Whether you are tuning in to a conversation at your local health café or heard a couple of blokes discuss it at the gym, then chances are you have heard the term ‘counting macros’ floating around.
When you hear the term macros, it often is followed with a series of gym-related jargon that can seem confusing, intimidating and elusive. You know that it has something to do with achieving fitness goals, but your knowledge begins and ends there. We feel you on this front.
Often a factor considered by folks who are looking to shed weight or gain some muscle mass, keeping tabs on your macronutrient intake can help you reach a variety of health and fitness goals.
What are macronutrients?
Before we get into it, it is important we have a clear understanding of what macronutrients are. Macronutrients, or macros for short, are broken up into three essential categories.
- Carbohydrates, which include sugars, starches and fibres
- Proteins, which include eggs, poultry, fish, tofu and lentils
- Fats which include oils, butter, avocado, meat, fatty fish and nuts
What does ‘counting macros’ entail?
In a nutshell, you are keeping track of the calories and types of foods you eat in order to achieve specific calorie or macronutrient goals. You do this by considering the above three tiers that constitute macronutrients! Adequate intake of all will help build muscle and prevent muscle loss. It will help control appetite and assists with energy.
Where can I find macros?
So, you are eager for a balanced diet or perhaps you want to start kicking those health and fitness goals. Regardless of your reason, it is a good idea to know which foods contain more macros and where to look when finding what you are looking for. Here are some good rules of thumb:
- Pasta, rice, cereal, bread, legumes, fruits and vegetables contain high-carb and low fat
- Fruits and vegetables contain high-carb but low-protein
- Nuts, seeds, olive oil and cheese constitute low-carb and high-fat content
- Avocado, olive oil and coconut milk are rich in fat but are low in protein
- Non-fat Greek yoghurt, cottage or cream cheese and whey protein powder are all high in protein but low in fat
- Eggs, meat and fish are high in protein but have low carbs
Welcome to the world of IIFYM
‘Okay…what on earth is that?’. We hear from you. It is more than just a popular hashtag on Instagram. IIFYM stands for ‘If It Fits Your Macros’. It is a type of flexible dieting that helps people lose weight, without the FOMO. Rather than focusing purely on calories, IIFYM tracks macronutrients instead. This is a diet that is becoming increasingly popular for those who want a happy balance of accountability and flexibility.
You will be given an allowance in the form of grams for all tiers of macronutrients but the way in which you spend it is completely up to you! Anything goes as long as you are meeting your quota.
How to meet your macros?
Congrats on making it this far and we are glad we haven’t lost you (yes, the realm of macro-talk can get even the best of us at times). Once you know how many grams of each macro you should be consuming on the daily, it is critical to track your food intake to determine you have some sort of follow through.
Some popular apps we recommend:
- My Macros+
We also recommend that you invest in a scale and weigh your food in grams – this will give you a very accurate insight on your macro intake.
Remember, it is important to set macronutrient goals that best work for you. When first considering all the elements involved in macros and counting them, it can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed. However, there are fitness professionals in Perth who will gladly navigate you through this territory. We are Perth-based pros who understand all the elements that come with macros and we want to ensure you are on your way to success.
Before you realise it, you will be counting macros like one of us.