Counting Macros

Counting Macros

Counting macros AKA IIFYM—or “If It Fits Your Macros”—is a flexible method of dieting that involves tracking and eating a set amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats (aka macronutrients) based on your lifestyle. It’s essentially a form of guided calorie counting that can dramatically change your body composition. Losing weight really comes down to eating fewer calories than you expend, and any method of cutting calories will result in weight loss; however, the quality and permanence of that weight loss can vastly differ. Knowing how much of each macronutrient to include in your diet—rather than just counting general calories—will yield better results.

For example: If your diet and exercise routine puts you in a caloric deficit (burning more calories than you consume each day), but you aren’t eating enough protein, your body will break down your hard-earned muscle and use it as energy. Or, if you aren’t getting enough carbohydrates, you’ll likely feel weak and unable to perform during workouts. Carbs are fuel! And if you cut out too much fat from your diet, your growth hormone levels may drop, stalling weight loss or making it more difficult for you to build muscle.

Yes, you can lose weight by cutting calories, but we aren’t just interested in dropping the pounds. We want a toned, athletic, healthy body. For that, counting calories isn’t enough—you need to count your macros.

With IIFYM, there aren’t “good” and “bad” foods; it’s all just food. IIFYM is built on the basic knowledge of macronutrients and gives you a precise amount of each to include in your diet. If you want ice cream for dessert, have it! Just make sure to stick to your daily allotment of carbs or fat. If it fits into your macros, it’s not a cheat, it’s not bad—it fits! And if it fits into your macros, you can eat it guilt-free.

If you want an in-depth look at counting macros, download my free Macros 101 guide!

Amber Brueseke