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How To Start Counting Macros For Weight Loss?

In the world of weight loss, there are TONS of diet plans out there. Some work. Some don’t. You can count calories. Or points. Or carbs. Or you can track one of the most countable elements: macros. Macros or “flexible dieting” is all the rage, but is it a proven method of healthy living? Here’s all you need to know about macro dieting. 

While many foods contain all of the main macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats and protein, most foods skew heavily toward one or two of them. For instance, meat is loaded with protein, bread is mostly carbohydrates, and olive oil is predominantly fat. Your body needs all three in some capacity to perform its daily functions.

ROMAN ODINTSOV/ Pexels | A macrobiotic diet is a fad diet based on ideas about types of food drawn from Zen Buddhism

According to the macro diet, you can lose weight by setting a goal for exactly how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to eat per day. Again, unlike most traditional diets, you don’t have to count calories, and unlike low-carb or low-fat diets, you don’t need to eliminate your favorite foods, like potatoes, pasta, or bacon.

Although a macro diet primarily focuses on counting macronutrients, it also involves staying within a specific calorie range. A person will calculate their daily calorie needs and determine their macros accordingly. Some people count their macros to reach weight loss goals, build muscle mass, and balance blood sugar levels. However, many people may find it time-consuming, socially restrictive, and confusing. 

Total Shape/ Pexels |
The most important steps in counting macros are setting a calorie goal and macronutrient range for carbs, protein and fat

Before you can start tracking, you’ll need to determine your daily macronutrient goals. These four steps guide you through that process.  

Step 1: Determine your energy needs and daily calorie goals

While calories aren’t the primary focus of the macro diet, they do provide a framework for macros. So you have to start by determining your body’s daily calorie needs and then setting a calorie goal.

Step 2: Create a calorie goal 

Once you have those figures, you need to come up with a target calorie intake to meet your weight goals. To lose weight, you need the number of calories you consume to be 10 to 15 percent below what you’re burning every day. 

Ella Olsson/ Pexels | When you’re counting your macros, you’re counting the grams of proteins, carbs or fat that you’re consuming

Step 3: Make a plan 

After determining the total number of calories you should eat per day, you’ll have to figure out how many of your daily calories should come from fat, carbs, and protein. Some sites and blogs advocate for a strict 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrate, and 20 percent fat split. 

Step 4: measure everything as you progress forward 

The more accurately you’re able to track, the better. Usually, this means measuring everything while you’re getting started. Measuring cups and spoons will help you learn the macros in portion sizes of different foods. A food scale can be helpful, too. After a while, you’ll probably get good at eyeballing your favorite foods to log portion size into your tracking app and not have to measure as much.

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