What are Macros & Why Do I Count Them?

What are Macros:

Each calorie you consume comes from one of three sources: Carbohydrates, Proteins, or Fats.

1 gram of Carbohydrate = 4 calories

1 gram of Proteins = 4 calories

1 gram of Fat = 9 calories

The recommended intakes, for adults, for each of these macronutrients is:

20%-35% Fat

45%-65% Carbohydrates

10% to 35% Protein

So, lets say you were on a diet of 2000 calories per day. And, your macronutrients were set at 25% Fat, 30% Protein, and 45% Carbohydrates.

That would mean that 500 of your 2000 calories would come from Fat, 600 of your 2000 calories would come from Protein, and 900 of your 2000 calories would come from Carbohydrates.

2000 X 25% = 500

2000 X 30% = 600

2000 X 45% = 900

500 + 600 + 900 = 2000


1 gram of Fat = 9 calories

1 gram of Proteins = 4 calories

1 gram of Carbohydrate = 4 calories


500 / 9 = 55.5 g of Fat

600 / 4 = 150 g of Protein

900 / 4 = 225 g of Carbohydrates

Note: Alcohol is its own macronutrient. It has 7 calories per gram. But, it’s rarely included on nutrition labels. For someone who counts their macros and doesn’t know alcohol is itself a macronutrient, a beer nutrition label might be a little confusing. Take for example this Blue Moon label:

One 12 oz Blue Moon has 14.1 g of carbs, 0 g of fat, and 1.9 g of protein. It doesn’t say how many g or ml of alcohol are in it. 

So if,

1 gram of Carbohydrate = 4 calories

1 gram of Proteins = 4 calories

1 gram of Fat = 9 calories


14.1 x 4 = 56.4 calories

1.9 x 4 = 7.6 calories 

0 x 9 = 0 calories

56.4 + 7.6 + 0 = 64 calories 

But, the 12 oz. Blue Moon contains 168 total calories. Therefore, the rest of those calories have to be from alcohol. 104 / 7 = 14.9 g of alcohol to be exact.

Generally, if you add up the calories of each of your macronutrients in a specific amount of a specific food it should equal the total amount of calories in that food.

Take for example this Ben & Jerry’s Karmel Sutra Core label: 

One serving of Karmel Sutra Core has 32 g of carbs, 14 g of fat, and 4 g of protein. 

So if,

1 gram of Carbohydrate = 4 calories

1 gram of Proteins = 4 calories

1 gram of Fat = 9 calories


32 x 4 = 128 calories

4 x 4 = 16 calories 

14 x 9 = 126 calories

128 + 16 + 126 = 270 calories 

Which, is exactly the amount of calories for one serving of Karmel Sutra Core!

Why Do I Count Macros and Calories?

There are hundreds, if not, thousands of “diets” a person can follow in order to drop pounds. 

10 Hour Coffee Diet, 10 Pounds in 10 Days, 100 Calorie Diet, 11 Day Diet, 2 Day Diet, 21 Day Detox, 21 Day Diet, 3 Apple a Day Diet, 3 Hour Diet, 400 Calorie Fix Diet, 5 Day Miracle Diet, 6 Weeks to OMG Diet, Acai Berry Diet, Anti-Aging Diet, A Pound A Day Diet, Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, Atkins Diet, Aztec Diet, Baby Boomer Diet, Belly Melt Diet, Beverly Hills Diet, Big Breakfast Diet, Blood Sugar Diet, Blood Type Diet, Body Building Diet, The Cheater’s Diet, Chocolate Diet, Coconut Diet, Coffee Diet, Cookie Diet, Crazy Sexy Diet, DASH Diet, Dukan Diet, Egg Diet, Family Fit Diet, Fast Food Diet, Fatigue Diet, Fat Smash Diet, Flat Abs Diet, Food Swap Diet, French Diet, Full Diet, The Genotype Diet, Gorgeously Green Diet, Hallelujah Diet, HCG Diet, High Fiber Diet, High Protein Diets, Hilton Head Metabolism Diet, Hip and Thigh Diet, Juice Diet, Locally Grown Food Diet, Low Protein Diets, McDougall Diet, Mindful Eating Diet, Miracle Carb Diet, New York Diet, No Flour, No Sugar Diet, No Grain Diet, No White Foods Diet, O2 Diet, Oatmeal Diet, OMG Diet, Oprah Diet, Overnight Diet, Peanut Butter Diet, Pen and Paper Diet, The Perfect Body Diet, PINK Method Diet, Raw Food Diet, Shred Diet, Snack Girl Diet, Step Diet, Stress Eater Diet, Total Wellness Cleanse Diet, UltraSimple Diet, Volumetrics Diet, Weight Loss Village Diet, Weight Watchers, Weight Loss 4 Idiots, What Would Jesus Eat?, World Peace Diet, Yoga Body Diet, Zen Anti-Diet, Zone Diet , and the Sacred Heart Diet. If you’d like, more information about these diets, or access to a few more visit everydiet!

I think you get the point!

Probably every single one of these will cause you to shed weight. Because, ultimately, almost all of them involve a calorie deficit whether it’s depicted in the diet plan, or not. And, a calorie deficit is the only way to shed fat/weight. But, I’m guessing, none of them really teach you how to eat correctly, for you. The only person who can really teach you how to eat is you.

Because, “every body” is different!

I understand that I have to be in a calorie deficit in order to lose fat. I understand that I have to consume protein in order to build lean muscle. I understand that I have to consume fat to give my body energy, help my body absorb nutrients, and maintain my body’s temperature. I understand that I have to consume carbohydrates to give my body energy, maintain my digestive health, and to spare the protein I eat for muscle building. I also understand that there is a mental aspect, for me, to my diet. I need to enjoy the food I eat.

In short, counting macros allows me to give my body the nutrients it needs based on my food preferences, my body goals, and my physical activities. And counting calories allows me to gain, lose, or maintain my body fat.

Counting macros and calories allows me to make my diet fit me instead of me trying to change myself in order to fit someone else’s opinion of how I should eat.

My (Personal) Macronutrient Goals:

DISCLAIMER: Every Body is Different!!! (What works for me may not work for you.)

My macronutrient goals are based on my RMR (resting metabolic rate), and my activity level, and my physical, physiological, and psychological well-being.

That being said, these are my personal macronutrient and calorie goals (right now):

I realize my Carbohydrate goal is doesn’t fall in the “recommended” range. I’ve been counting macros for awhile and I’m beginning to understand, more and more, what nutrients my body requires in order to for me to look and feel how I want to look and feel. That’s why I can’t stress enough that all bodies are different and there is not one single way of eating that is going to work for every single person.