You have probably heard about “counting macros” maybe even seen apps that can help you with it. But do you know what they are and why you should or shouldn’t count them? I will tell you all about them in this post. Let’s start with the definition. What are macros? “Macros” is the abbreviation for macronutrients, meaning:
Carbs – Which provide energy.
Fat – Which, despite their “bad reputation”, is good for cellular growth, protect the organs and provide energy.
Proteins – Help repair and form muscle.
They are called macros because we need them in larger quantities than the micronutrients, which include minerals and vitamins. Ok but WHY do people count them? Fair question. Some people have found that counting macros allows them to achieve certain goals. For example, they have been shown to help with:
Help form muscle mass.
More flexibility when choosing your food.
Eating only what you need.
This method, which has also been used by professional athletes, is based on the fact that not all calories are the same. 10 calories of fat are not the same as 10 calories of carbohydrates. Now, even if you are not an athlete, you can benefit from flexible eating. What does this mean? That you can choose your meals from a wide range of options if they do not exceed your macros’ objectives. This will also help you be more conscious about what you eat & drink. It also means that you may have an 80/20 balance, where you eat nutritious food and you also let yourself have what you want (like a donut or a chocolate). At the end of the day, you really don’t want to “diet”, you want to learn what to eat that helps your body function and NEVER solely function on a weight loss mindset.
The cons of this method?
Learning how to count your macros may take some time. You need to know the portions and learn to measure your food perhaps with an adequate scale. Since this can include measuring your food, if you don’t want to do that, this isn’t the right fit for you.
Also, measuring, tracking and monitoring every single thing you eat may create an unhealthy relationship with food. If you like numbers and you like to control what you eat, this is great for you. However, if you have had an eating disorder, this might not be good for you.
To summarize: Just like with other diets, counting macros isn’t a “magical solution”. It can help your body function more efficiently and may also help you reach certain goals however, the most important take away from this is: the most important thing will always be the quality of what you eat.
Also, remember that what you eat is a part of the equation, you need to pair it with an exercise routine that also fits you and your goals. If you need help figuring out how or where to start, remember you can always reach me at my Instagram or join our fitfam at our weekly (free) hangout on Fridays.
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