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TOPIC: hit your macros or hit your calorie goal

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July 30, 2013 12:20 PM
What is more important when it comes to basic weight loss? Not body re-composition.

I currently weight 205, started out in February at 232. I have a three phase weight loss/fitness plan. The goal of Phase I is just lose the extra poundage, about 50lbs to get down to 180lbs. Phase II goal is to get to a healthy weight (165lbs), BF% (35%) and BMI (28%). Phase III goal is to get to my ultimate dream weight/fitness level of 146lbs, 28% BF and 25 BMI. I plan to use heaving lifting and macros to accomplish Phase II and III goals, but right now I'm just concentrating on eating at at 25% deficit, cardio (walking 3miles x 5-6x/week) for calorie burning and SL5x5 (novice level) for muscle retention.

I have my macros set at 40/30/30 C/P/F. I do pretty good hitting my daily cals of 1880 +/- 100 (daily total averaged over the week is closer to 1750 cals/day), but I have trouble hitting my macros. I get to the end of the day over on fat, under on carbs and protein (my target is 140g protein, I always get at least 90g protein, which is acceptable based on 1g protein/lb LBM). I have been ending the day with a protein smoothie (whey protein, milk, banana and berries) to get closer to my protein macro, but sometimes that brings me over my calories and I feel somewhat counter-productive eating (increasing my calories) when I'm not particularly hungry.

I am wondering if I should concentrate more on the deficit, making sure I don't go over TDEE-25% for now, in order to drop the weight? Or should I worry about hitting my macros at this time?

I do know that as my goals change from weight loss to body re-composition, macro distribution may change and hitting macro targets will become much more important.
Edited by Calliope610 On July 30, 2013 12:30 PM
July 30, 2013 12:22 PM

What is more important when it comes to basic weight loss? Not body re-composition.

Caloric deficit.
July 30, 2013 12:24 PM
Even if you go over your daily calorie goal for the day, but stay under your maintenance calories you will lose weight.
July 30, 2013 12:24 PM
My opinion is that a calorie deficit is the most important thing.
July 30, 2013 12:26 PM
Calories...laws of thermodynamics. Macros really aren't that important at all for weight loss unless you have a medical issue, insulin sensitive, etc....
July 30, 2013 12:26 PM
Calories are more important to hit than macros but having a group balance is helpful to maintain those calories. I would recommend focusing on the protein and trying to make that work. Think lean proteins: egg whites, turkey, chicken, fish. Everything else should fall into order.
July 30, 2013 12:31 PM
Calories, calories and then calories!

Keep a weather eye on your macro's but calories has to be the big focus right now.

I am at the body re-comp stage and although I'm now more focussed on my macro's, particularly on getting enough protein, I still wouldn't mess with my calorie level purely to hit my macro's.
July 30, 2013 12:44 PM
If you can only hit either macros or calories, calories matter more, especially if you have a lot to lose.

Think of protein and fat as minimum levels--you do not have to hit the exact numbers every time, either. Ultimately, you want to eat so that you get both a balanced diet at the macro level and sufficient micronutrients, too--iron, calcium, vitamins, etc. But getting there from what most people eat takes so many changes that it's not realistic to try to implement all of them at once. Go slow, take one thing at a time--with calories being the first and most important change you can make.

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