In this episode of 20 Minute Fitness we explain how to set, monitor and stick to your macros. Setting your macros is a fundamental aspect of a successful diet plan. The fastest way to get an estimate of your daily macro allowance, depending on your body goal, is to use an online calculator. Bodybuilding.com have a comprehensive macro calculator for you to try out.
We also run through a more manual method of setting your macronutrients, this may require you to have a pen and paper to write the method down and to listen to the content a couple of times to fully understand how to do this.
You can also watch a video on this method by watching Christian Guzman’s video: Ultimate Diet Hack. His methodology requires you to calculate your BMR (this can also be done by using Myfitnesspal’s calculator) and then calculating the various macronutrient allowances.
The ShapeScale blog: How to Calculate Your Ideal Macronutrients Intake uses yet another method of calculating macros, starting with the Harris-Benedict BMR equation.
It is all well and good showing you all how to set your macronutrients but we also want to give them useful insights on how to track our macros and how to stick to our macronutrients and our diet. Also, the most commonly used method of tracking your macros is to use a fitness/macro tracking app. We would suggest trying My Fitness Pal or LoseIt. The Ultimate Tracking Guide goes into great depth on how these apps work.
When setting your macros it is important to refer to SMART goal setting and understand that the numbers you give yourself need to be realistic and attainable. If it fits your macros (IIFYM) is another method people use to help them stick to their diet, as this allows you to eat the foods you enjoy as long as they fit within your numbers. Of course, we would advise you to still consider the nutritional value of food when following this practise.
Set Macros. Don’t Just Count Calories
Purely tracking caloric intake and not paying attention to macronutrient breakdown does not give the full story. It neglects any real consideration to the nutritional value of different food groups.
Calories are not created equal. The different macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) not only have differing numbers of calories per gram. They also have very different levels of sustenance. For example, 400 calories of cake or beer do not give the same nutritional value as chicken and vegetables.
The easiest may be using an online calculator. Such as the one found on bodybulidng.com
You can also do this process manually. We first would do a calculation to find your BMR (basic metabolic rate).
So take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by a number from 14-16.
14 = little exercise, sedentary job
16= if you have an active job and train at an intense level 4 to 6 times per week
So let me give an example of what I mean to help illustrate this.
If I am 198 pounds, and a do very little exercise, I would call myself a 14. So, I would multiply by 14. Therefore, you get an estimate of my BMR OF 2772 calories.
Now if my goal is to lose body fat, I would use the commonly cited rule of a 500 calorie deficit a day. Resulting in a pound of fat loss over a 1-week period.
For Weight Loss: 2772 -500 = 2272 calories for my calorie deficit.
For Lean Bulk: 2772 + 500 = 3272 calories a day
The next step is to craft your macronutrient ratio. Sadly it’s not that simple. There’s no such thing as a single ideal or “golden” macronutrient ratio. People have different goals. So, they have to take a different road in order to reach their ideal body.
Fitness Tracking and Macro Tracking Apps
My Fitness Pal, LoseIt, and Rise.
Stick To A Diet Plan / Macro Plan
- SMART Goals:
- Plan your meals ahead of time. So you know whether you will hit your macros. Also, you won’t go overboard before its too late. We recommend: Easier Macro Counting
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