We in the fitness world throw around the term “macros” every day, but I’ve recently come to realize that so many people out there don’t really know what that refers to. “If it fits your macros”, “track your macros”, it can sound like a different language if you’re just starting out…
Macronutrients are simply protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Every food you eat is made up of these in some capacity, and they are the things that provide the calories in food. If you’ve ever wondered why peanut butter is so high in calories, it’s because of the fat content! No matter how you slice it, one gram of fat is equal to 9 calories. So if there is 20g of fat, the food is always going to have at least 180 calories. If you’ve ever wondered why someone hasn’t come out with a 100 calorie snack that has 50g of protein, it’s because it’s impossible! 50g of protein will always be at least 200 calories. –
To track macros, you figure out how many calories you want to eat each day, and break that up into your “macro” goals. Everyone has different goals- some people eat low carb, some low fat, some high protein…but whatever the goals, the process is the same: Look at your food labels and track how much fat, protein, and carbs you are eating at each meal until you hit your target numbers! When you hear “if it fits your macros” someone is basically saying “I can eat this donut because I’m still hitting my macronutrient goals for the day”.
Weight loss is as simple as calories in vs calories out. Meaning, if you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you’re consuming. It doesn’t matter what you’re eating, what matters is the calories. However, tracking macros allows you to focus on your body composition. If you’re losing weight, you want to preserve muscle, so you be sure to track your protein to ensure you’re eating enough. Calories are king, but you’ll never see the results you want without eating properly!
We tend to really overcomplicate this stuff, so I hope this can be of help to anyone out there starting out!