What’s a “Macro”?
A macro or macronutrient- the fat, protein and carbohydrates that make up a food’s composition and help you create energy. Macronutrients are found in pretty much all foods from your broccoli to your pizza, even in your sodas and beer. Other than water and highly processed foods and drinks that are modified to have zero “calories” have some amount of macronutrients.
Our macros, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates each have a convertible amount of energy/ calories per 1 gram.
- Proteins= 4 calories/kcals per 1g
(Example: 10g of protein= 40 kcal)
- Carbohydrates= 4 calories/kcals per 1g
(Example: 25g of carbs= 100 calories/kcals)
- Fats= 9 calories/kcal per 1 gram
(Example: 5g of fat= 45 kcal)
It’s important to know how many calories in each gram of a macronutrient to actually be able to track your calories and your macro profile, especially if your goal is weight/fat loss. It also gives you the basic knowledge to accurately read nutrition labels and to calculate whether or not the label is accurate.
Example: Let’s say the food label says- “200 calories per serving” to make sure this is accurate you can add up the macros like so;
Fat 8g x 9= 72 cals
Protein 10g x 4= 40 cals
Carbs 22g x 4= 88 cals
72+40+88= 200 cals
You have now accurately calculated your macros and calories. Now what if the math didn’t add up right? YOu may notice sometimes that your labels don’t add up, what should you do then? Well, a lot of food labels have mistakes on them, some on purpose, some on accident. You’ll see some labels will actually label the calories as less then what is really listed. They do this because they know most people only look at the calories on the food label and not the label in whole. I know it sounds shady and unfair, but there is a way to avoid this headache. Buy WHOLE FOODS! Whole foods are the easiest to calculate due to the ingredient list being so minimal. The less ingredients in the foods you eat the less chance of error to be on the labels.
Stay tuned for the next few blogs coming out as I will be breaking down each macronutrient and why they are important for your health and fitness journeys.