Calories vs Macros: What You Need To Know 🥑🍞🥓
Here’s to pouring everything I’ve learned on my own fitness journey and through my education into these emails to help you guys LEVEL UP both mentally and physically. 🤓
We’ve got a LOT to cover here so let’s get this party started!
America’s go-to diet method has consistently been calorie counting, but the process of counting macros has been used by bodybuilders for years. Recently tracking macros has gained major traction by non-bodybuilders because of the specificity and methodology behind it. Odds are if you’re reading this, you have either personally tracked macros/calories or someone you know has. Depending on the person, their goals and their lifestyle, this will ultimately determine which route they choose to go on their weight loss journey.
COUNTING CALORIES VS. TRACKING MACROS
What they have in common:
They are both effective ways to lose weight
Both rely on measuring food
Both are structured on guidelines based on age, weight and physical activity you perform daily
Where they're different:
Counting calories is inherently easier. You keep track of one number (your daily intake) and then every meal you eat, you subtract from your total number.
Ex. 2000 cals a day, and for breakfast you have 500 calories. 2000-500=1500 remainder.
Tracking macros is a more specific version of tracking calories. The term “macros” or macronutrients refers to three types of nutrients; carbohydrates, fats and protein. Where each nutrient carries a caloric value per gram. Your daily intake in calories is your carb, fat and protein percentage multiplied together.
Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram
Fat: 9 calories per gram
Protein: 4 calories per gram
Ex. 225g C + 55g F + 150g P/ (225x4)+(55x9)+(150x4)= 1,995 cals daily
So I know what you’re thinking: “if counting calories is easier AND effective for weight loss, why would anyone track macros?”
Trust me girl, I totally get where you’re coming from. There is definitely a benefit of one over the other, so let’s dive a little deeper into why we care to go this extra mile.
The first thing we need to get straight is that not all calories are created equal!
Think of it like this:
500 calories of ice cream vs. 500 calories of spinach
BOTH have the same number of calories
BOTH have a very different macronutrient breakdown.
🍦 Ice cream is roughly about 90% carbohydrates and fat. (which is also why it tastes delicious)
🥗 Spinach is made up of about 95% carbohydrates and protein and has a crap ton of fiber.
500 calories of ice cream would equate to about ½ of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
500 calories of spinach would equal 400 ounces of greens.
That’s why our fruits and veggies are referred to as VOLUME foods. Because they have such a small caloric value, you can eat a lot while only “spending” a little bit of your daily calories. 🤓
Foods with higher protein and fiber (and I cannot stress this enough!) help us stay fuller longer than white bread and cookies that will inevitably end in a sugar crash.
Everything we eat is made up of macros. Your coffee, your candy bar, your popcorn, everything that has calories inevitably has a macronutrient attached to it, creating said caloric value. Next time you grab a poptart, have a sandwich, drink some juice, look at the back of the container on the Nutrition Facts label and see what macronutrients you’re really consuming, it’ll help you to mentally sort what goes in each category too.
THE PURPOSE OF MACRONUTRIENTS:
Now we understand that there’s an amount of protein/fat/carbs in each and every thing we eat. But what does each macro actually do?
Our bodies energy reserve
Carry fat-soluble nutrients
Add texture and flavor to foods
Provide essential fatty acids or EFA to our system
Helps our bodies to stay fuller longer
Protein is the building block of our muscles
Protects our muscles as we age
Helps our body repair after injuries
Boosts metabolism and helps your body burn fat
Primary fuel source
How our body gets fiber
Prevent ketosis (also why keto diets are very low carb)
THE WRAP UP:
There’s pros and cons to each of these options and why we would choose one over the other.
Counting calories is the most popular diet to ever rock our world, because it’s effective, and most diets we know today have stemmed from this approach.
Simple and easy way to regulate your food intake. Doesn’t require balanced meals or encourage healthy eating. Allows you to stick to the “eat whatever you want and still lose weight” mentality. No foods off limits, preaches moderation.
There are tons of benefits with tracking macros, since it has a more holistic approach to eating and encourages a balanced diet by giving specific targets in each macronutrient category.
More time invasive when starting out. Encourages balanced eating. Makes sure through weight loss you’re still preserving muscle tissue by eating a high protein diet so you lose fat, not just weight. Also allows you to “eat whatever you want and still lose weight”. No foods off limits, also preaches moderation.
At the end of the day, if you’re trying to lose weight, either of these methods will work and your lifestyle and goals will ultimately point you in one direction over the other.
If you’re wanting to get started with your weight loss/weight gain/time to get ripped transformation and need some direction getting started, holler at your girl and we can get something cooking for you 💗