Counting Calories vs. Counting Macros

counting calories vs counting macros

If you’re someone who’s already counting calories, then you may think “oh no, not another thing to count!”

Counting macros can be great for your health though, and it makes counting calories more meaningful. Here’s your detailed guide on counting calories vs counting macros. 

Why You Should Count Calories

A calorie is simply a unit of energy

Every food contains energy, and we use calories to understand how much energy each piece of food gives us. 

To maintain a steady weight, we need to consume a similar number of calories as we burn through exercise. If there’s an imbalance in this equation, then it can lead to weight loss or weight gain. 

This is why it’s a common practice to count calories – it’s important to know how much energy you’re putting into your body, so you can compare it to the amount of energy you’re expending. 

So, how do calories and macronutrients fit together?

Why You Should Count Macronutrients 

The name might sound a little complicated, but macronutrients are actually quite simple. 

If you break the words up, it gives you a pretty good idea of what macronutrients are:

  • Macro: large scale
  • Nutrients: Substances that provide nourishment essential for life and growth

Macronutrients are the large nutrient groups you need to fuel your body: 

  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Proteins

All of these nutrients provide you with different elements your body needs, including calories. 

So, when we’re talking about counting calories vs counting macros, we’re actually talking about similar things. Macros just give you a deeper picture of how you consume calories and the different nutrients you need to fuel your body (as with these Six Macro-Friendly Breakfast Recipes).

Counting Macros vs Calories

The equation behind counting calories is quite simple – if you want to lose weight, then you need to consume fewer calories than you expend. 

However, your body still needs important nutrients to function, so just looking at calories can distort the picture. This is where counting macros comes in to help give you a better understanding of your diet. 

Rather than looking at it as counting calories vs counting macros, you should see them as working together. Counting macros can allow you to track your calorie intake in more detail and manage your consumption in a more healthy way. 

Taking a well rounded approach to losing weight and getting stronger is the most important thing.

Tips for Tracking Calories and Macronutrients

You can use macronutrients to create a better diet that’s still focused on controlling your calories. Here are three quick tips to help you track your calories and micronutrients.

  • Work out your ideal calorie intake (this will differ for everyone, but this handy calculator can help).
  • Decide your ideal macronutrient breakdown (an average breakdown is: 
    • Carbs: 46-65% of total calories
    • Fat: 20-35% of total calories
    • Proteins: 10-35% of total calories
  • Say your calorie goal is 2,000 calories a day, and 50% of that should be carbs, then you know you need to eat 1,000 calories a day in carbs.

Now you have a clear picture of how many calories you need to eat and in what forms you should be consuming them.

Calories and Macronutrients as Part of a Balanced Plan 

Understanding your calorie intake is one side of the equation of achieving your perfect weight. The other side is the number of calories you burn each day. 

If you’re going to achieve long-lasting results, for losing weight, gaining weight, or maintaining your weight, then you need to find a balance for each side of the equation. 

We all recognize that this can be challenging while maintaining a busy lifestyle, and that’s why I’ve made it easier with my curated SloaneSquad app

Join my SloaneSquad and find out more about creating the right plan for your body!