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Micro-nutrients or Calories? What you should be watching out for?


Micro-nutrients or Calories? What you should be watching out for?

... Dick Talens/Vitals:

Macros, short for “macronutrients,” refers to carbs, fats, and proteins—the three basic components of every diet. If you get their proportions right, it makes dieting a lot more effective when simple calorie restriction fails.

One of the problems with traditional calorie counting is that it doesn’t take into account what you’re eating, just how many calories. Sure, portion control alone might work for a while, but unless you switch to the right foods—foods that leave you satiated or even stuffed while on a caloric deficit—your self-control will eventually break down.

In order to start eating more of the right thing, it may be beneficial to focus on macronutrients rather than calories. 

The Three Main Macronutrients

There are three main macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Alcohol is a macronutrient too, which we’ve covered extensively here. Let’s go through each macronutrient to get a basic understanding, then calculate how many grams of each we need every day.


Calories: 4 calories per gram.


Calories: 4 calories per gram.


Calories: 9 calories per gram.

Figuring Out Your Macronutrient Requirements

You can figure out what macronutrients to target in a few simple steps:

Find Your Calorie Requirements

Distribute Your Calories Among Macronutrients

The most common split is 40:40:20, i.e. 40% of your calories allocated to protein, 40% to carbohydrates, and 20% to fats.

From here, working out how many grams of each macronutrient you need is a matter of simple arithmetic. As an example, say your target caloric intake is 2000 calories per day. You decide to split your macros according to a 40:40:20 split. From there, use the following calculations:


  • 40% of your calories are devoted to your carbohydrate intake.
  • 2000 x 0.4 = 800 calories.
  • There are 4 calories/gram of carbs, so the total amount is 200 grams of carbohydrates (800÷4=200).

Repeat process for protein and fats.

What to Do When Your Macros Aren’t Working

If You Aren’t Losing Weight

It’s usually due to two things: you aren’t tracking them correctly, or you’re overestimating your calorie requirements.

If you’re insulin resistant, however, try decreasing your carbohydrate intake and increasing your fat intake while keeping overall calories the same.

If Hunger Is an Issue

First, distinguish between whether this hunger is physiological or psychological. If psychological hunger is an issue, consider trying Intermittent Fasting to go longer periods of time without food.

If Your Macros Limit Your Social Life

If you find yourself constantly unable to hit your macronutrient budget because you live a relatively social lifestyle, exchange some protein for carbohydrates and fat while keeping calories the same. This should allow you more flexibility in your diet choices.



Relevant For

Personal Training