Should You Be Counting Macros?



So you hear about these three little things called “macros” by surfing the web, social media, or even from someone in your social circle. Macronutrients aka macros are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats- these are the three main sources of calories consumed. Let’s start with a bit of information about each macro.


Protein is found in most foods, but meats, beans, and legumes are typically the highest sources. Proteins provide our body’s structure & components of enzymes, regulate body function & immune system health, and aids in hormone regulation. Calories from protein should comprise about 30% of our daily calorie intake (note: this is just a suggested baseline and may vary from person to person).


Carbohydrates vary depending on the source, but these are things like fruit, sugar, breads, starchy tubers, vegetables, and much more. Carbohydrates aka Carbs are our body’s main source of fuel. Carbs keep protein from being used as energy and aids in the oxidation (breakdown) of fat. Calories from carbohydrates should comprise no more than 40% of our daily calorie intake.


Fats come from plant and animal-based sources. Fats are a component of our membranes, aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and is used as a source of energy. Calories from fat should comprise about 30% of our daily calorie intake.


Now that you know a bit more about them- should you be counting them and what does that mean? So what is it? Macro counting is calorie counting, but with more specific targets to stay within a certain range of each macronutrient. These numbers are determined in various ways but the main idea behind them is calories in vs calories out. In order to lose weight, you need to expend more energy than you consume. And depending on your personal goals-such as sport performance or body composition-we can adjust these ranges of macronutrients to aid the progress towards those goals.


Let’s move on to the most important question--should you be counting macros? For most people, logging food and counting macros will provide them with the guidance they need to meet their long term goals, but it isn’t always the best solution for everyone. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Does it fit in your current lifestyle?

  • Do you want to weigh and measure the foods in order to log them?

  • Do you need the added level of accountability?

  • Can you consistently log everything you consume every single day?

If logging your food doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, then it probably isn’t. Here are a few things I look for in clients before asking them to log food:

  • Consistently eating vegetables with every meal

  • Eating balanced meals consisting of mostly whole foods every 3-4 hours

  • Has a good daily routine and can easily add this task (as far as time is concerned)

  • Is cooking and preparing at least 50-60% of their meals at home.

Do a quick self-analysis by answering these questions to determine whether or not you think macro counting is ideal for you. Not sure or want to get more help? Just book a free intro and let one of our experienced nutrition coaches guide you to the right answer for you and your goals!



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