Now is as good a time as any to start living a healthier lifestyle.
And if you believe that diet plays a significant role in this, then you’ve probably heard of macro dieting.
Unlike other diet plants, a macro diet does not revolve around depriving yourself of food.
Instead, it focuses on keeping track of your macros to make sure you are getting the right amounts to support weight loss.
For this, you’d want to learn how to track macros for weight loss.
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are the top three nutrient categories we all need to energize the body, and these are carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
Your body only needs small amounts of vitamins and minerals, so they belong to the micronutrient category.
Carbohydrates act as the primary source of energy to fuel the body.
Once inside, they break into smaller particles for easier cell absorption.
Fiber is also a carbohydrate that helps regulate your digestive system and boost your immune system.
Try eating healthy carbohydrates like leafy greens, root vegetables, and whole grains as part of your macro diet.
Protein is crucial in the repair and regeneration of your body cells and tissues.
It also strengthens your immune system and is responsible for hormone production.
Foods rich in protein have an abundance of amino acids, which are part of the cells in your body.
They help build muscles as well as prevent the loss of muscle mass at the same time.
You will find enzymes inside your body as they trigger and regulate some biochemical reactions inside.
Many bodily functions are dependent on enzymes, including energy production, food digestion, and muscle contraction.
Proteins are responsible for the hormones in your body, acting as messengers between cells, organs, and tissues.
However, their most notable function in your body is their ability to keep you feel satisfied and hunger-free longer.
Your body needs protein but refrain from eating greasy meats. Instead, get this nutrient from cod, eggs, fatty fish, grass-fed lean beef, nuts, and turkey.
Although considered bad for the health, your body also needs a healthy kind of fat if you want to lose weight.
Fat helps your cells communicate.
In particular, good fats are essential for healthy hormone levels, vitamin absorption, metabolism, and overall mood.
Your metabolism increases as you consume fat, boosting your fat-burning rate in the process.
Certain oils and fats are necessary for your body to function well.
For example, linolenic and linoleic acids are essential fatty acids responsible for brain development, blood coagulation, and blood cholesterol reduction.
Some of the best sources of essential fatty acids are almonds, avocados, Brazil nuts, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, and olive oil.
What Does It Mean to Track Your Macros?
A macro diet allows the person to eat any food he likes but must not exceed his daily macronutrients requirements.
In macro dieting, you count the grams of the nutrients instead of your calorie intake, helping you make wise food choices.
Those who follow the diet believe that controlling their macronutrients consumption will help them reach their fitness goals and desired weight.
However, you have to remember that this approach puts more emphasis and value on eating whole and fresh foods instead of processed ones.
It is a customizable diet that follows a macro ratio based on various factors, such as body type, fitness goals, medical history, and activity level.
You can easily adjust the diet as you go through your fitness journey and notice different changes in your body and lifestyle.
Benefits of a Macro Diet
You will experience several nutritional benefits if you know how to track your macros consumption, especially newbies.
Also, following a macro diet helps you understand where calories come from and how they affect your body.
With this information, you will find it easier to choose healthier food options.
A macro diet is also known as flexible dieting, as you can make the necessary adjustments according to your body type and fitness goals.
Customizing your macros diet lets you lose 10 pounds with up to five percent body fat during the initial month.
What’s more, having a successful macro diet helps you balance your energy level, keep hunger at bay, and repress your sugar cravings.
How to Track Macros for Weight Loss
So, you decided to try a macro diet but have no idea how and where to start.
Don’t fret; you will find plenty of resources online.
If you are tracking macros with the intent of losing weight, ensure that you also cut calories.
You can use this macro ratio as your guide:
- 10 to 30 percent carbohydrates
- 30 to 40 percent fats
- 40 to 50 percent protein
You can get your appropriate ratio by following these steps and using an online macro calculator.
Know Your Calorie Needs
You have to know your resting energy expenditure (REE) and non-resting energy expenditure (NREE) to determine your overall calorie requirements.
REE is your body’s burned calories at rest, while NREE is the same information during digestion and activity.
You will know your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE by adding your REE and NREE.
Use an online macro calculator or use the formula from Mifflin-St. Jeor.
Men: calories/day = 10 x weight in kilograms + 6.25 x height in centimeter – 5 + age in years + 5
Women: calories/day = 10 x weight in kilograms + 6.25 x height in centimeters – 5 x age in years – 161
Then, choose an activity level from the list below and multiply the corresponding number to your TDEE.
- 2 is for sedentary or with limited exercise
- 375 is for lightly active or for people doing light exercise in three days or less weekly
- 55 is for moderately active or for those who do moderate exercise for most of the week
- 725 is for very active or for people who do challenging exercises daily
- 9 is for extra active or those who do strenuous exercises more than twice a day
You can adjust the number of calories per day depending on your fitness goals.
Consume fewer calories if you want to lose weight and do the opposite if you wish to gain more muscle.
Determine a Suitable Macronutrient Breakdown
Once you determine the number of calories you burn daily, you can now choose a suitable macronutrient ratio.
Rely on the macronutrient ratios below to start with, and then make the necessary adjustments as your body changes.
- Carbohydrates: 45 to 65 percent
- Fats: 20 to 35 percent
- Protein: 10 to 25 percent
Record Your Calorie Intake and Macronutrients
It is more convenient to use a user-friendly online app to track your macros and calorie intake.
This way, it will be easier to make the necessary changes.
At the start of your macros journey, you can invest in a digital food scale to weigh the food before recording it into the app.
Meal Planning Tips for a Macro Diet
The success of your macro diet depends on how well you plan the meal, making it easier to follow and reach your set goal.
Plan a balanced meal that you can eat every three to four hours for steady blood sugar levels while preventing feeling too hungry.
Opt for whole and fresh foods with lean proteins from organic sources.
More than anything, you must consider these three things as you make the meal plan for your macro diet:
Preparing a macro diet-friendly meal can take time but will become a habit after some time.
One of the best ways to save time is to prepare your food in bulk.
There’s no need to stress over computing your macronutrient ratio manually. Instead, use an online application and let technology do the work for you.
If you don’t have the time to prepare your food, you can look for macro-friendly restaurants and grab something on the go.
Most people believe that healthy foods cost a fortune compared to junk foods.
Fortunately, you can find ways to buy your macro foods without spending lots of money.
Buying in bulk allows you to stock on your macro food staples and still stay within your budget.
Also, it’s best to know local stores near your area and avail of their promotions.
Look for macro food alternatives in your local store that will give you the same benefits as your first choice.
Another sure way to stay within your budget is to refrain from eating out.
Also, preparing your food yourself gives you the freedom to choose the ingredients you want to include.
When it comes to taste, you can always use fresh spices and herbs to enhance the flavor of your food.
Be creative and experiment with healthy alternatives to help you achieve your macro goals.
As mentioned, a macro diet is a flexible diet option that will allow you to indulge in foods that you like within your diet.
Now that you have learned how to track macros for weight loss, you will have a big chance of achieving your fitness goals.
The most crucial step you have to make is to determine your macronutrient range and your calorie intake goals.
Be vigilant in recording your food intake and ensure that you stay within your macro goals.