Macronutrients, aka macros: they’re not just a buzzword; they’re a real thing, and they make up everything you eat. There are three: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. You may know about counting calories; it’s been the mainstay of weight loss and weight management for decades. However, digging deeper into what makes up those calories can have a greater impact on your weight loss.

Why are macros important?

Macros: carbs, proteins, and fats are the building blocks of all the energy we consume—the source of food and drink. These are the main nutrients in your body that you need to supply for proper functioning, and they’re needed in pretty large amounts. Understanding macros’ function in your body will support your weight loss journey and maintain a healthy weight. This valuable knowledge is a major piece to the unique puzzle of what makes a healthy lifestyle for you. (Source:

“Calories are important for weight loss, but understanding macronutrients will help you stay on track and achieve long-term weight loss.” (Source:

Should you count them?

Some people find it easier to count the grams of carbohydrates, fats, or proteins that they consume in a day, rather than just calories. This ensures that they are getting the correct macro balance that will help with their weight loss.

For the record:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories
  • 1 gram of protein has 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat has 9 calories.

The higher calorie per gram of fat is why we try to limit our fat intake, and when we do consume fat, we prefer it to be the good fat that has health benefits. So, although one gram of carbs and one gram of protein has the same number of calories it is helpful to not view them as equals. The body utilizes each macro differently. Your body is fueled by what you eat.

Determine your macros?

Read the nutrition label on your food. Choose foods that have lower sugar content, as excess carbs may get stored as fat if not burned off as energy. Find a balance between the three macros that helps to fit your goal but meets the body’s essential nutritional needs. Since every body is different, a health coach or other professional trained in nutrition is best suited to review a metabolic analysis and make recommendations.

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