What are Macros?
I’ve had several requests asking me to blog about macros and essentially why you don’t have to diet to lose weight. I’m going to try and make this blog as simple as I possibly can because the subject of macros can get really confusing.
Macronutrients aka macros are basically your fats, protein and carbohydrates in your diet. There are also micronutrients which are fibre, iron, vitamins etc etc but let’s not get into that.
Calculating your macros.
Everyone’s macros will be different; it depends on your height, weight, age and how active you are which determine what your macros will/should be.
If you just type on Google “macro calculator” and input your details, you will get the amount of calories you should be eating everyday to maintain your current weight. You can also use this to work out how much protein, carbs and fats you should be eating.
Carb intake really varies from person to person so I’ll use myself as an example. I’m really carb sensitive, so carb cycling really works for me. My maintenance carb level is 160g of carbs a day (worked out using tools on Google, also depends on how active you are also because carbs are our main source of energy). So on my “high carb days” I eat 160g of carbs from “clean foods” and have one big meal where I don’t calculate the carbs, on low carb days I eat around 60-80g of carbs. Here’s where macros get complicated; the most important aspect to your macros is the amount of calories you eat – energy in, verses energy out. It’s argued that as long as you know what your weight maintenance is, calorie intake should be; subtract 500 calories from your weight maintenance calories allowance and you should technically be allowed to eat anything you want and still lose weight. This includes “bad food”, so for example if you eat around 1500calories to lose weight and your carb intake is 100g, fats 40g and protein 160g (hypothetically) while also eating properly all day AND track everything you eat using the myfitnesspal app; and you see that you have 200 calories left and 40g of carbs and 20g of fats (hypothetically). Let’s also say that you’re really craving a chocolate bar and you choose one that has 200cals, 20g of fats and 40g of carbs you haven’t gone over your macros. You eating chocolate in this scenario should be fine.
The argument is as long as you eat within what you are supposed to eat it’s fine. Your body doesn’t differentiate between types of carbs and fats and treats them all the same. However with all this said, it doesn’t mean you can eat burgers all day long and still get lean. You do have to eat enough good food to get in your micronutrients for your body to function properly.
My main point is that as long as you eat 80:20; so 80% good food and 20% bad food (all within your macros), your weight loss goals can still be reached!
Don’t super restrict yourself but at the same time don’t over do it. It’s all about balance.