MACROS OR CALORIES,
WHICH IS BETTER TO TRACK?
By Nile Shabazz
Certified Elite Trainer
Nutrition is very important when you’re training. Most people try to exercise while having a terrible nutritional plan, however we know the rule of thumb; 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, to reach a fitness goal. It’s important to track your macros when you’re following a nutritional plan. You’re probably thinking, what is a macronutrient? Furthermore, I’m going to explain what they are and why they’re important for the body.
What Is A Macronutrient?
Macros consist of proteins, carbohydrates & fats. Each of these macronutrients play a substantial role for your body to function properly. Proteins are important for repairing muscle tissue due to it consisting of amino acids. Carbohydrates are important for providing energy to the body through glucose. And fats are important because it’s an energy storage for the body. It’s vital to have these 3 macros in your diet because they can get you one step closer to your fitness goal. If you’re missing one in your diet, it can slow down the process of getting the results you want. Now, I know most people told you that you should only count the number of calories, but we overlook the most important part - macros.
Difference Between Calories & Macros.
You might be thinking, what’s the difference between calories and macros? There's not much of a difference between the two. Macros actually make up the number of calories that’s in every meal. So the million-dollar question is, "between macros and calories, which one of the two should I be focused on if I’m trying to reach my fitness goal?" Answer is, macros. Macros are better to follow because it creates a much more balance diet. On the other hand, when strictly counting calories, you can easily dictate what you’re consuming which can can slow down you progress, greatly. For example, if your nutritionist or Trainer tells you to consume 1,500 calories per day (from macros), you might be consuming that right amount, but from fats and sugar, when in reality it should be calories from protein, carbs and fats instead. One gram of fat consist 9 calories, while one gram of protein and one gram of carbohydrate consists 4 calories each.
Further Into Detail Between Calories & Macros.
Most people find it much easier to count calories because you can easily have the mindset of, “well it has the number of calories I need” type of attitude. As mentioned earlier, this will slow down your fitness goal. You should focus more on tracking macros, rather than counting calories. Why? Let’s say you’re supposed to consume 350 - 400 calories per meal. Those calories coming from a macro goal of around 25g of Protein, 40g of Carbs & 12g of Fats for each meal. But when a person is hungry and he/she see's a meal that has 350 calories, they might decide to eat it because it has the number of calories they need. But to their surprise, those calories actually came from 35 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein and 22 grams of carbs, which is not their macro goal. As you can see, just because you're getting the number of calories you need per meal, doesn't mean you're getting the right amount of macros.
Overall, counting calories can be a misconception. Tracking macros provide a more structure diet as far as getting you one step closer to your fitness goals. So, if you’re trying to make the decision on what should you be tracking, go with macros. Always remember that action is the foundational key to success. BeGREAT!