Macronutrients, or macros, are the amount carbohydrates, proteins and fats that should be consumed daily as part of a healthy diet. The amount, usually listed in grams, is based on your height, weight, age and fitness goals. Losing weight is easily attained by following the 80/20 rule: 80% diet and 20% exercise. Ever hear the statement that abs are made in the kitchen? It’s absolutely true! So exactly how important is it to count macros? Read on, and I’ll explain!
When I started counting macros, I was amazed at how much I was undereating. Most people do because they don’t understand the importance of adequate nutrition or they’re afraid of gaining weight (see this article about quality calories). Without the proper amount of nutrition and calories, your health can actually suffer – your immune system will be compromised, energy levels will be low and you will lose muscle tone.
Lose or Maintain Weight
Eating the right amount of calories while still staying in a calorie deficit is an easy way to lose or maintain weight. Even the most sedentary person can benefit from reaching the macro goals during the day. To me, counting macros also makes meal prep a whole lot easier!
Fuel for Workouts
Consuming the proper amount of macros will provide adequate energy for workouts or athletic activities. It will help build muscle and burn fat. Your results will happen quickly and be easy to maintain. You’ll build strength and endurance, and progress in your workouts!
There are several apps that can help with macro counting. With most of them, you can plan meals for days in advance which helps take all of the guesswork out of counting! A few of those apps include:
- Stupid Simple Macros
- My Fitness Pal
- If It Fits Your Macros
I personally use Macrostax and I love it because it also provides recipes to meet the macro goals at each meal. The recipes are clean and easy, customizable and mostly made with ingredients that are kept on hand.
An Important Tool
When counting macros, besides using an app, your other best friend will be a food scale (<– affiliate link!). If you’re serious about building muscle and losing fat, the proper amounts of food can make that happen. Estimating amounts of food leads to overeating and a food scale with keep you on track! Look for one with measurements in grams and ounces, as well as a tare function for meal prep!
Counting macros is a healthy habit to learn and is very beneficial to your health. Do you count macros? How has it benefitted you? Let us know in the comments below!