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How to Count Macros: A Step by Step Guide for Vegans

Updated: Sep 29

Macronutrients AKA "macros" are the 3 main building blocks of any food: Carbohydrates (Carbs), Fat, and Protein.


Learning to 'track' macros is a popular nutrition method to support your health and fitness goals. Depending on your goals and lifestyle, including if you're vegan or on a plant-based diet, the most optimal amount of protein, fat and carbs for you changes.


Tracking macros means you can dial in your diet to your specific nutritional and physiological needs. Because your macronutrient targets act as guidelines or guard rails, you're still able to be flexible with your food choices. So much so that macro-tracking is often referred to as "flexible dieting".


What About Calorie Counting?

Typically when dieting, people start off with tracking calories.

This is a perfectly valid form of nutrition management for some people and goals. In particular, it can be a great way to lose body fat. But it's not necessarily well suited to maintaining or building lean muscle mass, or fuelling workouts optimally which require extra attention to specific macronutrients. So calorie counting alone can cause frustration when you aren't getting the results you want.


Macros are made up of calories. So when if you follow macro counting, you are incidentally already tracking your calorie intake. Specifically: 1g of Protein = 4 calories, 1g of Carbs = 4 calories, and 1g of Fat = 9 calories


Ok, so how do I start?


STEP 1) WHAT'S YOUR HEALTH & FITNESS GOAL?

Are you aiming to change your body fat, grow muscle, fuel your training, maintain your weight, or something else?


Each goal has different energy (i.e. calorie) and macronutrient need.

A good place to figure out how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat you need to get started is by using our specialised vegan macro and calorie calculator.


STEP 2) GET THE TOOLS

There are only two things you need:

  1. A food scale - A digital scale tends to be the easiest and most accurate

  2. A calorie/macro tracking app on your smartphone

From experience and popularity, the best apps to do this are:

  • MyFitnessPal