These days the fitness industry gives you so many different ways to lose weight, tone up and stay fit and it can be difficult to decide what approach works best for you. This post is going to uncover some of the different benefits of clean eating and counting macros and hopefully help you to understand which one is right for you, your body and your goals.
What are macros?
Macronutrients (or macros for short) are the large nutrients that your body needs to stay in good health; they are fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Our bodies need certain amounts of each of these nutrients in order to survive properly and getting too little or too many of these can lead to unwanted weight loss or weight gain.
We all know somebody that counts their macros and spends their days meal prepping and weighing out all of their food, but is all of that effort really worth it?
Well yes, most body builders and fitness model competitors count their macros because it works and as you can tell, provides some fantastic results.
How can counting macros help me tone up?
There are specific calculations you can do to work out the percentage of macros you need. Whether you want to bulk up, maintain or lose fat or just develop a healthier diet, different calculations of macros can help you get there. If, like most of us, you don’t like maths there are loads of online calculators that do it all for you.
Macro counting is specific to you. It takes into account your weight, height, age, how often you exercise and what your goal is and from that gives you the percentage of carbohydrates, fats and proteins you should be consuming. Along with ensuring you are taking in the correct amount of calories each day, counting macros means you can measure out your food specifically to ensure your body is getting the exact amount of nutrients it needs. Add this to regular training and you can achieve truly fantastic results.
Are you willing to put the time in? Do you want to spend hours measuring/weighing out all of your food to make sure you’re getting the right amount of macros? It is heavily time-consuming and not everyone has this sort of time, or of course, this kind of patience, to go through with it.
Another disadvantage is that you have to be extremely prepared. You need to know exactly what you are going to eat in the day to ensure that you don’t go over or under your macros and for some people this lack of flexibility just isn’t doable. It may lead to excellent results but only if you’re truly determined.
Clean eating has had some stick over the last year but there is no reason why it should do. It’s a simple concept that provides you with a healthy lifestyle; eat real foods and get rid of processed junk. It has been made famous by celebs and Instagram influencers who are creating inspirational meals filled with whole foods.
The trick with clean eating is not to cut out entire food groups, so there is no need to cut out carbohydrates if you don’t have an intolerance to them. However, just make sure you choose the right ones; have less refined carbohydrates and more whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat.
Clean eating is all about having a varied diet using wholesome, non-processed foods, which can be pretty simple as long as you plan your meals. Plus, there is no calorie counting!
The reason that a lot of people are against clean eating is that some people have taken it too far and cut out complete food groups, which can result in a lack of nutrients in the body. Similarly, cutting out large amounts of food without a medical reason and not knowing how to maintain a good diet can also lead to malnutrition.
But all you need to do is make your food from scratch and be conscious about not chomping on too many takeaways and biscuits! You can see why people may opt for clean eating over counting macros as It is much easier for an everyday person to keep up with. Eating a diet without processed foods vs following a regime that sees you weighing out and measuring all of your food, is, of course, the less time-consuming option. That being said, they are both an equally great way to ensure your body is receiving the nutrients it needs.
So, have you decided what works best for you? There is no right answer, it is all about finding what works for you. No matter which you think would suit you and which (if any) you choose to adopt, it’s important to make sure you have a healthy and balanced diet.
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