Weight Loss- The Science Behind Tracking Calories and Macros


*This is a long-winded blog that boils down to one simple equation*


The number one reason why our adult client’s reach out to us is because they want to lose weight. Whether they are currently active or haven’t been for years its almost inevitable that the pounds have slowly crept up. Now they don’t like the way they look or what is even more depleting is they do not like the way they feel. Many make a huge step forward and start exercising, finally they start to feel better but the scale is barely moving. Our first question is, “do you track your calories?”

Embarking on a weight loss journey is often a challenging endeavor that requires a multifaceted approach. Among the most critical components of this process is tracking caloric intake and macronutrients, as well as incorporating regular exercise. Each of these elements plays a vital role in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. In this blog we will jump into the scientific reasons behind the importance of tracking calories and macros, and why exercise is indispensable for weight loss.

Understanding Calories and Macros

Calories are units of energy that our bodies derive from food and beverages. The balance between calories consumed and calories expended determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain weight. To lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit, where the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories burned by the body. Please do not forgot about the calories in your morning latte, the IPA’s or any other drink besides water!

Macronutrients—comprising carbohydrates, proteins, and fats—are the primary nutrients required in large amounts for energy and bodily functions. Each macronutrient has a specific role:

  • Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source.
  • Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues, including muscles.
  • Fats are crucial for hormone production, brain function, and energy storage.

The Importance of Tracking Calories

  1. Ensuring a Caloric Deficit

Weight loss fundamentally boils down to maintaining a caloric deficit. By tracking calories, you can ensure that you are consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. This deficit forces the body to utilize stored fat for energy, leading to weight loss.

  1. Preventing Overeating

It is easy to underestimate the number of calories in foods, especially those that are high in fats and sugars. By logging your food intake, you can become more aware of portion sizes and the caloric content of different foods, which helps prevent unintentional overeating.

  1. Providing Insight into Eating Habits

Tracking calories can reveal patterns in your eating habits that might be hindering your weight loss efforts. For example, you might discover that you consume most of your calories through snacking and they are actually adding up to more than your meals.

  1. Adjusting Intake as Needed

Weight loss is not always linear, and your caloric needs may change as you lose weight. Regularly tracking your intake allows you to adjust your calorie goals based on your progress and any plateaus you might encounter.

The Role of Macronutrients in Weight Loss

  1. Protein: Preserving Muscle Mass

During weight loss, there is a risk of losing muscle mass along with fat. Protein is crucial for preserving muscle tissue, especially when you are in a caloric deficit. Adequate protein intake helps maintain muscle mass, which is important for sustaining metabolic rate and physical strength.

  1. Carbohydrates: Fueling Activity

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred energy source, particularly during exercise. Ensuring you have enough carbs in your diet can help maintain energy levels and performance during workouts, which in turn supports overall weight loss efforts.

  1. Fats: Supporting Vital Functions

Fats are essential for various bodily functions, including hormone production and brain health. Including healthy fats in your diet can help you feel satiated, reducing the likelihood of overeating.

The Importance of Exercise in Weight Loss

  1. Increasing Caloric Expenditure

Exercise increases the number of calories your body burns. This additional expenditure can help create a more significant caloric deficit, accelerating weight loss. Different types of exercise have varying impacts on caloric burn:

  • Cardiovascular exercises like running, swimming, and cycling burn a high number of calories during the activity.
  • Strength training helps build muscle, which increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR), meaning you burn more calories at rest.
  1. Preserving Muscle Mass

Combining exercise, particularly strength training, with a calorie-controlled diet helps preserve muscle mass. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories than fat tissue, even at rest. Preserving muscle mass is crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolic rate during weight loss.

  1. Boosting Metabolism

Regular physical activity can enhance your metabolic rate, both through immediate caloric burn and long-term increases in muscle mass. Higher muscle mass translates to a higher BMR, contributing to easier weight maintenance.

  1. Improving Insulin Sensitivity

Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Better insulin sensitivity means your body is more efficient at using carbohydrates for energy, reducing the likelihood of storing excess carbs as fat.

  1. Enhancing Mood and Motivation

Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers. Improved mood can enhance motivation and adherence to your weight loss plan, making it easier to stick to your dietary and exercise goals.

  1. Promoting Cardiovascular Health

Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. A healthy heart supports overall physical fitness and well-being, making it easier to engage in various physical activities.

Combining Diet and Exercise for Optimal Results

For effective and sustainable weight loss, it is essential to combine both dietary changes and regular exercise. Here’s how to integrate them:

  1. Set Realistic Goals

Establish achievable goals for both diet and exercise. Small, incremental changes are more sustainable than drastic alterations.

  1. Track Progress

Use tools and apps to monitor your caloric intake, macronutrient distribution, and physical activity. Regular tracking can provide motivation and help you stay on course.

  1. Balance Your Macronutrients

Ensure your diet includes a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to support energy levels, muscle maintenance, and overall health.

  1. Incorporate Variety in Exercise

Mix different types of exercise to keep your routine interesting and to work different muscle groups. Include both cardio and strength training for maximum benefit.

  1. Stay Consistent

Consistency is key to achieving long-term weight loss. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your plan can help you stay aligned with your goals.

Tracking calories and macronutrients provides a clear, scientific approach to managing weight loss. By ensuring a caloric deficit and proper nutrient intake, you can achieve your weight loss goals more effectively. Combining this with regular exercise not only accelerates weight loss but also promotes overall health, preserves muscle mass, and boosts metabolism. Remember, sustainable weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint, and integrating these practices can lead to lasting success and a healthier lifestyle.

By Brett Kirkland


We certainly do! You can either purchase programs or book personal training sessions and be given your workout at the end of the session.