One of the first tips in most weight management or diet plans is to track your macros, because what gets measured, gets managed. So what exactly are macros, and why/how do we track them?
There are three main types of macronutrients, or macros, for short. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are the main nutrients our bodies use from food. There are also micronutrients like vitamins and minerals that our bodies need and get from eating quality food sources.
Determining Your Macros
How do you calculate these ideal macros? You should typically aim for 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh. From there, dietary fat should make up 20 percent to 35 percent of your total calories (based on your current body fat). Your remaining calories are made up of carbohydrates. Generally leaner people will eat more carbs, while heavier people will eat more fat and fewer carbs. A spreadsheet or app can help you stay on top of your calculations.
The Fine Print
While the percentages of your protein, fats and carbs matters, the quality of those macros also matters. Make sure to get at least 80 percent of your food from minimally processed nutrient-dense foods that you enjoy eating. You’ll feel more full for a longer period of time when eating whole foods than if you were eating junk food.
Additionally, if you want extra credit, set a fiber goal for the day. This is typically 10 grams to 15 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories. Setting a fiber goal means a large portion of your diet will come from vegetables, minimally processed starches, and fruits. Aim for 3 to 6 servings of vegetables, as well as 3 to 4 servings of fruit each day.
Fat Loss Example
Protein | 40%
Carbohydrates | 25%
Fats | 35%
Low Carb Example
Protein | 50%
Carbohydrates | 15%
Fats | 35%
Breakfast | Breakfast Chicken Sausage Hash
Dinner | Chicken Marsala with Green Beans
Protein | 35%
Carbohydrates | 40%
Fats | 25%
Want to design your own day? Check out the rotating menu for ready-made meals, signature sides, premium proteins and desserts– all with a variety of macro ranges.