Anyone who has tried to diet knows that sticking to your diet can be difficult. Counting calories can be austere in the extreme and is unsustainable long term. Numerous studies show most diets fail, and people resume their regular eating habits. But all hope is not lost if you seek to eat sensibly and maintain a healthy body weight.
Macronutrients (macros) can help you reach your goals. The key to being successful is meal preparation. Let's take a more in-depth look at macros and how to prepare them.
What is a Macro?
A macro is one of three food groups needed that humans need to consume for their bodies to function. The three groups in macros are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Each macro group has a measurement of calories per gram instead of strict calorie counting and a long lists of foods you can or cannot eat as with other methods of eating healthy; macros are a much more common sense and practical way controlling your diet. Here are how many calories per gram in each macro group.
- Protein- four calories per gram.
- Carbs- four calories per gram.
- Fat- nine calories per gram.
What makes macros a more effective way to manage your diet is that there is a range of recommended percentages for each macro. This array makes prepping your food much simpler.
- Protein should make up 10-35% of your macros.
- Fat should make up 20-35% of your macros.
- Carbs should make up 45-65% of your macros.
Because keeping track of your daily macros is much easier than other diets, and is not as demanding, it is something that dieters can stick with for more than a few weeks. Because most diets fail, the weight goals that those dieting attempted to reach were sadly never met. Admittedly, for some keeping track of your daily macro intake can be quite confusing. Surely there are better ways than trying to keep a running count of what percentage of each macro group you have eaten throughout the day. What is the solution to making sure that your macro targets are met every day? Food preparation is the best way to make sure you reach your macro goals.
The old adage that failing to prepare is preparing for failure is absolutely correct when it comes to macros. If you want to ensure that you meet and don't exceed your daily macro requirements is to prepare meals a few days in advance. Obviously, you should not prepare your meals too far in advance because you should use fresh, healthy food and its shelf life are often brief.
When preparing your meals, take into account what you will be doing on the day the meals are to be eaten. If you are going to be sitting in an office chair for eight hours, you will require fewer calories than if you are going to bicycle across the countryside.
Two-thousand calories a day is not a one size fits all amount for your intake; be sure to know how many calories are too many, and how many are too few. If you need assistance in figuring what percentages of macros you should consume each day and about how many calories you need, there are a number of online macro calculators and apps.
You can be successful in your goal to use macros to achieve a healthy weight; all it requires is a little preparation.