Why does it seem like everyone and their grandmother is obsessively punching “macros” into tracking apps like MyFitnessPal? As it turns out, sticking to your macros can be a very effective way to achieve health and fitness goals.
What is a “macro”?
“Macro,” short for “macronutrient,” is a protein, carbohydrate, or fat. These three nutrients are the basic building blocks of everything we eat–whether it is a glass of delicious lemonade or a plate full of pancakes, and the proportion we consume of each nutrient can determine a lot about your health and fitness.
Is it better to count macros or calories?
Counting your macros does not get you off the hook from being conscious of how many calories you consume, but forces you to look more closely at which kinds of calories you consume. By shifting your focus from “things I can’t have” to “the fuel my body needs,” you enable yourself to go further and do more.
Are macros tracking right for me?
- Lose stubborn fat
- Maintain lean muscle mass
- Keeps your body satisfied
- A flexible way to “diet” (we don’t like to use that word.)
- You can hit your macros with unhealthy choices, so you must be conscious of your decisions (and limit things like overly sugary desserts, soda, and alcohol).
Many experts say that counting macros isn’t enough for your comprehensive health picture, but it is an excellent place to start.
First, we must determine what our daily caloric intake should be. Fortunately, the National Institute of Health has a calculator we can use to find our number.
Now, it’s time to do some math with your macros. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommends adults try to get 10-35 percent of their calories from protein, 45-65 percent from carbs, and 20-35 percent from fats. Macros calculators are available online to help you find your macros’ counts. Of course, it’s always best to work with a licensed professional, like a registered dietitian or nutritionist, who can guide you through this process.
All right, but what are “my” macros?
There are no standard macros or a “one size that fits all” solution. Macros counts differ from person- to person and depend on an individual’s height, weight, activity level, age, and health goals.
For more nutrition coaching, advice, or in-depth guidance, please refer to our Wellness Coalition Page for references.
AM Nutrition has an extensive network of licensed nutritionists and dietitians throughout the valley.
We hope this helps and be sure to check out our macro counts on our meals! Happy counting!