Macro-nutrients is the term we use to describe the types of food required in large amounts in the human diet. These “Macros” are made up of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. YES! Fats AND Carbohydrates!! Believe it or not, you DO need these in your daily diet.
LET'S START WITH PROTEIN
There is A LOT of science and research behind this, but basically it boils down to this very simple concept: The more lean your body is, or the more calorie restricted your diet is, the more protein you need! You will have to determine where you fit in the range to determine your daily protein requirement. You can use the following as a guide for your weight per pound:
Super-lean: 10 percent or less body fat (men), 20 percent or less (women): 1.4 g/lb. or higher.
Lean: 15 percent (men) or 25 percent (women): 1.2 g/lb.
Average: 18-24 percent (men) or 25-31 percent (women): 1 g/lb.
Overweight or obese, calorie-restricted: 1.6-1.8 g/lb.
CARBS AND FATS
Next we need to look at your Dietary Fat and Carbohydrates. Again, there are a ton of different opinions, research, and science out there to figure out how many fats and carbs you should be eating. Here is the “skinny” on this: First it is important to understand that regardless, everything you eat, no matter how healthy it is, eventually turns into sugar and fat if you don’t burn it! However, contrary to popular belief, fats and carbohydrates should NOT be COMPLETELY avoided from your daily diet because they have very important jobs to do which may or may not be related to the amount of our “stored energy” or fat. Fats are essential to give you energy and support cell growth. They help protect your organs, keep you warm, absorb nutrients, and produce hormones. However, too much fat is not good either so a healthy guide is 20% of your total diet. Carbs are the body’s FIRST energy source! The body converts most of them to sugar which is used to fuel cells such as those found in the brain and muscles. Don’t believe me? Keep cutting carbs from your diet, continue exercising daily, and when you have an episode of Hypoglycemia or severe fatigue from skimping on fats, sugars and carbs; you will! It is NOT a pleasant feeling to say the least. Your carb intake (for weight loss or not) should amount to what’s left in after you determine your daily protein requirement, and subtract that and your 20% of fat from your daily calorie requirement.
DAILY MACRO CALCULATION
The below formulas can help you determine the proper number of macros you should be eating each day.
Protein Multiplier x Weight = Grams of Protein per day
(Daily Caloric Requirement x 20%)/9 = Grams of Fat per day
Daily Caloric Requirement - [(Grams of Protein x 4) + (Grams of Fat x 9)] = Grams of Carbs per day
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