Calculating Your Macros Is Key to Making Good Diet Choices — Here's How to Do It

If you've only been counting calories for weight loss, here's why you should consider tracking your macros, too. Macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs) are an important part of a healthy diet, and they're what make up the caloric content of food. Online fitness coach Max Weber posted a handy formula for calculating your calories and macros, and explained the importance of tracking both.

"What you'll learn about nutrition from tracking calories and macros is invaluable!" he wrote in his caption. "You'll learn the nutrient values of different foods, you'll learn how to intuitively make good food choices, and you'll be able to control how your body looks and feels, even after tracking macros has stopped." We agree; taking the time to educate yourself about your food choices means the knowledge sticks around for future decisions.

Here's a breakdown of how to crunch your own numbers:

  1. Determine maintenance calories: "This is the number of calories you need to maintain bodyweight. You can determine it by multiplying bodyweight (lbs) by 14 to 15."
  2. Set deficit/surplus calories: "If your goal is fat loss, a good place to start is by subtracting 500 from Step One.
  3. Set protein: Multiply your bodyweight (lbs) by 1.0. That will give you your protein in grams per day.
  4. Set fat: Multiply your bodyweight (lbs) by 0.3.
  5. Set carbs: Divide your remaining calories by four.
  6. Make adjustments: "This step is not necessary, but if you prefer one macronutrient to another, or want more or fewer calories, then this step is the time to adjust."