Understanding Macro Diet and How to Manage Macros to Lose Weight

Lose Weight

Understanding Macro Diet and How to Manage Macros to Lose Weight

Understanding Macro Diet and How to Manage Macros to Lose Weight
sarah baker

Written by

Sarah Baker

Nutritionist @Nutiro

The way people are trying to lose weight is becoming a really big field. New methods are being researched and introduced every other month. Knowing what is good for you to eat and what is bad for you is becoming really difficult to manage.

 

However, among all the noise, some programs really hold potential and have strong roots in age-old methods too. Among these is the concept of managing macros to lose weight. If you have heard of the word macros in the context of health then it is either at your gym, or perhaps from a friend who is a freak about nutrition, or maybe on a random online forum. Whatever the case may be, the word holds great meaning when it comes to food intake.

 

The whole point of macro diets is that they are all about managing the number of different macronutrients that you feed your body and how you can eat the perfect amount of each macronutrient to lose weight. We will provide you with detailed insight into what macronutrients are and how you can benefit from counting macros to lose weight.

 

What are Macronutrients?

 

The term itself may seem complicated but it is actually something that you know since your childhood, most probably. In simple words, macronutrients refer to the three main types of nutrient categories that provide our bodies with the energy they need. These are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats which we already consume every day since the day we were born. You could say it covers pretty much all the food that we eat, have eaten, or will eat throughout our lives. But that does not mean you can simply call it managing your food intake because there is a lot more to it than just that.

 

It does, however, beg the question; what are the things that are NOT under the macronutrient category. Well, the answer is quite simple. The opposite of macronutrients is micronutrients and we are well aware of the fact that it includes things such as minerals and vitamins. They are often found in very small quantities in each food that we eat, thus the name micro. Let us take a look at what you could opt for in each of the macronutrient categories.

 

  • Carbohydrates:There are a lot of different things that you can find under this category and a lot of those things are actually not good for you either. The food that is most commonly recommended includes leafy green vegetables, root vegetables and also whole grains. Some options that you can opt for are squash, green beans, cucumbers, cauliflowers, broccoli, oatmeal, asparagus, quinoa, and potatoes.

 

  • Fats:Fats can often be misunderstood since that is the exact thing we aim to remove when counting macros to lose weight. However, consuming fats is very important to make sure your body can maintain a healthy balance of hormones. It is also very important for maintaining your metabolism level, which in turn is important for making sure you are burning sufficient calories. You can find healthy fats in foods such as olive oil, almonds, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, avocado and also Brazil nuts.

 

  • Proteins:This is the most important category of all macronutrients. The foods in this category get digested quickly and are the primary source of readily available energy. However, it does not mean that you can go crazy on foods containing protein and actually need to be careful about it as well. Do not expect to stay healthy by overdosing on things like burgers etc. You should go for lean meats instead like chicken breast, turkey, nuts, eggs, lean beef or fish with good fats such as salmon or herring.

 

Benefits of Macro Diet

 

Macro diets work on a very natural process and there are quite a lot of benefits that one can gain from following them. In the most basic way, anyone who is new to dieting and asking “how many macros should I eat to lose weight”, will be able to do it quite easily. The natural order of things in this routine allows you to calculate the amount for each category to exact portions. The biggest benefit, however, is that a person can now truly appreciate the importance of choosing whole foods instead of processed food items and make that decision in an informed manner.

 

The second benefit of choosing the macro diet is that it allows you to be free in your choice when you calculate macros to lose weight on your own terms. This means that depending on your specific speed and requirements, you can figure out exactly what you should eat. At the same time, you are also able to make sure what you choose is also the food that you want to eat. You often have to forego this freedom in most other diets, which is exactly why macros to lose weight became a popular phenomenon so quickly.

 

Since the prime target of a macro diet is not to starve you in any way, it is also a great way to lose weight happily. You no longer have to sulk over all the food you had to give up in your diet to see results. Whenever someone asks, “what should my macros be to lose weight”, all they have to do is look at their preferences, calculate the quantities of their favorite foods and start working on a diet plan that they actually enjoy.

 

These are only the most basic benefits and to really appreciate the power of the macro diet, one actually needs to go through it and see the results it generates. Compare that to the effort required and you will definitely see what it is all about.

 

Comparing to Other Diet Regimens – Similarities and Differences

 

When it comes to standing toe to toe with other weight-loss diets, the one diet that comes close to the macro diet is paleo diet or caveman diet. The main reason they are considered to be similar is that like paleo, the macro diet also has a big emphasis on eating whole foods and cutting off processed foods. There is also some common ground that eating macros to lose weight has with weight watchers diet which has the same major emphasis on keeping a tight count on the calories being consumed!

 

As for most of the other diets that we see out there, the common pattern is that they follow a simple standard diet that applies to everyone equally and has no individual modifications. Macro diets are completely different in that regard as they are very particular about how each person decides to calculate macros to lose weight and everyone sets their own ratio according to their own needs. There are many online calculators available that can help you figure out what the ratio of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins should be for you specifically. It is highly recommended, however, that you make this decision with the help of a qualified nutritionist so that you can gain maximum advantage.

 

These calculations take into account a lot of different factors through which a diet plan that is actually effective can be created. This includes things like your body height, the weight you are currently at, the shape and type of your body, the kind of target you are setting, the level of activity present in your daily routine and also your medical history. The whole purpose of this exercise is to make sure that you are not simply starving yourself but bringing your body to a diet of eating macros to lose weight, i.e. make it burn calories in the most efficient possible manner.

 

Making calculations

 

It could be deemed as a funny fact that when it comes to the macro diet, it is actually not as difficult to follow this diet as it is to calculate your eating ratios and portions. However, that case has been resolved for quite some time now with so many different tools providing this service. There are a ton of apps that provide full calculations for following macro diets and help you do meal planning as well.

 

To determine your ratios, you can also use similar apps but it is highly recommended that you opt for a proper nutritionist who can go through your case with you thoroughly before designing a diet. This would prove to be very beneficial if you need any changes made in the future depending on the changes in your lifestyle etc.

 

Regardless of the results, you find suitable on how to calculate macros to lose weight, the most important thing about the macro diet is that you stick to it religiously. Once you have determined your optimal ratio, prepare all your meals accordingly and use only the recommended ingredients. You will obviously have the option to choose different ingredients and you can definitely get creative as well as long as it is done using the same ingredients.

 

Starting the diet

 

Now that you are ready to take on the diet and have a plan, let us see what steps you will need to take to get started. Given the fact this diet depends heavily on the accuracy of proportions, we suggest that you buy yourself a small scale for measuring food quantities. This will be very useful in terms of sticking to the specific quantities of each macronutrient. You will not need to use it for long either as with practice and repetition, you will be able to tell the sizes you need for each ingredient and will be able to make portions simply by using your visual estimates.

 

According to research, for anyone who is trying to get slim, whether it is by counting macros to lose weight or through any other method, the best range of ratios is that they consume calories as per the following ratios:

 

  • 45-65% carbohydrates
  • 20-35% fats
  • 10-35% proteins

 

This range is quite wide and allows for people belonging to a diverse range of lifestyles to adjust.

 

The next step would be to calculate the number of calories that your body needs to go through the day. This amount is different for each person depending on their diet and the activity. You cannot expect a person who sits on a desk all day to have the same calorie requirements as that of a person working in mines.

 

For an average adult person, however, the typical calorie requirement is considered to be about 2000 calories. Mayo Clinic suggests that you should calculate the calories you need and then remove about 20% of that value to get the calories you should be consuming. This will help you to easily answer the question; “how many macros should I eat to lose weight?”

 

The most commonly used ratio is 50-25-25 which means your daily diet would be 50% carbs, 25% proteins, and 25% fats. If we use the caloric count of 2000 and decide on a reduction of 20%, it will result in 800 calories of carbohydrates, 400 calories of proteins and 400 calories of fats. In grams, that comes out to 200g, 100g, and 44.5g respectively.

Some Tips on Planning Meals

The biggest investment you have to make with macros to lose weight is that you have to give a lot of time, especially for meal planning. While the cost may seem big to some, most people who have done it say that it becomes natural after a few days and is actually well worth the effort. You get to enjoy the process and prepare each meal happily. However, we highly recommend that you make your meals in advance by making them in bulk. This will save you time and be very useful if you are too busy to cook.

 

You should also plan your budget and then plan your ingredients accordingly. Eating macros to lose weight does not mean you make yourself go bankrupt. Buy what you can and what you want for each macro group. You will find a lot of choices anyway so no need to worry.

 

Last but not least, it is always a good idea to get a bit creative when making your own diet meals. The more you make the process your own, the more you will enjoy it when reaping the rewards.

sarah baker

About the author

We are here to support you on your journey to good eats with more healthy food options at your fingertips. Use our Nutiro customized meal plans and take the guesswork out of eating balanced meals for whatever meal options you prefer - Clean Eating, Keto, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan - for any time throughout the day - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Just like Sarah, we want to make YOU the hero of your own healthy eating lifestyle and help you make good choices with our Nutiro meal plan generator. Sign up and become your own hero in the Nutiro community!

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