WTF are Macros?
So you’re familiar with the popular MyFitnessPal app, along with other ways of tracking what you eat via counting your calories… but what do you know about macros? You might know that there are these strange people who count them instead of calories, that there are whole blog posts linked to recipes that focus on macros rather than dinners that are under 500 calories, and honestly… it’s all probably for the better.
Macros is short for ‘Macronutrients’
Okay, let’s break it down starting with calorie counting. Many of us (myself included) are not fans of counting calories. Part of the reason so many people say calorie counting is useless is because calories don’t tell the whole story.
For example: You could eat two tablespoons of peanut butter and that would be the same caloric intake as three cups of air-popped popcorn. Doesn’t really make sense, right? Popcorn and peanut butter, while both delicious, are pretty different from a nutritional perspective.
That’s how macro-counting came into the picture. Macronutrients are basically the sources of energy that your body needs to function, i.e. carbohydrates, protein, and fat. So instead of counting calories, many people count macros.
So what does that do for me?
What that means is that instead of counting calories, you would want to know how much protein or fat you want to eat per day. You could customize your eating habits to include more protein if you want to gain muscle or add in the carbs if you’re doing more cardio. In essence, you figure out what percentage of what macro you want and gear your eating towards that.
What’s even nicer about eating, while thinking about your macronutrients, is that you become more aware of what you’re actually eating. Rather than just knowing how many calories something is, you can think about how much protein is in your breakfast as a perfect pre-workout snack. It’s an overall healthier look at ‘dieting’ and making healthy food choices.
You’re talking to an occasional macronutrient geek right now
When I do count anything about my eating habits, I go with macronutrients. Why? Because I think they fill in the color in the picture of what I’m putting in my body. It means I can be more cognisant of why I’m tired or what small changes I can make to my diet to make it better. In my opinion, eating should be fun but if I’m going to pull out the numbers, I want them to reflect how I’m sustaining my body in a healthy and balanced way.
Should I try it?
If you’re interested, lots of calorie counting apps also count macros. So you can continue using MyFitnessPal or another app so long as it tells you what percentage of carbohydrates, proteins and fats you’re putting in your body. It’s important to note that it is different for everyone based on age, height, weight, in addition to your personal goals. You can use online macro calculators to determine what your goals are and how you could eat to meet them.
What do you think yogis? Are you macro counters? Did this article get you to think about trying to count your macros?