Macronutrients are an essential part of a healthy diet. They’re the building blocks of the diet and provide energy. Learn about macronutrients, why they enhance your health, and how they can aid your weight loss plans.
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients, also called macros, are the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that make up the greatest part of your diet.
Each of these nutrients has important functions in your body. Even fats are crucial because they help you absorb essential vitamins from other foods (but stay far away from trans fats.) A healthy diet will include all three macronutrients.
Protein, carbohydrates, and fats also work together to provide important energy sources that keep you moving every day.
The IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) Diet
The IIFYM diet focuses on counting your macronutrients every day, so you can lose weight without feeling hungry. It’s a popular trend that is growing.
The IIFYM diet focuses on eating 20% fat, 40% carbohydrates, and 40% protein at each meal.
This is how it works:
1. Find out how many calories you need. The IIFYM diet requires that you know your body’s Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The BMR can be found with online calculators, or you can go to a dietician to get it.
- Once you know your BMR, you can calculate your activity level and figure out how many calories you require each day. This will provide you with an estimated number that will help you follow the diet.
2. Choose your own foods – within reason. The freedom of the diet comes from the ability to select the food you like. However, you still want to focus on healthy options and avoid processed food.
- This diet tracks calories, so it doesn’t judge the source of those calories. But as tempting as this may be, you still don’t want to just eat ice cream as long as it fits the calorie intake requirements.
- In tracking calories, you’ll notice that most nutrition labels include grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats instead of calories. This means you’ll have to calculate the calories, but you can use online calculators to do it.
- You can customize the diet to your needs and adjust the ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and fats if necessary. For example, if you exercise more, you may want to change the carbohydrate and protein ratios.
3. Remember micronutrients. Although the focus of the diet is on macronutrients, it’s important not to neglect micronutrients. Plan your diet to have a variety of foods so you can get more vitamins and minerals, which are micronutrients.
4. Sample meal plans. Your choices are open as long as they fit the protein-carb-fat ratios and your individual calorie requirements.
- A sample breakfast can include a protein shake with bananas, milk, strawberries and other ingredients. You can add the fruits and vegetables that you prefer to the shake, but it needs to include some protein. Another option is to eat eggs, bacon, whole grain bread, butter and jam.
- A sample lunch can include chicken, salad, avocado and whole grain bread. Another option is pasta salad with shrimp and vegetables.
- A sample dinner can include shrimp, sweet potatoes, grilled vegetables, butter and different dressings. Another choice could be pork or beef, steamed rice, vegetables, butter, and sauce.
- These sample mean plans often include butter because it provides the necessary fat ratios.
- Your snacks can include fruit such as apples or bananas. You can also eat nuts or roasted chickpeas. Berries, peanut butter, and other healthy items can also be snacks.
Macronutrients are the crucial elements of your diet. However, if you’re considering changing from your current diet to the IIFYM diet, remember that it’s always important to consult your doctor before making drastic diet changes.
Since proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are our largest nutrient requirements, it only makes sense to base your diet around these essentials. It’s nice to know that you can eat the foods you like and still lose weight – just adjust the portions to fit your requirements.