Nowadays, people make it a point of duty to evaluate the number of calories that they are consuming. If you aim to lose some weight, then measuring the volume of calories in your meals might be very beneficial. This does not mean you can just decide to chop off certain nutrients from your meal consumption. In reducing the number of calories to achieve weight loss, you must ensure that you are eating meals with balanced nutritional composition.
If you are looking for answers on how to calculate and balance your daily consumed macronutrients, this article will help you find the appropriate responses. Among other things, you will get to understand how to evaluate the amount of suitable calorie for consumption as well as how your age, weight, height, and activity can influence the achievement of your goals of losing and gaining weight.
Macronutrients: What are they?
When you talk about macronutrients, you are referring to certain nutrients present in your meals that supply the body with energy. In discussing nutrients, it is essential to understand the different elements found in the various classes of food consumed. These substances are necessary for certain growth and metabolic functioning of the body systems. The nutrients that perform the functions of providing energy for the body to carry out its daily activities are required in large quantities, hence the term “Macronutrients”. Of all the nutrients that may be present in your food, three of them are needed in large quantities by your body for proper functioning. They are namely:
One gram of carbohydrate will supply the body with four calories, and the same goes for a gram of protein. A gram of fat, on the other hand, will give the body nine calories which are more than the combination of calories obtained from consuming a gram each of protein and carbohydrates. Eating a healthy amount of protein, fats, and carbohydrates are very critical, whether you are looking to lose or gain weight.
How does the Macro Calculator work?
The macro calculator makes use of results obtained from the calculation of your total daily energy expenditure. TDEE, as it is normally referred to, can be calculated by evaluating the amount of energy you make use of doing something or nothing. The energy expended when the body is doing nothing is usually referred to as the resting energy expenditure (REE). To calculate the REE, the formula you will use will depend on whether you are male or female.
For women, the formula will be,
REE = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161
REE = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5
To calculate the energy you need when engaging in physical activities, you will need to understand that there are different levels of activities that you engage in daily. The energy expended when talking will be different from the energy used up when you are running to catch your bus or when you are lifting a heavyweight. Basically, the physical activities that you engage in can be sedentary, light, moderate, or high.
To calculate the amount of energy when engaged in sedentary activities, such as walking to get a cup of coffee from the coffee maker and returning to your desk, that would be TDEE = REE X 1.2
Activities such as dancing for some minutes and running up and down a stairway consume more energy than sedentary activities. In fact, these activities top up energy expended during sedentary activities by 200-400 calories for females and 250-500 calories for males. To get the energy used up during these light activities, it would be calculated as TDEE = REE x 1.375
Activities such as jogging, cycling, and walking long distances will consume more energy. These activities will consume about 400-650 calories for females and 500-800 calories for males. For this, the calculation is given at TDEE = REE x 1.55
High activities such as swimming, running, and cycling long hours and distances will consume more than an additional 650 and 800 calories in females and males, respectively. This is without adding the energy consumed while performing sedentary activities. To calculate the energy consumed during the performance of these activities, that would be TDEE = REE x 1.725
Whatever you get after calculating the various degrees of energy consumption will determine the appropriate amount of calories that you should be ingesting. Anybody hoping to lose weight will need to reduce their daily caloric consumption by about 20%. On the other hand, an individual hoping to add some weight will be required to eat or add about 20% to their daily caloric intake. For example, if your daily calorie intake is pegged at 3000, then mathematically,
- 3000 – (3000 x 0.2) will give you the number of calories to chop off your daily calorie intake.
- To add weight, on the other hand, 3000 + (3000 x 0.2) will give you the number of calories to top your daily calorie requirement with.
As discussed earlier, the fact that you want to add or lose weight does not mean you will be eating or not eating at your own will. You must make sure that you are still eating the right measure of fat, carbohydrate, and protein in your meals. This is where the macro calculator comes to play in helping to calculate the amount and percentage of macronutrients to make up your daily calorie intake. Check out how to achieve this below:
Fats are an important energy supplier to the body. They also help absorb the vitamins, aid in growth, development of the body, and to stay healthy. Fat is also known to make your food taste better while giving you a wholesome feeling of satisfaction. The body’s level of cholesterol is also determined by certain dietary fat. Some benefits of fat to the body include:
- Help protect certain vital organs such as the heart from damage.
- It helps regulate the temperature of the body.
- Fats also help the body to digest and use certain fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
- Fats help the body with essential fatty acids (EFA), which are important for the proper functioning of the immune system and the heart.
- Omega 3 acids, which are a type of fatty acids, helps boost the brain’s cognitive processes.
There are two types of fats majorly, namely unsaturated and saturated fats.
Most saturated fats are usually sourced from animals and their products. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are obtained from plant sources and certain oily fishes. Meats, milk, and eggs are examples of fatty foods of animal origin that are rich in saturated fatty acids. Olive oil, sunflower oil, salmon, trout, and kernel make up the list of foods rich in unsaturated fats.
Unsaturated fats are usually more recommended as a healthy source of fat than saturated fats. This is because saturated fats are usually sticky and might block the arteries over time. This may result in high blood pressure, which is a health problem for the body. It makes it difficult to pump oxygen-rich blood to circulate the body.
The recommended amount of fat that should make up your total daily energy expenditure is about 20-35%.
This means that, if your TDEE is 3000 calories, the number of fats can be calculated by obtaining 25% of 3000. Mathematically, you should have 3000 x 0.25 = 750 calories.
Since a gram of fat supplies the body with nine calories, then 750/9 grams will be required for consumption. Therefore, 83.3 grams of fat should make up your daily calorie intake.
Proteins are essential macronutrients that are ubiquitous. This means that they are situated in almost all parts of the human body. They make up your skin, bone, muscles, and nails. In the absence of protein, it will be quite impossible for the tissues and cells of the body to perform their functions. Proteins are also famous for their bodybuilding and developing capacity. They help in the production of brand new cells and can repair damaged tissues. When you eat proteins, they are metabolized into amino acids which are stored and called upon to replenish protein in the body. Some important sources of protein include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Some vegetables and fruits
- Milk and milk products
A very good source of protein must supply the body with essential amino acids which the body is incapable of producing. These types of amino acids need to be acquired in the food that you eat. Foods such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and poultry will provide you with essential amino acids. This doesn’t mean you are allowed to eat animal-sourced proteins, usually referred to as red meat without caution because overeating them might expose you to the risk of stroke and cancer.
The plant-based sources of protein usually do not give complete essential amino acids. You may have to consume a combination of these foods to be able to acquire complete essential amino acids. The only plant-based sources of protein that give complete amino acids are the quinoa, soy, buckwheat, and Seitan.
The amount of protein that should make up an individual’s total daily energy expenditure will depend on their weight and the type of activities that they usually engage in during the day. For people who perform high activities, such as athletes, they will need to consume about 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kg of their body weight. This range will, however, depend on the type of sporting activity and training that such an athlete engages in.
A person who is hardly involved in high activity will only need to consume 0.8 grams of protein for every kg of their body weight.
This means that, if someone weighs 90kg and does not engage in athletic activities of any kind, they can calculate their daily protein requirement by multiplying their 90kg (your weight) by 0.8. This should give them 72 grams of protein. This can be converted into calories by multiplying 72 by 4. This is because one gram of protein will supply the body with four calories of energy, as discussed earlier. Therefore, the calorie intake in terms of protein will be 72 x 0.8 = 288 calories.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy used by the body. The end product of carbohydrate consumed is usually glucose. The glucose is easily absorbed in the bloodstreams, hence, aiding easy delivery to cells that need it for producing energy. The body stores unused glucose as glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscles.
The glycogen is used up when a person engages in physical activities. If that individual wants more carbohydrate than is required, glycogen storage will become filled up. If this becomes the case, the body will then convert this excess carbohydrate into fats which may result in weight gain.
When a person does not eat enough carbs, on the other hand, the glycogen level is depleted. The body which is constantly in need of energy to drive its activities will begin to make use of protein which will result in the loss of muscles. This is not very healthy.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, about 45 to 65% of a person’s total daily calories should be sourced from carbohydrates. Carbohydrate based calories gotten from added sugar found in certain foods and drinks should, however, not exceed 10% of the 45 to 65%.
Some of the disadvantages of not eating enough carbs in meals include constipation, kidney stones which may result in kidney failures, and bad breath. The consumption of carbohydrates should be balanced with protein and fats.
According to scientists, there are two types of carbohydrates, the good ones, and the bad ones. The good carbs describe such carbohydrate foods that take a longer time to metabolize. These carbohydrates are usually referred to as complex carbs. Since they take a longer time to be broken down, the rate at which they supply blood glucose is gradual but steady. They will also help in achieving a better weight loss program. Besides, they are a kind of carbohydrate with the right fiber content, which is beneficial for optimum digestion and loss of weight.
The bad carbs, on the other hand, describe simple carbohydrates. Foods that are made of simple carbohydrates are easily digested and broken down by the body, and this will only result in a rapid increase in the level of blood glucose. When the level of sugar becomes high in the bloodstreams, the insulin, which helps to reduce sugar level, is activated. It starts converting glucose into fats, leading to an excessive drop in sugar level. The drop can lead to stressful mood swings and tiredness. When the blood glucose crashes, hunger sets in easily and may lead to overeating the calories, leading to weight gain.
To know the number of carbs that you should be consuming, subtract your required fat and protein intake from 3000. Divide your answer by 4.
For example, assuming you have calculated your required calorie intake for fat and protein to be 750 and 660, respectively, to get your required carbohydrates calorie intake, you can follow the steps below:
3000 – (750 – 660) = 1,590 calories
To convert into gram, 1590/4 = 398 grams
Hopefully, this article has been able to help you understand the use of a macro calculator to obtain the appropriate quantity of carbs, fats, and protein which is suitable for your height, weight, age, physical activity, and gender. It will also help you achieve your weight loss and weight gain goals conveniently.
If you use the macro calculator appropriately, it will help you achieve your weight loss or weight gain goals. However, it is also important to know that this percentage of nutrients requirements will vary based on the type of diet that you are practicing. A keto dieter might be confused and disagree with the number of carbs recommended in this article.
Therefore, to get an optimum result, you should try as much as possible to combine these nutritional requirements with exercises and workout routines. If you are hoping to lose weight, for example, you should not be burning muscles or getting dehydrated from losing water. Instead, you should be burning your body fats.
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!