Why You Should Count Macros, Not Calories
We have all heard about counting calories to lose weight. But did you know that calorie counting is actually less effective than other methods of monitoring food intake? That’s because your body burns calories depending on a number of factors, including your food intake, your metabolism, and even your body’s chemistry.
The truth is: You can cut calories and gain weight. That’s because calories don’t discriminate based on what type of nutrients are (or aren’t) in your food.
That’s why I recommend counting macros, instead.
How to count macros
To count macros, you simply take the total amount of energy expended for the day and break it down into each group based on what your body needs. Of course, knowing what energy your body needs can be trial-and-error.
Based on your energy needs and goals, for example, you may need 50% in carbs, 20% in protein, and 30% in fat. Or try my TDEE eguide to help you calculate it
Now, you could take the time to write everything out and calculate your daily needs and intake yourself, but why go to all that trouble when you can use an app like MyFitnessPal to do all the computing for you?
With MyFitnessPal, you can easily enter your information to determine your energy needs. The app does all the calculations and gives you general amounts to aim for (e.g. 100 grams of protein per day) which is great to help you get comfortable with macro counting.
For each meal, you can easily add what you ate into the app and utilize the program to keep track of everything. You can do it all on your phone at anytime. It’s really that simple!
High and low macro counts
With traditional calorie counting, people tend to eat way too little or too much of one macro.
I generally find that people are not eating enough protein; this applies to about 80% of the people I work with. They don’t eat enough protein and instead consume too many starchy carbs (pizza, pasta, breads, sweets, etc.). Or they are overeating “good carbs” (whole wheat toast, sweet potato’s, oatmeal exc) As a result, they are sluggish and have excess belly fat. On the opposite side of the spectrum, those whose protein intake is unusually high might suffer from constipation, dehydration, or an upset stomach.
A well-balanced diet is key to better energy levels and obtaining the physique you want, and that starts by assessing your macro counts. Are you high or low in one of the three macronutrients (fat, carbs, or proteins)? The key is to balance your macro intake a bit more, especially if you have goals like losing belly fat or building muscle.
How macros help you reach your goals
If you want to take control of your diet, lead a healthier lifestyle, and shed some extra body weight, focus on your macro intake, not your calories.
If you’re counting calories, you could be consuming all your food in only one of the three categories, which leads to an unbalanced diet just like the scenario above. By counting macros, you can ensure you’re getting all types of foods needed to be properly fueled and create the energy your body requires each day.
By counting macros, you can easily create a customized food plan to make sure you're consuming what your body specifically needs. Of course, determining how much protein, fat, and carbs your body needs will depend on your goals and your body type. Each person is unique and must customize their plan according to how their body responds to each food type. And what you actually enjoy.
Start counting your own macros
Want to learn how to count your own macros — and adapt your numbers as you move closer to your fitness goals? Join my email list below. I am excited to announce an upcoming DIY macro counting program, but you have to be on the email list to hear about it!