After learning all about macro nutrients, it’s not a ‘diet’ just for losing weight but more-so a great way to change your lifestyle no matter what your goals are. That’s right, it’s actually easy and approachable if you’re looking to drop pounds, gain muscle, or just maintain a healthier lifestyle. By giving yourself a benchmark, you’re able to keep yourself on track to meet whatever goals you have, which is why I’m such a fan!
The science behind a macro diet is that you are focusing on the amount of protein, fat, and carb macronutrients you’re consuming every day. Calories are out the window for the most part because as long as you’re hitting your macro goals, you’ll find yourself making the right choices anyway.
The typical macro ratio for fat loss is 40/40/20, 40% of protein, 40%fat, 20% carbs. Keeping a reasonable amount of fat and carbs in your diet is important for regulating hormones that are going to affect not only your mood, but your metabolism and the change your encouraging your body towards.
If you’re looking to maintain your current body weight, (or you’ve hit that weight loss goal!) the ratio may look more like 35% fats, 35% protein, 30% carbs. To gain lean muscle mass, the ratio will be highest in protein to build muscle, just to show how the ratio can easily change as your goals do.
So that’s our general breakdown, but you may still be incredibly confused. If you’ve ever tried weight watchers, things may be starting to sound a little familiar, and it is, except instead of giving everything points, you’re going to be doing the calculations yourself. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds, and if you have a smart phone most of the work is already done for you (cue downloading MyFitnessPal app). Recording your food sounds like a hassle, and at first, it is, but that’s for a reason. You’re going to second guess that ‘small’ handful of m&ms at work if you have to record it, 1-because of the effort, and 2-because you have to really recognize the amount of fat and carbs you had. There’s no more guessing to what is causing you to go off track.
Your next question is probably, so what can I have? You can actually have whatever you want. That’s right, I’m not even going to sit here and tell you you can’t have those m&ms, because you can. But if you have a few pieces of candy after lunch, you might find yourself low on carbs for the rest of day, so now dinner is only going to be a bunless turkey burger, a great for some meals but you were particularly looking forward to that bun today. See how this could force you to start making better decisions?
If you’re wondering why a macro diet can be beneficial for you if you’re not looking to lose weight, it’s simple, you’re retraining your brain to make better decisions on what you choose to eat everyday. Filling your days with more protein, lower fats, and more whole foods can keep you fuller longer and more energized for those long days at work, keep you ‘regular’ and help your immune system.