Macronutrient - I don't understand

Options
Rushbrook60
Rushbrook60 Posts: 95 Member
Is someone able to help me understand what macronutrients are? I see them in my nutrition section and they are set to % which I haven't told it to, and I don't understand what they are. The % and gram amount is says I should aim for don't total my total calorie intake, so there's a whole load of unaccounted for calories. I'm really baffled and don't know if I should be adjusting this? Don't mean to sound dumb but can someone explain please?

Replies

  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,613 Member
    Options
    Are you talking about the protein, fat, carb goals, or the vitamin/mineral goals? Open your diary for more specific help.
  • Rushbrook60
    Rushbrook60 Posts: 95 Member
    Options
    It's in the nutrition section where it shows the pie chart, then it has macronutrients and says 50% carbs (250g or so), 20% protein (Xg) and fat 30% (Xg) then it refers to the calories I should aim for, and those calories don't total my total daily intake. I assume that's because some calories will be consumed in sugars, fibre etc, but I don't understand the relevance of these percentages and what they mean dietery wise
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    edited May 2016
    Options
    Macronutrients are fat, carbohydrate and protein - the stuff that provides energy, aka calories. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, carbs and protein 4. MFP has a default of 50% of energy from carbs, 30% from fat and 20% from protein, to help you get a balanced diet. You are supposed to find foods that have more of what you are short of, and eat less of what you are exceeding. Or, you can adjust macros to reflect a way of eating that is more natural for you. They are just guidelines anyway.

    If the numbers don't add up (and not just not exactly because of rounding), one or more items may be wrong and you need to find the culprit.
  • Rushbrook60
    Rushbrook60 Posts: 95 Member
    Options
    Macronutrients are fat, carbohydrate and protein - the stuff that provides energy, aka calories. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, carbs and protein 4. MFP has a default of 50% of energy from carbs, 30% from fat and 20% from protein, to help you get a balanced diet. You are supposed to find foods that have more of what you are short of, and eat less of what you are exceeding. Or, you can adjust macros to reflect a way of eating that is more natural for you. They are just guidelines anyway.

    That makes so much more sense now explained!! Right, I must get my thinking cap on.

    Thank you
  • Nikion901
    Nikion901 Posts: 2,467 Member
    edited May 2016
    Options
    Try educating yourself a bit by reading the My Fittness Pal BLOG ... click on the work Blog next to the word Community on your MFP menu bar. The blog is called Hello Healthy and you will find many informative articles about nutrition.

    For a quick answer to your questions.
    1 ... Macronutrients is a classification for components of food ... Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat ... that's what all the food you eat is made of.
    2 ... The % you see on nutrition section is how much of each you are recommended to eat based upon (a) the MFP default or (b) what you adjusted them to be based on your calorie goal per day. ... You also see % for each on food nutrition labels but that is telling you how much a serving of the packaged food contains in a 2000 calorie per day diet and not how much you should be eating, so don't get those 2 confused.
    3 ... The % will not equal your calorie intake because those are two different things. Your calories are the toal amount of nutrition you are looking to eat. The % are the portion of your calories from each and will add up to 100. The grams recpresent a weight measure of that nutrient you would need to eat to equal the percentage of that nurtrient in your calorie allotment.

    So ... here is a little example picture for you ... Say you want to eat 1500 calories a day. Of those calories, you want to get 50% in carbohydrates, 30 % in fat and the rest, 20% from protein. The carbohydrates and protein are both 4 calories per gram, fat is 9 calories per gram. IF you convert the percentages into calories from each macronutrient, you would have:
    ... at 1500 calorie a day diet ...
    carbohydrates at 50% of calories = 750 calories and at 4 calories per gram = 187.5 grams of carbohydrate per day
    fat at 30% of calories = 450 calores and at 9 calories per gram = 50 grams of fat per day
    protein at 20% calories = 300 calories and at 4 calories per gram = 75 grams of protein per day

    If you don't like those numbers, you can adjust them up or down by customizing your nutrition goals. However, if you leave them as MFP defaults to, you will be getting adequate nutrtion and as long as your total calories for the day are lower than what you need to maintain your current weight, your will eventually reduce. If you eat more calories than you need to maintain your current weight, over time your weight will go up.

    Short lesson over. Hope it helps you.
    PS -- sorry for the typos, I did not preview so didn't catch them.
  • Rushbrook60
    Rushbrook60 Posts: 95 Member
    Options
    Nikion901 wrote: »
    Try educating yourself a bit by reading the My Fittness Pal BLOG ... click on the work Blog next to the word Community on your MFP menu bar. The blog is called Hello Healthy and you will find many informative articles about nutrition.

    For a quick answer to your questions.
    1 ... Macronutrients is a classification for components of food ... Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat ... that's what all the food you eat is made of.
    2 ... The % you see on nutrition section is how much of each you are recommended to eat based upon (a) the MFP default or (b) what you adjusted them to be based on your calorie goal per day. ... You also see % for each on food nutrition labels but that is telling you how much a serving of the packaged food contains in a 2000 calorie per day diet and not how much you should be eating, so don't get those 2 confused.
    3 ... The % will not equal your calorie intake because those are two different things. Your calories are the toal amount of nutrition you are looking to eat. The % are the portion of your calories from each and will add up to 100. The grams recpresent a weight measure of that nutrient you would need to eat to equal the percentage of that nurtrient in your calorie allotment.

    So ... here is a little example picture for you ... Say you want to eat 1500 calories a day. Of those calories, you want to get 50% in carbohydrates, 30 % in fat and the rest, 20% from protein. The carbohydrates and protein are both 4 calories per gram, fat is 9 calories per gram. IF you convert the percentages into calories from each macronutrient, you would have:
    ... at 1500 calorie a day diet ...
    carbohydrates at 50% of calories = 750 calories and at 4 calories per gram = 187.5 grams of carbohydrate per day
    fat at 30% of calories = 450 calores and at 9 calories per gram = 50 grams of fat per day
    protein at 20% calories = 300 calories and at 4 calories per gram = 75 grams of protein per day

    If you don't like those numbers, you can adjust them up or down by customizing your nutrition goals. However, if you leave them as MFP defaults to, you will be getting adequate nutrtion and as long as your total calories for the day are lower than what you need to maintain your current weight, your will eventually reduce. If you eat more calories than you need to maintain your current weight, over time your weight will go up.

    Short lesson over. Hope it helps you.
    PS -- sorry for the typos, I did not preview so didn't catch them.

    Thank you for the breakdown. I didn't realise there was a section I could read up on this. I'm brand new to the app today following some inspirational advice from my personal trainer at the gym. semi-educating myself as I go along but I just could not find anything about macronutrients and was worried if I didn't know about them and I did something "wrong" so to speak, that the whole point of calorie counting would be a null and void exercise.

    Thank you for explaining.
  • Nikion901
    Nikion901 Posts: 2,467 Member
    Options
    :) good luck. This is a good app ... logging the food and exercise takes a bit of getting used to. It took me a few weeks of frustration to catch on ... Just one more bit ... when you log your food, the totals count for the day will not come out 100% when you do the math because it splits out fiber, which is part of some carbohydrates and has a different calorie per gram measurement. I track fiber as well as sugar on my personal food diary because I want to know how much of those carb components I am consuming (I'm a diabetic and that is stuff I need to track).