving your lean muscle mass at the same time. Now, the amount of protein you will be needing for a day will depend on your current muscle mass. However, too much protein may also damage your kinder and might stall your Keto Diet.
In order to know the amount of protein you need, you have to know your body mass first and to get your body mass, you need to know your total body fat.
- Current body weight x body fat percentage = total body fat
- Current body weight – total body fat = body mass
- Body mass x 0.8 (constant) = Total amount of protein per day
Fats are just like protein that are also good for energy, growth, and muscle development. On a Keto Diet, fat is the primary source of energy. However, dietary fats are being chunked down into fatty acids and these fatty acids must be included in your diet plan. There are two kinds of fatty acids; linoleic acid and linolenic acid.
Now your fat intake will depend on your carbs and protein intake. If you are eating a balanced amount of carb and protein, then the remaining calculation will be left for fat.
There is even a misconception with fats. Some people would think that fats are actually unhealthy and must be the least needed in the macro calculation. However in the case of Ketogenic Dieters, fats are necessary. But just like carbohydrates, there are also good and bad fats
In order to effectively lose weight, keep in mind that you need to go for the low-carb foods. At the same time, you need to carefully track your macronutrients. Failure to do so might cause changes in your diet thus resulting to a slower pace of effectively losing weight.
Moreover, the calculation of macronutrients would still vary on your fitness goal. For those who are trying to lose fats, the computation of the macros would somehow still be the same. While as for those who are after a different goal, they macros might differ from yours.
If you are still having a hard time understanding and calculating your macros in Keto foods, you may consult an online Keto calculator to surely compute your macros.
Sticking on a strict diet will require you to know how to calculate your macros. Then at least next time someone would tell you the “If it fits your macros, go get those macros”, you’d know what to do.