Nick Hall

What are Macros? A Complete Guide to Counting Macronutrients | Man of Many

If you have been wondering just what are macros, don’t stress. Chances are, you have come across the dieting aspect before, probably without even realising it. Put simply, macros is an abbreviation of the word ‘macronutrient’ and refers to the three most common nutrient groups. These include fats, carbohydrates and protein, the three categories of nutrients you eat the most and provide you with most of your energy. When you count macros, you’re counting the grams of proteins, carbs or fat that you’re consuming.

What are Macros?

To dive a little deeper, carbohydrates include sugars, starches and fibres. Most carbs get broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which your body can then choose to use for immediate energy or store as glycogen, an energy reserve found in your liver and muscles.


Similar to carbohydrates, protein provides around four calories per gram. Known as the muscle-building macronutrient, protein is responsible for a vast number of important bodily functions, such as cell signalling, immune function and the building of tissues, hormones and enzymes. While most major health organisations suggest getting around 10-35 per cent of total calorie intake from protein, bodybuilders and fitness experts have found greater success upping this number. Putland suggests opting for lean meats, seafood beans and eggs to increase your protein intake effectively.


Another misunderstood macronutrient, fats are an important source of energy in your daily life. While they contain the most calories of all macros at nine per gram, your body requires fats for critical function, so it’s important not to skimp out on them. Certain bodily functions, such as hormone production, nutrient absorption and body temperature maintenance are all impacted by fat intake. Typical macronutrient recommendations for fats range from 20–35 per cent of total calories, however, many people find success following a diet higher in fat, such as the ketogenic diet.


As most fitness fanatics will know, counting macros effectively will significantly improve your results in the gym and on the scales. Putland believes that having a balanced mix of key macros, aligned with your goals is critical to ongoing success in the health and fitness space.

Benefits of Counting Macros

Counting macros is the process of tracking how many grams of each macronutrient you consume per day. This figure will give you a better understanding f your general diet and nutrition, but must be tailored to your specific goal. Further to that, because protein, fat and carbohydrates each provide a certain amount of calories per gram, you are also tracking how many calories per day you consume.

How to Count Macros

Counting macros for muscle growth generally relates to an increase in protein intake. As with most body tissues, muscles are dynamic and constantly being broken down and rebuilt. In order to gain muscle, your body must synthesize more muscle protein than it breaks down.
In general terms, that means having a net positive protein balance in your body — often called nitrogen balance, as protein is high in nitrogen. The simplest way to do so is to increase more protein during periods of high-performance training, leading to greater muscle growth and strength. Similarly, those who want to maintain the muscle they’ve built may need to increase their protein intake when losing body fat, as a high protein intake can help prevent the muscle loss that usually occurs when dieting.

Macros for Muscle Growth

If you are looking for the ideal macros for weight loss, things become a little bit more challenging. While your macros breakdown might end up being the same, you need to reduce your calorie intake, so cutting fats might help you to keep that figure down. Similarly, increasing your protein intake will likely make you feel fuller for longer, satisfying hunger cravings.

Macros for Fat Loss

Whatever your nutrition goal, understanding your macronutrient intake is critical. Whether it’s macros for weight loss or muscle gain, having a macros calculator that can detail a specific gram target for each can be a massive advantage. Here is a macros calculator to help you count calories and achieve your fitness goals.

Macro Calculator

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