The Macro Split and You 

How to work out your macros, and why 

Macros is short for macronutrients, the nutrients the body needs in high quantity. These are also the nutrients that provide calories. Foods also contain micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc) and other bulk such as fibre, and water. Consuming macronutrients in different percentages can provide different benefitsLet’s look at each in turn. 

Protein 

Protein in the body is turned over each and every day- this means the body breaks it down and rebuilds it. When you work out micro tears in the muscle are rebuilt stronger to be able to withstand the stress from working out. Protein is important for 

  • Hormones
  • The immune system
  • Healthy bones
  • Stabilise blood sugar levels
  • Boost metabolism  

PROTEIN PROVIDES 4 CALORIES PER GRAM
Recommendation: studies show 1.8-2.9g of protein per kg of body weight, or around 30% of total calories produces optimal results. 

Fat 

In fact, fat is an integral part of each cell membrane. The body requires a sufficient intake of fat to keep up hormone levels- the body’s signalling system. Hormones are fundamental to virtually every bodily process, so their significance can’t be underestimated! 

FAT PROVIDES 9 CALORIES PER GRAM 

Recommendation: a minimum of 20% of your calorie target should come from fats. 

Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are your body’s preferred source of energy. These bad boys are stored in muscle as glycogen (check out chem books if you’re interested!) and used up first when circulating in the blood. Carbs provide easy energy, as they’re quicker to break down compared to fat or protein. The brain and red blood cells require carb sources exclusively, and carbs are necessary in using fat for energy. 

CARBS PROVIDE 4 CALORIES PER GRAM 

Recommendation: once you’ve worked out your protein and fat intake, whatever is left is your carb target. Roughly 40-50% of calories. 

FIBRE 

Whilst generally not considered to provide calories (again, check your chem books!) fibre helps with satiety levels and keeps you, ahem, regular. In combination with water fibre helps push everything through the digestive system and out the other end. It’s gotta happen! It’s recommended to consume at least 25g fibre per day. 

Your Day: 

So, if you’ve worked out your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and adjusted for your goals, let’s give you an example of your macro goals. We always work our protein goals first. If your calorie target is 1900 and your body weight is 70kg, aiming for 2g of protein per body weight means your goal is around 140g. If we work 30% of your total intake 1900 X 0.3= 570 calories then work out how many grams that is (570/ 4= 142.5), we’ll round it up to 143. 

We’ll give ourselves 25% of calories for fat, to make sure we get enough of those healthy fats! (1900 x 0.25= 475) then divide that by the grams (475/9= 52.7g), so again we’ll round up to 53g 

Finally, for carbs the remainder of 100% is 45% so 1900 x 0.45 = 855. Then 855/4= 213.47, or 214 to make things easier. See the table below: 

EXAMPLE SELF-TRACKING TARGETS 

Daily Calorie target: 1900 

Protein goal 30% – 143g 

Fat goal 25% – 53g 

Carbohydrate goal 45% – 214g 

Fibre Minimum – 25g 

Of course you can also enter your goals into a tracking app such as My Fitness Pal, and it works it all out for you! And now you can get down to working out your food for the week. Try Our Top 5 Family Favourites and Our Favourite Desserts Under 200 cals for inspo! 

How to Plan Your Meals
How to calculate your intake

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