Should you track calories or macros to lose weight?
There are many different ways that people attempt to lose weight. Some people choose to track their calories, others track their macros, and still others do neither. So, which is the best way to go? Should you be tracking calories or macros in order to see results? Let's take a closer look at each option and find out.
1. What are calories and macros, and what do they have to do with weight loss?
Calories are a unit of measurement that represent the amount of energy in food. When we eat, our bodies convert the calories in food into energy that we use to power our cells and perform all of the various functions that keep us alive. The number of calories we need to consume each day depends on our age, activity level, and other factors.
Macronutrients, or macros, are the three main types of nutrients that our bodies need in order to function properly: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All foods contain a mix of all three macros, but they are typically found in different proportions. For example, most fruits and vegetables are mostly carbs, while meats and cheeses are higher in protein. And as you might guess, oils and nuts are mostly made up of fat.
Consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain, while consuming too few can result in weight loss. And when it comes to losing weight, the ratio of macros you consume is also important. A common approach is to eat a diet that is lower in carbs and higher in protein, as this has been shown to be effective for weight loss. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so it's important to work with a nutrition professional to create a plan that is right for you.
2. How to you track calories or macros, and which is better for weight loss?
There are a few different ways to track calories or macros, and which is better for weight loss depends on the individual. The most common method is to use a food diary, in which you record everything you eat and drink throughout the day. This can be helpful in terms of seeing patterns in your eating habits, but it can be difficult to keep up with. Another option is to use a food tracking app, which can be easier to use and often has more features than a food diary. Some apps even allow you to scan barcodes, which can make tracking calories and macros even easier. Ultimately, the best way to track calories or macros is the method that works best for you and that you are most likely to stick with.
3. What are the benefits of tracking calories or macros, and which is better for you personally?
One of the best ways to stay on top of your health is to track your calorie intake. This can help you prevent weight gain, maintain a healthy weight, and even lose weight. There are two main ways to track calories: by tracking your macros or by tracking your overall calorie intake. Both have their pros and cons.
Tracking your macros means tracking the three main nutrients that make up calories: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. This can give you a better idea of which foods are giving you the most energy and nutrients. However, it can be more time-consuming and frustrating tying to stay within your targets compared to only tracking your overall calorie intake.
Tracking your overall calorie intake is simpler because you don't need to track separate nutrient amounts. However, you may not get as much information about the quality of the diet you're consuming.
Ultimately, the best way to track is the method that gets you results.
This is why at Box, we recommend by starting by only tracking your calories. This is because it requires less effort than tracking your macros and increases your chances of being consistent and successful.
Once you are able to consistently stay within your calories (for at least 3 weeks), we recommend you start tracking your protein. This is still easier than balancing all of your macros but will still bring about great results if weight loss is your goal.
Download your free macro guide for more help understanding how much to eat
4. How do you make sure you're getting the right amount of both nutrients for weight loss success?
When it comes to weight loss, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person may not work for another. This is why a metabolism test can be so useful. A metabolism test can help you understand your body's individual needs and what approach will work best for you. With this knowledge, you can tailor your diet and exercise plan to ensure that you're getting the right amount of food without starving yourself for successful weight loss. If you're not sure how to get started, talk to a nutrition coach like at Box Nutrition who will be able to put together a plan based on your metabolic testing results, that fits your unique needs and goals.
5. What are some tips for staying on track with calorie or macro tracking while still enjoying your food life?
If you're trying to stay on track with your diet, you may be thinking that you have to give up all of the foods you love. However, that doesn't have to be the case! There are plenty of ways to enjoy your food while still staying on track. Here are a few tips:
Plan ahead: If you know you're going to be indulging in a big meal or snack, make sure to plan for it ahead of time. That way, you can adjust your other meals accordingly and make sure you're still staying within your calorie or macro budget.
Portion control: It's okay to indulge occasionally, but make sure you're doing so in moderation. Don't go overboard and eat twice as much as you normally would. Instead, focus on quality over quantity and savour each bite.
Make healthy swaps: If there's a particular food you love but know isn't exactly diet-friendly, try making a healthier version at home. There are often easy swaps you can make, such as using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or swapping out some of the carbs for more veggies.
By following these tips, you can enjoy your food while still staying on track with your diet goals.
If you’re looking to start tracking your food intake, we recommend using a calorie and macro tracker. It’s a great way to get an idea of how many calories you’re eating and what percentage of your diet is made up of protein, carbs, and fat. There are several trackers on the market, so find one that suits your preferences. And finally, don’t forget about metabolic testing! This can provide invaluable information about the right number of calories for you and help ensure that you reach your weight loss goals in a healthy way.
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