How To Find A Healthy Meal Plan
Getting the right nutrition is important for many reasons. Having a good diet is one of the best ways to maintain your health, makes you feel good, and can help you manage your weight. Still, finding the right diet can be tricky. Macronutrient diets have become increasingly popular. However, many are still unclear as to what macronutrients are or what they mean for weight loss. Learning about macronutrients can help you achieve your fitness goals while giving your body the fuel it needs.
What are Macronutrients?
Your body runs on calories. It is the fuel for everything you consciously and unconsciously do, from walking and standing to breathing and digesting. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the 3 macronutrients, the main sources of energy for the body. These nutrients are found in all foods and give your body the fuel it needs to function.
Where Do Your Calories Come From?
If your goal is to lose weight or maintain your current weight you will need to monitor your caloric intake. To lose weight you should aim for a caloric deficit, or consuming less calories than you burn. If you want to maintain your weight your caloric intake and output should be the same. Along with counting calories, you should try to eat the correct ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Technically, you could eat cake, candy, fries and other treats all day and still have a caloric deficit. However, all calories are not created equal. Depending on what you eat, you may feel fuller, get more nutrients, vitamins, or minerals. Considering where your calories come from is as important as counting calories and it will allow you to make healthier choices on your fitness journey.
The Perfect Ratio
There’s no single Macronutrient ratio that works for everyone. Finding a good diet is personal and should reflect your fitness goals. Also, depending on your age, gender, activity level, and genetics, different foods and macronutrient ratios will have varying effects on your body. When starting a macronutrient diet, listen to your body and adjust your ratios within the recommended ranges to find a macronutrient ratio that works best for you.
Calculating your daily Macronutrients can be very helpful on a fitness journey and will help you see just what you should be eating more or less of. Since carbs, proteins, and fats all have a different number of calories per gram, they must be calculated individually. You should also research how many calories you should eat per day. This will vary from person to person depending on several factors. Establishing a target caloric intake will give you an idea of what and how much you should be eating. Although these numbers and calculations may seem complex, keeping track of exactly where your calories come from will help you examine your eating habits and make necessary lifestyle changes.
For this example, we’ll use 2,000 daily calories and a 25/50/25 ratio, which means 25% of the calories come from Proteins, 50% of the calories come from Carbs, and 25% of the calories come from Fats. This ratio is just an example; you should find a macronutrient ratio that works best for you within the recommended ranges.
Someone eating 2,000 calories a day and following a 25/50/25 diet should eat approximately 125 grams of Protein, 250 grams of Carbs, and 55 grams of Fat. The calculations are as follows:
(.25) x 2,000 = 500 kcal / 4 (4 calories per gram of protein) = about 125 grams of protein per day
(.50) x 2,000 = 1,000 kcal / 4 (4 calories per gram of carbohydrates) = about 250 grams of carbohydrates per day
(.25) x 2,000 = 500 kcal / 9 (9 calories per gram of fat) = about 55 grams of fat per day
To calculate your own Macronutrient levels, replace 2,000 with your recommended amount of calories per day. Multiply your calories by the percentage ratio of each macronutrient. Then divide the new Carbs and Protein number by 4, and divide the new Fats number by 9 to calculate your recommended daily Macronutrients in grams.
Tools for A Healthy Diet
If calculating your daily macronutrients by hand seems daunting or just doesn’t work for you, try an Online macronutrient calculator. Online calculators are convenient since you don’t have to do the calculations by hand and are suitable for nearly everyone. They may also help you keep track of your progress more thoroughly. Many online calculators and apps have food diaries, barcode scanners, calorie counters, and healthy tips. These tools can help you successfully meet your weight loss goals and stay fit.
Stick With It
Counting macronutrients can help you meet your fitness goals. When you count your macronutrients, you consider both what and how much you eat. This is important because you can have a better idea of your eating habits and are able to make adjustments more easily. A diet focused on macronutrients can effectively help you lose weight while feeding your body the right amount of fuel. So, experiment with different ratios and find foods that you like. Sustainability and consistency will be the ultimate keys to long term success.
– Daily Diet Composition Charts for Carbs, Protein, and Fat
– Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations
– Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics
– Estimated Calorie Needs per Day, by Age, Sex, and Physical Activity Level
– Ideal Weight Chart
– Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics
– The Best Macronutrient Ratio for Weight Loss
– IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros): A Beginner’s Guide