To start let's clear up what we mean by 'Macros'. All we are referring to are Macronutrients, that is; Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat. These aren't to be confused with micronutrients which include vitamins and minerals. A Macros based approach, or flexible dieting as it is otherwise known, is the process of calculating your ideal numbers (there are many calculators available online) for total calories and then calories from each macronutrient. You then follow these guides by weighing your food and recording your intake, often using a resource such as MyFitnessPal. If you use Twitter or Instagram then I'm sure you have seen pictures of plenty of fitness models who have undoubtedly great physiques and credit these on their macro counting. So does such an approach work for everyone and why don't I recommend it?
I can't argue against the fact that counting macros and watching overall calories can help if the goal is body composition. Certainly if you were a figure model or a competitive bodybuilder coming to me for advice then I would probably look towards such an approach. However the vast majority of you are not bodybuilders and the end goal isn't striated glutes. What I focus on with the vast majority of people are more holistic goals, yes we want aesthetics but we also want health and performance. These latter elements don't necessarily come from being 6% body fat.
So what are the issues with a macros based approach? My main complaint is the 'If it fits your macros' (IIFYM) mind-set that comes with it. People following such an approach aren't concerned with food quality they purely focus on hitting their macros and will use any food they wish to get there, Now whilst the sensible ones will aim for whole foods a lot will reach for the rubbish and end up consuming a lot of processed and artificially sweetened foods. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that regularly eating such processed foods might not be helpful for any health goals that we have. What's more such foods are likely to stimulate hunger in a way that whole foods don't. This makes sticking to your requirements all the more difficult and it can turn into a miserable experience. A secondary issue is the potential outcomes of practically following such a prescriptive approach. Weighing and measuring your food and tracking calories can be a dangerous road to go down in my opinion. It can take away the joy of food as you are eating numbers and it is correlated with far bigger issues such as disordered eating.
My own approach is far more balanced in my opinion. If people focus on eating real food and timing their carbs appropriately then we can rely much more on our own body to tell us how much to eat. Being more mindful in our eating gives us greater enjoyment from our food as well as helping to prevent over consumption. We also reap the health benefits of such a diet and can indulge in the processed stuff every now and then without coming to any harm.
If you worked with me then I would want to help you develop an understanding of the different macronutrients, the effects they have and how best to use them. From this point you would be able to apply the theory to your eating to the point where it becomes instinctive, you wouldn't have to worry about weighing food, just enjoying it.
As ever this all boils down to goals, if you want to be a bodybuilder then by all means look into flexible dieting just understand that such an approach may compromise your health and performance. If you want to be healthy and happy then don't sweat the numbers, just eat real food.