Macronutrients(Pt. II) & Tracking

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Previous posts discussed macronutrients, how macros add up to calories, and how calorie intake controls your bodyweight (lose /gain weight). Please read previous posts & comments if you haven’t yet

Macro tracking: an individual has specific macronutrient targets based on a goal, (eg. weight loss), and eats foods to hit those targets daily (eg. 200grams of Carbs, 150g Pro, 50g Fat). Many people want to know why people track macros? What benefit does tracking macros have that tracking calories alone doesn’t have?

Tracking macros allows for greater diet control. Mainly, protein. Protein is vital, and generally people do not eat enough(1) (I’ll cover this in a protein post). When you track macros, you have a set a protein goal to hit. This goal is normally much higher than people are used to. Eating higher protein has A LOT of benefits: better gym performance, muscle recovery & growth, better bodily function, less hunger, “ improvements in appetite, body weight management, cardiometabolic risk factors” (2)… as well as allowing the preservation of muscle during a fat loss phase (losing fat is good, losing muscle is bad)

There are other reasons that people track too. Macro tracking allows people to get more granular with their diet, and can be quite eye opening as to the make-up of the foods we eat. Another huge factor is that it is a non-restrictive approach to dieting (3); there are no foods you can’t eat; you can work any food into your targets for the day

I will do another post on pros & cons, IIFYM, and on other dietary approaches. This is a disclaimer sentence to say that I am not advising people to track macros; this is an informative post about macros based on questions I have received. Tracking macros has been shown to be a successful method to reach weight-goals when sustained, due to its precision & flexibility(4), but it is not sustainable for EVERYONE

How do you do it? Same as tracking calories. Online macro calculator can work out calories/ macros. An application, eg. MyFitnessPal,is used to track food eaten. To track food accurately this normally involves weighing food. If you have any questions please let me know 🙂

References/ Further Reading (also, I encourage you to research these topics yourself! It’s the best way to learn)
(1) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/101/6/1317S.full

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25926512

(3) http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/a-guide-to-flexible-dieting/

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10805507

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