Are you finding yourself counting calories, sticking to your numbers, and even still not seeing results? The problem might be not about the number of calories, but the kind of calories.
Does your life revolve around calorie counting and uncontrollable cheat days? Are you stuck in a restrict-and-binge cycle that you can’t seem to escape? Perhaps it’s time you changed your approach to food and ditch the calorie counting in favour of a less mainstream concept: macronutrient counting.
Macronutrients are what make up the caloric content of a food. Sometimes referred to as “macros,” the three categories of macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. The caloric combination of the macros is where that mysterious total number of calories comes from. Here’s the breakdown:
- 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
So it’s not about how many calories are in your food, but what kind of calories are in your food. Even if you set a strict calorie limit and stick to it, you could be eating total garbage and not getting the nutrients you need.
What are the benefits of ditching your calorie-counting ways? For starters, you can indulge with a little less guilt. Let yourself eat those treats! fit them into your macro allowances and don’t just stick to ‘boring foods’ or you’ll burn out! When you’re eating a balanced diet, cravings go away, because you’re not deficient in anything. This balance will give you more energy, better workouts, and better results.
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Ready to get started? Decide whether you want to increase your metabolism, lose fat, or build muscle. Here are a few recommendations of proportions to begin this nutritional program:
- Boost Metabolism and/or Build Muscle: 40 percent protein, 35 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent fat
- Lose Fat: 45 percent protein, 35 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent fat
Since tracking can be tough (and a tad math intensive), download a macro-counting app (check out Simple Macro – Calorie Counter) where you can enter your foods for each meal while the app does the math for you. That way, you can see if you’re reaching your daily numbers, and start reaching your healthy goals.