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September 12, 2023 3 min read

Hitting your macros, short for macronutrients, is a crucial aspect of achieving your health and fitness goals. Macros consist of three primary components: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Balancing these macronutrients correctly can help you gain muscle, lose weight, improve athletic performance, or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle. In this article, we will explore what macros are, why they matter, and provide detailed guidance on how to hit your macros effectively.

Understanding Macros

  1. Carbohydrates (Carbs): Carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source. They are found in foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Carbs provide 4 calories per gram.
  2. Proteins:Proteins are essential for muscle repair, immune function, and overall body maintenance. Sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and plant-based options like tofu and legumes. Proteins also provide 4 calories per gram.
  3. Fats:Fats play a vital role in hormone production, cell function, and energy storage. Good sources of fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils. Fats provide 9 calories per gram.

Setting Your Macronutrient Goals

The first step to hitting your macros is determining your daily macronutrient requirements. These requirements depend on various factors, including your age, gender, activity level, and specific goals. You can calculate your macros using online calculators or consult a nutritionist for personalized guidance.

Here are some basic metrics you can follow:

1g of protein per pound of your GOAL weight

.6-.8g of carbohydrates of your goal weight 

.3g per lb of your goal weight in fat 

Remember that is just a basic general baseline and your actual numbers will vary based on many factors!

Once you have your daily macro targets, it’s time to plan your meals accordingly.

Hitting Your Macros: Practical Tips

  1. Hitting Your Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are essential for fueling your workouts and daily activities.
    • Complex Carbs: Opt for whole grains like white rice, quinoa, and potatoes. These provide sustained energy and fiber.
    • Simple Carbs: Include fruits for quick energy, and vegetables for essential nutrients.
    • Tracking: Use food scales, apps, or nutritional labels to track your carbohydrate intake.
    • Sample Meal: A balanced carb meal might include a serving of rice, lean protein like chicken breast, and steamed asparagus.
  2. Meeting Your Protein Goals: Protein is vital for muscle recovery and growth.
    • Lean Protein Sources: Incorporate lean beef, bison, elk, high quality chicken and eggs.
    • Portion Control: Use portion sizes to control protein intake. A palm-sized portion of protein is a good rule of thumb.
    • Timing: Consume protein-rich foods post-workout for muscle repair and growth.
    • Sample Meal:A protein-rich meal could be grilled salmon, a side of sweet potato, and grilled peppers.
  3. Balancing Your Fats: Healthy fats are crucial for overall health.
    • Unsaturated Fats: Focus on foods like avocados, nuts, butter, and olive oil.
    • Portion Awareness: While fats are essential, they are calorie-dense. Be mindful of portion sizes.
    • Omega-3 Fats: Include fatty fish like salmon or flaxseeds for their omega-3 content.
    • Sample Meal: A meal with healthy fats might consist of a spinach salad with walnuts, grilled chicken, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Snacking Smartly: Snacks are an excellent way to meet your macros between meals.
    • Protein Snacks: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or a handful of nuts.
    • Carb Snacks: A piece of fruit or honey.
    • Fat Snacks: Avocado toast, a small serving of guacamole, or a nut butter sandwich.
  5. Adjusting as Needed: Keep in mind that your macro needs may change over time due to your goals or lifestyle changes. Periodically reassess and adjust your macro goals accordingly.

Hitting your macros is a vital part of achieving your health and fitness objectives. By understanding what macros are, setting appropriate goals, and making informed food choices, you can take control of your nutrition and work towards your desired outcomes. Remember, consistency and patience are key, and consulting a registered dietitian or nutritionist can provide you with expert guidance on achieving your macro targets while maintaining a balanced and healthy diet.

Adam Niall
Adam Niall

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