Over the last three lessons, you have learned about the three macronutrients fat, carbohydrate, and protein their role in the body, and how much of each you need.

Even armed with all this knowledge you still may be confused as to WHY people COUNT their macros and how you can do it!

This lesson will teach you why people count their macros, what flexible dieting and “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) dieting are, and how you can easily count your macros.

Why People “Count” Their Macros

In short, counting macros is a way to:

  • Control the calories you consume based on your goals
  • Ensure you are preserving or building muscle mass by eating adequate protein
  • Fuel training by eating the right amount of carbs to perform your best without storing fat.
  • Ensure proper hormone and nervous system function by eating adequate fat.

What are IIFYM and Flexible Dieting?

You may also have heard the terms IIFYM, short for “If It Fits Your Macros”, and “Flexible Dieting”.

These are two macro counting concepts that do not necessarily control for the quality of food you eat, as long as at the end of the day the food you ate fits your macros.

These are definitely effective dietary strategies for body recomposition in the short term, there is no denying that.

BUT they are missing the complete picture of nutrition and the long-term effects of ignoring food quality and other important nutritional considerations.

We will address these issues in the next lesson, but first I will teach you how to count your macronutrients.

How to Count Your Macros

Download your calorie and macros for crossfit guide

Step 1: Calculate your macronutrient targets

The way it works is simple. Each day you start with a target number (usually in grams) of each macronutrient that you want to consume.

The first three lessons about protein, carbohydrate, and fat should have given you enough information to calculate roughly where your macronutrient targets should be set each day.

If you still need some assistance, Beyond Macros coaches will calculate the EXACT macronutrient targets a client needs to reach their goals.

Step 2: Add up the macros in your food.

Over the course of the day, you add up the total macronutrients in all of the food that you eat. The totals for protein, carbohydrate, and fat should equal your daily goal.

This might seem like a difficult process. Who knows off hand how much carb, protein, and fat are in a food? Especially if it doesn’t have a label!

Websites like calorieking.com can help you find out how much of each macronutrient is in your food, while food journaling services like MyFitnessPal will help you automatically calculate the macros you eat each day.

All Beyond Macros clients are encouraged to use MyFitnessPal to easily keep track of their macros each day, and if you’ve been convinced to count your macros, you should, too!

Step 3: If you don’t hit your macros, review your journal and plan ahead.

This is the most important step. You probably won’t easily hit your macronutrient targets on Day 1. If you take the time to review your food journal and see the mistakes that you made, you can plan ahead to do better tomorrow.

This is also why having a coach can be such a game changer when it comes to counting your macros.

Whether you’re a busy entrepreneur burning the candle at both ends, or a CrossFit Games athlete who gets paid to be fit, your Beyond Macros coach will help you identify easy-to-prepare meals, convenient snack options, and the habits you need to hit your macronutrient targets each day.

Coming Up Next

You will learn about the shortcomings of macronutrient counting and discover how to make sure you don’t also fall victim to the siren song of flexible dieting. You’ll also learn how to ensure long-term health and sustainable results from your dietary plan.