Whether your goal is weight loss, weight gain, or to simply hold yourself more accountable, counting your macronutrients and calories can be beneficial to helping you achieve your desired results. But there are always two sides to every story. The Mind Pump guys often speak about how tracking your macros and/or calories is not the end all be all for reaching your fitness goals; there are other ways you can lose weight without tracking what you consume. But, using this tool can be argued to be a more efficient, accurate way to reach your fitness goals. Here’s how…
Tracking Macros Keeps You Accountable
Before starting any “diet,” whether you’re choosing to be in a caloric deficit or surplus, we recommend you take a week to eat as normal before you begin. During these 7 days, we encourage you to keep track of everything you’re consuming, down to the nut. This is how you find out what your calorie maintenance is. Once people begin tracking their macronutrients, they are very surprised at how many carbs and/or fats they consume daily. Typically, the average person does not eat enough protein. Protein is usually the least consumed macronutrient of the three. Therefore, tracking your macros can be extremely helpful, and even enlightening. We live in a society where the macronutrient most readily available to us is carbohydrates. So, it makes sense that people tend to consume so much. Counting macros holds you accountable to make the best food choices to hit your targets. Instead of always reaching for the quickest, easiest snack, having specific macro goals can motivate you to be more prepared with your meals, and help you learn not to overeat.
It Makes You More Aware of Your Nutrition
Almost everyone likes to believe that they have a balanced diet, or that they eat healthy, “most of the time.” But the reality is, that is most likely untrue. When you start counting macros, you realize how many foods you let sneak into your diet. Maybe you do eat healthy meals but, you’re completely unaware of the amount of sugar you eat. For example, people love to drink their calories. This is one of the easiest ways to overlook the amount of sugar they’re consuming. Vanilla lattes add up when you’re consuming them multiple times a day, or even week. You’re probably thinking, “I do drink lattes, but I make sure all my meals are healthy and balanced.” How do you know if they are well balanced if you don’t know how much you’re actually eating? The biggest problem people tend to face when they don’t track their macros is the under consumption of protein. Staying on track of your macro targets helps you eat a more balanced diet, and helps you become more aware of what your nutrition looked like before you began tracking. Eating the right amounts of protein, fats and carbs can be very effective for fitness goals and your overall wellbeing.
Should you count your macronutrients?
If you’re someone who needs more structure in your diet, counting your macronutrients can be extremely effective. It allows you to still eat foods you may want, but helps you focus on consuming enough protein, fat and carbs that give your body the fuel it needs. When you consume enough of the “big three,” your body is more satisfied and nourished.
You will also benefit from counting macros if you feel like you are uninformed regarding your body’s sustenance, and the impact food has on your well-being. Tracking your macros helps you become more aware of what your diet was like before you began counting. So, when you eventually stop tracking, you will have an idea of how you should be eating for your overall health.