I am following on from the What Are Macros? post I recently did and I felt it necessary to separate the understanding of macronutrients to the counting of them because as much as it may be similar to calculating calories, there are greater role players in terms of the each macro requires a certain percentage in your body depending on your body type and your goals of gaining or losing weight/fat or muscle building.
The amount of energy you burn is still important and how you train will play a factor and as simple as I made the calorie counting, neither is easy to apply because of your own personal discipline. a lot of media and influencers brainwash you into thinking your desired physique can be easily achieved in a couple of days, but how sustainable is it, can it be MAINTAINED which is way more important (I’ll speak more about this in another post).
Anyway, to the counting of macros!
Before you’re able to start counting them, you need to understand what your body type as a guide to ensure that you’re eating according to how it functions daily. There are 3 body types and all require different ratios in your carbs, protein and fats:
Ectomorphs: Tall and thin in structure and having thin limbs, finds difficulty in gaining weight or muscle.
Endomorphs: Stocky and has a high susceptibility in storing fat, having a slow metabolism.
Mesomorphs: Muscular and well-built with a high metabolism and can build muscle pretty easily.
To count your macros you need to know how to count your calories and then once you have calculated your Total Daily Energy Expenditure, you will have to decide how you’d want to breakdown your macronutrients.
According to American Council on Exercise (ACE) counting macros looks at the percentage combination or ratios of carbs, proteins and fats in a person’s diet rather than total calorie counts alone. These traditionally are percentages for total calories, falling somewhere within the following United States Department of Agriculture guidelines:
- Carbohydrates: 45 to 65 percent
- Protein: 10 to 35 percent
- Fat: 20 to 35 percent
How much you should be eating in macros is based on many things mainly your activity level or whether it’s a training or rest day, you may adjust accordingly and ACE provides some great information on this.
The percentage value is based on your calories, you can figure out how to calculate your ideal calorie intake from my What Are Calories? Post, otherwise from the calories you aim to eat daily, you multiply each macro ratio percentage by the total calories to get the ratio of each macro that you should eat daily to achieve your fitness and physique goal.
Using the calculated calorie ratio of each macro, you need to divide it by the number of calories/gram there are in each macro, which can be found below:
Carbohydrates = 4 kcal/gram
Protein = 4 kcal/gram
Fat = 9 kcal/gram
And then you multiply, each value calculated from the above, by the percentage you would use for your body type or your preference according to your goals. If you’re struggling to have an idea on this, you can use the guide below.
MACRO COUNTING ACCORDING TO YOUR BODY TYPE
Ectomorphs since they have a difficulty in gaining weight, it would be important for them to eat food that is high in calories, yet take awhile in breaking down. This would be whole foods, carbs and fat to ensure that they are maximizing their calorie intake according to their body types and with all food they eat they tend to have fast metabolisms.
Ideal Macro Ratio:
Mesomorphs have the ability of building muscle fairly easily, but they are also naturally muscular. Their metabolisms are moderate and can tolerate whole foods pretty well especially if they exercise in combination with the food.
Ideal Macro Ratio:
Endomorphs are naturally stocky and sometimes pear-shaped, they tend to have slow metabolisms and their tolerance of whole foods is not good, therefore they need to balance and lower the high calorie and high carb foods more than the other two body types.
Ideal Macro Ratio:
Counting macros is not something is to do if you’re starting with tracking your nutrition because there are many ways to do it, but to be more beneficial it would be important to have ways to guide yourself. This could be done through always reading the packaging of your food or use myfitnesspal which assists in knowing the nutritional value of the food you eat and it makes it a lot easier, it’s what I use when I am trying to track what I eat. I hope this was helpful in guiding you to counting your macros, please feel free to leave a comment or connect with me.