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Let's face the harsh reality: Dieting is hard. Who doesn't hate the idea of counting calories every time before eating? But it's something that you mandatorily needed to do in order to stay on the line towards your weight loss goals.
What if there was a diet plan which is flexible enough to let you eat anything you want and still lose weight, but without the hassle of counting calories? Good news, there is! It's known as the macro diet and it might just be the perfect thing for you.
To follow the macro diet doesn't necessarily imply depriving your body; it's more about feeding it the ideal nutrition for even more efficiency. All you have to do, for that, is count your macros.
You're not really likely to count macros, till now, until you're a gym-freak or someone who's really into nutrition. Macro dieting can actually benefit anyone who's looking to embrace smart foods that align with their personal goals-be it losing weight, building muscle or simply maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
- First, What Is This Macro Diet?
- How To Find Your Body's Macro Requirement?
- Can You Really Lose Weight By Counting Your Macros?
- Is There Any Easy Way To Count Macros?
First, What Is This Macro Diet?
The three macronutrients that are present in every bite of food we eat are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Most foods comprise all these three different macronutrients, but they're skewed heavily towards one or two of them. And they are categorized by the macronutrient that they consist the most of.
For instance, chicken is considered protein although it also has some amount of fat and sweet potatoes are high in carb even though they have bits of protein.
The idea behind macro dieting revolves around focusing on getting a certain number of macronutrients rather than consuming a certain amount of calories.
Leveraging macro diet, you can lose weight by setting parameters for exactly how much protein, carbohydrates, and fat you need to eat per day. You can also tend to eat a little extra protein than the regular dieter, which can aid weight loss.
So theoretically, you can eat anything you want under the macro dieting plan, provided it fits into your macro count.
How To Find Your Body's Macro Requirement?
Calculating your macros just requires some basic maths.
Step 1- Firstly, you need to find out your "energy balance" or the number of calories you intake and burn each day. You can calculate it by using your body weight, activity level and gender to have an estimate on how many calories your body expends in a day.
Step 2- Once you have the figure, you have got to come up with a targeted calorie intake that meets your weight-loss goals. Ideally, to lose weight, your daily calorie count should be 10 to 15 per cent below what you're burning per day.
Step 3- After determining your daily calorie consumption, you must figure out how much of that calorie should come from fat, carbs, and protein. Macro diet experts sometimes advocate for a strict 40 per cent protein, 40 per cent carbohydrate and 20 per cent fat split, but again there is no such optimal ratio.
Some people might do well on lower-carb plans, whereas lower-fat can be the right fit for others; it all depends on an individual.
Now, it's important to note that getting the proper amount of protein is the key to enhance your muscles and improve body composition. Some subject matter experts advise eating one gram of protein for every pound of your weight.
Then again, if you're an athlete, your diet should be heavy towards carbohydrates. And if you are among those who constantly feel hungry, emphasizing on healthy fats (say, avocados and nuts) may turn out to be beneficial.
Can You Really Lose Weight By Counting Your Macros?
Today's nutritional experts are largely recommending flexible diet for weight loss because it doesn't restrict you from foods and also offers more room for occasional indulgences.
That being said, let's remind you that flexible dieting cannot be an excuse to eat whatever you want. Maintaining quality eating standards still matters. Vegetables full of disease-fighting antioxidants and fibre are always better than chips or cookies, which are nothing but empty calories.
Also, on the other hand, consistent consumption of fast and processed food items just because it fits your macros is in no way sustainable, when you consider the bigger picture of your health.
Is There Any Easy Way To Count Macros?
Well, if the whole big idea of macro dieting is overwhelming you, you're not alone. We get that it requires commitment and can be challenging if you mostly go out to eat.
If you hate tracking your food, an easier alternative would be to just rely on your instincts. The good rule of thumb is to fill a quarter of your plate with lean protein and another quarter with whole grains or starchy vegetables. The rest can be non-starchy veggies, hints of added fat like salad greens, and if you still feel hungry, fill up on more veggies.
Yes, it's cent percent true that macro diets allow you to lose weight successfully while eating a much broader range of foods. But like any other diet, adherence is crucial for it to be successful; it's not going to work if you can't stick to it and start getting back to your sedentary lifestyle.
If you have any questions on this topic or any suggestions on what topic we should cover next, please feel free to drop a comment below this.