The importance of tracking your macronutrients and how to do it?
Updated: Jan 28
To lose weight, it is important to burn more calories than you consume. One effective way to do this is by tracking your macro-nutrients, or the amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats you are consuming. Understanding the source and impact of these macros on your overall health is crucial to achieve your weight goals. Nutrition density also plays an important role in making sure you are consuming the right foods and appropriate amounts of macro-nutrients. In this blog, we will discuss the concept of macro-nutrients, the benefits of tracking them, and methods for counting them using a food tracker.
What are macros?
Macro-nutrients are the three essential components of a healthy diet. They are the nutrients that your body requires in large amounts to function effectively. Macro-nutrients include carbohydrates, protein, and fat which contribute energy in the form of calories.
Carbohydrates: provides energy for muscles and the brain
Protein: helps in the growth and repair of muscles
Fat: helps to build hormones, and helps in energy storage and nutrition absorption.
How many macro-nutrients to consume?
The Acceptable macro-nutrient distribution range recommends the following percentages of macro-nutrients for better health according to medical news today.
20-35 % fats
Moreover, there are different factors that can impact an individual's requirements which include:
How to count macro-nutrients?
Calculate your caloric requirements
According to Medical news today, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has a body weight planner which calculates the number of calories an individual requires automatically and is free to use. Body Weight Planner | NIDDK (nih.gov) or you can use Lifetrons Health app which is user-friendly too and helps in estimating your calories.
Individuals find that monitoring the number of macro-nutrients in their diet is beneficial. There are different ways to track these values. Few Individuals may prefer to use a food diary where they note the type of foods they consume while others find apps such as Lifetrons Health app useful that automatically monitor these values.
It is essential to understand that the macro-nutrient ratio does not take into account the quality of the nutrients. For example, a food may have the same amount of fat, however, may contain unhealthy fats such as trans fat while others may contain beneficial fats like omega 3 fatty acids.
Advantages of counting macros
Macros for weight loss
To lose weight, it is recommended to increase protein intake. Studies have shown that increasing your protein consumption can help you in feeling full while reducing your calorie intake. It is effective for weight loss as it helps in setting out dietary recommendations. A balance of macros by choosing fiber-rich carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats will keep you feeling energized and can result in fewer calorie consumption. Science shows that tracking food intake can help long-term weight goals.
Improve the quality of diet
Counting macros can help in focusing on the quality of food than calorie intake. For example, a bowl of cereals may contain the same number of calories as a bowl of oats with chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and berries, however, they may differ in macronutrient content. It helps you in choosing nutrition-dense food wisely thus helping you adopt a healthier food plan.
Help with specific weight goals
Counting macros is important for individuals who need to eat specific amounts of macronutrients which can help in building their muscles. For instance, research shows that athletes may require as much as 3.4 grams of protein per kg of body weight to maintain muscle mass. Tracking macros helps individuals lose up to five percent of their body weight.
Metabolic rate can be improved
Your metabolism plays an essential role in weight management. Every macronutrient has a different influence on your metabolism. Protein holds the greatest impact on your metabolism by increasing your metabolic rate by 15 to 30% followed by carbs which increase your metabolic rate by 5 to 10% and fats that raise it to about 3%. For more information on metabolism, read our article How to lose or gain weight using BMR & TDEE
The most fundamental steps in counting macros are setting a calorie goal and a specific range for protein, carbs, and fat. An effective and easy method to track both macros and calories? Download the Lifetrons Health app. Log your food intake by consuming a diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
Lifetrons health app is a free application that can be accessed on mobile where you can easily track your daily food intake and see various percentages of macro-nutrients.