What are macronutrients?
Macronutrients are those major components of food that help determine how your body uses the meal. They include carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Different foods contain different proportions of these three nutrients, so depending on what you’re eating, you can choose to emphasize one over the others.
By way of example, most people know that carbs play a big role in fuel for muscles during exercise. Carbs also provide short term energy for daily activity.
But what many don’t realize is that too much sugar (or glucose) intake can be harmful. Overconsuming carbs has been linked with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Consuming enough healthy carbs helps keep blood glucose levels steady, which can prevent things like insulin resistance and cardiovascular diseases.
On the other hand, there are some individuals who were never taught about nutrition properly. These people may not understand why someone would want to eat more fats or fewer carbs.
Luckily, this article will go into detail as to why it is important to learn how to do a macronutrient diet and what benefits you can expect from doing so.
Calculate your macronutrient goals
Having a closer look at your diet, you can now calculate how much of each nutrient you need to achieve your goal. Most people who begin eating healthier reduce calorie intake as their first step, which makes sense since reducing calories is a straightforward way to lose weight. However investing in supplements that help regulate blood glucose or improve skin health will be more effective if you are not keeping up with your nutrition plan otherwise.
By calculating your nutritional needs, you can determine whether you have enough nutrients in your current diet and what you may need to eat to meet those demands. This also helps identify any potential deficiencies you may suffer from and the appropriate remedies.
There are two types of diets that rely on this principle: keto and low-carb diets and macros(or “nutritional theory”) oriented diets. We will focus on the second type here!
A macro ratio calculation determines how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat you should aim to ingest per day to satisfy your nutritional requirements. By using these numbers as guidelines, you can find most balance in your meals and snacks. More specifically, the number of grams of carbohydrates you consume daily has an effect on the levels of insulin your body produces.
Studies show that lower carb diets promote weight loss because they increase appetite suppressionand thus food consumption. Similarly, higher intakes of protein and fat cause satiety, or fullness.
Create your macronutrient diet
The next step in creating your mac-and-lifestyle is deciding what foods you will eat and how much of each food item you are going to have!
The macronutrients that make up our daily diets are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Different people’s nutritional needs depend on their body weight, activity levels, and fitness goals, but most individuals’ needs fall somewhere in between.
That is why it is important to know which types of carbs, fats, and proteins you need for an adequate nutrition intake. By having enough of these nutrients, you can meet your dietary recommendations while also reducing exposure to unnecessary calories.
A good way to do this is by making small changes to your current eating habits. For example, instead of offering one bread product every day, try two or three so you get some variety. Or, if you love pasta dishes, go with the lowest-fat versions you can find.
Eat your macronutrient diet
Even if you are not able to do a keto, low carb, or gluten free diet, that is no reason to stop eating healthful foods. You can still eat a healthy, nutritional diet by sticking to your macro-nutrients (the three main components of food) tableware, fruits, vegetables, carbs, protein, and fats.
The term “macro” comes from nutritionists because it looks at how much each component contributes to your daily calorie intake. Yours come in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat.
Carbohydrates are found in foods such as grains, sugar, and some veggies like potatoes and carrots. They play an important role in energy production for our bodies.
We get most of our glucose (a simple carbohydrate) from carbs. Glucose helps fuel cell activity and functions throughout our body including brain function. Consuming enough carbs also aids in weight loss since they help keep us feeling full.
Proteins are the building blocks of many of our cells and systems in our body. About one third of all the water we have in our body is tied up with protein.
Fat is the storage medium for almost all vitamins and minerals except vitamin D which must be exposed to sunlight to activate. We get lots of these nutrients when we consume oils and natural fats. Some experts suggest limiting saturated fat to reduce risk of heart disease.
Record your food intake
Recording what you eat is an excellent way to learn more about your macronutrients and how they affect your health. By simply keeping a food diary, you can easily track your daily nutritional habits.
Most nutritionists recommend eating for at least one hour before deciding to assess whether you have enough of a specific nutrient in your diet. This is because some nutrients require adequate amounts for digestion and absorption into your body. For example, protein requires time to be broken down into amino acids that your body can use.
After one hour, determine if you’re deficient in any essential nutrients by comparing your own nutritional needs with those set standards. If you are, then try to increase your consumption of these foods or take supplements to meet your personal nutritional goals.
By recording everything you eat and monitor your weight changes, you will find it easy to implement a macronutrient diet into your lifestyle.
Mix it up
There are many ways to do a nutritional plan, so instead of choosing one type of diet or the other, just add more diversity into your eating habits. This is very common in diets because they find that by adding different foods into their routine, they will eventually reach their goal weight.
Some people may feel overwhelmed with all of the tips and tricks, but there is always someone else doing something new! You can pick any style of nutrition you want and mix and match from there.
There are two major components of a nutritional plan: carbs and protein. Both contain important nutrients like vitamin D, iron, and omega-3s. It’s not really about which is better than the other, it’s just how much of each you need for health.
Automate your diet
One of the biggest issues most people have with eating is that they do not know what foods are in their macros. Make it easy for yourself by using an app or software program to help you create your new macronutrient diet!
There are many apps that can help you track your nutrition, and some even offer tips and recipes dependent on how well you are doing on the diet. Some cost money, but there are free ones as well.
We reviewed several apps here at The Healthier Bite so make sure to check those out if you’re looking to get more nutritional information!
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice nor diagnosis nor treatment. You should consult your doctor before beginning any health programs.
I would like to add another important tip about tracking your nutrients- don’t just go into it with a goal to lose weight! Tracking nutrient intake will help keep you healthy overall, even if you are already somewhere between normal and overweight.
Many things contribute to obesity, and having enough vitamins and minerals may be one factor. Having adequate amounts of certain nutrients helps maintain strong bones, muscles, and internal organs, and makes better skin and hair.
So aside from helping you look thinner, tracking nutrients can help ensure your body has everything it needs to function properly.
Learn more about macronutrients
The second way to do a nutritional plan is by using what’s called a macro-nutrient approach. This focuses not only on the nutrients in food, but how many of each nutrient you consume as well.
By doing this, you are making sure your body gets enough of an individual nutrient to function properly. For example, if you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, you will get plenty of vitamins A, C and K. You can even make foods like bread or pasta with these nutrients added in!
However, most people don’t enjoy eating their lunch every day made of potatoes and carrots. So we usually stop eating them and start skipping those meals. It is important to understand that nutrition doesn’t work without balance.
Eat more fruit
The next step in the macronutrient diet is to eat more fruits. Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. They can be consumed alone or mixed into foods such as yogurt or breakfast cereal.
Most people are not eating enough fruits; according to Harvard Health, one of our most important diets for health is missing out on an average of five grams of fruits per day!
That’s like having only one apple or one banana a day! If we wanted to achieve optimal wellness, that’s just not going to cut it.
We need to increase our daily intake of fruits to meet this recommendations.