Counting macronutrients is a form of counting calories; you are tracking intake through the amount of a certain food group being consumed (fats, carbohydrates and protein). Focussing on where calories are coming from will allow you to fine tune your nutrition n order to meet specific goals such as muscle gain or weight loss.
Do you need to track your macros?
It depends entirely on your goal and the stage of your journey. Tracking macros can be useful as a guide to understand how much food you need to meet your daily needs or achieve specific goals, such as a competition. On the other hand, tracking macros will not suit everyone and can lead to unhealthy habits and restrictive tendency’s. Be mindful, and remember that if you want to improve your health or perhaps loose a little bit of weight, you do not have to count macros. Counting macros can lead to the sole focus on carbs, fats and protein with essential vitamins and minerals being overlooked, so ensure that all your micronutrients are also included in your tracking system.
How to calculate your macros
So, if you have decided that you do want to track your macros, the first stage is to work out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This will be affected by a number of different factors such as hormones, gender, weight, height, age etc. and is very different for each individual.
The next step is working out your goal. Do you want to gain weight? Loose weight? Maintain your weight? My biggest advise at this point is to made small, gradual changes to allow you to achieve the results you want without shocking your body. Your body will gradually adapt to the changes that you make.
So, you’ve worked out your calories and decided upon your goal, the next step is to work out your macro split. If you are working this out without the guidance of a professional, as a nutritional advisor I always suggest starting with a moderate split between carbs, fats and protein. Stick with this split for at least 4 weeks and listen to your body. Note how you feel after meals, after consuming certain food groups and in your training sessions. Do you feel more tired? Have you lost a lot of weight? Are you sleeping better? Do you have more energy? Really give it time before making additional changes and be honest with yourself.
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