If you’re confused the whole “calories vs macros” thing and how they effect your weight loss/fitness journey, you’re in the right place. I’ve gotchu.
I’ve touched on this before, but I get questions about this topic SO often that I figured I’d talk about it again.
I’m sure you’ve always heard the saying “calories in, calories out”. If you burn more calories than you eat, you’ll lose weight. If you eat more than you burn, you’ll gain weight. While this is definitely true, it’s more about the TYPE of calories you’re eating that effects your weight loss/fitness goals.
By “type of calories”, I mean macronutrients (or “macros” for short). The three macros are fat, carbs, and protein. Each has it’s own caloric value per gram; 9 calories per gram of fat and 4 calories per gram of both carbs and protein. You with me so far? Ok, good.
So let’s say Lisa has just starting out in her fitness journey starts tracking calories (instead of macros) and sets their limit to 1700 calories/day. As long as she sticks to their 1700 calories and burns more than that, she’ll lose weight, right? Yes, but that doesn’t mean she’s losing all fat. If she’s not eating enough protein for her body’s needs, she could be actually be losing MUSCLE and gaining FAT. Ahh, heck nah!
Now, let’s say Lisa sets their calories to 1700 a day, but tracks the MACROS associated with these calories instead of just the calories alone. To make it simple, let’s give her a moderate ratio of 45% carbs (191 grams), 30% protein (127 grams), and 25% fat (47 grams). (*Note: this ratio changes based on a person’s fitness goals, height/weight, age, etc. So don’t just go assume those numbers are for everyone!). This ratio will ensure that she’s getting enough protein to build/support lean muscle, eating fat to support brain, heart, and hormonal health, and enough carbs to support energy levels.
Granted, macro ratios can change based on a variety of factors (some I mentioned above): age, ht/wt, fitness goals, workout intensity, current body composition, insulin sensitivity, etc. But overall, MACROS are what are going to give you the fat loss/lean and toned look you’re after - not CALORIES.
I hope that makes sense! I’m here if you have any questions at all - just comment or email me. And if you’re unsure of what macros you should be aiming for, I can help with that, too! I actually offer that as a service through this site (under “train with me”). I can do a one-time calculation to get you in the right direction, and I can also follow you for 12 weeks, doing weekly email check-in’s and making changes as needed. Just hit me up!