What People Talk About When They Talk About Tracking Macros
We’ve been told time and time again that the secret to losing weight is diet and exercise.
From there, we’ve been told (time and time again) that the magic ratio for weight loss is 70 percent what we put into our bodies and 30 percent what we do with our bodies (don’t look at me like that, Stairclimber, I have no quarrel with you).
But that 70 percent is subject to a never-ending debate of what kinds of foods, when to eat those foods, how often to eat, how often to not eat, and every possible iteration therein.
Still, much of that conversation boils down to counting calories.
Which at its most basic is necessary for losing weight. Burning more calories than you consume usually does the trick (though not all bodies are equal and you should certainly consult with your doctor before choosing a plan).
One subset of the idea of counting calories is called “tracking macros.”
And while it sounds like some Travel Show hosted by the Macro-Tracking Bros, the truth is it could be the right lifestyle change for you if you’re looking to lose weight.
How To Talk Macro-Tracking Like A Bro… I Mean, Pro
There is a learning curve to tracking macros that makes it more advanced than just looking at the back of a bag of chips and saying, “Ah, yes, look at all those calories!”
So to get the most of the diet, we’ll first break down a few key terms that the Macro-Tracking Bros tend to use, and then suggest a few key ways to start on your own journey.
After all, getting a good grip on the terminology will make the idea a whole lot easier to swallow.
Macros: these are macronutrients, and they are the building blocks of food that you’ve heard of before, like protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Counting Macros: It’s like the counting you learned in preschool, but applied to specific numbers in all of the main macronutrients. This is done to monitor how much you’re consuming of each.
IIFYM: If It Fits Your Macros, or the idea that as long as what you’re eating is within your given amount of macros, you can eat it. Which, in theory, could be anything. But not everything.
- Flexible Dieting: Because you can (again, in theory) eat anything, this diet could be less restrictive, giving you more freedom to eat when and where you’d like.
And along with these definitions comes the core premise of macronutrients:
You’re tracking the number of grams you consume of each of the macronutrients, giving you finer control over your diet.
For example, you’ll ensure you get enough protein, you can find out whether you feel better with fats as energy instead of carbohydrates, and more.
But that’s all for Macro-Tracking 102. Let’s finish strong with our introductory class first.
And How To Start Tracking Macros
Tracking macros has the potential to give you more control over your diet, helping not only with those who want to lose weight, but those who are looking to modify their athletic performance, build muscle, and more.
The key, as with most things worth doing, is to start. And here are three tips to get you moving in the right direction.
Figure Out Your Macros - IIFYM.com has a number of free tools, calculators, and strategies to help you feel confident in your weight-loss journey.
Consult A Doctor - Yes, we did say this before, so now we know you’ve been paying attention. We’ve only got one body, so it’s important we take care of it. Talk to a doctor before starting on any new diets or weight loss plans to make sure it’s the right fit for you.
- Reward Yourself - Everyone’s weight loss journey is unique, so don’t worry about comparing yourself to other people’s milestones or expectations. Set up your own timeline and reward yourself with a fun, physical collectible like this IRLA Weight Loss Pack.
With that, you’ve got what you need to get started. You can talk the talk with those Macro-Tracking Bros and you can even make plans to start your own journey.
Now we’d love to hear from you. Have you tried tracking your macronutrients before? What kinds of tools helped you achieve your goals?