Calories Or Macros: What Should I Count for Weight Loss?
Counting macros is the revolutionary intelligence in the fitness and nutrition industry. It shifted the narrow-minded calorie-focused approach and forced fitness gurus to start looking at things from a different perspective. The macro diet goes one step further than counting calories. You need to ensure that you are hitting your micro-nutrients ratio while eating within your calorie goals for better results. A macro diet helps in making smart food choices.
You must have already heard about macro-counting and its benefits from some fitness-freak friend or your nutritionists. A macro diet can prove beneficial to anyone who aspires to be fit. Anyone who is stuck at a weight-loss plateau or looking to build muscles or maintain a healthy lifestyle can utilize the knowledge of macro-diet. It is easy to adjust and adapt to.
As mentioned, a macro diet helps people to make smarter food choices. For example, a pack of Oreos consists of 137calories, and one serving of pita bread with hummus is around 150 calories. Both food items have almost equal calories, but the latter one meets your macro goals. The pita is made from whole grains, and hummus is a rich source of protein, and the drizzle of olive oil gets you the healthy fat that your joints need.
If you just look at the calorie, it seems perfect for a snack, but when you start counting your macros, that’s where the change happens.
What are macros, and how are they different from calories?
To count your macros, you need to know what it is. Macro is short of macronutrients. They are the primary nutrients that are vital to keeping your body healthy. The human diet is built around these macronutrients that are carbohydrates, protein, and fats. All 3 are essential and support our basic bodily functions. Irrespective of your dietary plans or lifestyle, it is crucial that you take at least one macronutrient-rich food in your meal.
Counting it is basically measuring the grams of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat you consume in your meal in a day. Apart from just supporting your bodily functions, these nutrients also play an important role in weight loss and muscle building.
Depending on your fitness goals, you can adjust the carb-protein fat ratio. An Acceptable Range of Macro Distribution ranges (ADMR) set by Dietary Guidelines for Americans for an average adult is as follow:
- 45 % – 65 % Carbohydrates
- 10 % – 30 % Protein
- 20 % – 35 % Fats
For a long time, it was a general belief that if you eat fewer calories, you need to burn lesser calories. This practice used to create a calorie deficit and made your meal unbalanced. So, amongst the fitness community, the new measurement is becoming a rage — MACROS.
Another thing that sets this counting apart from calorie counting is that it focuses on food composition. By focusing on getting the right composition of protein, carbs, and fats, you have greater satiety. When you feel fuller, you do not crave sugary treats.
Why are macro meals essential for weight loss and muscle gain?
Our nutritionists frequently get asked by our clients, “If I eat 1200 calories a day and burn 500, how much weight will I lose?”
This question reflects how narrow our approach is towards a weight loss diet. Most people end up focusing too much on calories and end up eating an unbalanced diet. A similar trend can be noticed with people who want to build muscles. It is a widespread approach that eating lots of protein helps in muscle gain, but too much of anything is wrong. Excess protein can put a lot of pressure on your kidneys. It is unnatural for human beings to eat a massive amount of one macro while eliminating the other two.
To burn fat or gain muscles, it is essential to understand how the human body processes different macros. The human body is designed to automatically turn extra energy provided by these nutrients into fat and store it for the future. Irrespective of the type of nutrient you consume, all the excess fat, protein, and carbs are stored as fat.
Unless you start moving your body, the fat will remain stored. Your body generally builds muscle only when it is required. You need to engage in strength-building workouts that can help shape muscle fibers.
When you want to achieve a specific muscle gain or fat loss target, you need to look beyond cutting calories. Divert your focus on assessing your macros to ensure you consume healthy calories and engage in the right mix of exercises to achieve your fitness goals.
What is the right macro ratio for me?
To determine the right macro balance for you, begin with calculating your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Share your vital stats and activity level with our nutritionists. Our nutrition experts use a standard formula to assess the total number of calories you burn on an average day. If you are on a muscle-building workout routine, make sure you share that. Our experts recommend reducing your TDEE by 10 %, so your body starts drawing from fat reserves for energy. The macro ratio here depends on your fitness goals — maintenance, weight loss, or bulking-up.
Why I hit a weight loss plateau?
You might be diligently dieting and exercising but not losing weight. No matter how frustrating it can be, reaching the weight loss plateau is normal and happens to all. The first few weeks of the weight loss journey are filled with positive signs of rapid weight drop. However, the weight loss slowly reduces. It’s mainly happening because when you cut calories, the body derives energy from the stored glycogen. Glycogen is primarily stored in muscles and the liver. Glycogen, which is partly made of water, releases water when it is burned for energy. The initial weight that you lose is mainly water, and that is why the effect is temporary.
Initial weight loss may also make you lose some muscles along with fat. Muscles are responsible for keeping your metabolism up. So, muscle loss causes the metabolism to decline. Thus, fewer calories are burnt.
Because of slower metabolism, the calories you burn equal the calories you eat, and you hit the weight loss plateau. To break this weight loss plateau, you need to either decrease your calorie intake or increase your physical activity. Sticking to one routine that once worked may not be the best solution.
How can a meal plan help?
The right meal plan can be of great help if your weight loss has stalled. When you hit the plateau, don’t lose hope. Tracking your calories and macros can provide you reliable information about what needs to be adjusted in your meal plan. Tracking also brings accountability and helps to know if any diversion may have happened.
If you are eating under 1200 calories and not losing weight, stop doing that. You can’t cut down your calorie intake to less than 1200 calories a day. Anything below that may cause minerals deficiency and make you feel hungry constantly. By adjusting your macros and keeping your calorie intake at 1200, you can achieve your goal. The simple idea here is to change what you are eating with healthy and wholesome swaps.
If you’re committed to losing more weight and get past the plateau, try these tips:
- Increase your protein intake.
- Track everything you eat.
- Cut back on carbohydrates.
- Add more wholesome food to your diet.
- Eat more fiber.
- Embrace green tea.
- Reduce your salt intake.
- Drink more water before meals.
- Switch high carb breakfast with high protein
- Have a cheat day and reset your system.
- Switch your fruit snack with a handful of dry fruits.
- Keep eating healthy fat; it is not your enemy.
If the above tips seem exhausting, try our fully customized meal plans. Discuss with our nutritionist; they can help you decide your weekly meal plans within your calorie limits. Our gifted chefs can prepare a tasty and nourishing meal while taking care of your specific dietary needs.
Can a macro meal be delivered?
Getting your macro meals delivered by a professional healthy meal delivery can be the best way to track your macros and calories. So, stop wondering what to eat after a workout at night when you are exhausted. Get your macro meals delivered by VMeals. It’s the easiest and the quickest way to get the right nutrition — you choose; we deliver; you enjoy.
The macro ratio can vary from person to person depending on their requirements, metabolic efficiency, fitness routine, and ultimate fitness goals. There is no one size fit all approach when it comes to macros and calories. Our meal plans can get the right weekly menu for you that is customized according to your needs.
All of our meals feature:
- Complex Carbohydrates
- Lean Protein
- Essential Fats
- Dietary Fiber
- Low Sodium
- No artificial flavoring
Discover a New Meal Every Week
Our team keeps the excitement alive by changing our menu every week. We aim to make healthy eating easy and exciting. So be prepared to be served with a range of suitable macro meals every week, including snacks and drinks.
Stop the guesswork of what to eat and what to skip. Let experts handle that. Our in-house dietitians and nutritionist can discuss and create the tailored menu plan for you. They are experienced in creating meal menus for every goal and every lifestyle.
All our meals are freshly prepared and delivered to your doorstep. You will never receive frozen meals from VMeals. Meals are perfectly portioned and made from the freshest of ingredients.
Macronutrients comprise three primary components of every diet — carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Your macronutrient ratio may not directly influence your weight loss or muscle gain goals. However, it lets you be on a more sustainable diet plan, which you are more likely to stick to. With these diet plans, you do not need to deprive your body. On the contrary, you get to feed your body the ideal health-giving foods to make it more efficient. The efficiency will reflect on your exercise and overall fitness level.
There are several apps available that help you track your macros. If taking out your phone every time before meal planning seems tedious to you, book your VMeals. Let these healthy meal choices became a part of your lifestyle. Healthy options eventually become healthy habits. With persistent efforts, you will surely meet your fitness goals soon.