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May 12, 2018 4 min read 7 Comments

Macros, or macronutrients, are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These important nutrients infuse our bodies with substantial amounts of energy for everyday functions, hence the term 'macro', which means 'large'. We don't only need these chemical compounds to function - we need them to live.

Macro-measuring simply refers to measuring your macros so you get the ideal amount of fats, carbs and protein everyday. What is ideal will vary from person to person, depending on age, sex, lifestyle and your metabolism.

A 37 year old male trying to build lean mass who has a fast metabolism will require significantly different macros than a 22 year old woman trying to lose fat with a sluggish metabolism.

This means, when fine-tuning your macros, you will need to have a handle on your body and its needs. If you’re just getting in touch with your more physiological self, this could take a bit of time  — but that’s OK! It’s worth it.

Unit of Measurement

Macro-measuring is most often done in percentages, so you don’t have to count calories: you just need to know how much of your food is coming from those three macro groups. Obviously, this makes eating whole foods easier, since their macros are more black and white.

An apple, for instance, is mostly carbs, and very little fat and protein, so if you eat it, you can automatically slot it in for a percentage of your daily carb intake. Same with meat or healthy fats, like avocado. When you start eating super processed foods, making this distinction is harder, though not impossible. You’re just going to have to do some label reading to figure out what’s in the food you’re eating,

Think Pie, Not Points

Like we said, when you measure macros, you don’t have to count. Think of everything you eat in a day as a pie, and then each macro requirement is a slice of that pie.

For instance, let’s say your macros are 40% carb, 30% protein, and 30% fat. This is a pretty standard (and highly generalized) macro breakdown and can be used for people with average metabolisms and who are in the medium age group (30-50ish).

So, 40% of your daily pie allotment would need to come from carbs, 30% from protein and 30% from fat. As you eat throughout your day, simply mentally remove little slivers of your pie in the correct divisions. This does NOT have to be an exact science. Just understand what makes up the good you’re eating, and then subtract from your total allowance for the day.

Eat a burger? OK, you’ve just taken about equal amounts from every group. Eat a salmon steak with steamed broccoli? You've hit your fat and protein slices, but such a negligible amount of carbs that it's not worth counting -- unless you doused your broccoli in creamy cheese sauce.

Know Your Body Type

While your sex and age do play a role in determining your macro requirements, it’s a small role; sorta like the role of the ubiquitous waiter in the restaurant scene in a movie. It’s a necessary role for the movie to be realistic, but you don’t really need to pay it much attention.

Your body type is the real wild card. Youhaveto know what body type (i.e. sort of metabolism) you have for accurate macro measuring. There are three body types to consider: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph.

Ectomorph

You are:

Slender, with smaller bone structure.

You find gaining weight and muscle mass:

Hard.

 

If this is you, this is your pie:

  • 50-60% carbs
  • 20-30% fat
  • 30-40% protein

 

Mesomorph

You are:

Muscular by nature and very strong. You have dense bones and trend toward having broader shoulders.

You find gaining muscle:

Easy

You find gaining weight:

Moderately easy. You can gain or lose easily by adjusting your diet.

 

If this is you, this is your pie:

  • 40-50% carbs
  • 25-35% fat
  • 35-45% protein

 

Endomorph

You are:

Someone with a stockier build. You have a pear-shaped or more round body and shorter limbs.

You find gaining muscle:

Easy

You find losing weight:

Hard as hell.

 

If this is you, this is your pie:

  • 20-30% carbs
  • 30-40% fat
  • 50-60% protein

 

Tweak Away!

Again, even once you have determined your body type, you will have to tweak your macros for your activity level and your goals. Generally speaking, if you want to lose fat and gain muscle, you want to keep your protein the highest, your fat moderate, and your carbs lower  — which is not to say you need to hop on the low carb bandwagon, just that your carbs will constitute the smallest piece of your pie.

Give it a go, and let us know all about your adventures in macro-measuring. Remember: it is a journey, so use these guidelines to get you started, and then customize it as needed.


7 Responses

Anca
Anca

May 22, 2019

Hmm I am in between endo and meso – I have a very hard time losing but gaining…ugh…too fast. My body type is meso.

B
B

May 14, 2018

I agree we are all different. However, I think eliminating sugar is paramount to healing and transforming our bodies. Also, increasing healthy fats have been proven to improve brain function, gut health, and increased energy.

Personally, I couldn’t stop losing weight, i needed to gain 25 pounds. I’ve been eating fewer carbs, and more fats for a month. My body has never looked or felt better

Hilary Spencer
Hilary Spencer

May 13, 2018

I love this . It is really helpful . Thankyou.

Tami
Tami

May 13, 2018

Great article, I have just started learning the macro process and found this helpful. Thank you!

Anosha Sherpa
Anosha Sherpa

May 13, 2018

Until 55 i was ectomorph now after hormonchange i put on some 5weight…difficult to loose…what now?

Anosha Sherpa
Anosha Sherpa

May 13, 2018

Until 55 i was endomorph now after hormonchange i put on some weight…difficult to loose…what now?

Candice
Candice

May 12, 2018

This is a great read as I am just starting my macro-micro journey. Definitely helpful.

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