Whether you’re interested in eating a healthy diet or you are actively trying to lose weight and get fitter, you’ve probably heard about macros. But, unless you do a bit of digging, the term alone won’t provide much information.
However, macros (or macronutrients) are important for a healthy and dynamic lifestyle, which is why we are going to talk about macros and learn what they are and when to use them in our diet.
What are Macros?
The nutrients we take from food and the environment are divided into two main categories:
Macronutrients (or macros) are the so-called big-picture nutrients that let you understand what you’re eating and how it will affect your body composition. Also, macros help us categorize foods based on the role they play in our development throughout the years.
In fact, everything we eat can be reduced to three main macronutrients:
You’ve heard of them, right? Furthermore, if you’ve ever followed a diet like Keto or Paleo, you probably kept an eye out for carbs, fats, or proteins. Macros play an important role in our day-to-day diet, but they are also an important part of weight loss or muscle gain. Each macro plays a strategic role, which is why it’s a good idea to learn more about how they influence your body and how to combine them before starting your body transformation journey.
For instance, you can use macros for bulking, but you’ll need to calculate how many grams of carbs, fat, and protein you need to eat in order to hit your goals. The results differ for each person since everyone’s body composition is unique. Plus, your results will also be influenced by the type of exercises you practice, your environment, and more.
How About Calories?
Most weight-loss diets are calorie-restrictive and function on a calorie-counting system that has followers eating less to lose weight. However, if we take macros into consideration, it’s easy to see that not all calories are the same.
Let’s compare green salad and chicken to understand the differences:
20g of green salad have:
- Around 26 calories
- 0.5g carbs
- 2.6g fat
- 0.3g protein
20g of boiled chicken have:
- 43 calories
- 0g carbs
- 2.9g fat
- 3.9g protein
As you can see, the nutritional composition is different, even if both foods can be considered low in calories. The same happens when you compare similarly caloric foods – even if you get the same amount of calories, you also should know the amount of fat, carbs, and protein to understand how it will affect your body if you stick with a diet on the long term.
Overall, the number of calories helps you understand how much you’re eating, but the type of macros in your food lets you know about quality and impact on your body. When you track your macros, you get a better view of your dietary map.
Should I Base My Diet on Macros?
Just like with everything in life, when it comes to weight loss or muscle gain there isn’t only one right answer. It does help to keep track of your macros, but you should also pay attention to your calories. Plus, you can try supplements to improve your workouts’ efficiency and burn more during your sessions.
However, before doing anything, it’s important to make sure you understand your current health state. So check-up with your doctor and make sure you discuss your dietary options and plans. A healthcare physician can provide details about your current macro and micronutrients composition and will offer advice based on your unique situation.