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Dec 26

How to count macros for weight loss and why registered dietitians often consider it a better method than calor – Business Insider India

Macronutrients (or macros) are the kinds of nutrients that y our body needs in large amounts to provide energy. Think carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Some people prefer to track their macros, rather than calorie intake, when improving their diet.

"Macronutrients contribute calories, so by tracking macronutrients, you are essentially counting total calories intake as well," says Emily Field, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian with a private practice in New York City. Macro counting (sometimes called "flexible dieting") is often considered more beneficial than calorie counting because it takes into account where the calories are coming from.

"Counting macros means that you are simply adding up the total number of grams of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins of the food items that you are consuming per meal or per day," says Andrea Marincovich, RD, registered dietitian and founder of The Realistic Dietitian.


First, you need to calculate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) or the total number of calories that you burn in a day, which accounts for your resting energy expenditure (REE) and activity level. You can compute your TDEE using the Mifflin-St Jeor formula, an equation for REE that was developed in 1990:

"Macronutrient needs, or targets, are determined by variables like sex, age, weight, height, and physical activity level," says Field. Here is the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR), according to the Food and Nutrition Board:

It's a broad range, so you can adjust the macro ratio depending on your dietary preferences. For example, a strength-training athlete can increase their protein and carbohydrates, while a person monitoring their blood sugar might want to reduce their carbohydrate percentage and increase their fat intake instead.

Calculating macros is often confusing at first and it may take some time to adjust, even for experienced calorie counters. Here is a sample computation for an individual intending to consume 1,500 calories a day composed of 45% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 35% fat:

With these proportions, here's how a day's meals might look like:

People often track their macros intake to meet their nutrition and fitness goals. However, if your objective is to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your TDEE to have a calorie deficit, which results in weight loss. You can eat the foods you like as long as you hit your macronutrient targets consistently. It's important to increase physical activity and maintain a healthy diet as well.

"Counting macros is a diet in its own right where an individual consumes balanced meals composed of food items that they select," says Marincovich. Regardless of which macros you choose to reduce or prioritize, you can lose weight as long as there is an overall caloric deficit.

"It's not hard to count macros, but it does take effort and energy, which can make it hard for some people. Learning to count macros is a behavior change," says Marincovich. It can be overwhelming to establish a whole new way of looking at food and putting together meals, but there is definitely a learning curve to it, she says.

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How to count macros for weight loss and why registered dietitians often consider it a better method than calor - Business Insider India

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