When it comes to losing weight, diet and exercise are the two most important factors in reaching one’s weight loss goals. Generally, people lose weight when they burn more calories via exercise than they consume through their diet. However, the type of calories consumed is just as important as the amount. For human beings, the three most essential nutrients found in food are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Collectively, these nutrients are called macronutrients, or “macros.” Here are four reasons why you should count your macro calories if you want to lose weight.
Essential Reasons to Calculate Macros
Makes You More Aware of Your Food Choices
By understanding how many calories each macro is required for your goals, you will quickly learn that many of your favorite foods provide little nutritional value. For example, having a sandwich and a side of chips for lunch can quickly put you over your daily carbohydrate needs without providing adequate protein or fat. So if you’re cutting calories, it’s essential to make the right food choices so that each meal is nutritionally complete while staying within the allotted calorie limit.
Helps You Reach Your Goals Faster
Everybody has different health goals, whether it’s bulking up, slimming down, or simply seeing a smaller number on the scale. People’s macro needs will differ slightly depending on what their goal is. For example, counting macros allows you to refine your diet for your specific goals, helping you reach your goals faster than if you were simply counting calories without regard for macros. For example, Legion Athletics recommends a diet high in carbs and protein and low in fat: “if you want to gain muscle, lose weight, and get strong.” The best way to target your macro needs is to use a macro calculator.
Improves Gym Performance
Food is fuel, which is a big reason people tend to feel less energetic when dieting. However, when calories are limited, counting macros allow you to fulfill the body’s most important nutritional requirements so energy can be sustained. Getting enough carbohydrates ensures fueling your workouts during protein and fat support post-workout recovery so you can exercise again later.
Is Easier Than Following a Restrictive Diet
Restrictive diets, such as those eliminating carbs or fats can help you lose weight in the short run. However, most people tend to regain weight once they return to a regular diet. In contrast, counting macros isn’t the same as restrictive dieting. Instead, it provides the nutritional foundation for you to build a diet plan that works for you. You can eat virtually anything as long as it meets your macronutrient needs. This tends to be more sustainable than restrictive diets, which means the weight loss is also more sustainable.
Counting macros is just one step in the overall journey to live a healthful life. Exercise, rest, and balance are all things you should pay attention to, along with your food choices. Be sure to consult your doctor regarding any dietary changes you plan for yourself if sustained weight loss is your goal.