How to Count Macros for Weight Loss – By tracking your macros, you can make sure that you’re eating the right amount of calories and getting the nutrients your body needs.
Why this is critical in understanding what you eat
At Strive, we are passionate about keeping you on track with your fitness goals, which is why we believe knowledge is power! A word you might have heard been thrown about a lot in the world of fitness is ‘macros’. You might be wondering why are macros relevant and important to my fitness and weight loss regime?
Before we go any further be sure to download our Strive Weight Loss Challenge App which allows you to create or join weight loss competitions with friends, family, or coworkers with weigh-ins to track your weight, body fat percentage, and BMI!
So, back to it. ‘Macros’ is a shorter term for macronutrients. Macronutrients refer to the number of nutrients your body needs to function properly. Your body requires specific amounts of protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables to function at an optimum rate, to lose weight or gain weight. Everyone has a different goal, which is why everyone has different macronutrient ratios.
Knowing what your macronutrient ratios are is the best way to maintain or create the perfect physique or balance you are looking for. This is because macros are all based on your individual needs.
Why should you count your macros?
Counting Macros for Weight Loss is the healthiest way to achieve your goal while giving your body everything it needs nutritionally. It allows you to prepare your meals in advance and batch cook foods. Ultimately you are held accountable for your own success. Macro Counting for Weight Loss also means you stay well clear of fad and crash diets!
Counting calories alone doesn’t tell you anything about how balanced your diet should be: for 1,500 calories a day, you could eat four iced ring doughnuts, cake or 375 strawberries, neither of which would be healthy.
Your step-by-step guide to calculating your own macros
If you want to lose weight, you need to be sure that you’re eating the right number of macros. This means that you need to count the number of grams of each food item. There are a few ways How to Count Macros for Weight Loss, and one of the simplest is to use a macro calculator.
Ok, so this post would be pointless if we didn’t show you exactly Best Macros for Weight Loss too. You don’t have to specifically How to Track Macros for Weight Loss for every meal but knowing they are there and present in different food groups means you are much better equipped to make informed choices with the food groups you choose for a balanced meal. Do you want to take control of your own nutrition? Here’s how to do it…
Step 1: What’s your goal? Before you begin to make your plan you need to determine what your goal is, even if it’s just maintenance. This is crucial to making the next step.
Step 2: Determine your ‘daily calorie needs’. Here you will fill in the details about yourself such as your height, weight, age and how many times you can exercise a week. You will then be given 3 numbers which are:
- How many calories do you need daily for weight loss
- Extreme weight loss
Step 3: Taking the number, use the ‘nutrient calculator’ and enter your calories and choose ‘moderate’ this is usually a good, average program to follow. Fill in the rest of the details and press calculate. Your macronutrients will then be delivered. You can see how many grams per food group you need in your meals. The results will look something like this:
|GRAMS per day||168g||112g||41g|
|GRAMS per meal||33.6g||22.4g||8.2g|
|CALORIES per day||675 cals||450 cals||375 cals|
|CALORIES per meal||135 cals||90 cals||75 cals|
Counting Your Macros for Weight Loss will enable you to make a scientific and customised nutrition plan completely tailored to your body and your goals. You can select your own lean protein sources, healthy carbs and fats based on your own preferences. You are creating your own menu. Below we have included some healthy meal recipes with good, balanced macronutrient ratios.
Easy high protein meal recipes
Below are some delicious high protein meals, which include a lean source and are low in fat making them well-balanced in their macronutrient ratios.
Oats and whey
What do you need?
- Rolled oats
- 1 – 2 scoops of protein
- 1 teaspoon of your favourite nut butter
This is one of the easiest high protein meals ever and requires minimum effort, but delivers maximum taste and fulfilment! Pour your desired amount of oats into the bowl and add water. Allow water to be fully absorbed by the oats, then add your scoop of protein. Mix well until protein has been fully dissolved. Top with your favourite nut butter and enjoy!
Grilled salmon, asparagus & rice
What do you need?
- 1 salmon fillet
- Handful of asparagus
- Half a pack of microwavable basmati rice
Another easy one, this high protein meal contains healthy omega 3 & 6 fats in the salmon, and asparagus is a natural diuretic that helps with weight loss. The basmati rice is a low GI carb, which means it digests slowly keeping you fuller for longer. Grill the salmon for around 6 minutes and roast the asparagus in the oven for around 15 minutes. Serve up with basmati rice and enjoy!
Vegetarian tofu sandwich
What do you need?
- Half a block of firm tofu
- Whole grain bread bun
- Sesame seed oil
- Tomatoes, spinach and any salad of your choice
Slice up the tofu and brush with sesame seed oil. Lay on the baking tray and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, turning frequently. Once cooked, lay over the bread and finish with adding the salad and some light mayo. This tasty sandwich is low in fat and high in protein.
Bedtime recovery protein shake
What do you need?
- Casein protein powder
- Coconut milk
- 1 scoop of super greens powder
This bedtime recovery shake is the perfect bedtime fuel! Using a blender, add in a scoop of protein and 2 cups of coconut milk, 30g of oats and a teaspoon of flaxseed. Blend the ingredients, then add in the scoop of greens powder and blend again. This drink is the perfect nighttime fuel! It will keep your body full throughout the night and provide a tapered release of protein to your muscles while you sleep and recover.
Strive Weight Loss Challenge makes it easy to track your food and exercise logs so that you can see exactly how much weight you’ve lost and where you need to improve.
Macronutrients are huge molecules that we require to merely survive, commonly known as the primary nutrients. To maintain bodily functions and carry out daily activities, a considerable amount of macronutrients is required. These nutrients also supply calories or energy to our body. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the three main macronutrients. You need all three, If you eliminate any one macronutrient, you risk vitamin deficiency and illness.
Counting macronutrients is an eating strategy that involves keeping track of your calories, broken down into macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats), to ensure that you're eating more or less than your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), depending on your goals. It's time-consuming at first since you'll have to weigh all of your meats, vegetables, and carbs, read labels, and cut back on nights out and alcohol—but the end result is a healthier and more intuitive awareness of how to eat in a way that suits you.
Protein, carbs, and fats are the three kinds of nutrients that you consume the most and that give you the majority of your energy. Each macronutrient includes a calorie value per gram that is as follows:
- Carbohydrates include a calorie count of 4 per gram.
- Proteins have a calorie content of 4 per gram.
- Each gram of fat contains 9 calories.
This is dependent on your age, size, and amount of activity. Others who exercise require a different amount of carbohydrates and protein than those who are more sedentary. However, these ratios are a decent place to start in general:
- If you only workout for an hour a day or less: Protein (30%), fat (30%), and carbohydrates (40%)
- If you exercise for one to two hours each day, you will achieve the following results: 30 percent protein, 25% fat, and 45 percent carbohydrates
- Consider consulting a professional sports dietitian if you workout for more than two hours each day. You need personalisation to sustain that high physical output and lose weight healthily.
Counting your macros is a great method to keep track of what you're eating while also allowing yourself to enjoy items that you wouldn't normally eat. You'd start by calculating your daily macro allowance and then using a calorie-tracking app like Strive Fitness to keep track of everything you eat. You'll weigh and chart your food, as well as your bodyweight and measurements, once you have those numbers. Reduce your macros if you're not losing weight, and raise them if you're losing too much (more than three pounds per week).
Although most foods contain a variety of macronutrients, some sources are more beneficial for certain macronutrients than others.
Carbohydrates- These are frequently found in whole grains like barley, rice, pasta, and wheat. Additionally, they can be found in dairy products, entire fruits, honey, legumes, and carbohydrates like potatoes and corn. While sugars are also carbs, they should only be consumed in moderation.
Proteins- Meats, fish, nuts, seeds, complete grains, beans, eggs, dairy, soy, and tofu are frequently sources of protein.
Fats- Avocados, fatty salmon, seeds, olive oil, and almonds are all sources of healthier unsaturated fats. Meat and processed or greasy meals like butter and cheese are examples of foods that contain saturated fats. Saturated fats are less healthful than unsaturated fats, according to experts, and should be consumed in moderation.
Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are separate from macronutrients. Macronutrients are required in greater quantities than micronutrients. However, this does not diminish the importance of micronutrients.
Micronutrients serve different functions in your body than macronutrients. There are 13 necessary vitamins and 13 minerals, each of which has specific, sometimes overlapping roles.
Micronutrients help in growth, brain development, immune function, and energy metabolism. While macronutrients supply energy and are the building blocks of your body’s structure and functions, micronutrients don’t contain calories. Instead, they’re essential for extracting energy from food and facilitating bodily processes.
Micronutrients include carbohydrates, protein and fats, whereas micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, iron.
Some popular macronutrients diets include:
- The Keto Diet
- The Paleo Diet
- Weight Watchers
Each diet has its own set of guidelines for the amount and proportion of macronutrients a person should consume. In recent years, the ketogenic, or keto diet has enhanced in popularity. This diet can help with diabetes and overall health by lowering blood glucose levels. It may, however, have harmful consequences for cardiovascular health.