When we refer to macros we are usually referring to proteins, fats and carbohydrates (P/F/C). The macro diet is known as the ‘flexible diet’ since no foods are off limits provided it ‘fits your macros’. Many women today are turning to counting macros for weight loss, but is it really the best diet for you?
Since our bodies require a healthy amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates (P/F/C) on a daily basis, the macronutrient diet is an excellent tool to stay on top of daily intake.
Our bodies also require other nutrients, vitamins and minerals as well as adequate fiber intake in order to function at its best. Generally macronutrient dieters focus primarily on proteins, fats and carbohydrates (P/F/C).
That’s not to say the other daily requirements don’t matter, of course they do, but it is down to the dieter to ensure they are consuming quality calories as part of the macronutrient diet.
The macro diet
The macro diet isn’t too dissimilar to a calorie counting diet. But is counting macros for weight loss really necessary?
On the macro diet you still count calories, except in this instance you need to pay attention to where those calories are coming from, so that you can ensure you’re getting your daily (P/C/F) requirements.
Throughout the day you will eat ‘X’ amount of calories in protein – ‘X’ amount of calories in fat – and ‘X’ amount of calories in carbohydrates.
Why do macronutrients matter?
From a weight loss perspective, macro counting and calorie counting will yield pretty similar results. Assuming the bottom line calorie count is correct, weight loss will occur.
That’s generally how diets work.
So why further complicate things by counting macros?
What you eat isn’t just about calorie quantity, it’s about calorie quality.
The ‘if it fits your macros’ (IIFYM) movement has come to be a little bit disjointed in this instance.
While some people use ‘IIFYM’ as validation to eat foods that wouldn’t otherwise be considered ‘healthy’. Others understand that the fundamentals of the ‘IIFYM’ diet can only ‘forgive’ that mantra for so long.
Nothing can ever override the fact that quality calorie consumption is far better than junk foods that fit your macros.
Be mindful that for some, junk foods can trigger cravings, so in the long run, this can make things more difficult than they need to be.
Nonetheless; where the macro diet is concerned, anything can be consumed, provided it fits your macros.
So if you want it, and it fits, eat it (IIFYM). This is flexible dieting, and it works.
Just understand that what you eat on a macro diet shouldn’t be just about weight loss, it should also be about your physical performance and desired body composition.
If your only goal is weight loss; you’d do just as well counting calories. There’s no need to overcomplicate it.
Counting macros for weight loss in it’s basic format isn’t necessary.
The fundamentals of the macronutrient diet
The macro diet works on the basis that your body needs ‘X’ protein, ‘X’ fat and ‘X’ carbohydrate.
By strategically breaking these macronutrients down according to our current lifestyle, we are able to feed and work our bodies to maximum potential.
By eating in this way; we can start to alter our body composition more efficiently.
Each macronutrient serves a purpose
Our bodies need protein to help build and repair tissues, furthermore; protein is required to make enzymes, hormones, and other required bodily chemicals. Adequate protein intake also contributes to the development of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Fats give us energy and support cell protection and growth. They keep us warm and help us absorb essential nutrients from other foods.
Carbohydrates are an essential source of primary energy. Adequate carbohydrate intake prevents our bodies from dipping into our muscle stores for energy.
This is where the macro diet gets interesting
Macro dieting isn’t just about weight loss, it’s about feeding your body in a way that supports your goals towards an entirely new physique.
Now you know why bodybuilders use this method.
Don’t misunderstand this point; you can’t just eat to your macros and expect an entirely new physique, you must do the physical work too!
The point is; feed your body in a way that is going to compliment your physical efforts and desired outcome.
Food is fuel, but it is also a tool to help you build.
That is the basis of the macronutrient diet and the primary benefit of feeding your body in this way.
Getting started on a macro diet
Counting macros isn’t for everyone, it’s a pretty complicated diet to follow and takes some getting used to. That is why counting macros for weight loss alone isn’t a productive use of your time.
Don’t let the complexity of the macro diet put you off your physique goals, remember that nothing worth having comes easily. After a some time, it will become second nature.
To get started on the macro diet you’re going to need some essentials
- A reliable set of kitchen scales
- Measuring jug
- Tupperware and/or food bags for prepping portions
- A calculator
- Somewhere to keep track
If it fits your macros (IIFYM) it’s been accurately measured, calculated and recorded!
Be prepared to scrutinise food labels and research items that don’t come with labels.
Pay attention to and be careful with tracking apps that contain food lists with macro breakdowns already calculated. Some allow users to add their own calculations and as a result they’re not always accurate. Always check the numbers to be sure.
This may seem a little dramatic; but if you’re going to take this seriously, you need to be absolutely certain about what goes in your mouth.
Calculating your macros
Not all macro calculators are equal, that’s because they each have different objectives.
As explained at the beginning of this article; from a weight loss perspective, it doesn’t really matter which calculator you use, provided the bottom line calories are correct.
From the perspective of feeding your body for lean muscle growth, it matters a whole lot which calculator your use!
In order to get your daily macronutrients, you need to first calculate your BMR and TDEE; see our TDEE calculator.
The Lipstick Lifters macro calculator
If you want to go straight through to a calculator which has been designed for women who lift, check out our macro calculator. (sorry boys, this calculator isn’t suitable for you, nothing personal, just that its calculations are based on a woman’s daily requirements)
The reason our calculator is suitable for female weightlifters, is because it puts more emphasis on protein intake. As explained earlier; protein is essential for building and repairing tissues.
If you didn’t know; muscle growth occurs through tiny tears in your muscles, these tears are obtained during your lifting sessions.
Don’t worry; they repair themselves during your recovery phase, and result in bigger more defined lean muscles.
That is why you need your protein ladies!
Members Zone workout plans
Remember; macros alone can’t change your physique, you need to hit the gym with one of our dedicated workout plans…
Members Zone is your online portal of workout plans designed and influenced by real women who lift.
We also provide 1:1 support and accountability for those who need it.