The best strategy for losing weight: a beginners guide
What Are Macros and How Do You Use Them?
Getting to know and understand your own unique macros has a lot of potential value.
Counting macros is more than just counting calories, which is why this method can help you do more than just lose weight. It can help you focus on food quantity and quality, so you can start to lose or manage your weight by getting the nutrient-dense foods that your body really needs. Changing your macros to meet your specific needs and goals helps you build muscle mass, feel healthier, and be more energetic.
Let’s take a closer look at what macros for fitness and weight loss are, and how you can use them in a healthy and effective way.
What is a Macro?
The word “macro” in this case is simply short for “macronutrients,” which we all need to maintain a fit and healthy body.
The three macros we are focusing on are:
- Carbohydrates – Carbs are the largest part of most people’s caloric intake, and they include sugars, starches, and fibers. They provide about 4 calories per gram, and we usually consume them in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Proteins – These also provide about 4 calories per gram, and they build tissues, support hormones and enzymes, and contribute to immune function. How much you need depends on things like age, body composition, and other factors, and the most common sources of protein include beef, fish, yogurt, cheese, beans and soy.
- Fats – These are usually around 9 calories per gram and are used by the body for energy and other critical functions, like nutrient absorptioin (especially vitamins A, D, E, and K). You can get healthy fats in avocados, nuts, some seeds, and other sources.
Why Are Macros So Important?
Macros help us approach fitness and weight loss in an effective way because they focus on getting the right nutrition for our bodies.
Counting calories is one way to lose weight, but it’s not necessarily the healthiest way to go about it. Anyone can say: “I need to eat fewer calories than I’m burning in order to lose weight.” And it’s true, it’s possible to lose weight that way. But are you being healthy? Are you getting all the nutrients you need, or is your caloric intake filled up with foods that provide a lot of energy and not a lot of nutrition?
Changing from calorie counting to macro counting can help move your eating patterns to a healthier state.
So, Get on the Macro Calculator
You don’t have to rely on guesswork to find out what your exact macros are. Our macro calculator uses a proprietary formula that shows you exactly how many calories you burn through your workouts and cardio, based on data like your weight and the duration/intensity level of your exercise.
This is the first step to putting your macros to good use.
Once you start putting in your numbers, you’ll immediately get your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is the number of calories your body burns to maintain all your vital functions when you’re completely at rest.
Then, it will show your Natural Calories Burned, which is what your body is burning while you’re doing your normal thing every day, not including exercises.
The calculator can then show you how many calories you burn from your workouts and cardio and your total average daily energy expenditure. It can even estimate a time frame to reach your goal weight if you use these macros consistently.
Once all this data is collected, and your stats are determined, the macro calculator will provide your targets. These are the number of grams of protein, carbs, and fat you need to reach your goal (listed in grams so you don’t have to do the math to figure out what percentage of your total calories should be which one). This is based on the number of calories to consume each day.
These ratios are not the same for everyone. It can definitely change depending on your goals, your health situation, and other variables.
Counting Your Macros Carefully
Using these macros is an effective way to reach your fitness goals. Like any other goal, though, you have to be consistent about it and track your steps as you go.
Keep track of the foods you eat to ensure you’re getting everything you need and not going overboard on things you don’t.
This kind of careful tracking is particularly effective for people who react well to structured plans and like to see the science behind a dietary choice. Just remember, the whole point is to find the formula that works best for you.
Not By Macros Alone
Complete fitness isn’t achieved by switching your dietary habits alone – although it’s a great start. The 70/30 rule applies. 70% diet and 30% exercise. In other words, exercising without changing your diet isn’t going to provide the results you want, and since exercise helps manage the weight loss and burn excess, unhealthy fat, you need to make sure it’s part of the plan.
It’s about treating the whole body and the whole person. Get started by calculating your macros today.