Trying to lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle is no easy task. Many people turn to calorie counting. The belief is that if you create a calorie deficit by eating less than you burn, you’ll lose weight. While that may be true, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy! You can create a calorie deficit even while eating incredibly unhealthy foods. You may lose weight, but you won’t be getting any fitter or healthier. There is an alternative option, though – macro counting.
What Are Macros?
Macros is a shortened term for macronutrients. There are three types of macronutrients: protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Different macros contain different calories per gram. Protein and carbs both hold 4 calories per gram while fats contain 9. Generally speaking, a high protein diet combined with a calorie deficit each day is the best way to achieve long-term weight loss.
How Do You Lose Weight Counting Macros?
Counting your macros needs to be combined with calorie counting to see the best results. Fad diets, like Atkins or keto, suggest that you have to cut out all carbs to lose weight. When you’re counting macros, you simply have to balance the carbs with your protein and fat intake. The exact values you should use will vary depending on your lifestyle and desired results. A good starting point for people looking to lose fat and gain muscle is a diet composed of 50% protein, 25% carbs, and 25% fats.
Tracking your macros becomes easier once it’s a daily habit. Utilize a fitness tracking app to enter everything you eat and then view your macros. The best part of this method is that there’s flexibility in what you eat. If you want to splurge and have some ice cream, you can! Simply calculate it into your macros and adjust the rest of your diet accordingly. If you’re creating a calorie deficit and making your macros, you will lose weight. If you have extra calories left to use at the end of the day, use them however you want as long as it doesn’t ruin your macros.
Speak with your physician or a nutritionist to determine the best macro values for your lifestyle. Macro tracking takes medication daily, but it becomes more comfortable over time. Remember, this isn’t a diet, it’s just a way to keep track of what’s going into your body! Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, counting macros is a great way to improve your overall health and fitness.