Macros or calorie counting? What’s the best for weight loss?

A question I receive quite frequently- should I be counting macronutrients or calories to lose weight?

Let’s start off by taking it back to the basics so we can really understand the importance of each.

Macronutrients refer to the three essential nutrients that provide us calories in the diet- carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Each plays an important role in the body and each is required in certain amounts to sustain health.

Carbohydrate is a fancy word for sugar, all the cells of our body require sugar or glucose for energy and the brain and red blood cells rely on them. 

Protein is needed for immune function and serves as the building blocks for lean body muscle mass.

Fats are vital for fat-soluble vitamin absorption and are also involved in thermal insulation and organ protection. Of course, fats also provide a huge source of energy as the body needs it. 

We all require macronutrients in varying amounts which depends on the number of calories your body needs daily.

So, what’s more important for weight loss?

When it comes to weight loss, creating a calorie deficit- eating fewer calories than your body requires, is the formula to lose weight.

Understanding your macronutrient needs is also an important piece of the sustainable weight loss puzzle.

Losing weight means eating less, but a huge problem I see is that people have no idea what less means for their body and end up cutting calories way too low which backfires later.

When anyone is cutting calories, they are cutting one or multiple macronutrients. And because carbs tend to be the villain, they are usually the macro people try to remove from their diet.

Carbs are in breads, cereal, rice, pasta, yogurt, beans, fruit, chocolate, ice cream, and pastries.

Removing carbs is removing happiness!

Understanding your macronutrient goals gives you the confidence to eat enough carbs while losing weight which can improve satisfaction, prevent binge & crash dieting episodes, and help you remain consistent until you hit your goal weight.

It’s also important to note that weight loss ≠ fat loss.

Losing fat is losing fat.

Losing weight can mean losing fat AND muscle.

We want to hold onto our precious muscle since it helps improve our metabolism.

This can be done by consuming enough protein unique to what your body needs.

Knowing your macronutrient goals helps you understand your protein goal for optimal fat loss.

And lastly, I don’t talk much about fat but fat is an essential nutrient.

Meaning we need to obtain it from the diet. It’s just extremely rare to not consume enough fat since it’s easy to consume in the form of oil, cheese, butter, avocado, nuts, etc.

So remember, calories are QUEEN but macros MATTER!

Not sure of what your calorie & macro goals look like? Apply for Flexible Eating 101 here!

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