‘Macronutrients provide energy in the form of calories and make up the three major components of food – carbohydrates, fat and protein. These are required in large quantities by the body, hence the term ‘macro’ Macronutrients helps us grow, develop, repair, give us energy, and make us feel good. They each have their own role and functions in the body. Macronutrients refer to the three basic components of every diet — carbohydrates, fat, and protein — with a bonus fourth, water. Macro, meaning “large,” alludes to the fact that these nutrients are needed in larger quantities. Almost every food has a combination of macronutrients, but the difference lies in the composition of these macronutrients.
Difference between counting macros and counting calories
Calorie counting is a simple tactic and generally shows positive results. Unfortunately, it can also be misleading. Keeping track of calories, as opposed to what makes up those calories, can be harmful to your body despite the weight loss. Calorie counting is an easy, one-step system. Determine the number of calories you need to eat per day and simply keep track of your daily intake. The general guidelines for determining the number of calories you should be consuming in order to lose weight is based on your age, weight, and the average amount of physical activity performed daily.
In counting macros, the amount of macros a person should be consuming in order to lose weight is calculated based on age, weight and gender. The number of protein, carbs, and fat allowed per day are converted into grams. To accurately count your macros, it is recommended to use a kitchen scale. It can be done without a scale, although it is not as precise.
What are the benefits of counting macros?
- We learn more about our food
By tracking your macros over a period of time, perhaps keeping a record of daily intake for a week or two, one can understand exactly what they are eating. It is very easy when you are simply focused on counting calories, to overlook the nutritional content of the foods you are consuming. Many people will overeat if they aren’t watching themselves closely and taking notes. And some, as crazy as it may seem too many, don’t eat enough unless they hold themselves accountable to a certain number of calories each day. In these cases, counting macros might be a good option to make sure you’re eating the right number of calories for your goals whether it is to gain muscle, lose fat, or for post-workout recovery. By comparing this information they can better evaluate the results and make changes to enhance success. Without doing this, one may not understand where they went wrong, what macro balance works best for their bodies, or how to improve their results.
- We can customize our diet
They can be used in conjunction with some diets to make sure your ratios are where they need to be. While you are measuring and calculating your intake, there tends to be a greater awareness of what you are eating and how often. For this reason, people tend to learn about their hunger and fullness cues. This often leads to a greater recognition of how to feed your body so that you feel satisfied, and not over full. Even if you are only using this method for a shorter period of time, the long term knowledge of how to satisfy your hunger with a balance of food will come in handy down the road.
- Balanced Diet
By “tracking macros” you will be able to gain a greater education about what nutrients you are feeding your body, and where you might be lacking. This method does have the ability to provide you with a great opportunity to optimize your health, and pay attention to many ways to improve your diet. A lot of times, once we start recording what we eat, we realize that certain things might be sneaking in or even missing. For example, often time’s people think they are getting in enough protein but once they start putting the pen to paper, they realize they are not. Or others swear they “don’t eat that much sugar,” Counting macros will help you know these things.
What are the cons of counting macros?
- Low quality food
When we pay too much attention to numbers, it becomes easy to slack on the quality of our food. You can make your numbers look “good” with some bars and a Big Mac, but is that really in the spirit of what you’re after? The calories and macros may resemble a good balance, but the quality is lacking.
- Time Consuming
If you are hungry at this moment, think about one of those weddings you attended with stacks of food everywhere. Food is tied to our social life, emotions, and memories. Putting numbers to it can take the soul out of our food. It becomes a numbers game and it is easy to go overboard worrying about it. It takes a lot of time removing the enthusiasm involved in enjoying a meal. Tracking your macros or eating a macro diet can help you feel empowered and in control of your personal nutrition. However, it can be difficult to do all the time and may simply require more effort than is actually required for most people. “It’s something I typically look at in the short term. I’d never expect someone to track their calories/macros forever. Many people have success following a macro diet. Unfortunately, when they stop counting macros, they experience a weight rebound because healthy eating habits were not developed
Should we still count macros?
Counting macros “can be beneficial for competitive bodybuilders or athletes, where research has shown consuming certain proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fats can optimize athletic performance. Counting macros “can be beneficial for competitive bodybuilders or athletes, where research has shown consuming certain proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fats can optimize athletic performance
Tracking macros can be positive or negative depending on the client. On the one hand, it can be very helpful and eye-opening for clients to take a look at where the calories are coming from in their diet. On the other hand, some people can get a little too obsessive with tracking their macros and this strategy would be completely inappropriate to use in clients with disordered eating patterns
Tailor make them according to your needs depending on your body type, you will need a specific ratio of macronutrients. You need to attain the ratios that are ideal for supporting your body type. These are not specific to any fitness goal.