Going on a diet and losing weight is no easy task. However, there is actually a way for you to eat anything and still lose weight without worrying about your calorie intake. The method is known as counting your macros. Here is how to count macros for weight loss.
In This Article:
- What Are Macros?
- What’s the Difference Between Calories and Macros?
- How to Count Macros for Weight Loss
Tips on How to Count Macros for Weight Loss
What Are Macros?
Before learning how to count macros for weight loss you might want to understand what a macro is first. Macros are also known as macronutrients which refers to the three main nutrients groups including:
Micronutrients are nutrients that your body consumes in tiny quantities, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. The majority of foods include two or all three macronutrients; however, they are classified according to which macronutrient they contain the most of. For example, chicken is a protein even if it contains some fat. At the same time, sweet potatoes are a carb despite containing some protein.
What’s the Difference Between Calories and Macros?
Most diets work by reducing calories – it’s a strategy that has worked for many people – however, as previously stated, it’s not only about how much you eat every day but also about what you consume. Consuming 20 calories of kale is equivalent to consuming 20 calories of chocolate.
On a calorie-controlled diet, you might eat only “junk” or nutrient-deficient foods and yet stay under your calorie limit. However, you would most certainly be protein insufficient and consume far more fat than necessary.
You’ll be able to ensure that you’re not only prioritizing nutrient-dense meals but also consuming them in the proportions your body and training required by measuring your macros.
Furthermore, by calculating your macronutrients, you can optimize your diet so that you’re fueling your body from the proper sources by balancing your carb, fat, and protein consumption.
How to Count Macros for Weight Loss
The way you adjust your macros (e.g., how many calories you eat each day) can help you lose body fat, maintain your weight, or healthily gain weight depending on whether you consume more or less than you burn each day. How to count macros for weight loss will not only require you to have some nutrition knowledge but also some basic math skills.
Here are the steps on how to count macros for weight loss:
- Step 1: Determine your “energy balance,” or the number of calories you consume and burn each day. The National Institute of Health (NIH) provides an online calculator that estimates how many calories your body expends each day based on your weight, activity level, and gender.
- Step 2: Once you have that data, you must calculate a target calorie intake to fulfill your weight-loss objectives. Your daily calorie intake must be 10 to 15% lower than your daily calorie expenditure to lose weight.
- Step 3: After estimating the overall calories you should consume each day, you must determine how much of your daily calories should come from fat, carbohydrates, and protein. However, there is no such thing as an ideal ratio. Some people thrive on low-carb diets, while others thrive on low-fat diets. It all depends on the person.
To make it clearer, here is an example of how to count macros for weight loss. Based on the 40/40/20 ratio, here is what your macronutrient breakdown would look like if your daily calorie target were 2000.
2000 calories per day x.40 (percentage of calories from carbs) = 800 calories/ 4(amount of calories per gram of carbohydrate) = 200 grams of carbohydrates.
2000 calories per day x.40 (protein calorie percentage) = 800 calories/ 4(calories per gram of protein) = 200 grams of protein.
2000 calories a day x.20 (protein calorie percentage) = 400 calories/ 9(calories per gram of fat) = 44 grams of fat.
However, these tips on counting macros for weight loss will not work if you can’t follow them until the end. In addition, you also need to keep in mind that exercise regularly when combined with a macro diet will increase the effective weight loss plan even further.
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