Saturday, March 31, 2012

What Do I Mean By Macros?

I wanted to give some clarification on my breakdown of macros, and why you want to pay attention to how  much protien/carbs/fats you have in your daily diet.

Let's say you finished calculating your daily caloirc needs after figuring out your goal and workout plan.  If you still have alot of excess body fat (like I did), you are going to want to start with a higher ratio of protein to carbs and fat. 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat.  This is your typical fat shredding macro ratio.  Now, you can get protein from multiple sources, I like chicken, whey protein isolate, etc.  Carbs come from my wheat bread and wheat tortillas.  Fats come from the peanuts, almonds and avacodos.  Notice these are all whole food souces (except the whey protein isolate).  When you start monitoring your diet on a website like, it will calculate all of your macros for you.  Things like Wheat Tortillas are considered carbs, but they also contain some protein and fat.  So, instead of looking at a nutrition label and calculating your macros by hand on a spreadsheet, let the computer do it for you.  Also, like I mentioned in a previous post, you cannot calculate by hand doing a 1 to 1 ratio.  1 gram of protein/fat/carbs does not equate to one calorie.  So DO NOT take 30% and multiply it by your daily caloric goals to get the number of carb calories you need.  There is a formula, and some really helpful programmers have already done the math for you.

As you start to shed more and more fat, you may find yourself requiring more energy and need to increase your carbs.  Please listen to your body on this, you will know because you will start to crash during the day or during your workouts.  It's not hunger, but you will consistently feel sluggish (at least I did).  Try upping your carb macros to 40% and reduce protein to 40%.  Keep the fats at 20%.  As time progresses, you will have to do this again.  Like I said, on my weightlifting days, I am at 50-55% carbs.

Now, you have to understand the importance and quality of your food sources.  Did you realize a cup of oatmeal and a handful of M&M's both have the same grams of carbs?  If you have 13 minutes, this guy does a good job of explainig it here  So, hypothetically, you could skip that cup of oatmeal and eat M&M's instead, and still be successful in losing weight, as long as you DO NOT go over your daily caloric intake and the carbs in the M&M's help you hit your macro goals.  But, your body needs quality nutrients, and you could be in a world of hurt only sticking to the M&M's.  I provided a link earlier about the guy who successfully lost weight on the Twinkie diet, but how sustainable is that?  But, monitoring your calories and macros also allows you to have flexibility in your diet.  If, at the end of the day, you have had your 4-5 servings of fruits and veggies, you have kept the fat in check, hit your protein requirements, but are short on some calories and carbs, it's not going to hurt to have those M&M's.  Just don't go over your caloric intake.  Remember the 80/20....80% of your calories for the week should be clean and whole foods, 20% can be garbage, but they BETTER fit into your daily caloric intake and your macros.  Questions?  Let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Wheat bread and tortillas are not whole foods. They go through lots of processing.