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Why Calorie Counting May Not Be the Best Solution for Fat Loss

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Hey there, you fabulous, super-busy, superhero mom!

I know life is a chaotic whirlwind of diapers, school runs, soccer practices, work, and everything in between. On top of all that, you're on a mission to shed a few pounds and get back to your pre-kid glory days.

If you're like me, you've probably gone through the rollercoaster ride of trying to shed those extra pounds and get your body feeling its best. The world of diets and weight loss can be confusing, but fear not, I'm here to break it down for you in a way that's as fun as a Netflix binge with a tub of ice cream (yes, we've all been there!).

Calorie counting might not be your saving grace, and I'm here to tell you why.

There are two popular approaches to achieving your dream body – counting calories and tracking macros. Both methods have their merits, but I'm here to tell you why counting macros might just be your secret weapon for long-term health and those dreamy body composition goals.

Body comp

Let's start with calories – the OG of weight loss. We all know them, love them, and sometimes hate them. Counting calories can be effective in helping you lose weight because, well, it's all about creating a calorie deficit.

But it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

The problem is that calorie counting often ignores food quality and nutrient density.

Sure, calories matter, but not all calories are created equal. A calorie from a donut isn't the same as a calorie from broccoli. Plus, living solely on a calorie-restricted diet can leave you feeling hangry and deprived. And hangry moms aren't very fun to be around – just ask my family!

Imagine you have two meals with the same number of calories: Meal A is a cheeseburger with fries, and Meal B is a grilled chicken breast with steamed broccoli. If you're strictly counting calories, both meals might appear equivalent. However, when you look at the macros, Meal A may be heavy on unhealthy fats and carbs but low on protein and essential nutrients, while Meal B offers lean protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.

A diet consisting solely of calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods can lead to nutritional deficiencies, decreased energy, poor overall health and when you look in the mirror you'll see skinny fat vs fit.

Counting macros, encourages you to pay attention to the types of calories you're consuming. It ensures a more balanced intake of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, allowing you to prioritize the nutrients your body needs for energy, muscle growth, and overall well-being.

Monitoring protein intake is essential for improving body composition, improving insulin sensitivity, and increasing metabolism. Adequate protein helps maintain muscle mass, and muscle mass is how you transform your mom bod into mom bod-terminator.

Weight loss generally requires a caloric deficit, meaning you're consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. When you're in a caloric deficit, your body looks for energy sources, and it can break down both fat and muscle tissue.

Insufficient protein intake can contribute to muscle loss during weight loss. Protein is essential for muscle maintenance and repair. If you don't consume enough protein in your diet, your body may use your muscle tissue as an energy source.

Why Macros Are the Real MVP?

Enter the superhero of the nutrition world – macros! Macronutrients, or macros for short, are the three main categories of nutrients that make up our food: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Counting macros focuses on balancing these nutrients in your diet, rather than obsessing over the calorie count.

Why is this approach better for long-term success? Let me break it down for you.

  • Counting macros helps you eat a balanced diet, providing sustained energy throughout the day. No more energy crashes that leave you napping while the kids are watching cartoons. Your day will become a breeze!

  • Build and Maintain Muscle: Protein is your best friend when it comes to muscle building and maintenance. Macros ensure you get enough protein to help you sculpt your dream body, not just shrink it.

  • Fats Aren't the Enemy: Good fats are essential for overall health. Counting macros helps you include healthy fats in your diet, keeping your skin glowing and your hair looking fabulous.

  • Carb Timing: With macros, you can strategically time your carbohydrate intake to fuel your workouts, recover faster, and keep blood sugars more stable. Say goodbye to those dreaded post-workout aches and pains, and no energy days.

Incorporating macros into your diet means you can enjoy a variety of foods while still progressing towards your health and body composition goals. It's like having your cake and eating it too – as long as you count the macros in it!

Tracking macros (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) in addition to overall calorie intake provides a more nuanced approach to improving body composition. This approach ensures that you're not only controlling your calorie intake but also optimizing the distribution of macronutrients to support your fitness and health goals.

To minimize muscle loss during weight loss, you can:

Consume Adequate Protein: Ensure your diet includes enough protein to support muscle maintenance. Aim for about 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight or goal weight.

Incorporate Strength Training: Engage in resistance or strength training exercises 2 to 3 times a week. This can help preserve and even build muscle while losing fat.

Gradual Weight Loss: Aim for a slow and gradual rate of weight loss (around 1-2 pounds per week) rather than rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss increases the likelihood of muscle loss, as well as makes it harder for you to lose in the know the 5 to 10lbs that you just cant seem to lose.

Stay Active: Incorporate regular physical activity to maintain muscle and metabolism. Such as taking walks with your family, or performing yard work. A combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training can be beneficial.

Monitor Your Caloric Intake: Ensure your caloric deficit isn't too extreme. Extreme calorie restriction can lead to significant muscle loss. The faster you lose weight, the faster you lose muscle.

Two of my favorite tracking apps to track are My Fitness Pal and 1st Phorm.

Humor is your best friend on this journey. Laugh at your little slip-ups, embrace the occasional indulgence, and keep your focus on long-term health and happiness. Your journey to a healthier you can be a fun and delicious one. So, go ahead, get started on that macro-counting adventure, and let's toast to a healthier, happier, and less hangry you! Cheers!

If you ever need any help or have any questions regarding your fat loss journey- feel free to Email me

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