Knowing your macros

Macros 101 – Let’s Break It Down

Macros 101 – Let’s break it down

Do you know your macros? Don’t worry if you don’t – I’ll break them down for you.

As a child I had the most wonderful Maths teacher. He was middle aged and rugged, born on the wild west coast of Scotland and often failed in his attempts to educate me in the vast world of trigonometry. 

Simpsons Rule is where we take the height of an object divide it by 3 and then divide that into the function that is f(x2j-2)+4f(x2j-1)+f(x2j)  “Ok, Ok, Mr. McBride, that all sounds wonderful but can you just give it to me in English?” This is how to find the area of an irregular shape such as a field Mr. Greaney. 

Perfect, now I understand. Macros are the same. Sometimes in the wise words of the world famous 2Pac, “you just gotta break it down, y’all”. 

Macros 101 – Breakin’ it down, y’all

Firstly, we must look at ourselves as machines. At the end of the day, without getting too philosophical that’s all we truly are. Let’s use myself as the first example. I am 36, standing at an unimpressive 5 ft 8 inches, I weigh 69kg, 8% body fat and I am very sporty. I love high intensity training and pushing myself to the absolute limit. So, going back to the machines, if I were a car, I would see myself as a Porsche 911. Small, fast, aggressive, and beautiful. OK, the beautiful part is irrelevant but let’s just roll with it. 

The Porsche has a petrol engine. As I love high intensity training, I am burning so much fuel, they all know me by name at my local petrol station. So how does this all relate to macros?

Calculating macros

Right. Let’s dust off my old maths book and give Mr. McBride gets some credit for his hard earned time. 

a + b + c = d

A is protein. B is carbohydrates. C is fat. D is macros.

All of these are vital to a healthy diet, but must be consumed in the right percentage. 

Because the Porsche likes to drive like an absolute lunatic, it is burning enough petrol to heat a small village. Therefore, it needs to be fuelled. The body is the same. As I like to train hard, I too, need to make sure that I am fuelled correctly with macros. If the Porsche runs out of fuel, it stops. If you overfill the engine with fuel, it will cease. Are humans that different?

At my current weight and body fat, I am happy with my physique, so I put myself on a maintenance food plan where I consume just over 2,700 calories per day. Then, I split these calories into my 3 categories of proteins, carbs and fats. I then distribute these into percentages to accumulate my daily macros. I take in 20% carbs, 40% fat and 40% protein. Carbs have 4 grams of calories per 1g, as do proteins. Whereas fats have 9 grams. These added up, give me my daily macros. Still with me? Good.

Macros – Diesel Engine

So, let’s imagine I were a 99’ Ford Transit van. I run on diesel, I am pretty slow and I do not use up too much fuel. This would be our typical person looking to lose weight. They have been fuelling themselves with diesel which is generally a high carbohydrate and sugar diet. They do not exercise very regularly, and if they do, it is generally at a slow pace. How can one transform itself from a Transit van, into a lean and mean Porsche? Easy! Dial in your macros. Ok class, now pay attention.

A great place to start is to calculate your daily calorie expenditure. This can be done easily by visiting a TDEE Calculator online and typing in your information to see exactly how many calories you need daily to fuel your body. If weight loss is what you are looking to achieve, then I decrease this number by 500 calories, putting you into a calorie deficit hence bringing on weight loss. 

I would use the same formula as the Porsche for macros percentages. 20% carbs, 40% fat and 40% protein. 

The best way to monitor these are via a macros calorie app. I have found MyFitnessPal to be the best.

How long does it take to notice results?

Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, so you need to be patient. If you stick to your numbers and introduce some structured training, then you will find a big loss in weight in the first 2 weeks as water retention depletes from the muscles as your carbohydrate and sugar intake have decreased.

It takes 2 weeks for you to notice a change in your own physique, 4 weeks for your partner to notice and 6 weeks for the world to notice. If my mathematical skills are still sharp, 6 weeks is just over 1/8 of a year. It is such a short period of time for you to change your life, giving yourself better health, a fresher mind and a body you are truly proud of. Life is short, we all know this, so with some small adjustments to your week, you can really add longevity to your body.

Any questions?

If you ever need any help or assistance in this field, I am always available to answer any questions, or you could join our Weigh2Go programs and join a community of like minded people with the same goals. Guys, I hope this helped to clear up some of the mysteries that surround macros and calorie counting. I will leave you with the wise words of Mr. McBride “Johnny, if you don’t stop looking out that bloody window, I will throw you out it” 

Big Love everyone!

Stay Safe,

Coach Johnny 

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