Macros or macronutrients seem to be the new talk in the dieting/fitness world but what exactly does tracking macros mean?
Let's begin with what macros are. Macros are short for macronutrients. Macronutrients are protein. carbohydrates, and fats. These are found in all foods, some containing just one nutrient or a combination between several.
When someone is tracking their macros they count the grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats that they eat in a day. It is a more detailed way of tracking food over just counting calories or points. The biggest argument for tracking macros is that a more balanced way of eating is promoted in that you have to take in so much protein, carb, and fat rather than fill your diet with only carbs and fats.
With tracking individual protein, carbs, and fats it can help break the dieting mold of thinking foods are off limits. Everything can fit into your diet! It is all about balance. Sometimes it can be hard to think about dedicating some more calories to a fun food and take away a bit more from the rest of the day. When tracking macros it is easy to dedicate the numbers to the item you want and seeing you have only so much left for the day. This may also be an eye opening experience for some. Realizing exactly how many carbs and fats are in that food might not exactly be worth it. Learning how to pick and choose is a skill in learning true moderation and balance.
One downside at times is that fitting in fun foods can take the priority over nutrition. It is still important to check in with yourself and see how your performance is going, sleep patterns, digestion, and energy are feeling. The 80/20 rule is still really important to follow. We should fuel our bodies with nutrient dense foods most of the time over ultra processed foods. Then on occasion those enjoyable foods; ice cream, cookies, potato chips, can have their place.