Why Counting Macros Is More Important Than Counting Calories
There are three macronutrients that are essential building blocks to your health. They are protein, carbohydrates and fats. Depending on your own specific fitness and nutrition goals you may consume different percentages of these macronutrients than your friends or family but you should generally always consume at least a few of each every day. Remaining focused on your macronutrient percentages rather than simply the amount of calories you’re consuming, you are forced to pay more attention to the quality of food that you are eating. Remember that in life quality is almost always more important than quantity, and your diet is no exception.
Instances You May Alter Your Percentages
When following a low carb diet it is important to make sure that you are getting your energy supplies from other sources. The ketogenic diet is a popular low-carb diet that relies on fat as an energy source rather than glucose (from carbohydrates). It is common to reduce your carb intake to anywhere from 5% to 8% of your total calorie amount in order to keep your body in a constant state of ketosis.
Originally created as a way to prevent epileptic seizures in children, the ketogenic diet has grown in popularity within the health and fitness world over the last few years. This diet allows for more of your percentage total to go towards eating high quality lean protein, which works to build and repair muscle tissues after workouts. To learn more about the keto diet and whether or not it’s right for you check out our blog post The Secret Behind The Ketogenic Diet .
Cutting fat from your diet is an easy way to limit the amount of calories that you’re eating, since high fat foods are usually also loaded with calories. Your body gets energy from your fat and carbohydrate intake though so limiting one, may make you feel more groggy or run down. That is why keeping on target with your percentages is so important though, because as long as you are consuming enough whole grains, and complex carbohydrates to replace the lost amino acids energy source (from fats) your energy sources should not become drained.
Low-fat diets are often followed to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity, but more important than limiting your fat intake is restructuring your fat intake. All that means is that you should pay attention to the types of fats that you are consuming more than you should worry about how much you are consuming. Replace the saturated fats in your diet with unsaturated fats and you won’t have to worry about cutting out this essential macronutrient to be healthy.
Your body uses the protein from your diet to produce and regulate hormones, enzymes and other necessary chemical reactions within the body. Without protein you would not have the building blocks to sustain life. It is an essential building block of skin, cartilage, bones, muscles and blood. It is not however a traditional energy source. Although your body can use protein as energy when it is depleted of both glucose (from carbohydrates) and amino acids (from fat), protein is much harder to break down into usable energy and is therefore only used as a last resort. Still it is an essential piece of your nutritional puzzle.
High protein diets are most appropriate for bodybuilders and those looking to lose body fat while also adding significant muscle mass. A high protein diet means that you are automatically limiting the percentage of carbohydrates and fats that you consume so that you can take in a higher percentage of protein. Limiting carbs and fats will not only cut out calories but it will also cut out availability to quick energy sources, so those following long endurance training programs may not find this diet adequate. Weight lifters will certainly see and feel the benefits of increasing the muscle building and repairing nutrient though.
Which Macros Counting Diet Is Best?
That is entirely up to you. No two people are the same, so it stands to reason that no two people can expect the same results from the same meal plans. It may take a bit of trial and error before you determine the best macro percentages to use to look, feel, and perform your best but the end result is worth the extra time it may take.
The most important thing to remember is that to succeed you must keep working until you find what works for you. And then once you have found your magic formula you must stick with it to see the best results. Whether your goal is to lose body fat, tone and tighten your figure, or grow and strengthen your muscle mass it all starts with your diet.
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