For a long time, the general consensus has been that if you want to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories and burn more off, creating a calorie deficit. But counting calories doesn’t tell you anything about how balanced your diet should be: for 1,500 calories a day, you could eat four slices of chocolate cake or 375 strawberries, neither of which would be healthy.

So amongst the fitness community, there’s another measurement that is far more important: macros.

Macro is short for macro nutrient,there are three ypes: protein, carbohydrates and fats. All foods are divided up into a combination of these macros, and that’s how the calorie content is made up. Protein and carbs are four calories per gram, and fat is nine calories per gram.

Counting your calories in still important, whether you’re trying to lose fat or bulk up, but when it’s done in conjunction with counting your macros, that’s when you get the best results. Research has shown that when you have a calorie deficit and keep your protein high, that’s when you lose the most weight.

If someone wants to get particularly ripped (think fitness model), they will require a higher protein intake and some calorie restriction. Simply hitting their calorie target won’t allow for maximum muscle retention while in this calorie-restricted phase. Unlike restrictive diets, you can go out to dinner with friends or have a drink as long as you factor it into your daily or even weekly target.

Calorie and macro counting is called flexible dieting. It gives people the flexibility to eat what they like to eat and does not tell people to cut out complete food groups, like most diets. Also if you have 200-300 calories left at the end of the day, you can have a little treat as long if it doesn’t ruin your macro targets.

I find the best way to monitor this is my fitness pal which tells you how many calories, protein, carbs and fats is in the food you eat. Then all you do is set your target based on their age, sex, weight, height and activity levels.

The Following 5 reasons is why you should count macros rather than just calories

1) Awareness

Makes you realise what your eating not just mindlessly counting calories. All foods are different and have
varying amounts of sugar, fat and salt in so your more lightly to be vigilant with this method.

2)Eating enough

Keeps you focused on the amount of protein, fats and carbs you need accordingly to your fitness goals. If you get this right you more likely to achieve the results you want from all that hard work.

3) Gentle weight loss

This may seem a strange concept but it really helps you get a hold on erratic eating like crash diets or binge eating! You see a lot of people simply eat too fewer calories so they are not nourishing their bodies after exercising.

4) No food restrictions

Many calorie counting or other restrictive dieting makes life a misery and not sustainable for your health. Counting your macros means no food is off limits as long as you are monitoring your carbs, proteins and fats. This makes things a lot easier to sustain and you are more likely to stick to it.

5) Retrains the mind

Macro counting will also help you eat more mindfully. It will also make you aware of what are actually your hunger signals and when its time to eat not just for the sake of it.

So step way from the diet and start thinking macros, this will make the difference in the results you want rather that what your achieving currently if on calorie restriction plans only.

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