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Counting Calories vs. Tracking Macros

In my blog post about energy balance, I go over what's needed to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. Check out my post about macros if you want more in-depth info about those! Whether you decide to track your overall calories or track your macros, if you're in a calorie deficit you will lose weight!

Calories are the energy used by the body. Macronutrients are protein, carbs, and fat and they make up calories. Basically, if you're tracking your macros, you are indirectly tracking your calories.

The reason I have clients track their macros is that it helps you to track the quality of food that you eat and helps you to create balanced meals instead of just focusing on hitting that calorie goal for the day.

The macros for a Big Mac (without fries or a drink):

25g protein, 46g carbs, 28g of fat for a total of 540 calories

The Macros for a burrito (1/2 cup brown rice, 1/3 black beans, peppers and onions, 3oz chicken, and 2 tbsp guacamole):

41g protein, 55g carbs, 13g fat for 509 calories

**A much more satiating and nutrient-dense meal for similar calories**


My clients who track their macros find it easier to achieve body recomposition goals. Getting adequate protein is required for building muscle mass. If you have adequate protein, when you lose weight you're likely to use specifically fat, not lean muscle mass. Making sure you have enough protein and fat helps you feel satisfied so you're less likely to overeat and makes being in a calorie deficit for weight loss more sustainable.

I have had numerous clients tell me they're shocked at how much food they can eat and still lose weight! It all comes down to eating the right foods instead of eating any food that fits your calorie goals for the day. Tracking your macros can also help improve your performance goals if you're an athlete. You're able to build muscle so you can lift more at the gym, and you have more energy because your body is fueled correctly so you can work harder at the gym (and the rest of your day!).

Endurance athletes need more carbohydrates to fuel their longer runs/bike rides etc. without hitting a wall. Getting enough carbohydrates and protein can also help with recovery after a tough workout.


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