Macros: WTF?

You're not the only one thinking it.

There are a few science-y gym terms that get thrown around a lot, and macro's is one of them. Sounds complicated, but we can confirm that it doesn't have to be. The concept is simple:

Macronutrients, or "macros" for short, are the big building blocks that make up the food we eat. ALL of the food. Fresh stuff, processed stuff, yuck stuff (@corriander). There are three types of macros: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Any given food can be made up of one or more macros measured by weight, along with micronutrients (that's a whole other kettle of fish). Let's use the humble apple as the example:

According to MyFitnessPal, one medium jazz apple has 22g of carbohydrates, 0g of fat and 0g of protein. A piece of milk chocolate has 4.8g carbs, 2.4g of fat and 0.6g of protein. You with us so far? Good.

So we know what the 3 macros are, but what do they all mean? Why can't we just count calories and call it a day? Why won't my ex text me back? There are many questions we may never know the answer to, but we can answer the first two no problem.


Carbohydrates have been demonized by the fitness industry in the past (hello early 2000's women's health magazines, we're looking at you). Carbs give us energy, energy makes us move, moving makes us burn calories.

Carbs are found in foods like grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. There isn't a one-size-fits-all recipe for nutrition, but it's typically recommended that carbs make up about 50% of the total calories in your diet.

This is where carbs get a little bit tricky - not all carbs are made equally. Believe it or not, carbs from an apple don't get the same praise as carbs from a cheeky maccas drive-thru big mac (life is unfair, we know). To make it super easy:

Simple carbs = mainly sugar = not good
Complex carbs = starch/fibre = good

You can find out more about carbs on the MyFitnessPal website here.


Our trusty pals at MyFitnessPal reckon if you’re feeling sluggish, hungry all the time, or noticing you are prone to injury and have brittle nails — these are signs you may not be getting enough protein. They essentially are what keep a lot of your body functions going, like carrying oxygen to your blood and your immune system. 

So why do we need protein if we want to gain muscle? Your muscles won't grow unless they have a surplus of protein. Once your core body functions have met their needs, then it can start using whatever's left to grow muscle. Obviously we can't just sit on the couch and drink 50 protein shakes a day to gain muscle, so you need to pair it with strength/resistance training.

Although there's no one-size-fits-all magic number for protein intake, it's recommended that you consume 1g per pound of body weight per day if you're wanting to lose fat and gain muscle.

Bodyweight in pounds = weight in kg x 2.2
EXAMPLE: 70kg x 2.2 = 154lbs = 154g of protein per day.

You can find more info about protein on the MyFitnessPal website here


Now this one definitely sounds sus, but we promise it's not a trick. Fats are an essential part to your diet and overall nutrition. 

Fats are the most calorie-dense macronutrient:

1g fat = 9 calories
1g protein or carbs = 4 calories

When you consume fats, they're either used up right away as energy or stored for later (unlike proteins which are not stored). This means that if you exercise and consume fats afterwards, the fat will be burned off (assuming you haven't just absolutely let rip on a huge fatty meal). If you consume fat and then go to bed, your body doesn't need the energy so it stores it for later (bloody rude, we know).

There are heaps of different types of foods which are high-fat, so we recommend checking our the MyFitnessPal website here for more info about that.

Basically the idea is to balance how much of each macro you should be eating each day to keep you on track for your goals. This does need to be paired with the right workout routine too!

So now you're probably thinking, "that doesn't make any sense, I thought you said it was easy, why does this feel like math, I hate math" and you're right! The first bit is easy, but it can get kinda hard. The good news? You don't have to do the math because MyFitnessPal does it for you.

You can find their macro information here.


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