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If you’re no stranger to the “health & fitness” world of the internet, it’s likely you’ve heard the terms “tracking macros”, "flexible dieting", or the infamous “IIFYM" (if it fits your macros).

But are you familiar with exactly what it means, and if it’s actually beneficial or not for YOU?

Here we discuss what macro-tracking is, its pros and cons, and other important insights such as who may enjoy it or who should avoid it altogether!

What is "Macro-Tracking"?

"Tracking macros" (or macronutrients) is a form of counting calories in which you track a personalized daily percentage of protein, carbs, and fat based on your age, weight, height, activity level, goals, and more.

It’s done by measuring each of the three macronutrients in grams and is typically logged using a tracking app such as MyFitnessPal or Chronometer.

Each gram of protein, carb, and fat equates to a specific number of calories:

1 gram of protein = 4 calories

1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories

1 gram of fat = 9 calories

With this, your personal macronutrient “split” equals your total daily calorie needs for your goal (caloric goals = deficit, maintenance, or surplus).

Pros & Cons of Tracking Macros

As with many dietary tools, tracking macronutrient intake has its pros and cons which should be carefully reviewed before considering its use in your health & wellness journey.


  • Effective for working towards specific nutrition/physique goals

  • Aids in monitoring intake of vitamins & minerals

  • Helpful when learning the macronutrient (protein, carb, fat) breakdown of food

  • Provides insight on how many calories your body needs daily for maintenance


  • Unsustainable/unrealistic long-term approach for most

  • Tendency to view food as "numbers" rather than nutrients

  • Prone to ignoring the body's hunger and satiety cues

  • Possibility of fixation and/or disordered eating habits

Is Tracking Macros Right for YOU?

Well, that's entirely up to you, my friend!