Do you wonder how you can figure out your macronutrient breakdown is? This is crucial for two reasons. First, you should calculate the macronutrient ratios of your current diet. Second, you need to also calculate what your idea breakdown would be.
Only when you know both of these can you start making dietary adjustments that bring you closer to the right mix that suits your objectives, which is frequently healthy weight loss.
First, it’s useful to know what macronutrients are. They’re categories of food you need for energy and fundamental human functions. They are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Being able to calculate your macros means you know how much energy your body is taking in every day, which means you can then figure out how much energy you have to burn off.
These have 4 calories of energy in each gram, and they’re the primary energy source for your body. They get stored in both the liver and muscles until they are needed for brain functions and high-intensity exercise, which means your body spares protein in order to preserve your muscle tissue. Carbs tend to come from fruits, roots, and grains.
Like carbs, proteins have 4 energy calories per gram, and come from legumes, nuts, dairy, beans, fish, and poultry. Your body uses these for metabolism, hormones, and the physical construction or repair of many tissues.
Fats are a source of reserve energy, but also something that transports fat-soluble vitamins while insulating and protecting organs. Fats come from cheese, butter, nuts, and cooking oils, and they have 9 energy calories per gram.
Calculating Your Macronutrients
The first step here is determining how many calories that you either do eat or want to eat every day. For this example, assume the number is 2,300.
Secondly, decide on your optimum ratio. Macronutrient breakdowns are different based on your current health, age, gender, size, and goals. If you’re not sure, consult your physician, who you should be talking to prior to any major dietary changes anyway. For this example, the ideal ratio is just going to be simply listed as 50% carbs, 25% fat, and 25% protein.
Third, multiply the total calories by each percentage. That would mean 1,150 calories of carbs, 575 calories of protein, and 575 calories of fat.
Fourth and finally, convert the calories to actual gram amounts. In this example, that turns into 287.5g of carbs, 143.75g of protein, and 63.8g of fat. If you’re wondering why protein and fat are the same for calories, but different for grams, remember that they are respectively 4 and 9 calories per gram.
Online Macronutrient Calculators
While you might understand the science behind your macronutrient breakdown and even how to do the math on paper, it’s really not necessary with one of our many weight loss calculators that take only a minute to complete. check them out here: https://www.iifym.com/weight-loss-calculator/
If you want to go about it on your own:
I advise using a multiplier breakdown such as this one below, which will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of where these numbers stem from.
This may take some adjusting on your end to figure out what works best for you based on your variables.
While it’s awesome to have online calculators available, it’s now the age of smartphones. If you’re wondering if there’s an app for macronutrient breakdowns and calculation, there are actually quite a few. These let you run your calculations on the fly and on the go.
Cronometer: This app has both a free version and premium options. On top of macro tracking, you can also follow your minerals, vitamins, and crucial biometrics. It’s useful for comprehensive overviews of your health but maybe too cumbersome for only tracking macros.
Fitbit: This app finally lets you set macro goals, nor do you need a second app if you use a Fitbit wearable. The app is useful and free, but you’ll only make the most of it if you have a compatible and wearable Fitbit device.
Lifesum: This is a free download, but it takes a premium subscription to truly access the macro tracking.
Lose It!: This calorie tracker has been around for the last decade. Again, it’s free for a download, but a premium subscription is required for specifying macro goals. The interesting thing about this app is recent integration with EmbodyDNA, which is a $190USD genetic test that gives you useful personal insights that might help you out with your diet.
MyFitnessPal: Often just known as MFP, this website and app are perhaps the most popular set out there, thanks to their owners, Under Armour. A massive food database has more than 5 million items, but premium access is what lets you do macro tracking. Still, this one lets you set your macro goals by either percentage or gram, and you can even set different macro targets for days you are sedentary versus active.
MyMacros: It costs a few dollars to download, but it’s among the few food-following apps that specifically focuses on macro counting. You have the option of setting your macros for both exercise and rest days. A premium subscription lets you access accumulated data online via a laptop or computer.
MyPlate: The Livestrong Foundation provides this database of over 2 million foods. The daily snapshot has macro breakdowns in both percentages and grams, so you can just keep up with your food each day until you hit each target you specify. This app is free. A monthly premium gives you no ads, advanced statistics, priority support, and private support groups.
MyFitnessPal, Lose It, Lifesum, and MyMacros all tie for the highest ratings, but MyFitnessPal has more ratings than the rest combined. MFP is also free to use. Having said that, it can be cumbersome to set up, and there are many user errors in the food database.
MyFitnessPal is probably the best free app, but if you really want the best for macronutrient calculations, then the premium subscription to MyMacros is the way to go.
The following resources were used in the research of this content, in addition to previous websites mentioned. Take a look at them if you’re still yearning to learn more, but hopefully, this content has sufficiently answered the question of “How do I find out what my macronutrient breakdown is?”
The best place to start counting macros is with a macro calculator. We’ve spent years on the algorithm and tweaking the calculations so we’re a great place to start.