Essential for the functioning of the body, macronutrients are represented in the diet by carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. A balanced daily diet requires an optimal distribution of these 3 categories. And is determined by the basic metabolism and the level of physical activity. Find out how to calculate them according to your needs!
What are macronutrients?
Macronutrients are grouped into 3 families: proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. These essential elements for your body to function are present in your diet. And need to be distributed evenly to help you stay healthy.
calculate your protein needs the proteins can be of animal or vegetable origin. They are thus found in meat, fish, eggs, cheese, or milk, as well as in legumes, grain products, and oilseeds. Animal proteins are better absorbed by the body than vegetable proteins. This is why we sometimes need to supplement ourselves when following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
The role of proteins, which are made up of amino acids (20 in total) is used to provide energy. But also and above all to build and maintain the functioning of the muscles, cell tissues, and organs that make up your body.
You need around 250-300g of protein every day. Needs change with age, weight, and gender. Thus, we recommend around 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight per day, or 44 g for a woman and 60 for a man (or 15 to 20% of macronutrients).
The second category of macronutrients: carbohydrates! sworn enemies of people who want to lose weight, they are nevertheless essential for the proper functioning of your body. Also called carbohydrates, they are broken down into two categories: simple carbohydrates (glucose, lactose, sucrose, etc). And complex carbohydrates such as starch and dietary fiber. Choosing the right sources of carbohydrates is essential in order to favor so-called “low glycemic indexes” carbohydrates such as fruits, cereals, sweet potatoes, or even quinoa.
The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy, in the form of glucose which will be mobilized by your body to redirect it towards the body’s cells, and more particularly the nerve cells since glucose is the only “fuel” of your body. brain! This makes it easier to understand why carbohydrates are essential in your diet. On a daily basis, their share should be between 40 and 55%.
calculate your lipid needs finally, lipids are the most energetic macronutrient category. Indispensable for providing energy to the muscles, they are converted into fats (triglycerides) when the amount ingested is greater than the recommended intakes.
Lipids are also part of the composition of cells, and in particular neurons, and help in the assimilation of so-called fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E, K, and vitamin D.
There are several types of lipids including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. If the body can produce saturated fatty acids on its own, linoleic acid and linolenic acid, which are part of the polyunsaturated fatty acid family, must be obtained from the diet.
We recommend about 10 g of linoleic acid (also called omega-6) and 2 g of linolenic acid (omega-3). They represent 35 to 40% of the daily intake of macronutrients.
How to distribute your macronutrients according to your needs?
Calculating your macros can be interesting if you want to achieve specific goals, especially to lose weight, maintain your healthy weight, or increase your muscle mass as part of a sport.
The recommended amounts of macronutrients vary from person to person, and will not be the same depending on age, level of physical activity, or gender. To properly calculate your macronutrients, you must identify two essential elements: your basal metabolism, and your level of physical activity in order to calculate how many calories you need in a day. You can then calculate your macronutrients on this basis, knowing that one gram of protein is 4 kcal, 1 g of carbohydrates at 4 kcal as well, and 1 g of fat at 9 kcal.
Calculate your basal metabolism
Calculating your basal metabolic rate lets you know how many calories you are spending while resting, outside of any physical activity.
This is because even if you are not moving, your body burns calories to function! Note that if you are sporty and strength training, you should burn more calories at rest than a sedentary person.
Basal metabolism is calculated based on gender, height, weight, and age. The calculation formula is as follows:
For a man: (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) + 5.
For a woman: (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) – 161.
Identify your energy needs according to your lifestyle
calculate your calorie needs easily
Once your basal metabolic rate is calculated, all you have to do is determine your level of physical activity so that you can calculate the number of calories needed per day to properly distribute your macronutrients.
This is measured according to different coefficients corresponding to your daily activity level:
Sedentary or light physical activity: 1.5
Active or moderate lifestyle: 1.8
Very active: 2.2
Extreme and competitive sportsman: 2.4.
Once determined, all you have to do is multiply your basal metabolism by your level of physical activity to determine the number of calories you need per day and thus individually distribute your macronutrients.