Just so we are clear, Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats are the macronutrients that are present in every diet. Each have important roles to play and should be obtained in different quantities, or more commonly called a “ratio”. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram and should be 40-65% of your diet. Protein also has 4 calories per gram and should be 25-35% of your diet. Fat has 9 calories per gram and should be 20-30% of your diet. Remember percentages are not based on “grams”, they are based on the number of calories from each nutrient. Keeping your Macronutrients (macros) in an appropriate balance is important, but should not be the only thing that you are focusing on.
1. Macronutrients Are Calories
Overeating can be a big obstacle when it comes to eating a macronutrient balance. It is too common to go over on your required caloric intake because you are simply trying to get all of your macronutrients. This is an error in thinking: macronutrient ratios are percentages not numbers. They should be a part of your daily caloric limit. This explains why overeating or going over on your calorie count happens so often. It’s easy to pay attention to just those percentages but will result in gaining weight from the extra calories. It’s important to remember to pair specific macronutrients percentages with your calorie count for your goal. Calories come first.
2. Wrong Choice Of Macros
There are many types of sources to get your carbohydrates, protein, and fat from. Which is why we have to be careful of where exactly we are getting those nutrients from. For an example, you might think you are getting enough protein to fit your caloric intake from peanut butter. If you read the label then you will see that there is actually 16 grams of fat included in that peanut butter, 7 grams of protein, and 6 grams of total carbohydrates. That means that there is a total of 144 calories from fat alone and 28 calories from protein.
It doesn’t mean that peanut butter is necessarily bad for you. It just means that we definitely need to be more aware of the types of macronutrients we are choosing. This happens too often. Our macronutrient percentages get thrown off completely by eating foods that we think contain one macro when it actually has an increase of another.
3. Going Overboard
To be honest, sometimes life just gets in the way. That is totally ok! Do not let macronutrients run your life. Try not to stress about whether or not you hit the appropriate percentages. Macronutrients are awesome and should still play a huge role in your life, but sometimes you need to take a deep breath and not stress about getting all of your macros. It’s extremely hard to always always always get the percentages you need every single day. Just keep in mind to try and stay on track with your calorie count and you macro percentages as best as you possibly can.