A question I get a lot from my Sweet Life Fitness community is: “Coach Bob, I am hitting macros but not calories”. Now of course if you aren’t sure what the heck I am talking about but somehow stumbled to this page, check out “What are Macros?” and “How to Use MyFitnessPal“. Essentially macros and calories are all part of the steps to eating better, tracking what you eat, and using it to either build muscle, lose fat, or both.
So…what if I told you that hitting macros but not calories was a fairy tale? It is impossible to hit macros and not calories, and calories but not macros. These two are related. Check out the video below to see more on why this may happen.
Hitting Macros but not Calories – The Explanation
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Hitting Macros but not Calories – WHY this actually can happen!
So if you are still a bit bugged out as to how it all works, here is a bit more nerd info:
Macronutrients are comprised of Protein, Carbs, and Fats (you need all three to master nutrition the right way). For every gram of macronutrient, there are calories that are associated with those grams:
- 1 GRAM PROTEIN = 4 calories
- 1 GRAM CARBOHYDRATE = 4 calories
- 1 GRAM FAT = 9 calories
If you are properly tracking both your calories and macronutrients with something like MyFitnessPal, you’ll notice that calories are actually associated with the grams of macronutrients.
The FIRST thing you should do is know the percentage of macronutrients you need per day based on your goal. For example:
- Fat Shredder Plan (high protein): 50% protein / 30% carbs / 20% fats. This means 50% of your total calorie intake will be comprised of protein, 30% carbs, 20% fats.
- Coach Bob’s Optimal Macros (fat loss & athletic performance): 30% protein / 40% carbs / 30% fats.
- Bulking (Muscle Building / Body Building) Plan: 25% protein / 50% carbs / 25% fats.
The next thing you want to do is calculate your calories to see how much you should be eating each day (based on your current weight and future goals).
Finally, TRACK TRACK TRACK!
Once you know your calories and you plug that into MyFitnessPal (or your favorite tracking app), you focus on hitting your grams of macronutrients. The calories should then fall in place (within a few grams/calories here and there). The real trick is to prep your meals in advance so you have everything planned and avoid unnecessary “emergencies”.
Hitting macros but not calories will be a thing of the past!
Tired of tracking Macros and Calories?
I now use the portion containers to track everything. They can still be used for many goals: Fat loss, athletic performance, or muscle bulking.
Do you still have questions about hitting macros but not calories? Comment below and let’s chat more!
Yours in Fitness Success,