For someone who macro counting for a good amount of years, I can honestly say its helpful for losing weight. Macro counting, or better known as IFFYM (if it fits your macros), has made its way from the bodybuilding world to the masses through social media. It’s a method of dieting in which macro nutrients, carbs, protein, and fat, are tracked. These 3 macros are configured in grams and manipulated based on goals. You may decrease the fat and carbs and up the protein to lose body weight or increase the carbs and protein to gain muscles. And while many people swear by this method of dieting, there are pros and cons to macro counting.
For the PROS!
Awareness: The biggest pro to counting macros is the awareness of what going into your body. While counting calories may do the same, this method keeps in count the quality food you are eating. Ensuring that the calories are not empty calories, but high in nutrient. This is why macro counting is great for anyone starting their fitness journey.
Allows for flexibility: Probably the biggest reason for its popularity, is it allows flexibility. If done properly, the majority of macros are from quality, unprocessed foods, and can leave a few carbs and fat for junk food. In other words, every food is fair game as long as it fits within the macros.
Personalize Diet Plan: By figuring macros, you begin to understand YOUR body. You know which foods gives you energy, bloated, or helps with weight loss. So instead of following some guru diet plan, you’ll have a personalized diet that suits you only. To find your macro-nutrients percentage, click this macro-nutrient calculator.
Lose Stubborn Fat: For those looking to lose those stubborn few pounds, macro counting is an easier, and more effective method. It makes it’s easier to hone in and make minor tweets to your diet.
Now for the CONs…
Prioritizing Health: With macro counting it is easy to lose focus on health as oppose to pant size. Essentially the macros can come from junk food vs nutritional foods. For instance, instead of having veggies, fruit and whole grain for the carbs, you can fill it with baked goods and pasta. It is really easy to forget about micro nutrients, the fiber and the vitamins, that keeps you healthy and not just skinny.
Obsession Overload: Counting macros can become an obsession. Forgetting to enjoy the party or dinner dates because it won’t fit into your macros, or only finding places in which macro nutrients are labeled. This method is only effective long term, if you allow breaks from counting and just let go sometimes.
Getting it Right: Harder to access what macros really work for someone, and really takes time. While there are great calculators to figure out the right macro percentage, they are not 100% accurate. Even a great “nutritional coach” will need time to figure what macro percentage work. To figure out right macro percentage it takes time to track weight and body fat, and readjusting as needed.