The beginning of a new year is a time for hope and positivity.
It’s a new dawn, a new day, and the perfect opportunity to reassess our ambitions and resolve to make the coming 12 months better than the last. And for many of us, that involves setting a goal to get in shape, shed that pesky holiday weight, and sort out our diet! After all, 50% of the country is on a diet at any given time anyway.
We’re here to talk about one particular tactic that can make a world of difference: learning how to count macros.
Trust us, this process of tracking your intake of key nutrients is a one-way ticket to attaining your New Year’s resolution. But it can also be confusing when you’ve never done it before. Are you a newbie to this process and want some expert advice on how to do it?
Keep reading to discover how to count your macros and take control of your diet.
What Are Macros?
The first step to learning how to track your macros is understanding what they are. Short for macronutrients, they refer to fat, carbs, and protein. They’re the three pillars of any diet, which fuel your body and deliver what it needs to function and thrive.
Each of us has to ensure we get enough of each macronutrient. Why?
Because shifting your intake of one over another can lead to imbalance. That, in turn, will have knock-on effects on everything from your mood to your energy levels and your ability to recover from intense physical exercise. It also has a direct impact on your physical appearance.
That’s why it’s so helpful to monitor your intake of macros in the bid to hit a health goal. It doesn’t matter whether you want to get 6-pack abs, do a 200lb deadlift, or train for a marathon! Counting how many grams of carbohydrate, fat, and protein you consume each day gives you the best shot at ensuring your diet’s conducive to the result(s) you’re gunning for.
Shouldn’t I Be Counting Calories Instead?
Calorie-counting has long been a go-to task for people on a diet. It makes sense too. Whether you want to get bigger or lose weight, the number of calories you consume is key.
However, aside from the general inconvenience involved, there’s one major flaw. It tells you nothing about the type of calories you consume.
Imagine tracking your calories without considering your macros at the same time. You could get your daily allotment just from carbs, fat, or protein. That’s not what you’d call a well-balanced diet; nor is it a healthy one.
By all means, count calories as part of your New Year’s Resolution. We’d even encourage it! Just know that the best results often arise when you monitor macros with them; it’s not a matter of ‘instead’, it’s a case of ‘as well’.
Match Macros to Goals
We now know that counting macros involves tracking the amount of fat, carbohydrate, and protein you put into your body. The next piece of the puzzle is working out how much of each macronutrient you need to attain your goals! This ‘macronutrient ratio’ is all-important.
For instance, somebody looking to build muscle needs far more protein in their diet than someone looking to shed weight. Someone doing lots of exercise will want a higher percentage of carbs to keep them energized. And if you’re starting a keto diet, then you’ll want no carbs at all!
Start by settling on the number of calories you want to eat each day. From there, you can settle on a split (carbs/fat/protein) that works for you. A 50% carb, 25% fat, and 25% protein split could work as a very rough starting point for weight loss.
We recommend doing some more research to clarify the best macronutrient ratio for your needs and goals though. Find the best macro calculator possible to assist you and consider booking an appointment with the dietician for professional guidance.
Be Mindful of Food Stuffs
Rule number one of counting macros: not all foodstuffs are made equal.
For example, you could get all of your daily fat from potato chips and chocolate. Or, for the sake of your health, you could get it from nuts, seeds, and avocados. The same goes for carbs…
Eating platefuls of pasta and white bread might sound like a dream. And, technically, you’re doing what you set out to do! But you’d be far better off with wholegrain rice and sweet potatoes.
Remember, eating a macro-focused diet isn’t just about satisfying ratios. It should work hand in hand with a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet with all the vitamins and minerals you need. Do both and you’ll be on track to your health and fitness goals in no time.
Read, Learn, and Weigh!
Counting out your macros can involve a steep learning curve.
You’re no longer just thinking about calories. You have to understand what’s in the food you eat too! More than that, you have to know how much you need to eat to get your daily dose.
Invest in your education. Take the time to read the packaging, research the macronutrients in different foods, and work out necessary quantities. Watching YouTube videos, reading blog posts, and listening to podcasts can all be an invaluable source of information.
Weighing your food will help too. Sure, it’s an extra effort in the kitchen. But buying a set of scales is the only way to guarantee you’re getting the right amounts of macronutrients in your meals.
Now You Know How to Count Macros
Have you set yourself a goal to get in better shape this year? Well, you won’t be the only one! Millions of people around the country will be embarking on the same process as we speak.
Attaining this goal is by no means simple. But you’re sure to find it far easier if you know how to country macros. With any luck, the information in this post will help you do it.
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