There are three macronutrients that make up our food sources. They are carbohydrates, protein and fat. These are the same macronutrients that we track when counting macros. Macronutrients are measured and tracked in grams. You will see the three macronutrients circled on the below nutrition label. You will also see the serving size circled. Serving sizes are usually measured using measuring cups/spoons or by weighing the food. You will notice this serving size is 55g. This is not to be confused with the macronutrient measurement. This is completely separate.
So where do the calories come in to play?
A calorie is a unit of heat energy that helps us understand how much energy is in specific types of food. Below is a breakdown of how many calories are in each of the three macronutrients.
1g of Fat = 9 Calories
1g of Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
1g of Protein = 4 Calories
So if we want to figure out how many calories are coming from each of the type of macronutrient, we simply multiply the number of grams of that macronutrient by the appropriate calorie multiplier. An example of this is shown in the below image to the left.
What can we learn from this?
1. Fats are a more calorie dense food compared to carbohydrates and protein.
2. Both calories and macronutrients matter. Getting the appropriate number of macronutrients will provide our body with the tools needed to function at its best. Thankfully, we don’t need to track both calories and macronutrients. If we just track macronutrients the rest will fall into place, but it is neat to have an understanding of how it all comes together!