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The 4-4-9 Rule, Basic Nutritional mathematics

The basics:

The 4-4-9 rule is the general, mathematical basis used to convert gram quantities of macro nutrients (protein, Carbohydrate, fat) to calories. In short, if you know the weight of your macronutrients, and understand the 4-4-9 rule, you can figure out the amount of calories in your meals.

The Rule Explained:

The 4-4-9 rule generalizes that each gram of carbohydrate will contribute 4 calories, each gram of protein will contribute 4 calories, and each gram of fat will contribute 9 calories. If you add up all of the grams of each individual macro nutrient, then multiply them by the respective figure , from the rule, you can identify the amount of calories in your meal.

1gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories. 1 gram of protein = 4 calories. 1 gram of fat = 9 calories.


lets say that you eat a meal that has 60 gram of carbohydrate, 45 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat. You identified these gram quantities by retrieving them from the nutrition facts for your food. So, now the question is, How many calories are in this meal. Since we know the 4-4-9 rule, we can setup the simple math and compute it.

60 grams of carbohydrates. To find calories we take 60 and multiply it by 4. This gives us 240 calories from carbohydrates, for this meal.

45 grams of protein. To find the calories, multiply 45 by 4. This gives us 180 calories from protein.

13 grams of fat. to find the calories, multiply 13 by 9. This gives us 117 calories.

Finally, add all of the calories together. This result in a total yield of 537 calories for this meal.

Why is it important to be able to this math?

knowing how to do this math will allow you to identify if you are getting enough calories, where your calories are coming from, and it will allow you to make adjustments as needed.

This post is to be very basic and is intended to teach one of many steps that will help beginners have a better understanding of how numbers are derived and why. This is the first of many blog posts like this. The goal will be, to help the readers understand the many steps of nutritional mathematics that lead to creating diets.

Please check back with us often for new blog posts. The next blog post will cover, “how to calculate total daily calories.”


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