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Should You Count Macros?

by Marissa on June 28, 2017

Should you count macros? | Health Coach Marissa Vicario explains the pros and cons

If you pay any attention to the world of health and fitness, it’s very likely you’ve heard the term “count macros”, know someone who counts macros or perhaps you’re considering counting macros yourself. Counting macros is a newfangled way of counting calories in a world of processed foods where not all calories are created equal. 

Macro stands for macronutrient, a component of food from which an organism derives energy. There are three macronutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrates. Fat provides 9 calories per gram and protein and carbohydrates 4 calories per gram. To count macros, add up how many grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates you ate in one day. 

Counting macros is especially popular for people on a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet 

But should you count macros? 

If you’ve read here for any length of time, I bet you already know my answer, but let’s break it down a little, shall we? First, it’s important to know that your ability to count macros effectively depends on knowing how many macros you need. To do that, you must choose a specific diet to follow (ketogetnic, paleo, etc) and then choose an ideal daily macronutrient count based on your age, gender, weight, BMI and activity level. Each macro would comprise a percentage of your daily calories based on the diet’s guidelines, your current BMI and desired BMI. 

Counting macros can be time-consuming and crazy-making – even more so than counting calories. Not only will you record everything you eat, you’ll also record the macros in each food and will need to calculate them as a percentage of your daily calories. This requires thorough note taking and often a food scale. 

Like counting calories, counting macros doesn’t foster a healthy relationship with food. In some cases it can lead to disordered eating.

My advice? Depending on your goals, my recommendation is to eat real food. If you just want to be healthy and lose some weight, load up on protein, vegetables and healthy fats and go a little easier on the whole grains especially on days when you are less active. If you’re prone to disordered eating and food neuroses, don’t even consider it. If you’re a fitness competitor who wants to get leaner, why are you reading this blog? Just kidding. You may then want to consider it as a short-term solution. Whatever you decide, know yourself and learn what truly constitutes healthy eating before you proceed. 

Want to find a healthy eating plan that works for you without counting calories or macros? Schedule a complimentary Freedom From Fad Diets Mini Session with me today! Click here.

 

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