To begin with, I must make it clear that tracking macros IS tracking calories.
Macros, plus a lil’ bit of maths = calories.
When you look at macros and not just calories, there is a wide range of positives.
Through solely tracking your calories, there is a very strong chance you will consume a sub-optimal amount of protein, carbs, or fats.
This could be too little, or too much- you simply wouldn’t know. This may impede your recovery (if you eat too little protein), and your progress- we don’t want that!
Fats are so important for hormone function, too, so if you are counting calories, yet eating little to no fat, it is not healthy.
It’s still very important to consider your overall calorie target too – this can help enormously with the flexibility of your diet, and knowing your calorie target enables us to set up our macronutrient targets.
Protein = 4 calories per gram (150g protein x 4 calories per gram = 600 kcal)
Carbs = 4 calories per gram (300g carbs x 4 calories per gram = 1200 kcal)
Fats = 9 calories per gram (70g fats x 9 calories per gram = 630 kcal)
(Alcohol = 7 calories per gram)
To get a daily intake, you then add all the ‘kcal’ totals, aka:
600 + 1200 + 630 = 2430 kcal
MANIPULATING YOUR CALORIES:
-If you eat as many calories as you burn, you are at maintenance – i.e. you will maintain your weight.
-If you eat more calories than you burn, you are in a calorie surplus, and will gain weight over time.
-If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’re in a calorie deficit, and will lose weight over time.
Essentially, tracking macros is counting the number of grams of protein, carbs, fats, and thus calories you consume per day. Doing this, allows you to tailor your diet to you, giving you the power to make small and controlled adjustments. It also provides you with knowledge of nutritional content of different foods.
Even if you do not consciously track your macros, you are still consuming them.
However, many people choose to track or count theirs, in order to know exactly how much of each nutrient they are taking in per day. This allows them to fine tune their nutrition to optimise their results.
When you know the number of calories your body requires to maintain your weight, you can:
• Ensure you are getting ENOUGH of each macronutrient.
• Ensure you are not getting TOO MUCH of each macronutrient.
• Ensure the quality of the calories you are consuming is high, and that you get enough fibre in.
• Adjust your daily and weekly macronutrients to lose body fat or gain muscle.
• Adjust your daily and weekly macronutrients to allow for changes in your schedule – for example, a big meal out one day.
When you put all this together, it allows for long term success, confidence in what you are doing, and sustainable, healthy results.
By monitoring our macronutrient intake, we can be sure that we are eating the right amount of calories for our goal, because we are adding up the amount of calories that we consume from each macronutrient. (You can also do this via manipulating cardio).
Thank you for reading!