When beginning a weight loss journey, tracking your intake is key to success. Doing this helps you see exactly what you’re eating and the breakdown of all of your foods. Although looking at calories can give you an idea of how much you should be eating each day, it does not give you an accurate representation of the types of foods you should be eating and how they affect your body.
Macros Versus Calories
Tracking macronutrients is the key to achieving fat loss results that last and also reaching your physique goals. Since calories are not all created equal, it is important to go more in depth with your nutrition and focus on the three main macronutrients your body needs. Each macronutrient – proteins, fats, and carbohydrates – plays a vital role in our body’s function, which is why hitting each macronutrient target is more important than looking at just your calorie budget. Each person has different needs and therefore has different macronutrient targets.
Being Mindful with your Food Choices
Macronutrient tracking allows you to be more mindful of the specific foods you’re eating and understand how certain foods make your body feel. When tracking calories, you may find yourself choosing any foods you want that fit into your daily budget. When tracking macronutrients, you are able to learn more about each macronutrient and which foods are the best sources of each. This allows you to plan your day in more detail, as you will see what macronutrients you are lacking during your day. For example, if you find that every evening you are low on your protein amount, you will learn what foods are the best sources of protein and begin to add them into your day.
Why Macros and Calories Don’t Always Add Up
When tracking your macronutrients you may sometimes find that the calories and macros don’t always perfectly add up. You may be wondering why exactly this is. When finding foods that fit into your macronutrient budgets, you may find that some days your calories fluctuate a little bit when you are changing around your foods. As long as you are within 5-10g of your macronutrient budgets, it is okay if you find that your calories are not always matching up perfectly. Remember that hitting the right types of foods for each macronutrient category is more important than hitting the exact number in your calorie budget each day.
Tracking your intake allows you to be aware of your eating amounts and habits. Once you are aware of the changes you need to make, you can slowly begin to make those changes and work toward reaching your macronutrient targets. Remember that consistency over perfection with macronutrient tracking is the best way to learn and reach your long-term results.