For some calculating macros is a way of life but for others they are but mystical creatures that fills us with confusion. Your news feed will almost certainly be filled with people measuring out their food, using a food tracker or posting their Sunday evening meal prep pictures, but when you’re just starting out it can all seem a bit overwhelming. There are pro’s and con’s to tracking and not tracking and having tried both methods I thought it would be good to break it down for you!
Firstly, what does tracking macro’s even mean? It simply means that you track the amount of grams of protein, carbs and fats that you eat during the day. Most people simply track their calories as a whole rather than focusing on the macro-nutrient breakdown of this number. I won’t go into too much detail in this blog but changing this split can help you in achieving body compositional changes especially when trying to diet for a competition for example. I have found that in order to get into competition shape I need to track whereas during off season I can eye ball food portions and be a bit more flexible.
Each macro-nutrient can be broken into the following number of calories per gram:
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
- 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
- It can help you gain control back over you’re eating by making you more aware of what you are consuming
- It removes the uncertainty over what to eat on a daily basis
- It will ensure you are eating enough protein
- Straight calorie counting can sometimes lead people to eating 300 calories worth of cake rather than 300 calories worth of fish or meat. This will help make sure you are picking healthier foods.
- It can help plan your days eating better which will hopefully lead to you eating more regularly and avoiding any binge eating.
- Manipulation of macros can help you reach your physique goals a lot quicker than simply calorie counting
- It can sometimes lead to an unhealthy obsession of tracking your food. I however have found that it has given me the confidence to be able to loosely keep check in my head of how much I’m eating
- It can be time consuming
- It can become restrictive as you may start to feel uncomfortable with foods that you do not know the macro-nutrient content of.
As you can see there are many advantages and disadvantages to both methods but the main thing to do is to find something that fits into your lifestyle! Happy eating!