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When you’re trying to reach your fitness goals, it can be difficult to know if you’re eating enough or too much. This is where macros nutrition comes in!

In this post, we’ll discuss how macros help with weight loss and muscle gain by counting macros for different diets so that you can find what’s right for you.

We’ll also talk about the benefits of macros counting so that you can get started today!

Let’s dive right in.

What are macronutrients?

The macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

These macros are essential for the body to function properly.

The ratio of macros in a diet is important because it can vary from person to person depending on how much activity they do daily or their metabolism rate which differs from person to person.

People who exercise more need a higher proportion of macros than those that don’t work out as often.

For example, someone who exercises four times a week needs about 50-60% carbs, 25-35% fat and 15-25% protein whereas someone who doesn’t work out at all should eat around 40-50% carbs, 30-40% fat and 20-30% protein.

In the most recent years, a new dietary strategy called “flexible eating” or “if it fits your macros” has grown in popularity in the fitness world.

It is different than the calorie-based approach as it focuses on getting the proper amounts of carbs, proteins, and fat rather than focusing on calories.

Macro Vs Micronutrients

Counting macros can be a lifesaver for people who are trying to lose weight. Counting macros is easy if you know what macros are, and how they work.

A macro is a macronutrient, which means that it’s an essential nutrient needed in large amounts by the body.

There are three macros: proteins, fats, and carbs. These macros all have different functions in the body.

Protein builds muscle mass and helps with tissue repair.

Fat keeps the skin looking healthy and provides energy when there isn’t enough glucose available from carbohydrates.

Carbs provide fuel for muscles during exercise or other activities.

Micronutrients are all of the vitamins and minerals that are needed by your body in small amounts.

They are important because they work as cofactors for enzymes that help the body function properly.

Vitamins and minerals can’t be made by your body, so they must come from food or supplements.

The Dietary Guidelines recommend the following of each vitamin daily:

They also recommend the following of each mineral daily:

Macronutrient Calculator

If you’re unsure if a macro diet is for you, a macro calculator can help you find your macros personalized for your body and lifestyle so that you can reach your goals!     

This is a great option if you’re looking to go macros and don’t quite know where or how to start.

A macro calculator helps you determine your macros by asking for information about your body weight, height, age, gender, and fitness goals.

The macros are then broken down into the proper amounts of carbs, protein, fat based on your macros.

A macro calculator can help you determine your diet targets to reach your fitness goals including:

  • weight loss
  • muscle and weight gain
  • health and physique maintenance

Macro Benefits

Don’t be afraid of macros!  If you’re looking for a way to start counting macros, these benefits are great to keep in mind:

  • No more guesswork is needed, use a macro calculator for weight loss goals! Helps weight loss or gain by providing the right amount of carbs, protein, and fat. Adjusting your macros can help you lose or gain weight depending on your macros!
  • Muscle Gain –  Macro counting has been shown to increase muscle mass in people who are looking to build muscle. This is because macros allow for the right amount of protein needed by our bodies to grow and repair tissue damage that happens during workouts.
  • Brain Function –  Carbs are essential for brain function, so macros help keep your mind sharp!
  • Energy – Counting macros has been shown to improve energy levels because it ensures that the body is getting what it needs to function properly.   

Macro counting is one of the most popular and effective ways to lose weight because macros are so easily adapted to fit each person’s lifestyle.

You can even use a macro calculator for keto to ensure you are getting the proper amounts of fats in your diet.

Tracking Macros

Tracking macros is an excellent way to stay on track with your fitness goals.

Tracking macros has become a popular trend among fitness-conscious people, but not everyone needs to track macros to achieve their goals.

If you are using macros as a tool for weight loss or muscle building, tracking macros can help keep you on the right path.

Tracking macros also makes it easier for dietitians and trainers to tailor eating plans that fit your lifestyle and body type.

There are many different calculations out there so finding one that best suits your needs shouldn’t be difficult at all!

The easiest way to start is by downloading an app like My Fitness Pal which will automatically calculate what you should eat each day based on how many calories you need per day, as well as how many macros you need.

You can do a quick search on your chosen app store to see which macros nutrition calculators are available for download so all you have to do is choose one and start tracking!

The benefits of tracking your macros include:

  • more conscious about the quality of foods you eat, even though a small candy bar might have as many calories as a banana, you’re aware of which is the better option
  • overeating, undereating, and hunger

Macro Diet Plan Tips

Consideration #1: Time

Macro diets can be very time-consuming with all of the measuring and tracking being done, but it can be worth it.

As you gain experience, the process will be much quicker.

To fit macro dieting into your schedule, do the following:

  • Buy and prep in bulk. Save time by preparing foods that you include in your macro diet in bulk.
  • Use a macro diet app. No need to do all of the time-consuming math yourself when we have the technology! You probably always have your cell phone with you at all times, no need to write things down.
  • Find macro-friendly restaurants. You can keep a list of local healthy restaurants and stores to frequent, especially during your busy periods.

Consideration #2: Budget

It’s a myth that junk food ALWAYS costs less than healthy foods. There are ways to reduce the costs of the foods that you fit into your macros.

  • Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is more cost-efficient and can help you stay within your budget for your macro diet plan.
  • Know your local grocery store. Local stores always have specials and put out advertisements of the week’s specials. Take advantage and become a store member.
  • Comparison shop. There should be several different options to consider that can usually be good deals such as sweet potatoes or beans.
  • Eat out less. Prepare food yourself to meet your macro ration easier and save money.

Consideration #3: Taste

Like any diet plan type, if you don’t enjoy what you’re eating, you’ll never stick with it. Taste is important to keep you interested in the plan.

  • Use herbs and spices. Improve the flavor of your cooking with herbs and spices.
  • Get creative. Experiment with healthy substitutes for your favorite foods to help meet macros.
  • Occasionally indulge. You don’t have to always eat the same boiled chicken and steamed veggies. It’s ok to enjoy some less healthy options. Just make sure you account for them in your macro diet plan app.

Flexible Dieting: Does It Work?

According to a study concluded in 2020, the outdated method of restricted dieting by cutting calories is pretty ineffective for long-term weight loss.

But is counting macronutrients any better?

In 2005, a study compared strict dieting to flexible dieting and found the answer to be yes!

The participants that followed the restrictive approach had a higher BMI, less self-control, and more stress-related to food consumption.

This doesn’t mean that a macro diet is perfect just because it’s flexible.

It has its advantages and issues like any other diet.

Advantages of macronutrient diets:

  • Customized to specific fitness goals
  • Objectively compares different meals and foods
  • Food quality is reviewed rather than just calorie density
  • Inhibits the urge to cut calories too low or increase too high
  • Flexibility based on personal taste
  • Discourages the elimination of entire healthy food groups
  • A potentially more sustainable approach to dieting as it provides more options
  • Provides awareness of imbalances with your current nutrition
  • Opens your eyes to what an actual serving size looks like

Disadvantages of macronutrient diets:

  • Confusing to track ot the inexperienced
  • Requires more work to weigh and portion food
  • Doesn’t include the ever-important micronutrient profiles of foods
  • Can undervalue quality protein, fiber sources, and vegetables
  • Food labels aren’t always 100% accurate
  • Can create or exacerbate eating disorders
  • Potentially reduces the variety of foods eaten
  • Can lead to social stress and alienate one from others

Get the most out of a macro diet by doing the following:

  1. Build your diet around nutrient-rich foods, but leave some room for your preferred indulgences
  2. Lift weight. A flexible diet can help you lose weight, but it won’t help you shape your body alone. Create a workout plan and include some resistance training.
  3. Don’t live and die by the scale. If you are losing weight and gaining muscle, you’re on the right track, and keep it up!

Calculating Macros in Your Food

Use food labels and weigh your food on a scale when needed.

You can also use online nutritional databases to find the different nutrition profiles of different foods.

Weighing your food isn’t easy nor fun, but it will get easier as you can remember the different measurements for each and eventually just eyeball it.

What is macro eating?

Macro eating is following a diet plan focused on getting the correct amounts of carbs, protein, and fats rather than focusing on caloric intake. This diet plan allows better focus on the quality of foods rather than simply following calories.

Which macronutrient is vital for every function of the body?

Carbohydrates, in the form of starches and sugars are generally required in the largest amounts to be broken down into energy for the body. It is recommended to consume between 45-65% of your daily calories as carbs.

Macro FAQ

What should my macronutrients be?

The generally accepted range of macros consists of 45-65 of your daily calories as carbs, 20-35% from fats, and 10-35% from protein. To reach your fitness goals, find a ratio you can stick with that is related to what you are trying to achieve. Your body type and lifestyle will also have an impact on your macros ratio.

What macros for weight loss?

If you’re using a macro diet plan for weight loss, make sure you’re also cutting calories as that is what results in weight loss. You can start with a general range of 10-30% carbs, 40-50% protein, and 30-40% healthy fats. Adjust accordingly based on your lifestyle, body type, and fitness goals.

What is macro eating?

Macro eating is following a diet plan focused on getting the correct amounts of carbs, protein, and fats rather than focusing on caloric intake. This diet plan allows better focus on the quality of foods rather than simply following calories.

Which macronutrient is vital for every function of the body?

Carbohydrates, in the form of starches and sugars are generally required in the largest amounts to be broken down into energy for the body. It is recommended to consume between 45-65% of your daily calories as carbs.

Conclusion

Macro counting is a diet plan that focuses on macros rather than calories.

It can be an effective way to reach your fitness goals, but it does have its disadvantages as well.

The benefits of macro tracking are worth the effort for most people, and when combined with other healthy lifestyle changes like weightlifting or eating vegetables in addition to macros-approved foods you’re much more likely to see results.

What do you think about macros nutrition? Let us know what you thought by commenting below!

Summary
Macros Nutrition: Count Your Macros to Reach Your Fitness Goals!
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Macros Nutrition: Count Your Macros to Reach Your Fitness Goals!
Description
This is a complete 2021 guide to macronutrient diet plans and the benefits of using a macro diet plan instead of a calorie-focused plan.
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Sweat and Steel
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