Many people who are trying to lose weight or meet other nutrition goals can benefit from keeping track of what they eat. However, it's not always a good idea to try to keep track of every single calorie you consume. Instead, focus on the macronutrients (fats, carbs, and protein) that your body needs in large quantities on a daily basis.
What are macronutrients?
Large-molecule nutrients, or macronutrients, are necessary for life, but they are not enough on their own. Vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes are all examples of micronutrients, which are just as important as macronutrients but are needed in much smaller amounts.
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the three macronutrients. You actually do require all three, despite what people say. Even missing one macronutrient increases your chances of developing a deficiency and becoming ill.
How many macros should I eat?
This is a question that cannot be answered. Since everyone is unique, the ideal ratio of macronutrients in their diet will also vary. However, this macronutrient ratio is recommended by the federal government's dietary guidelines:
Remainder from protein
If you want to maximize your health and fitness, you should tailor your macronutrient ratio to your specific needs and how your body reacts to various foods.
Just as one person may thrive on a high-protein diet while another may have gastrointestinal distress due to such a regimen, the same holds true for the effects of protein on one's digestive system.
People on the ketogenic diet should know that nett carbs, not total carbs, are what are counted. To calculate the netting carbohydrates, subtract the fiber content from the total carb count. Fiber is indigestible and has no nutritional value because it is eliminated unchanged from the digestive tract. Fiber's calorie contribution is mostly disregarded in this context.
What's the use of keeping track of your macros?
Your macro numbers aren't very helpful if you don't use them.
"Tracking macros" means keeping a food journal where you write down each of your daily meals and figure out your macro ratio to make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need. It's unsettling to think about, but once again, the internet saves the day with a variety of digital macro-tracking applications.
Monitoring macros rather than calories has several advantages. Your diet will be more well-rounded if you make an effort to include a range of foods that provide energy and aid in digestion. This approach to meal journaling can help you learn which sorts of foods make you feel good or awful, which foods increase your athletic performance, and which foods make you focus or lag, all of which can speed up your progress towards your health objectives.
Need to count macros?
If you want to be healthy, reduce weight, grow muscle, or accomplish anything else related to your physical well-being, you don't need to track macros. Macromonitoring is only necessary if your doctor prescribes it. Although keeping track of every single thing you eat might be annoying and time-consuming, it's important to remember that after a while you'll get rather adept at "eyeballing" quantities.
If you're training for a bodybuilding competition or just trying to get the most out of your workouts, keeping track of your macros may be a huge help. Flexible dieting, in which you eat whatever you want so long as it fits your macronutrient ratio, can also benefit from this.
Since processed and packaged foods tend to be high in fats and carbs but not in protein, counting your macros may also be the key to eventually cutting back on these meals and replacing them with healthier ones, like superfoods. Because it turns the attention away from weight loss and onto nutrition, many people who wish to generate a calorie deficit to lose weight prefer tracking macros rather than counting calories. This is useful for establishing long-lasting behavioral changes.
Furthermore, many individuals find that keeping tabs on their macros is a fun way to learn more about what meals are best for their bodies. Try it out to see whether it fits your routine, but don't feel obligated to keep meticulous records of your food intake.
Are you ready to start?
We've spoken a lot about macro counting and how it may help you lose weight, but it can also help you gain weight if you're trying to bulk up (yeah, we kind of hate those people, too). It's important to check in with your physician before beginning any kind of new eating plan to ensure it won't compromise your health. Keep in mind that while proper eating is essential for weight reduction and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercise is just as crucial. If you want to lose weight healthily, you should aim for a loss of 1-2 pounds every week.
If you aren't already keeping track of your macros, you're losing out on an important indicator of health. You can't survive without macronutrients like carbs, fats, and proteins. Macro counting, however, is optional. As long as it serves your purposes, by all means, continue. Macros are just another diet, so if you prefer a different eating style, embrace it.