Macros are a commonly used term to describe macronutrients, which consist of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. And you might have seen talk about #IIFYM or If It Fits Your Macros before too. Basically, counting macros may help reach your body composition goals – whether that’s losing weight, gaining muscle, or simply maintaining your body composition. But did you know that weight actually has an impact on macros?
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That is, what you weigh can impact the balance of protein, fat, and carbs you should be eating to hit your goals. Just like your weight can impact the overall amount of calories you should be consuming too.
Typical macronutrient ranges
Macros are based on percentages of daily caloric needs, which are typically calculated using current weight. So your protein goal might be 25% of your daily calories, for instance. The ratios for macros (protein vs carbs vs fat percentage) can change based on health goals or weight.
When there is a change in body weight, an adjustment in calculations is recommended to prevent possible plateaus. The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for an adult is 45-65% calories from carbohydrates, 20-35% of fat, and 10-35% of protein. As you can see, the ranges vary greatly. The good part is that this creates a lot of room for individualization, since macros and caloric needs are not one size fits all.
Dependent on goals, macros can be determined solely based on weight. For example, if someone is focusing on a high protein diet, they may only be counting their protein based on a certain amount of grams per kilogram of body weight per day. It is typically recommended to have an even distribution of all three macros since they are all important for overall health.
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The impact of weight
Your current weight can impact the amount of macros you are consuming. If you are underweight and your goal is to gain weight then you will need more calories compared to someone that is trying to lose weight. When your weight will increase or decrease (depending on your goal) the amount of macros will change alongside it.
For example, someone on an 1800 calorie diet that is following a standard macro distribution of 50% carbs/30% protein/20% fat. This works out to 225 grams of carbs a day, 135 grams of protein per day and 40 grams of fat a day. But when they’ve lost weight, their daily caloric needs will go down. If they were to reduce their overall calorie consumption by 300 calories per day, it would affect macros. In this example, the person would consume about 188 grams of carbs a day, 113 grams of protein a day, and 33 grams of fat a day. A 300 calorie per day change has resulted in a slight shift of macros.
If there is no change in weight when the amount of calories are decreased, it may be helpful to switch up the macros ratio. Some people may respond better to a different ratio, such as lower carb and higher protein.
Weight impacts macros and macros impact weight
Counting macros have been known to help with weight related goals, whether its weight loss, weight gain, or maintenance. Body weight impacts macros due to the calculations needed to determine macronutrient ratios. Macros are used to help with goals, but they are based on calculations that use body weight, counting macros may lead to weight gain or weight loss.
The Samsung Food app has many recipes available for those that count macros. It may be helpful to search for individual macros, for example, high protein breakfast. Using a fitness watch can also be beneficial to keep track of body weight, and body composition. These factors may be helpful knowing when trying to reach certain goals.