Macronutrients are fat, carbohydrates, and protein. They all play vital roles in the body. If you're looking to lose excess fat, you may be inclined to track and reduce carbs or fat to alter your diet.
People wanting to lose weight may even replace caloric tracking with macro tracking in the hopes that cutting a macro will give them the desired results.
Long story short- No, you do NOT need to track macros to lose weight.
Things to Consider
Consider what roles these macros play in health and fitness.
Consider reputable sources of information about weight loss studies and how weight or fat is lost. Are they trying to sell you something?
The three macros and what they do
Carbohydrates: Your body uses carbs for energy or stores the energy. Energy from carbs cab be stored in the muscles and liver or in your body as fat.
Fats: Your body uses this to protect your organs and cells. It can be used up for energy. Fats also play a role in hormone regulation.
Proteins: Your body breaks these down and rearranges them to build structures such a muscle. Too much protein can be stored as fat just like carbs and fats.
For the love of carbs
According to Harvard School of Public health article, the type of carbohydrate matters. Think about whole grains and fiber.
As a long distance or an endurance athlete, carbs are very much appreciated. Who's out there who is also an endurance athlete!?
Check out this video I created that gives the basics of carbs. If you are balancing the amount of carbs and "energy" you are taking in and then using up throughout the day -including daily activities and exercise, then you will maintain your weight. It doesn't matter if you are eating carbs. Long distance runners need 60% carbs, 25% protein, and 15% fat in their diets according to ISSA Sports nutrition course book.
Proteins are used to build muscle for those of us who are looking to gain lean mass! The ratio of macros will likely be different: around 40-60% protein.
So, please, consider what your goals are for fitness and weight loss. Diets want you to buy into a belief system.
Can I lose weight on a low carb diet?
Absolutely you can lose weight on a high protein/ low carb diet, but overall, that is most likely due to eating fewer calories.
Tips for weight loss:
Time restricted feeding can help you reduce calories without tracking. It may be an easy way for you to lose weight.
Track calories or food for weight loss. There are so many aps out there that can help you with this. It is good to have awareness.
Cut out all drinkable calories.
Experiment with spices to make carbs extra tasty- rather than adding a bunch of fat/ oil which has a lot of calories. One tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories.
Use nutrition for weight loss and exercise for fitness.