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Carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins are macronutrients, or “macros.” They are vital nutrients that support human health and provide humans energy. Certain diets, such as the ketogenic diet, necessitate measuring your macros once you begin.

Calorie counting, which concentrates on the quantity of energy that food provides, is not the same as macro counting. It is also a more intricate process than calorie counting. To simplify the process, this macro counting 101 guide will walk you through each macronutrient’s counting procedure in detail.


The right way to count macronutrients differs depending on the nutrient. Let’s take a closer look at each macronutrient before discussing macrocounting advice.


Macronutrients 101: Protein, Carbs, & Fats Guide
Macronutrients 101: Protein, Carbs, & Fats Guide

A nutrient present in a wide variety of foods is protein. It is essential to life. Your body needs protein when it is developing or healing. Your requirements for protein-rich foods vary according to your age, sex, height, weight, and degree of physical activity. Although the majority of Americans consume adequate foods from the Protein Foods Group, they should choose leaner cuts of meat and poultry and expand their selection of protein foods by picking meats less frequently.


Foods derived from plants and animals both include protein. These are a few wholesome protein-rich dietary options:

  • Meat, poultry, and eggs: lean beef, lamb, goat, pork loin, skinless chicken, duck, quail, and turkey portions
  • Fish and seafood: lobster, catfish, crab, shrimp, mackerel, tuna, and salmon
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy foods: cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, and cheese
  • Legumes: lentils, beans, split peas, and soy
  • Nuts and seeds: peanuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds


Macronutrients 101: Protein, Carbs, & Fats Guide
Macronutrients 101: Protein, Carbs, & Fats Guide


The body’s preferred fuel source is carbohydrates. Numerous vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can be found in foods high in carbs. Carbohydrate-rich foods are a vital component of a balanced diet. The body uses glucose, which is produced from carbohydrates, to support both physical activity and internal processes. Carbohydrates come in three varieties: sugars, starches, and dietary fiber.

  • Plant-based foods including potatoes, peas, corn, beans, rice, and other grain items contain starches.
  • Naturally occurring in meals like fruit and milk, added sugars can also be found in highly processed foods like cake, candies, and soft drinks.
  • Dietary fiber, an indigestible component of plant diets, may support heart and digestive health.



According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 45–65% of daily calories should come from carbs. Thus, of the 2,000 calories you consume each day, 900–1,300 should come from carbs. That is equivalent to 225–325 grams of carbohydrates per day.


Macronutrients 101: Protein, Carbs, & Fats Guide
Macronutrients 101: Protein, Carbs, & Fats Guide


Dietary fats are necessary for maintaining cell function and providing your body with energy. In addition to keeping your body warm and protecting your organs, certain fats also aid in nutrient absorption, hormone production, and the absorption of certain nutrients. Food contains four main types of dietary fats: polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats, trans fats, and monounsaturated fats. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are unsaturated fats, are regarded as “healthy” fats because, when consumed in moderation, they might be advantageous to the body.

Good Fats Can Be Found in:

  • Avocados 
  • Corn oil 
  • Fatty fish 
  • Flaxseed 
  • Nuts 
  • Olive oil 
  • Peanut butter 
  • Soybean oil 
  • Sunflower oil 

At room temperature, saturated and trans fats are often solid. It has been demonstrated that these fats raise the risk of heart disease.

Trans fats and saturated fats can be found in:

  • Butter 
  • Cheeses 
  • Creams 
  • Dairy Desserts, like ice cream 
  • Fried Foods 
  • Lard 
  • Red meat, such as bacon, sausage, and beef 
  • Tropical oils, like coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil  
  • Whole Milk 


According to the National Institutes of Health, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that less than 10% of daily calories come from saturated fat, but the USDA suggests that 20% to 35% of calories come from fat.


You are now prepared to calculate your macros since you have a better understanding of the various macronutrient categories. You must first calculate your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE), or the amount of energy an average person needs when not moving, before you can start counting macros. Your REE is influenced by a variety of factors, including your body type, degree of physical fitness, and general health. These are only estimations designed to give you a better idea of what your potential REE might be:

  • Male: (10 x kg of weight) + (6.25 x cm of height) – (5 x years of age) + 5 or
  • Female: (10 x kg of weight) + (6.25 x cm of height) – (5 x years of age) -161

Example for a Female: 161 – (5 x 30 years) – (10 x 68 kg) + (6.25 x 160 cm) = 1,369 REE

Note: Use these useful converters to change lb to kb and cm to lb.

The non-resting energy expenditure (NREE), which varies depending on your degree of physical activity when in motion, must then be multiplied by your estimated REE:

  • Multiply the REE by 1.2 for those who are primarily sedentary (little to no exercise plus desk work).
  • Multiply the REE by 1.375 for those who participate in mild activity (light exercise or sports) 1-3 days per week.
  • Multiply the REE by 1.55 for those who participate in moderate activity (moderate exercise or sports three to five days a week).
  • For those who engage in intense physical activity (sports or strenuous exercise six days a week), multiply the REE by 1.725.

Example: 2,122 TDEE = 1,369 (REE) x 1.55 (Moderate Activity, 3-5 days per week)

Your estimated Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is provided by the result. The total amount of calories you may consume in a day to maintain your current weight is known as your TDEE. You would need to either improve your daily exercise level, consume less calories, or do both if you wanted to lose weight.

Finding the ideal macronutrient ratio for your objectives is the next step after estimating your overall caloric intake.

The macro ratio breakdown of the standard ketogenic diet (SKD) usually looks like this:

  • 20% of Calories from Protein
  • 70% from Fat
  • 10% of Carbohydrate Calories

Multiplying your total calories by each macro percent will get your daily calories, which will be your macro percentage.

For instance:

TDEE = 2,122 x 70% (Fat) = 1,485.2 x 20% (Protein) x 2,122 (TDEE) = 424.4 Calories from Protein; 2 x 10% (Carbs) x 2,122 (TDEE) = 212.2 Calories from Carbs.

Remember that adjusting macro ratios is necessary to get your individual objectives. Numerous keto macro calculators are available to perform the calculations for you.


Following these techniques for counting macros can help you stay to your plan:

  • Examine the labels: Examine nutritional labels closely to determine the grams of macronutrients. Keep in mind that the size of a serving and the package aren’t usually the same. You must double the number of servings by the amounts specified for each macro if you’re eating more than one at a time.
  • Apply a food scale: Measuring your food helps you limit portion sizes and lowers the possibility of guessing your macros incorrectly.
  • Make a plan: Make a plan for each day of the week before it begins. You won’t have to worry about rushing calculations if you budget your macros in advance. When making your plan, take into account the groceries you already have and the occasions when you will be dining out.
  • Fiber: “Do you subtract fiber from carbs when counting?” is a common question. Yes, is the response. Since your body can’t digest fiber, you normally only utilize starches and simple sugars in macro counting.
  • Stock up on snacks that meet your macros: When examining your diet as a whole, don’t forget to account for the macros in your snacks. Important macros are listed on the front of packaging for Ratio Food KETO* friendly snacks and high protein snacks, so they do the arithmetic for you.
  • Exercise: Exercise promotes stronger bones and muscles as well as heart health. You might need to modify your macro allowances when exercising in order to take into consideration the energy your body expels during physical exercise.


Results from changing your macros as part of a health journey will differ depending on a number of variables, including your age, exercise level, diet plan you’re currently following, macro changes, and how closely you adhere to your eating plan. Prior to monitoring your development, wait at least two weeks, and don’t give up if it takes longer than that.

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