The counting of calories, which reduces the various forms of food to a single numerical value, doesn’t consider the nutrients taken in. It doesn’t distinguish between a chocolate bar and cottage cheese in any way other than the count of calories that each item has.
The counting of macronutrients, which include fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, has a number of benefits, one of which is that a large number of essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are naturally included in our food consumption.
What are Macronutrients?
Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are the three primary categories of macronutrients that should make up most of your daily dietary intake.
Sugars, cereals, starches, and fibre all fall under the category of carbohydrates. They are mainly metabolised into glucose in the body, which serves as the body’s primary energy source. The energy contained in one gramme of carbs is equal to four calories. In the diets of the majority of people, carbohydrates account for the most significant proportion of total daily calorie intake.
With nine calories in each gramme, fats have the highest energy density of all the macronutrients. Oils, dairy products, nuts, meat, and seeds are all excellent sources of fats. Few vegetables contain any detectable levels of fat. The typical diet of a person living in the West is very heavy in fat, particularly saturated fat. A healthy diet restricts the consumption of saturated fat and places emphasis on the consumption of unsaturated fats that come from plants.
The highest concentrations of protein are found in red meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and seafood, while legumes, seeds, nuts, and vegetables have just trace amounts. There are four calories of fuel contained in every gramme of protein. Proteins are not only necessary for the development of new muscle tissue but also contribute to the body’s many other essential tasks. There are a lot of people who don’t receive enough protein from their diets; vegetarians and vegans especially need to be aware of the importance of this macronutrient.
So, the number of calories doesn’t matter?
Calories ARE a relevant factor. To put it another way, losing weight is the result of burning more calories than you ingest on a daily basis. Macro counting enables you to understand where your calories come from. Also, it will help you to know how they will affect your body.
Suppose, for instance, that your daily calorie goal is 2,000. There are four calories per gram of protein. Therefore, if you have 125 grammes of protein, you will consume 500 calories through protein, leaving 1,500 calories for fat and carbohydrates.
Counting Macros vs Counting Calories
Depending on what you want to attain, you may choose to monitor total calories, count macros, or count both. If you’re trying to lose weight, counting calories and making sure you are in a calorie deficit is perhaps the most crucial thing you can do. Counting macronutrients is more helpful for achieving body composition goals like increasing lean muscle mass than any other method.
There are advantages to counting macros, even when one does not have a particular objective. Doing so provides you with a more accurate picture of the calibre of the food you are consuming. The only thing counting calories can tell you is how many calories you have finished, not their quality. When you count macros, you focus on nutrition and overall health rather than focusing solely on weight loss or maintenance goals.
Even with the help of a macro calculator, there is no getting around the fact that paying attention to the proportions of your macronutrient intake will need additional work and time. However, after you have a firm grasp of the concept and have had some experience counting macros, you will be able to do so more quickly and efficiently.
Counting at the macro level is also restrictive. If you limit your attention to only three types of nutrients, you can find yourself eating the same foods on a regular basis. On the other hand, if you eat fewer different foods, you run the risk of not getting enough of certain micronutrients like minerals and vitamins. To get around this issue, select a wide range of meal kinds that all have the appropriate macros.
It is also essential when you eat. Know the concept of nutrient timing to understand how it can influence the results of your efforts to put on muscle.
In the end, the strategy for changing your body weight & composition that you pick will depend on the objectives you wish to achieve, as well as how driven you are. If you are interested in learning more about the nutrients in the food you consume, then counting macros might interest you. Remember that 1-2 pounds in a week are a good average & consistency is crucial when setting weight reduction goals!