In order to be fit and healthy, you need to follow a healthy and balanced diet consisting of the right balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are known as macronutrients, or macros for short. Macros can play a vital role in your body composition including how much body fat and muscle you possess, and where on your body for that matter. Learning how to calculate your macros needed on a daily basis, however, is another matter entirely and can be quite complicated if you don’t know how. Once you do know what you should be consuming, however, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards and benefits.
Calculate how many calories you should consume – If you’re an average sized male, you should be consuming between 2000 and 3000 calories per day in order to maintain your optimum levels of weight. If you’re especially physically active on a regular basis, however, then you’ll need to be consuming more calories than an average person, so just bear that in mind before going any further.
Protein-Protein is essential for the growth and repair of muscle tissue so you should aim for at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. So, say you weigh 180 lbs, you should consume 180 grams of protein per day. If you’re a bodybuilder or looking to build and maintain muscle, increase this to 1 ½ grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, so if you weigh 200lbs, you will need 300 grams of protein per day.
Plan carbohydrates depending on your exercise schedule – Carbs are needed for creating energy for the body and for helping it to recover following bouts of physical activity. For this reason, try to consume more carbohydrates on days that you train. On training days, aim for around 2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight, and 0.5 to 1 gram of carbs per pound of bodyweight on days that you aren’t training. Make sure your carbs come from complex sources such as starchy vegetables, rice, pasta, grains, and a few fruits.
Adjust fat consumption in relation to the number of carbs consumed – Fat is still a very important macronutrient and providing that it comes from the right source, I.E oily fish etc, then these healthy fats can be hugely beneficial. In order to calculate how many calories you should consume from healthy fats, however, you need to look at your carbohydrate consumption. Carbohydrates and protein both contain 4 calories for every gram. Add these grams of carbohydrate and protein together and then multiply them by 4. Subtract this number from your recommended daily intake of calories, and the number that remains is the number of calories that you should be consuming from healthy fats. Fat contains 9 calories for every gram, so divide by 9 to be left with the number of grams of fat you should be consuming. On high and low carb days, this number will be different each time. It may sound complex, but this equation actually makes things extremely simple and straightforward to understand. Get your fats from healthy sources including olive oil, oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, avocados, coconut oils, nuts, fish, and seeds. The RDA for fat is 20 – 35% of your daily calories, so if a person was consuming 2000 calories per day, they should be consuming between 45 – 78 grams of fat on a daily basis, depending on how many carbs they’d consumed of course.