What Are Macros And How Do We Count Them?

What are macros?

“Macros” is short for macronutrients, which are the three main forms of nutrients that you can consume – carbohydrates (carbs), protein, and fat. Consuming 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories, while 1 gram of carbs or protein is equal to 4 calories.

There is a diet which follows a system where you count macros specifically prescribed for you and your goals, called an ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ or IIFYM diet. 

How do you count macros?

An important factor in counting macros is the nutrition label that is included in your foods. You will see numbers listed per the recommended serve as well as per 100g (this option is easiest to compare different products as serving sizes can vary and thus influence the amount of macronutrients they contain). While the label can get relatively confusing with all the options, to calculate basic macros you would focus on the total fat, total carbs, and total protein values. 

It is best to consult with a qualified professional who can prescribe the appropriate macros for you, as the amounts vary dependant on the goals you have, your current metabolic rate, and your current body composition. 

How is counting your macros beneficial?

Counting your macros can be an effective way to lose weight when executed properly. By counting your macros not only do you achieve the correct volume of food/calories consumed (leading you to achieve the correct balance of calories in versus calories out), but you receive a good balance of nutrients which allow your body to function optimally. Additionally, a macro-counting diet is much more flexible than other forms of dieting, as it can be manipulated to satisfy the goals you have as an athlete without jeopardising your necessary performance abilities. 

If you do not calculate your macros accurately (e.g. not weighing your foods making your ‘teaspoon’ of peanut butter heaped as high as it can go 3x bigger than what you’ve recorded), you are at risk of not achieving your goals. Additionally, some people choose to fill their macros with poor choices, such as satisfying their carbohydrate quota with chocolate and lollies. While this choice itself will not impact your weight loss or gain if it still falls within your set macros, it will have a poor influence on your overall health due to you not consuming enough micronutrients such as essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre. If this is the case, some health practitioners will also set micronutrient goals for individuals following a macro-based diet in order to ensure they consume a variety of foods and have a well-balanced diet. 

Should I try an ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ diet?

Macro counting can be difficult, as it involves a lot of calculation, weighing, and planning. It is not something that is easy to do on the go, especially for someone who is new to counting their macros. Some people may find this difficult to slot into their lifestyle, as they may often have to eat food where they are unable to weigh it and accurately count the macros. 

You can try an IIFYM diet if you are under the guidance of a qualified professional who has created an individualised macronutrient plan for you based off your specific goals. Also, if you are someone who is good at planning, preparing, and calculating this kind of plan can be extremely effective.

Start here

Book a free intro today so we can learn all about you, your goals and how we can help you reach them
Free Intro