Counting macros refers to the process of tracking your calories and nutrients throughout the day with every meal. “Macros” is a short term for macronutrients, referring to Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. So counting your macros means knowing how much protein, carbs, and fats you should be consuming to meet your goal.
The first step in the process is knowing your goal. If your goal is to lose weight, then your macros need to be adjusted rather than if you were trying to gain muscle mass. So you need to know the right amount of calories you should be consuming on a daily basis. Tracking your macros is not required to meet such goals, but it is a scientifically proven method to dial in your diet, and calorie intake.
A typical macro ratio is 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fats. This means that 50% of your daily caloric intake should be from carb sources such as rice, oatmeal, or potatoes. Lets say your goal is 2,500 calories a day. 1,250 calories should be directly from carbohydrates. 750 calories should be from protein, and 500 calories should be from fats. One gram of carbohydrates yields 4 calories so if you do the math, your diet should have 312 grams of carbohydrates per day. One gram of protein also has 4 calories which translates to 187 grams of protein. One gram of fat has 9 calories which translates to 55 grams of fat per day.
The numbers will change depending on your goals. If your goal is to lose weight, then your Daily caloric expenditure needs to be higher than what you are consuming. A typical macro ratio for cutting weight is 40% carbs, 40% protein, and 20% fats. If you are not burning more calories than you are consuming YOU WILL NOT LOSE WEIGHT. Simple as that. If your goal is to put on size and gain lots of muscle, its the opposite. You need to be consuming more calories than you are burning. A typical ratio for gaining mass is 30% carbs, 50% protein, and 20% fats.
Keeping up with your nutrient intake is a learning process. It takes sacrifice and dedication, but with that comes discipline and a well balanced diet tailored to your specific goals. Now that you have the basic understanding of how it works and a few numbers to keep in mind, go put them to use!
-Joey at DyeHard