Balancing macros for fat loss: this article covers what to eat and why. If you're new to macronutrients, this will give you a basic understanding of each food group and how it serves your fat loss goals.
Counting Macros for Fat Loss
Here’s the cool thing - when you eat, your body processes the macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) in your food very differently. First, your body digests starchy carbs because they’re easy to process, and turn into sugar (yup, that’s what it ends up as!). Protein and fats take way more energy to digest, which is why they keep you fuller, longer.
Focus on the right macros: protein & fats = feeling full
One of the key takeaways I’ve gleaned from my training with Precision Nutrition is that protein is the key to your long-lasting satiety and without adequate amounts, not only will you be “hangry” all the time, you’ll also be more flabby.
Another great reason to eat protein is to support lean muscle mass. No, I’m not talking Incredible Hulk style arms, I’m talking lean, toned muscles that make you look like you just fell out of a Lululemon advertisement. That’s what we’re looking for right?
Macros for fat loss + the benefits of healthy fats
While Protein is great for building muscle, fats are also critical for satiety. Healthy fats found in coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and fatty fish, balance fatty acids in the body which reduces inflammation. They're also hormone balancing and will keep you fuller, longer.
Protein is king. That’s your new mantra.
But that’s not to say fats and carbs don’t play a role in your new Lulu-inspired physique. Healthy fats add to satiety, keep your hair and skin looking fab and balance hormones (this one is key, ladies). By having just enough fat in your diet, you’re going to keep that feeling of “I’m still not hungry” going strong for hours after your meal. It’s also going to make whatever you’re eating taste freaking awesome.
Carbs are the tricky diva that you need to careful with. Not all carbs are created equal (same for fats and proteins). Highly processed, starchy carbs or “cheap carbs” are the fast digesting, sugar forming calories that you just don’t need or want. These are the wheat or grain-based carbs (I include oats in here) that have little nutritional value except wanting to express themselves on your hips and thighs for eternity.
Prioritize Non-Starchy Carbs
Well, let’s start with the obvious which are non-starchy veggies. Seriously, you cannot get enough of this kind of amazing fibrous carbs in the form of green leafy or cruciferous veggies. But you already knew that, right? The other kind of carbs that will also give you sustained energy without the insulin spike are called resistant starches. These are the carbs that convert to sugar more in the liver more slowly, due to their molecular makeup. Instead, they pass through your digestive system, feeding healthy gut bacteria along the way before reappearing as poop.
More poop, less body fat. Awesome!
So when we put all this together, we’ve got a recipe for non-crazy-making healthy eating that’s balanced, delicious and energy enhancing (rather than nap-inducing).
So here’s the formula:
Clean protein + healthy fat + smart carbs amazing food, lean body & wicked health.
Try to get one-third of your total calories from each of these to start and see how you feel. Keep in mind that veggies are very low in calories, so they will make up the majority of your plate in volume while only taking up a 1/3 of your total calories!
So have at it!! If you want to dive into how to actually create the ideal macro balance for your body and goals, along with how to track for ultimate success, consider signing up for my Macros Made Easy Program. It's the fastest way to get yourself up and running so you can start seeing the results you crave.
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.