Macros 101: Getting Started with Macros

cooked food on brown ceramic plate

Let’s talk about getting started with macros. They’re the absolute best way to work on your body composition in a healthy and sustainable way. If this is your first time hearing about macros, here’s a helpful getting started guide!

What are Macronutrients (aka Macros)?

Macronutrients, aka macros, are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. These are the main components of food and are what we use to calculate macros. In short, carbohydrates help give you energy, fats are super important for hormones and body functions and protein helps you feel satiated and build strength.

Here’s how macros turn into calories:

  • 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories
  • 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fats = 9 calories

What are micronutrients?

Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals present in food. Think calcium, iron, Vitamin D, potassium, etc. Many of these come from fruits and vegetables. Fiber is also a micronutrient. Women should aim to eat at least 25 grams of fiber a day and men should aim to eat at least 38 grams. Fiber helps your digestive system run smoothly, so make sure you are getting enough.

How do I keep track of my macros?

You will need to download a food diary app on your phone to track your assigned macros. I recommend MyFitnessPal! Aim to hit within 3 to 5 grams above or below each macro daily. You will notice that you may have leftover or a negative amount of calories after tracking the whole day. That’s because the calories on food packaging often differs from the actual macro count. Don’t worry about that – if you are hitting your macros, you are hitting your calories.

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