Whether you’re looking to lose weight or bulk up at the gym, keeping an eye on what you eat is crucial. While many people count calories to achieve these aims, in more recent times, calculating macros has become the favoured choice.
All about macros
Macros refer to the three macro or main nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy, that is, protein, carbohydrates and fat. These nutrients are the vital building blocks of the body, helping to keep us strong, fit and energised. Protein is essential for growth and repair, while carbohydrates provide energy and fats promote vitamin absorption and cell communication.
Macros versus calories
Calorie counting has traditionally been viewed as the best way to lose weight or smash your gym goals, but this method can be cumbersome, time-consuming and hard to maintain. Calorie counting can feel restrictive, and many people find it doesn’t work effectively in the long-term.
Calculating macros offers a fresh approach to watching what you eat. Instead of counting calories, it involves monitoring your intake of protein, carbohydrates and fat, or macronutrients. Macros and calories aren’t the same thing, although they both need to be considered when calculating macros.
Considered a flexible form of dieting, you work out in grams how much of these macronutrients you can eat, according to your typical daily calorie allowance. Providing you stick with the numbers and stay on track, you have a degree of flexibility in deciding which foods make up your macro allowances. This makes calculating macros a stress-free and versatile strategy for tailoring what you eat and when to suit your specific needs, goals and lifestyle. It also makes it ideal for anyone to follow, whether a bodybuilder or not.
Tracking your macros
Calculating macros isn’t as difficult as you might first imagine. Indeed, there are plenty of apps and online calculators available that can help you to assess your ideal macro ratios. Food scales, measuring cups, a calorie/gram counting book and a calculator will also come in handy.
Don’t be too concerned about complete accuracy. It’s fine to allow 10 grams of flexibility with your protein and carbohydrate targets, and 5 grams difference with your fat intake. Once you’ve worked out the macro value for ingredients, it’s a good idea to jot them down for future reference so you don’t need to do any recalculations.
Bear in mind that your daily macro goals are unlikely to remain static, especially if your activity levels vary on different days. Plus, if you’re going out for a meal in the evening, you can reduce your macro intake earlier in the day to cater for a blowout later on.
Although you can vary what you eat when calculating macros according to each group, it’s a good idea to choose healthy options. Cheat meals and treats are fine on the odd occasion but stick to good quality protein, wholegrain carbohydrates and healthy fats for the best results. Despite macronutrients being the main focus on this regime, don’t ignore micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals. Include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet.
By not having any off-limits ingredients, and encouraging portion control, moderation and flexibility, those who adopt macro calculating are more likely to stick at it longer than those who only calorie count.
Calculating macros is a useful strategy for achieving your dream physique. For further assistance in turning your body dreams into reality, why not take a look at the premium grade products available at Steroid Central UK?