The big difference between counting calories and tracking macros is that calories focus on quantity, while macros focus on quality. Macros are the building blocks of your food, and most items you eat provide two or even three macronutrients - (Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat)
Tracking macros encourages you to make healthier nutrition choices. A healthy diet plan consists of a balance of all three macros, so it ensures that you consume enough of each while fueling your body with the right amount of energy.
Monitoring calories is still important whether you are trying to lose weight or put on muscle, but it is when you are able to track your calories as a secondary data point to your marcos, that you will see the best results. Research has shown that when you have a calorie deficit and keep your protein high, that's when you will lose the most weight.
Protein : Has 4 calories per gram and is made up of amino acids that are the basic building blocks in the construction and repair of tissue such as muscle. Protein is also an essential tool for recovery, ensuring you keep your gains in the gym.
Carbohydrate: Has 4 calories per gram that are made up of sugars and starches. Carbohydrate is the main energy source for the body and brain and needs to be consumed in the largest amount of all of the macronutrients. When consumed and broken down by the body, carbohydrates provide the major source of energy to fuel our daily activities in the form of glycogen that is stored in the muscles and liver.
Fat: Has 9 calories per gram and our bodies need this to help with the absorption of vitamins and the regulation of hormones. They can also be used as an alternative fuel source when glucose is in short supply by being converted into ketones and distributed throughout the circulatory system. All cells in the body consist of a small fat membrane and so it is important to consume good fats to ensure proper cell function.
At the end of the day the body needs a balance of good fats, proteins and carbohydrates to perform optimally in the gym and throughout the day. The body is pretty amazing and is naturally designed to be metabolically flexible. This is where it can switch from using carbohydrates to fat for fuel if needed.
So next time you are planning your food for the day make sure you have a balance of good healthy options from all three macronutrient groups. If your daily nutrition is lacking in one it can affect your performance, recovery and how you absorb nutrients every day.