An Easy Guide to Calculating Macros in Food

calculating macros in food
You’ll be surprised by how much better you feel when you eat right. Get started today with these tips on calculating macronutrients!

From foods, our body gets different necessary nutrients, but not all the time; our body gets the necessary nutrients in exact portions. Without comprehensive diet planning, reaching proper nutrients in our body parts is not possible at all. But, For our overall well-being or for desirable weight gain, we need different nutrients, and that’s why we eat foods that contain such nutrient items.

Most of us don’t calculate how many nutrients there are, and that’s why our development can’t be achieved in a desirable way. Calculating macros in food comes in handy in this case, and through the calculation, we can understand how many grams of nutrient items we need to boost our health. In this article, I’ll show you all the details of calculating macros in food, so stay tuned.

What is macro calculation, exactly?

In terms of foods, macro is the abridgment of the word macronutrient, and it indicates three types of nutrients- carbohydrates, protein, and fats. The term macros come from a Greek macros, which indicates something large or what is needed in a large amount. With the word macronutrient, health specialists mean the same thing- nutrients that are needed for our body in a large amount.

To achieve a specific goal, like weight or strength, health-conscious people around the world calculate macros in foods. Usually, people take more macronutrients for the betterment of their body- to choose more nutrient-dense stuff. In other words, in order to avoid unnecessary or unhealthy foods, calculating macros in foods is an effective way.

But there are differences between macronutrients and micronutrients though these two terms are related to foods. Macronutrients are those nutrient items that your body needs in a larger amount. On the other hand, micronutrients are such nutrients (minerals and vitamins) that your body needs in a slighter amount, though they have some important functions too.

Why calculating macros in food is important for your overall well-being?

Why Calculating Macros In Food Is Important For Your Overall Well Being

By calculating macros, we actually calculate three things- carbohydrates, protein, and fats in the foods we eat. It goes without saying how important these three nutrients are for the betterment of our bodies.

We need fuel to do our everyday chores, and carbohydrates supply that fuel, and carbohydrates are also considered a good energy source for the human brain. Carbohydrates are actually used for energy immediately, or this may be stored to be used in future. But, if you eat too much carbohydrate food without doing anything stressful, it will make you fat. So, measuring what amount of carbohydrates you should eat every day is necessary.

Eating more protein-rich foods is necessary for those who want to gain weight. Even for fitness strength, protein-rich foods have a great impact. People call it builder nutrient as it can play some important roles in building cells in the human body.

If you love eating protein-rich foods, that will be helpful for you in building muscle. For that reason, protein intake should be higher in amount, and you should check the amount you’re going to take every day.

To get energy, especially long lasting energy, there’s no alternative to eating fat-rich foods. In the case of hormone production, fat-rich foods play an important role. If there are stored fats in abundance in your body, that will be good for you as it will work as reserved fuel. Even this stored fat will be considered body fat, which will be good for your overall well-being.

All the three nutrients- carbohydrates, protein, and fats that we call macronutrients are really important for gaining proper strength. And that’s why you should take a look at the everyday intake of these three nutrients. To do this, macronutrient calculation is the only way, and that’s you should calculate macronutrients in your everyday foods.

With macronutrients calculated, you have to plan what health goals you want to meet, and you have to plan your daily diet based on this. To put it simply, if you want to reach a specific health goal like fat loss or muscle gain, you have to track your macros accordingly.

How to calculate macros in food in some easy steps?

Calculating macros in food is not as hard as many people think. You’ll be able to calculate this even without understanding so many things about the foods you eat every day. To calculate macros in food, you just have to count three macronutrients- how many grams you take a day. Now I am going to share step-by-step how you can calculate macros in food.

1. Try to understand how many calories are in each macro

First, you have to consider how many calories are in every gram of food. Roughly, there are four calories in every gram of protein or carbohydrate. To put it simply, if you eat anything with 5 grams of protein, that means your calorie intake is 20. But fat is more in every gram of food compared to protein and carbohydrates.

In the case of carbohydrates and protein, it is only 4 calories in one gram, but it is 9 calories when it comes to fat. That means your calorie intake will be 45 if you eat some foods with 5 grams of fat. It is simple to calculate. Just you need to keep in mind calories will be 4 in the case per gram of protein or carbohydrate, and calories will be 9 in the case per gram of fat, that’s all.

2. Count total calories intake

By calculating the level of nutrition facts, you have to count the macro calories in total. Suppose you drink a full cap of cereal (of whole grain), and there is protein (6 grams), fats (6 grams), and carbohydrates (26 grams). Now keeping in mind the calorie count- 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate and protein, 9 calories in each gram of fat, you have to count the total calories in the full cup of cereal. So, the total calories come to-

i. Protein (6 grams) = 6 × 4 = 24 calories (4 calories in one gram)

ii. Fats (6 grams) = 6 × 9 = 54 calories (9 calories in one gram)

iii. Carbohydrate (26 grams) = 26 × 4 = 104 calories (4 calories in one gram)

That means total calories in the full cap cereal is- 24 (calories of protein) + 54 (calories of fats) + 104 (calories of carbohydrate) = 182 calories.

3. Finding out macro ratio: It’s important too.

Macro ratio assessment is also important as you need to know the comparison of nutrient items in foods. It is simply finding out the percentage of the total three nutrient items in food. In the full cup of cereal, the macro ratio is given below from the calories I showed.

i. Protein = 24 calories / 182 (total calories) × 100 = 13.19%

ii. Fats = 54 Calories / 182 (total calories) × 100 = 29.67%

iii. Carbohydrate = 104 Calories / 182 (total calories) × 100 = 57.14%

The total calculation of the percentage of these macronutrients is 100% (13.19% protein + 29.67% fats + 57.14% carbohydrates). I have shown the accurate ratio of those three macronutrients, but finding out the accurate ratio is not so important. Just an approximate ratio is necessary because you just need to have an idea. So, if you don’t have enough time to find out the accurate ratio, you may make a decision regarding your calorie intake based on the approximate ratio.

How much macronutrients you’ll need a day?

How much macronutrients you need every day is dependent on several things like your body weight, what objective you want to fulfill, or something like that. But ordinarily, you’ll need up to 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight and up to 0.5 grams of fat for maintaining your overall health; though it is not an accurate amount, it’s approximate. But, if you want to lose weight, you need to increase the protein intake- from up to 1 gram to up to 1.2 grams.

And at the same time, you have to decrease your fat intake to up to 0.4 grams. If you want to gain muscle, then the fat amount intake will be the same as the fat intake for weight loss. But, you have to increase your protein intake to 1.5 grams, more or less. And your carbohydrate intake will be determined according to what amount of protein and fat you determine.

Macro tracking app- you may need it today

It’s a common confusion among people interested in macronutrients- how can I get an idea about nutrition breakdown in different foods? The best way to get an idea about nutrition breakdown is using a macro tracking app. Every top-notch quality macro tracking app contains a searchable database from which you can get an idea about nutrition amounts in different foods. In such apps, there is information about millions of food items, so it is likely that you’ll get information about the foods you eat every day.

Before choosing the best macro tracking app for you, you need to check one thing- whether barcode features exist in the app or not. If the barcode feature exists there, then you’ll be able to get information about packaged or ready-made foods by scanning the barcode on the food packet.

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Determine macro diet for you according to macro ratio and what you need

The objective of finding out the macro ratio is to reach a specific goal like losing or gaining weight, muscle building, or something like that. How? You have to plan your macro diet, and here macro diet means a diet that focuses on three macronutrients- fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

According to what you need or what criteria you want to meet, you have to change the macro ratio. Now I am going to share how you can make the macronutrient data useful for you to reach a specific goal.

  1. Macro diet for losing weight
  2. Macro diet for muscle gain
  3. Macros in vegan diet
  4. Macros for keto diet

1. Macro diet for losing weight

Macro Diet For Losing Weight

Weight loss is necessary for many of us, and you may do so through your macro diet. Just you need to lessen the calorie intake in comparison with your energy expenditure a day. That means you have to make your calorie intake less than your regular calorie expenditure. Thus you’ll lose weight.

Now, come to the point- how can you know the energy expenditure a day? The easiest way to know the energy expenditure is to use the TDEE calculator (total daily energy expenditure).

Using this calculator, you have to count the total energy expenditure, and you have to lessen the calorie intake continuously by eating only low-carb foods. And at the same time, you have to avoid high-calorie foods. Thus, you’ll be able to lose excess weight in a very short time.

2. Macro diet for muscle gain

Macro Diet For Muscle Gain

Muscle gain is a dream for many people, especially young people, and by planning on a macro diet, you may gain muscle easily. You just have to increase your daily calorie intake and do proper exercises for muscle gain. You know protein and carbohydrates are two essential elements for building muscles, and for building muscle, health specialists suggest foods rich in carbs and protein. But eating many calorie-rich foods may cause unwanted fat gain, and that’s why for shedding unnecessary fats from your body you should exercise regularly.

3. Macros in vegan diet

Usually, a vegan diet is good for those who are at risk of heart disease. The reason is that if you exclude cholesterol-rich foods and depend on vegetables, then the risk of heart disease will obviously be lower. But it is also true that meat or dairy products are necessary for our body though it increases cholesterol level. Meat or dairy food items are a common source of protein in our daily diet.

If you depend on a vegan diet and avoid all types of meats and dairy foods, then you should keep a discreet eye on the macros of your vegan diet. You have to keep the necessary amount of carbs, protein, and fat-rich vegetables in your daily diet. If you can ensure that these three macronutrients are in abundance in your daily food intake, then excluding meats or so will not be at all problematic.

4. Macros for keto diet

Macros For Keto Diet

In recent years, the keto diet has gained overwhelming popularity due to so many reasons. To promote ketosis, the keto diet is a surprisingly helpful method. Do you know- why ketosis promotion is necessary for the human body?

It is necessary because when you improve the ketone level in your body, then it will burn fats quickly. In the keto diet, we actually eat more healthy fat-rich foods and avoid carbohydrate-rich foods.

Usually, when you decrease your regular food intake, obviously you’ll feel hungry. But in the keto diet, we don’t avoid foods; rather, we increase the eating of healthy fat-rich foods, and that’s why through keto diet we don’t feel hungry, but surely it will shed excessive fats, that’s desirable to so many of us. To start keto dieting today, you need to decrease the carb-rich foods intake and keep more foods in your daily diet which contain more fat.

Calculating Macros in Food: Real Life Story

From my childhood, I was healthy and a bit fatty too, and when I was about to end my university life, my fat seemed excessive to me. And it was difficult for me to do regular work quickly due to my excessive fat. Some friends of mine with medical backgrounds suggested that I decrease my daily food intake, and I also did that for some days. But in that period, I felt hungry and couldn’t do work attentively.

Then from one of my friends, though he was not from a medical background, I came to know about calculating macros in food, and he also introduced me to the keto diet. From the next week of such intimation, I started keto diet- by decreasing carb calorie intake and increasing fat calorie intake.

As I knew how to calculate food macros, it was not difficult for me to find out fat-rich foods. And I continued this food habit strictly, and as I ate the necessary amount of fat-rich foods, I didn’t feel hungry.

After maintaining this diet for almost a month, I experienced a little bit of difference in the fat amount stored in my body it was slightly decreasing. But, I continued the keto diet by calculating macros in food for almost 2 months. After that time, I experienced a significant change in my fat state, and thus I reached my desirable condition by keto dieting through food macros calculation.

Julie Herman


1. Why should we be careful about macros in our daily food intake?

Calculating food macros indicates the measuring of amounts of Carbohydrates, proteins, and Fat in our daily food intake. These three nutrients are really necessary for the energy we need for doing our day-to-day chores.

2. What’s the difference between measures taken for fat loss and weight loss?

For fat loss, the necessary measure is to alternate the diet quality, like reducing daily carbohydrate intake. On the other hand, for weight loss, you have to decrease the calorie intake in your everyday food.

3. Do macronutrients and micronutrients indicate the same thing?

No, macronutrients are three nutrients that we should take in our body in a higher amount. But, micronutrients are exactly the opposite thing- it’s the necessary vitamins and minerals which we have to take in a slighter amount.

4. Can I consider alcohol a necessary macro like macros in other foods?

Many people are confused about this question, but as alcohol can provide calories, it’s obviously treated as a macro. But no health specialist suggests it be included in your daily diet, and you should keep it out of your diet plan due to its proven harmful effects.

5. Why is calculating macro ratio important besides total macro?

By total macro, you may know the total calories you are taking a day, but it will not show you the comparison. If you want to know you are absorbing what percentage of carbs, then calculating the macro ratio is the only way.

6. Why is a macro tracking app necessary for calculating macros in food?

Actually, it will make your food macro calculation easier because in such an app, there you will get calorie information of millions of foods. If you can get ready to show information, then the macro calculation process will be super easy for you.

7. How much protein do you need to lose fat in a month?

This issue depends on your total body weight, and 1.2 grams of protein against every pound of your body is necessary. But, only overseeing the protein intake is not necessary; you should decrease the fat intake at the same time.

It is true that without calculating macros, you may start vegan dieting, but that will not be useful for you as you’ll not be able to know the necessary nutrient amount in vegetables. If you want to get all the necessary amounts of macronutrients in vegetables, then the macro calculation is mandatory.

9. How can I start keto dieting effectively today, is macro calculation necessary here?

Keto dieting indicates fat intake increasing and carb intake decreasing, and macro calculation is necessary here because you need to calculate how much carbs or fats are in foods.

10. How can I gain muscle by calculating macronutrients?

Through macronutrients, you have to check the protein-calorie amount in foods and eat more protein-rich foods. The fat amount is not an important matter to be considered here.

Final words

By calculating macros in food, you’ll be able to reach a specific health goal so easily that it’s not possible in any other way. First-time food macro calculation may seem difficult to you, but when you’ll be familiar with the process, then it will be a matter of a few minutes.

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