How To Increase Macronutrient Intake
When it comes to weight loss, what you eat is just as important as how much you are eating. Luckily, with the right nutrition strategies, you can be pretty selective when it comes to food!
By this we mean you should be able to choose whether to eat meat or not, whether to add olive oil or butter to your cooking, and whether to enjoy sweet foods once in a while.
This article will talk about some easy ways to increase your macronutrient (“major nutrient”) intake. These include carbs, fats, and proteins. We’ll also discuss why it is important to have enough balance in your diet, and how to make sure you get that balance.
Increasing your micronutrient intake is equally important. Micronutrients are the little bits of nutrients found in most nutritional supplements and foods. They help keep your body functioning properly, promote health, and aid in maintaining strong bones and muscles.
But unless you are actively taking nutritional supplements, we suggest focusing more on the major nutrients first. That way, you’ve given yourself a good start! Read on for our tips.
Eat more whole plant foods
One of the easiest ways to increase your macronutrient intake is by eating more plants. You can choose to eat lots of vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts or you could even combine all of these in one meal!
Many people start diets without giving their body enough glucose (carbs), protein, and fat for fuel. When they go out food shopping, they find it difficult to meet their nutritional needs because of this.
Tracy has shared some easy tips with us that we would like to share with you here. She will talk about how to increase carbohydrate intake, as well as protein and fat intake.
She will also tell you some fun recipes that use many of these nutrients, so definitely check those out.
Combine protein and fat sources
Although it may sound contradictory, there are not really any rules about how many carbs you should eat per day. The average person in the United States eats enough carbohydrates!
We usually have our breakfast, lunch, and dinner made of around 10-12% calories from carbohydrate. So, if we were to try eating more than that, we would be consuming too much sugar. That is why most healthy diets suggest replacing those foods with foods high in either protein or fats.
You can also combine different types of proteins and fats in the same meal, which helps your body use them more efficiently. For example, by having meat with rice, you’re mixing lean protein with some carbs. Or, breaking up your meals into smaller snacks aids in digestion as well as calorie intake regulation.
General tips: Use food as your main source of energy instead of glucose (doughnuts, cookies, etc.) or sucrose (regular white sugar) for healthier choices.
Use nutrition labels
A good way to start increasing your macronutrients is by using the Nutrition Facts table that most food products have. This table will tell you how much of each nutrient in the product you consume, as well as what percentage of the recommended amount you should eat.
By looking at the ingredient list, however, it may be difficult to determine which part of the nutritional value comes from protein, carbs, or fat. The term “protein” can refer not only to meat but also nuts and other foods with large amounts of amino acids.
Some proteins are more nutritious than others. For example, dried fruits and vegetables contain significant levels of vitamin C, but very little zinc. It is therefore better to include both in your diet than to rely mostly on one type of protein.
Likewise, some types of carbohydrates are more nutritious than others. For instance, berries are high in antioxidants, while many pasta dishes contain too much sugar. Consuming a variety of nutrients is important to overall health.
Know the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats
Along with protein and carbohydrate, fat is an important nutrient we are exposed to every day. Certain types of dietary fat have been linked to improved health, while other types are harmful.
It’s important to understand the differences between saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats to know which ones you should include in your diet and how much.
Sugared foods like desserts and snacks contain high amounts of sugar but little to no nutritional value. Unfortunately, most of these foods are packed with butter or solid oils that are mostly made up of saturated fatty acids.
Many of those oils (such as coconut oil) may not be ideal sources of nutrition, however. The reason? They’re composed almost entirely of monounsaturated fats – a type of fat that can raise blood cholesterol levels.
Eat more vegetables
Although it may feel difficult at times, you can try to increase your vegetable intake. You don’t have to eat a lot of them, but you should be sure to include some every day.
Start by trying to have one or two servings of cooked vegetables per day. A serving of vegetables is one cup of chopped veggies or one large slice of bread topped with roasted broccoli.
You can also add dried fruits like apricots or berries to boost nutrition even more. They are a great source of antioxidants that help keep your body healthy.
Cooked vegetables do not contain too much fat so they are usually OK to eat in most cases. Some of our fussy taste buds require lots of olive oil or butter when cooking vegetables, which makes them less likely to want them.
Combine carbs with protein for improved results
Although it may seem contradictory, there are actually some benefits to eating more fat while weight loss is your goal. This comes from altering how you mix your macronutrients (defined as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) in your diet.
When you eat too much of either protein or carbohydrate without enough fat, your body can become storage mode hungry. It will begin storing energy in form of glucose or glycogen in the blood stream as “fuel” for active tissues, then using that stored fuel to fulfill their demand.
This happens when you exercise hard or remain inactive for extended periods of time – our muscles need lots of glucose to function properly. The same goes for our skin and other soft tissue cells. They also require adequate amounts of glucose to survive!
However, if there isn’t enough food consumed during this period, those demands aren’t being met. Without these nutrients, slow metabolism and cell death can occur, which is why most people who lose weight eventually regain the lost weight.
By mixing all three nutrients together, you’re providing your body with the needed calories to keep functioning normally. When we consume foods containing plenty of both protein and carbs, along with some healthy fats, they’re broken down into individual molecules and absorbed faster than just having a high carb meal alone.
Use spices to boost your nutrition
There are many ways to increase your nutritional intake by experimenting with flavors and textures. Besides adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet, you can try adding some salt, herbs, and/or spices to taste.
Many people start eating these additives as part of their daily routine and eventually it becomes an integral part of their food culture. They may even begin using them in new recipes!
Some of the most common additions include garlic, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, curry, and soy sauce. All of these add flavor and trace minerals that help make your foods healthier.
There are several reasons why having more nutrients is important. Nutrients play a significant role in how well your body functions. Examples include regulating blood pressure, keeping bones strong, and promoting growth.
When we lack enough certain vitamins or minerals, our bodies cannot function properly. Therefore, they become deficient and when this happens frequently, it can be detrimental to our overall health.
Add more fruits to your diet
Adding more fruit to your daily nutrition plan is one of the best ways to increase your macronutrient intake. More and bigger chunks of fruit can be eaten, which makes it easier to achieve your goal.
Many people begin adding fruits to their diets when they feel that their eating habits need an overhaul. Fruits are known as “good” foods, so by including them in your diet, you are already starting off on a good foot.
Making small changes at first is the best way to succeed. When beginning your new health regime, try to have a couple of pieces of fruit every day for about 30 minutes. This can be done while watching TV or working on homework.
The most common types of fruits used in nutritional programs are berries like strawberries and raspberries, melon such as watermelon, oranges, and kiwis.