We Bring you topics from the fields of nutrition and Training to help you get started on your Journey.
For the longest time, ‘clean eating’ was the way to go for everyone looking to improve their health and fitness.
But then, a new concept came to life - calorie counting. With it, we also saw the rise of macronutrient counting, also known as if it fits your macros (IIFYM).
Ever since, people have sworn by these two approaches to weight loss, muscle growth, and good health.
The question is, which of the two is better?
Calorie Counting 101
We all burn a certain number of calories every day. Depending on our genetics, activity level, age, sex, height, weight, and other factors, our calorie expenditure is unique.
The goal of counting calories is to track how many calories we consume in relation to the amount we burn.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn, forcing your body to get the remaining calories it needs from fat and lean tissue. If you want to gain weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Once your body’s caloric needs are met, the surplus gets stored as lean and fat tissue.
Macronutrient Tracking 101
Since calorie counting is so reliable, then why would we need macro tracking? In essence, macro tracking is a form of calorie tracking, but with one extra step.
Each of the three macronutrients (carbs, fats, and protein) has an energetic value. Protein and carbs offer 4,1 calories per gram, and fats provide 9,3. For example, if you consume 10 grams of fats, that would be 93 calories.
In essence, macro tracking also counts your daily calorie intake. If you consume 150 grams of protein, 70 grams of fats, and 250 grams of carbs in a day, then you can easily figure out your calorie intake:
150 * 4,1 = 615 kcal
70 * 9,3 = 651 kcal
250 * 4,1 = 1,025 kcal
2,291 calories total
Which Is Better?
For general weight loss or gain, calorie tracking will be more than enough. But, if you also care about body composition outcomes (i.e., fat loss and muscle growth), you need to pay some attention to your macronutrients, as each plays a vital role in the equation.
With that said, the average person doesn’t need to track their carbs and fat intake. So long as you count your calories and hit your daily protein intake, you should be okay. This is a simpler and far more sustainable way to go about your nutrition.