You might find yourself wondering about macros and nutrition, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. When we first start out on a weight loss plan, we’re often overwhelmed with the amount of information online. What should we eat? How much should we eat? What’s the best diet? The answers to these questions are different for everyone, and that’s what makes nutrition and fitness complicated.
However, there is one common denominator that can help you achieve your fitness goals: macros.
Before we dig into the specifics of how to count macros, it’s important to get a sense of what macronutrients are in the first place.
A macronutrient is a nutrient that provides calories or energy. There are three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All three are essential nutrients you need in order to survive—your body requires large amounts of macronutrients and calories in general for basic biological functions (like pumping blood through your veins and keeping your organs working).
In contrast, micronutrients (which include vitamins and minerals) provide essential compounds for survival but only require very small amounts per day compared to macronutrients.
When you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of macros. But what are macros, and should you be tracking them? Here’s everything you need to know about this popular diet trend.
The first step toward understanding the role of macros in weight loss is knowing what they are: macronutrients. Macronutrients (or “macros”) provide your body with calories that are used for energy production and physical activity. Protein, fats, and carbohydrates are all macronutrients, but there’s more to it than that. You can’t just eat whatever food is on hand; macros must be chosen carefully. Otherwise, you won’t get the nutrients you need to build muscle or burn fat efficiently—and if you don’t do those things properly, well…you won’t lose weight!
Still not sure how macros play into weight loss? We’ll break it down by explaining how many calories each macro contains as well as some tips on tracking your intake so that they help rather than hinder progress towards your goal of healthy living through better eating habits.”
You can also get creative and adjust your diet to meet your needs. For example, if you’re training for a marathon and are concerned about fueling up enough during the event, you can eat foods that contain more carbs than usual. You could even eat some of the same foods that you enjoy on a typical day!
You don’t need to track your macros when you first start a weight loss plan, but it’s a good idea to learn about them right away. Starting with an app that tracks calories (as opposed to tracking macros directly) is one way of doing this, or you can keep it old school and use pen and paper. Either way, counting calories will help you develop the mindset of learning to become more aware of how much food you’re eating. This will benefit your overall health—not just in terms of weight loss.
It’s easy to find macros: Simply Google “macros calculator” and you’ll be presented with a multitude of options. You can play around with the calculators until you get one that asks questions about your personal health and fitness goals, which will give you a starting point for your macro intake.
Remember that the calculator’s numbers are only estimates, so don’t feel discouraged or frustrated if they aren’t correct at first. It may take some trial and error before you figure out what works best for your body—but once you do, it will be worth it!
Tracking macros is a good way to help you lose weight, but it’s not for everyone. It can be time-consuming and complicated, especially if you’re new to dieting. If you have a specific weight loss goal in mind and are more of an experienced dieter, tracking macros may be for you.