What Is Counting Macros – Is It Important In Bodybuilding?

May 8, 2022 0 Comments


In this article I will explain “what is counting macros” and I will discuss whether it is important in bodybuilding. I will provide a detailed discussion of the topic in this article. By the end you will have all the information you need to make an informed decision yourself when it comes to counting macros.

What Is Counting Macros?

The average person will have no idea what a “macro” is. Some might have encountered macros in Microsoft Excel, however I am talking about a different type of macro in this article. 

Macro is essentially short for macronutrient. These are the nutrients that we need in big amounts to provide our bodies with the fuel that it needs to function optimally in daily life. These are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water. 

Counting macros is the act of tracking the quantity of each of these macronutrients we are consuming daily. You can also track total calories consumed daily to get an idea of the bigger picture in terms of calorie consumption. 


Is It Important To Count Macros In Bodybuilding?

In my opinion it is important to count macros in bodybuilding. There are many reasons for this. One of the biggest reasons is that by counting macros you will learn a massive amount about nutrition. A lot of lifters still view nutrition as an afterthought. The reality is that nutrition is just as important as your training. 

By having more knowledge about what you are consuming and the ratios between carbohydrates, proteins and fats you have a lot of information at your disposal. You can manipulate your nutrition a lot easier to achieve various goals. For instance, if you want to get leaner you can increase your protein whilst lowering your carb consumption. 

If you have no idea what you are consuming on a daily basis then it is very difficult to manipulate your nutrition to the same degree. You have a lot more control when you count macros and can see firsthand the effects that altering things can have on your body composition and energy levels. For example, do you find that if you reduce your carb consumption to certain levels that your energy levels fall off a cliff?


Downsides Of Counting Macros

It is important to mention that there are also downsides to this practice. The biggest downside is an obvious one. It is simply a big hassle to have to measure everything out for every meal and track your macros before you can sit down and enjoy your meal. It is a lot more enjoyable to be able to enjoy your food without the pain of having to track every fine detail of the macronutrients.

Another issue is alientation from other people and friction. Bodybuilding already makes you stand out from the crowd. Most people don’t have the discipline required to train consistently, eat clean, take supplements, etc. If you are out with friends or family enjoying a meal, it can cause added stress having to explain that you are tracking your macros. Many people won’t understand why you are doing it and may view you as an “oddball”. 

In turn this could cause you to not go out to restaurants with friends and family. Thus reinforcing your alientation and isolation from others in society. 

Practical Implementation

After examining some downsides to counting macros, how can we implement this in a practical way that mitigates a lot of the downsides? 

This is what I am going to discuss now. One of the best ways is to eat a lot of the same meals regularly. This could be ground beef, rice and vegetables as an example. By doing this it means you will already have a good idea of the macros for that meal and can therefore eliminate having to track macros for the same meal continually.

This is an ideal solution. Another way to navigate this is to start counting macros daily for a whole month. Then after this period ease off a little when it comes to counting macros religiously. In the first month you will already have educated yourself on the ins and outs of your own nutrition. The key is to be in the ballpark and have a rough idea of how many calories you are consuming daily and the macros. It does not need to be done with master precision!

In addition, you could only choose to go really deep into counting your macros with precision if you are encountering a specific plateau in your training. Maybe you are training for fat loss but can’t get below 10% body fat. Then you can really drill down into your nutrition with laser focus. The same can also be said for plateaus in the gym, if a lift has stalled for many months you can take the time to really examine your macros and manipulate them so that you can bust through your training plateau.

For the social aspect, it would be a good idea to ease off counting macros when you are eating out in the company of friends and family. Just factor this into your nutrition plan and be sure to make healthy food choices at restaurants that are well balanced. 



To conclude, yes it is important to count macros for bodybuilding. It serves to improve your knowledge of nutrition and the effects that different macro intakes can have on your body composition, strength and energy levels. This is all incredibly useful in order to achieve your fitness goals.

If you are a competitive bodybuilder then it is a necessity to be knowledgable about nutrition and understand and track your macros daily. However, at the same time there are negatives to counting macros and there is a practical way that we can implement this which can reduce these downsides.

We can eat the same meal many times to reduce the stress and time of having to continuously track our macros each time. This will save a lot of unnecessary headaches! Finally, we can can ease off tracking macros as strictly for meals out with friends and family. The most important takeaway is to “be good enough but good enough consistently”.

Don’t aim for perfection but strive for improvement through consistently doing more good things than bad. This also applies to all aspects of life.

If you enjoyed this article please leave me a comment below and share your thoughts. 

As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

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