The New Un-Diet

Make losing weight easier by counting macros, not calories.

Illustration by Orlando Hoetzel

Proponents of macro counting say that you can eat anything and still lose weight by tracking macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fats—instead of calories. The result is supposed to be a balanced, satisfying diet that leads to steady weight loss, better body composition (you lose fat, not muscle), and plenty of energy. Because you can eat any foods that fit your macro allotment, you don’t feel deprived or tempted to cheat.

“People are successful with these plans because they can be done by anyone, and they provide the right amount of flexibility,” says Mike Doehla, the founder of Stronger U (StrongerU.com), a nutrition coaching service. “You can use your macros as you see fit, and some days that’s pizza or ice cream. That said, it’s almost impossible to hit a decent macro breakdown without eating good quality foods most of the time.”

If you want to try it, input your height, weight, etc. at a website like HealthyEater.com to calculate your personal macros. Then, use a phone app like My Fitness Pal to look up foods and track your meals. Start by eating normally for a week, but use a food scale to weigh portions and log everything. Note where you need to tighten up—perhaps add egg whites to your morning toast, or cut down on the cream in your coffee. Then, plan each day to meet your macros, keeping your food choices simple so they’re easy to track, and watch the magic happen.


This article originally appeared in our April 2019 issue.

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