Starting a healthy lifestyle might be quite a challenge when you’re totally blue about everything. Whether you want to lose some weight or bulk up it is important to do it correctly. You don’t want to mess up your health whilst trying to change your eating for better, right?
Most websites you go to claim all you have to do is count calories. Partially, they are right. However, it is easy to lose yourself in all the numbers and forget what your body really needs. To function properly you need more than calories. You need macros. And in this article, I gathered all the information you need to know about them.
What are macros?
Macros, short for macronutrients is a term used to describe three main food groups needed for our bodies to function properly. These are carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Carbs are used as fuel. They give energy for our muscles as well as making sure both the brain and our central nervous system work right. Want to find out more? Read here.
Fats help us feel fuller and more energized. They allow the body to absorb some vitamins, they are also responsible to help our hormones function properly. Want to find out more? Read here.
Proteins are probably the element you heard the most about – that they allow us to build muscle. And while that is true, proteins are also responsible for building and regulation of body tissues and main organs. Want to find out more? Read here.
How to calculate macros?
Okay, so now you know what macros are and why they are important, the question arises: How do I know how much I should eat any of these? Gladly, you don’t really need to do much in this area. There are many websites that calculate the macros for you. All you need is your age, height, weight, how active you are and your goals (whether you want to gain, lose or maintain weight).
Want to calculate your macros? Click here.
What is IIFYM?
IIFYM or rather “If It Fits Your Diet” is a type of flexible dieting to help lose weight without feeling overly restricted. It is based on counting macros instead of calories. It was created by Anthony Collova who felt tired of the typical tiering diet stereotypes. There are only two rules here.
1. Calculating how much of each macronutrient one should consume.
2. Tracking and meeting the set macros.
Why should you consider counting macros?
Firstly, it allows anyone who is trapped in calorie counting to open their eyes and realise calories are not everything. For example, a chocolate bar and a piece of salmon can be roughly the same amount of calories, however, one is way better for our body than the other and they both have totally different macros.
Secondly, all foods are allowed. As long as they fit your macros for the day you can have a slice of pizza and still lose weight.
Apps to help you stay on track
Nowadays there are plenty of different apps that allow you to easily track your macros for free. All you need to do is go through them and find one that suits you the most. Most common apps used are MyFitnessPal, MyPlate and My Macros +.
Anyone with special dietary needs or health issues should consult their doctor before starting counting macros. For example, someone with thyroid issues should be eating more fats than a healthy person and the websites that count macros for you don’t take that into consideration.