How to Calculate the Calories and Macronutrients in Foods

Yesterday’s workout was great. I wasn’t able to workout Monday, so yesterday I did the ZWOW 13 and the 1 mile speed run in 8:53. I met my goal of running 1 mile under 8:55. Yay.Minute Per Mile Goal

Exciting, I know. I love achieving goals. I wonder if I can still meet last month’s goal of 100 burpees in 10 minutes.

I plan to run the pyramid treadmill intervals for today’s workout. I’m kind of nervous. I just know this workout is going to be tough.

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Today, I thought I would focus on how to calculate the calories and macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) in foods.

Energy Value of Food

As you can see from the picture, carbohydrates provide 4 kilocalorie/gram (kcal/g), protein provides 4 kcal/g, fat provides 9 kcal/g and alcohol provides 7 kcal/g.

How to calculate total energy in foods?

To calculate total energy in foods, multiply the macronutrient grams by the kcal it provides.

  • 1 medium apple provides 25 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein and fat
  • 1 tablespoon creamy natural peanut butter provides 3 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g protein and 8 g fat.
    • Carbohydrates-28 g x 4 kcal/g = 32 kcal
    • Protein-3.5 g x 4 kcal/g = 14 kcal
    • Fat-8 g x 9 kcal/g = 72 kcal
    • 32+14+72 = 118 kcal in 1 medium apple and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

How to calculate the percentage of calories the macronutrients provide?

Using the above example, divide each macronutrient calories by the total amount of calories.

  • Carbohydrates-32 kcal / 118 kcal = 27%
  • Protein-14 kcal / 118 kcal = 12%
  • Fat-72 kcal / 118 kcal = 61%

How to calculate the macronutrients of your daily diet?

This calculation is good to know if you want to cycle your carbohydrates or meet a certain percentage of macronutrients in your diet.

For example, to figure out a 45% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 30% fat diet, you will use the following calculations.

First you will need to figure out what your total calorie needs are or total calories you want to meet.

1655 total calories

  • 45% Carbohydrates
    • 1655 kcal x .45 = 745 kcal
    • 745 kcal / 4 kcal/g = 186 g of carbohydrates for the day
  • 25% Protein
    • 1655 kcal x .25 = 414 kcal
    • 414 kcal / 4 kcal/g = 104 g of protein for the day
  • 30% Fat
    • 1655 kcal x .30 = 497 kcal
    • 497 kcal / 9 kcal/g = 55 g of fat for the day

You can even take it a step further and figure out how many grams you will eat at each meal.

3 meals/day

  • Carbohydrates
    • 186 g / 3 = 62 g of carbohydrates at each meal
  • Protein
    • 104 g / 3 = 34 g of protein at each meal
  • Fat
    • 55 g / 3 = 18 g of fat at each meal

Another example:

1655 total calories

  • 55% Carbohydrate
    • 1655 kcal x .55 = 910 kcal
    • 910 kcal / 4 kcal/g = 228 g of carbohydrates for the day
  • 15% Protein
    • 1655 kcal x .15 = 248 kcal
    • 248 kcal / 4 kcal/g = 62 g of protein for the day
  • 30% Fat
    • 1655 kcal x .30 = 497 kcal
    • 497 kcal / 9 kcal/g = 55 g of fat for the day

5 meals/day

  • Carbohydrates
    • 228 g / 5 = 45 g of carbohydrates at each meal
  • Protein
    • 62 g / 5 = 12 g of protein at each meal
  • Fat
    • 55 g / 5 = 11 g of fat at each meal

These calculations are another tool you can use to help you meet your dietary and weight goals.

Source:

Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S. Krause’s Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier. 2004.

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How was your workout today?

Met any recent goals?

Do you calculate calories and macronutrients?

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