A Comprehensive Guide To Macro Diet Meal Plan
A diet, in no way, means starving yourself. Following a diet plan is all about taking the right nutrients in the right proportion. This makes everything you eat hit right where it needs to. If you have ever heard the phrase ‘macro diet meal plan’, it must have been at a gym for from a fitness freak. But you do not have to go for the plan. Macro dieting is for anyone who is looking to opt for healthy and smart food choices to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
What Is A Macro Diet?
A macro diet is entirely based on tracking macronutrients instead of counting calories before consuming food. When going for a Macro Diet Meal Plan, one needs to know his/her body’s needs. So, he gets a clear idea of what the body requires and in which amounts to be able to achieve the ultimate goal. The goal varies from person to person. Some people may want to shed some extra kilos, some want to build their muscles, and some are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle.
A macro diet is all about the optimal intake of macronutrients.
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are nutritive components that the body requires in large quantities to carry on with normal body functions. If you keep delivering these nutrients to the body in the perfect ratio, the body metabolism works and thus accounts for a healthy body. But, less or more intake of these components results in malfunctioning of the metabolic system. As a result, the body suffers various abnormalities such as obesity, weakness, and many other disorders.
The three major macronutrients include:
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are the main source of providing energy for the body. They are composed of sugar, starch, and fiber.
Potatoes, rice, pasta, fruit, beans, and oats are foods are enriched with carbohydrates.
1 g of carbohydrates has 4 calories in it. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends that adults who use carbs get 45-65% of their daily calories from them. Likewise, the energy these carbohydrates provide is requisite for giving fuel to the body and brain.
Every person has his own need for carbohydrate intake and which varies. Some people require lower-carb diets, whereas others need a diet that is higher in carbs.
Proteins play an important role in the human body by building new tissues and repairing old ones. It also enables cellular communication, carry out enzymatic reactions, immune functioning, and more.
Foods that are rich in protein include meat, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, and nuts.
1 g of protein carries approximately 4 calories. The DGA recommends adults should get enough protein in their diet. An ample amount of protein diet is 10-35% of your calorie requirements.
The amount of protein consumption may vary from person to person. It depends on a person’s age, body composition, muscle mass, and some other things.
Fat is used to store energy inside a person’s body. It carries out other functions like it provides help in absorbing nutrients inside the body, it also regulates body temperature. Moreover, fats regulate hormones and protect our nerves.
Butter, oil, avocado, nuts, fatty fish, and meat are a few of the foods that are high in fats.
1 g of fat contains 9 calories. Thus, fats are the most calorie-enriched food. The DGA research shows adults should get 20-35% of their daily calories from fatty foods. Though early researchers have described fats as unhealthy for the body, contemporary studies show them fruitful for the body.
Yet, one must avoid taking excess fat-containing food in their diet.
How To Get Started With Your Macro Diet Meal Plan
When it comes to devising a Macro Diet Meal Plan, there is no specific plan. The diet plans of two different people will never look the same. As a matter of fact, every person needs a different quantity of macronutrients. This depends on the height, weight, activity level, age, and gender of the concerned.
Let us have a look at the step-to-step guide to following a Macro Diet Meal Plan:
1. Consulting a Certified Nutritionist
It would not be wrong if we say each person has his very own ‘macronutrient ratio’. So, if one plans on following a Macro Diet Meal Plan, it is always advisable to look for a qualified dietician. A professional nutritionist/dietician may be able to give you the right advice on the macronutrient ratios apt for your body.
A nutrition expert, Lisa Cohn working for miVIP Surgery Centers, emphasizes the significance of consulting a specialist for the task, “For someone just getting started on this diet, it is a good idea to meet with a Registered Dietitian to determine the macronutrient breakdown that you are currently consuming and discuss your goals.”
Lisa further stated, “Your dietitian can then help determine the best breakdown for you and guide you on how to make this lifestyle transition.”
2. Counting Your Macronutrient Intake
Before making a Macro Diet Meal plan for yourself, the first thing you need to do is to calculate the number of calories your body requires. And then, go for arranging your nutrient intake ratio in a way that compliments the calorie intake required to achieve your desired goal.
3. Determining Your Caloric Requirements
The IIFYM, short for “if it fits your macros”, is one way to determine your calorie needs. It is a shift from a calorie-based diet to a nutrient-based approach. The technique is based on counting the number of macronutrients rather than calories that a person is consuming.
The diet, unlike most diet plans, is a rather flexible diet plan which gives people the benefit of getting their desired body results without bringing a drastic change to their eating habits.
The IIFYM diet works on the idea of eating fewer calories than the body requires while still consuming enough macronutrients. As a result, this results in weight loss at a slow and steady rate.
Start your weight loss journey today by using the calculator on the IIFYM website.
For Losing Weight
When counting macros while aiming for weight loss, make sure you are counting macros in such a way you’re also cutting calories. This is the suggested range of macronutrient ratio for weight loss:
- 10-30% carbs
- 40-50% protein
- 30-40% fat
- of total caloric need.
For Building Muscles
Choosing the macro diet to build muscles? When counting macros for bodybuilding or gaining muscle mass, you need to add calories to put on weight.
Follow this proportion of macro ratio for bodybuilding:
- 40-60% carbs
- 25-35% protein
- 15-25% fat
of total calorie needs.
Who says all bodybuilders need is protein? There are chances you end up overconsuming protein. It will not help but can disrupt your metabolism.
For Body Maintenance
If you are counting macros for maintenance, you will want to stick to the number of calories your body needs to sustain your current weight. Try this macro ratio range for maintenance: 30-50% carbs, 25-35% protein, 25-35% fat.
Keeping Up With Keto Diet
Planning to go on a keto diet? The first rule is to maintain the right balance of carbs, protein, and fat to activate the process of ketosis. You can go for this macronutrient range to maintain ketosis:
- 5-10% carbs
- 15-30% protein
- 60-75% fat or even more of your regular calorie intake.
After determining the required macronutrient ratio, one needs to keep track of what you take in. Tracking means logging the foods consumed and keeping a record of daily intake. This also requires paying attention to the number of macronutrients consumed.
Tracking Calorie Intake With Macros
Keeping track of your calorie intake holds utmost significance in the Macro Diet Meal Plan.
Many prefer to use a website or mobile app. Modern technology has made the most strenuous of the tasks easier for users.
Many other online macro diet calculators and apps for making Macro Diet Meal Plans are on the web to help you along the way to achieving a more fit version of yourself. An online macro diet calculator or meal planning app can also help guide you along the way by providing you with an easy platform to keep a record of the foods you are eating. Moreover, they help you calculate how many macronutrients are present in your diet. Below are some of the best-reviewed macro diet apps for you to try:
One can choose the conventional method of doing all the math by hand. One can calculate how many grams of each macronutrient they have consumed in a day by using the following formula:
(Total daily calories x macronutrient percentage) / calories per gram
Benefits Of Macro Diet
Devising a full-fledged Macro Diet Meal Plan and then following it with utmost dedication is bound to give you the desired results. The macro diet has proven to be beneficial in various fields such as:
- Weight loss
- Building muscle mass
- Maintainance of blood sugar levels
- Achievement of an overall healthier lifestyle
6 Best Tips For Following A Macro Diet Meal Plan
Following a strict diet plan may seem a bit challenging for diet newbies. Here are a few tips, or you may call them hacks to make the experience a bit easier for you.
- The current meal plan is failing to satisfy your hunger? There is no need to starve yourself. Add more protein to your diet. Protein is the most satiating nutrient. Fibre also contains fewer calories and is more filling.
- If you are feeling a bit tired, look for more carbs. carbohydrates are a high source of energy. Include more fibrous veggies in your diet.
- Not losing any weight even if you have been following the diet plan must be frustrating. Experts recommend cutting the carbs from your meals. Lowering the carbohydrate intake, especially with dinner, will result in your body depending on fats for energy. So, extra fats are shed from the body to act as an energy source.
- If you have sugar cravings, balance your blood sugar better with more protein and fiber and remove all sugar.
- If you are losing weight too fast, add 5 to 6 bites of starch, such as sweet potato, oatmeal, or squash, with one meal per day.
- Are you losing muscle mass as a result of following the Macro Diet Meal Plan? This does not seem to be going in the right direction, does it? Why get anxious when you have the right solution? Add more protein to your diet. An extra 5 to 6 bites of protein per day, and you are good to go. Some light strengthening workout exercises will not hurt either.
Things To Consider Before A Macro Diet Meal Plan
We have discussed various advantages of consuming a macro diet, but excess of everything is bad. Taking a macro diet also has some cons that one should keep in mind to keep himself fit and healthy.
1. The Process Is Time-Consuming
Tracking macros is not easy as tracking calories because it takes time. Moreover, if you want to follow a macro diet, then you have to be keen and observant of the macronutrient ratio of your food intake.
2. No Binging Your Favorite Junk
It would be difficult to manage your macro diet while going out for dinner or lunch. So, people will feel somewhat restricted in social gatherings.
Macro Diet Meal Plan is a great way to achieve your desired body goals. Yet, it comes with its risks. For some people, it may be time-consuming and a lot of fuss to deal with the number of macros. It is advisable to consult a practicing dietician before opting for the diet plan.
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