How to Calculate and Track Your Macros

December 4, 2017

Macronutrients are essential in defining your body’s composition and overall health; regulating your bodyweight, body fat percentage, and lean muscle mass. That being said, if you want to achieve your fitness goals or simply maintain a healthy, aesthetic physique, you need to learn how to optimize and track your macronutrient intake to support fat loss and numerous other bodily processes.

Macros are comprised of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and while a high-protein diet is always a sound choice for building lean muscle mass and burning fat stores, the majority of people tend to exaggerate when trying to figure out these values, and end up with subpar results. Here is the best and simplest way to calculate and track your macros for a healthy, aesthetic body.

Establish your daily caloric needs

The online world is riddled with misinformation about nutrition and diet fads aimed at restricting your calorie sources and naturally, selling a product or service. Fortunately for you, nutrition is far simpler than the majority of health gurus would have you believe, and it all comes down to calories and how they are distributed throughout your day.

The premise is simple: if you are in a caloric deficit, you will lose weight, and if you’re in a surplus, you will add pounds to your frame. The key is to optimize your macros so that you don’t lose muscle mass, but fat instead.

This essentially means that you can eat whatever you want (but do refrain from junk food) so long as it fits into your daily caloric needs. One of the best and easiest ways to calculate how many calories you need on a daily basis is to use an online calculator for a rough estimate. Once you have your caloric requirements, you can move onto allotting them to proteins, carbs, and fats.

Calculate your protein requirements

Proteins will play a pivotal role in building lean muscle mass, burning fat stores and helping you lead a healthier lifestyle overall. Your nervous system and muscles will be able to recover faster, you will feel satiated, fueled, and full, and be able to hold on to muscle mass when restricting your caloric intake in order to slim down.

How much protein do you need daily? Research would suggest that 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is ideal for building precious muscle mass while keeping fat at bay. One gram of protein equals four calories, so all you need to do is multiply your bodyweight with four to get your daily caloric value from proteins.

Carbs are not your enemies

Contrary to popular belief, carbs are not the enemies of a lean physique, quite the contrary, calculated carb intake can help you build muscle, optimize your training, increase energy levels and even tone your physique. Plus, foods high in carbs are often an excellent source of fiber as well as various vitamins and minerals.

Using an online calculator can easily give you the number of calories from carbs you need on a daily basis, but be sure to keep your carb intake at moderate levels, opting for protein and fat-rich sources for snacks, such as Optifast nutrition bars, rather than resorting to unhealthy, popular sugary products.

Fats are crucial as well

Modern nutrition trends have plagued the online community with misinformation that is not only suboptimal, but can be downright unhealthy. This is to say that fats are not bad for you, in fact, they are responsible for handling and supporting numerous bodily processes, from hormone production to insulin sensitivity, muscle growth and nutrient absorption.

Therefore, you shouldn’t shy away from fats, but rather maintain a moderate 0.3 grams per pound of bodyweight on a daily basis for health and balance.

Adjust the variables accordingly

Now that you have your caloric needs set, and that you have divided your calories into macronutrients, you want to give your new diet plan a whirl and see where it takes you. The idea is to adjust these variables according to your transformation over time.

If you notice that you are gaining fat rather than muscle, you want to decrease your caloric intake and even decrease your carb intake as well, upping proteins. Be sure to always listen to your body and regulate your macros according to your present state, don’t shoot for more than one to two pound drops in weight per week.

Tracking your caloric and macronutrient intake is not rocket science, so don’t worry, with a little help from intuitive tools and a bit of dedication, you will have no problem calculating your way to the healthy, strong, and vibrant body you’ve always wanted. Even if you don’t feel like you will ever get it right, and it all sounds a bit too complicated at the moment, you will soon get the hang of it, and be on your way to the land of your dreams.

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