Why Everyone Should Count Their Macros
We all want to feel comfortable in our own skin. Many of us are self conscious about at least one part of our body that holds fat like our arms, stomach, love handles and legs. In order to make a change and lose weight you have to eat healthy and workout. No diet pills will make you lose weight AND keep it off. Even those of us who have eaten healthy and worked out AND lost weight know too well the battles of actually keeping the weight off. It takes an insane amount of dedication to eat chicken breasts with veggies 6 times a day, waking up at 6am for cardio and then coming back to the gym for a weight session 7 days a week. It will definitely help you lose weight but its not practical! We all want to lose weight and not gain it back. We want to make a lifestyle change that we will continue for the rest of our lives but with a diet and exercise regimen like that, it is very easy to be tempted and thrown off your diet. There is another option! Learn to count your macros. This is not something you have to do for the rest of your life but it is something that everyone should do for a period of time to have a better understanding of food. Counting your macros gives you the ability to eat foods that you thought you could never have again. It creates a positive relationship with food because you never have to deprive yourself. Moderation is the name of the game! Don't be confused and think that those who count their macros only eat unhealthy foods. That is not true at all. It is recommended to eat 80% healthy, high protein, whole nutritious food and then fill the 20% with foods that you love. As long is you hit your macros, you will still lose weight. Eat what you want and still wake up leaner the next morning without any guilt.
If you still aren't convinced, keep reading.
Weighing and Measuring Food
A common question is "weighing my food on a food scale seems kinda obsessive. Can I just use measuring cups or spoons?"
Yes, of course but they are not as accurate as you may think. Take a look at this video. It is an eye opener into how many of us are eating more than we think we are. Just because you eat healthier foods, that doesn't mean that you aren't eat too much of it. This is why measuring on a food scale and actually weighing your food makes such a big difference.
Crazy right? Invest in a food scale (you can get them for around $15 at Walmart) and start weighing your food. They are very simple to use. I use this scale when on the go!
Counting Macros vs Counting Calories
Another common question is "But can’t I just count calories?"
The truth is, yes, you will definitely lose weight if you focus solely on calories and consume fewer calories than you burn. But the quality of your weight loss will suffer if you ignore the macronutrients.
For example, inadequate protein during a calorie deficit will cause you to lose muscle. Inadequate fat intake will negatively impact many of the hormones that help your continued weight loss. And inadequate carbohydrate intake can negatively impact training performance in many instances.
So, while you can drop weight by counting calories, we aren’t just interested in dropping weight. We want a good lookin’, athletic, healthy body. For that, counting calories isn't enough. You need to count your macros.
How To Count Macros
Now since you understand the importance of counting your macros, lets figure out how! Foods with labels are super easy. Look at the label, ignore pretty much everything except the proteins, carbs and fats. Then take a look at the serving size.
So here we have 1 gram of fat, 36 grams of carbs and 13 grams on protein for a serving of 172 grams. If you want to eat this item with the serving given, take a plate and put it on the scale then "tare" it. This takes away the weight of the plate so you can weight the food without having to put it directly on the scale. Once the scale says "0" add the food to the plate until it reaches 172 grams. Simple as that! Now using an app, (I highly recommend My Fitness Pal) add this item. You can either type in the name of the food/brand or look for a bar code and scan it. If the food doesn't have a label, try typing it into My Fitness Pal to see what comes up. If you are measuring produce, type in the food and then weight the amount that you want and then add it to your day. Done!
Feel free to leave a comment with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.