When it comes to weight loss, what you eat is just as important as how much you are eating. Luckily, there are many ways to increase your daily macronutrient intake.
You can add more vegetables to your diet, consume enough protein, include some carbs, or even reduce calorie intake. It all depends on your goals and what kind of body you want to achieve.
There is no one right way to do it, but we can give you some tips and strategies for any goal! This article will talk about how to increase your carbohydrate intake, which is usually the last nutrient group that people get wrong during weight loss.
Increasing your carb intake can be done through natural means (suchas fruits and veggies) or by adding certain foods into your diet. Both of these methods can help you feel full longer, which may motivate you to eat healthier.
Many diets suggest limiting carbohydrates at night due to their lower absorption rate. Why not use this knowledge to your advantage and make sure you’re consuming the appropriate amount during the day? That way you’ll still reap benefits from them in the long run.
Become familiar with different macronutrient sources
The next step in increasing your daily nutrient intake is to become more acquainted with each of these macronutrients. You can do this by learning about them, what functions they play in digestion, and how many grams you should eat per serving size.
Energy is the most abundant nutritional compound in our diet, so it’s important to make sure that we consume enough of it for optimal health. Different foods contain varying amounts of energy, however, so it may be difficult to determine the average amount needed unless you know which ones are high in energy and which ones are low.
By knowing the types of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in various foods, you will have an easier time picking out those that are higher in energy. This is also helpful because some diets may suggest limiting certain food groups, like carbs or fat. By having knowledge of other nutrients, you can better understand why such diets might not work for you or could even potentially harm you.
There are several ways to increase nutrition intake through calorie eating, but this doesn’t usually help people who are hungry. People often times give up on their healthy habits when hunger becomes an issue. To avoid this, try experimenting with nutritional shakes and supplements to find one that works for you.
Mix it up
There are several ways to increase your macronutrient intake, including by mixing it up! Nutritionists suggest trying different food groups to see which ones you enjoy and how they balance out with your current diet.
You can try swapping one of your favorite foods for something else in the same category- like eating 1 cup of berries as an ounce of nuts or having 2 ounces of chicken mixed into 3 cups of rice.
Alternatively, you could add some more nutritious foods to what you already eat – spinach in oatmeal, avocado onto toast, and tomato sauce/ketchup onto fries!
“Consistency is key when changing how you eat, so make changes that you can stick to to feel healthier soon!,” says Dr. Yang. “Start small, maybe adding one thing per week to give yourself time to get used to them.
Don’t rely on protein alone
Although eating more protein is an excellent way to increase your intake of macronutrients, it is not the only factor that impacts nutritional balance. Consuming too much protein can be harmful if it is consumed without enough carbohydrates or fat to aid in digestion and absorption.
Protein is also expensive! A large chicken breast meal will likely cost you around $10-12 per serving depending on the restaurant and how hungry you are at the time.
If you find yourself needing extra help loading up on protein, try having half of your food as vegetables and/or toast with butter instead of bread containing carbs. Use leftover meat when cooking the next day for breakfast or use cooked ground beef as hamburger for lunch.
Eat more often
The easiest way to increase your macronutrient intake is by just eating more of them! This can be done through our general food habits or by making an effort to eat specific foods that are high in carbs, protein, or fat.
By having meals frequently you will keep blood glucose levels stable and functioning properly. You will also feel fuller faster which can help with weight loss.
Many people begin to lose weight quickly when they start recording what they eat and how much energy (calorie) diet they have consumed.
But then it becomes a struggle to maintain their healthy calorie balance because there’s nothing for lunch “someone invited me over” or dinner “I was hungry” or weekend “we didn’t cook anything”.
This can easily turn into overweight behavior if not corrected soon enough!
If you find yourself struggling with nutrition due to lack of time, try to make the meal as quick and simple as possible. Make sure to include at least one source each of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Some great starting points: vegetables, fruits, bread/bagel/roll, meat, milk, yogurt, etc.
Know your values
A good way to determine how much of each macronutrient you need is by knowing your body’s nutritional needs.
By this, we mean determining what quantities of protein, carbs and fat your body requires to function properly. By having enough of these nutrients in your diet, your body will be able to process raw materials such as food more efficiently. This can have positive effects on overall health and weight loss.
If you want to know more about the different types of diets, check out our article here! Or if you are looking to learn more about the ketogenic diet, read our article here! Both contain great information about the benefits of changing your diet and keeping it healthy.
Estimate your intake
A good way to determine how much of each macronutrient you are consuming is by calculating your average intake. You can do this at least twice – once at the beginning of week and again at the end.
Weekly averages are better than daily ones because they take into account all the days in a given period, not just those where you ate enough of the nutrient.
So for example, if you normally have breakfast, lunch and dinner every day that means your nutritional values will be overstated because you’re failing to include the times when you didn’t eat them.
Even if you are eating enough food, it is still possible to feel hungry and lose weight due to insufficient intake of one or more macronutrients.
You may not be getting enough carbohydrates, fats or protein, which all play an important role in helping your body maintain its balance and work properly.
That means things like bread, pasta, potatoes and other carbs, foods rich in fat and adequate amounts of protein — lean meats, fish, nuts and/or dried fruits.
If you want to see results, you have to be willing to make some changes to your diet. That goes beyond simply increasing your daily nutritional intake.
Blindly adding extra vegetables to your plate won’t do anything for you. A small change that makes no difference will give you little hope.
But changing how you eat by having less of something or something you love but should probably limit to once per week can lead to lasting lifestyle shifts.
And I don’t mean just saying “yes” to the offer of chicken wings at dinner every night either. It takes repeated behavior modifications to create new habits.
So pick a few days a month when you’ll be particularly careful about nutrition, and then watch as your body responds.
How to increase carbohydrate intake
Carbohydrate needs decrease during early stages of pregnancy so unless you’re already consuming enough, there’s no need to worry about that.