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Understanding Nutrition: Macronutrients

What Do I Need To Know About Macronutrients?

Many people who want to improve their health and lifestyles have become interested in following a macronutrient program. So, what does this mean, and what does it involve? Here, we look at everything you need to know about macronutrients so you can boost your well-being.

What Are Macronutrients?

Put simply, the term macronutrients refers to substances the body needs in substantial amounts to allow for proper function.

The human body requires three different macronutrients – proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Each one of these supplies the body with energy in calorific form. To eat a healthy diet, you need to consume the right amount of each of the three macronutrients. That amount varies depending on how many calories you consume overall and the best ratio for your body and goals.

How Do You Calculate Macronutrients?

To calculate macronutrients, you need to know the number of calories provided by each.

Fats supply 9 calories for every gram. Proteins and carbohydrates, meanwhile, each supply 4 calories for every gram.

For example, if you eat the recommended daily calorie allowance of 2,000 calories, you can calculate the macros as follows:

  • 30 percent of your diet should be made up of proteins.
  • 40 percent of your diet should be made up of carbohydrates.
  • 30 percent of your diet should be made up of fats.

In a 2,000-calorie diet, that means 600 of your daily calories should consist of proteins. Another 800 of your calories should consist of carbs. The remaining 600 calories in your daily diet should be made up of healthy fats.

Let’s translate those figures into weights. Take the 600 and 800 calories and divide them by the 4 calories per gram that protein and carbs provide, respectively. This translates into 150 grams of protein and 200 grams of carbs. Now, let’s divide the 600 calories of fat by the 9 calories per gram that fat supplies. The result is 66 grams of fat.

Therefore, you should be eating 200 grams of carbohydrates, 150 grams of proteins, and 66 grams of fat every day. At least, as long as you consume 2,000 calories every day. You will, of course, need to adjust these figures to suit your own daily calorie intake.

Why Should I Count Macros?

There are a number of benefits that come with counting macronutrients. Here, we look at five of the top advantages that this eating plan offers:

  1. A lot of people find it difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan because of restrictions. However, counting macronutrients allows you to include your favorite snacks while still reaching your fitness and wellness goals.
  2. When you count macronutrients, you also have the flexibility to eat out with friends. Strict eating plans make it hard to eat at a restaurant or friend’s house. Counting macronutrients, meanwhile, allows you to track the food you’re eating and accommodate it into your diet.
  3. Perhaps the greatest benefit of counting macronutrients is you will become more aware of the nutritional value of food. You’ll pay more attention to the type of foods you consume and enjoy a more balanced diet as a result. Calorie-counting regimes focus only on the total calorific value of the foods eaten. This means you could make poor choices. For example, 100 calories of chocolate and 100 calories of chicken have the same total calorific value. However, they have very different nutritional values. When you count macronutrients, you make healthier choices when it comes to meal preparation. This helps you to not only maintain a healthy body weight but also to improve your overall wellness.
  4. Counting macronutrients will also help you to maintain your energy levels. By ensuring your daily eating plan includes all the key nutrients, you’ll avoid energy spikes and crashes.
  5. The greatest thing you’ll take away from a macronutrient counting eating plan is that it really works. When you give your body the right nutrients in the correct proportions, it will function at an optimal level. You’ll feel fitter and healthier, and you’ll find it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.

How Is Macronutrient Dieting Different From Regular Dieting?

Macronutrient dieting is different from standard calorie-controlled diets because it doesn’t rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. Everybody has his or her own target macronutrient ratio. You can consult with a professional or utilize an online macronutrient calculator to determine the best macronutrient ratio for you. It will depend on your medical history, personal activity level, health goals, and body type.

As you progress with your diet, your needs may change. In this case, you can adjust your macronutrient ratio to suit the needs of your body at the time. This makes this type of diet a much better alternative to other forms of weight-loss diets.

Switching to a macronutrient dieting plan can help you to achieve your health and wellness goals. It will also enable you to live a better lifestyle. Dr. Amanda can help guide you on this journey, call us today to schedule a nutrition appointment! (757) 427-0355