Best Macros for weight loss ? 📊
Clients often ask me whether, in addition to how many calories they should aim for, what proportion of macros they need to hit i.e. amounts of protein, carbs and fat. Well like most things concerning nutrition there is no one size fits all but essentially it’s whatever suits your lifestyle.
So first off why might you want to track macros? Well if you are an athlete or are trying to build serious amounts of muscle then yes it may be useful to track your macros as you may need to ensure you’re getting sufficient amounts of carbs to fuel your training or enough protein to ensure muscle building. However for the vast majority of us who are exercising for health and enjoyment or just trying to lose weight then there is no need to hit certain amounts or track them.
If you enjoy data and find that keeping track of macros helps you stay on track generally then of course go for it! If you have an interest in seeing how your body responds to different macro ratios then absolutely go ahead and track them and play around with the percentages of each one. If however you’re trying to lose weight then you don’t actually need such a high degree of control over the details. Tracking calories and hitting a specific calorie deficit itself can be enough of a challenge, and I’ve found if you then ask people to try to hit certain protein or carb ratios on top of that it can become too much. The amount of focus, concentration and planning required can mean it becomes unsustainable and ultimately leads to failure. It can also lead to burn out, disordered eating behaviour and severely limits social life and enjoyment. In addition the database in these tracking apps is often not accurate enough anyway to allow such a high degree of macro manipulation.
For most people, a balanced diet will be providing plenty of protein, carbs and fat and getting hung up on whether you’re hitting 50 percent or 45 percent protein or carbs etc is really meaningless. A focus on more protein based foods/snacks can help with feelings of fullness and therefore help prevent overeating but you can do that by simply choosing higher protein foods if you so wish.
So in short, don’t stress about the macros. Focus on hitting a calorie deficit and just ensure you’re eating a balanced diet including protein, fats and carbs, nutritious whole foods, fruits and veggies, and foods you also enjoy (even so called ‘junk’ foods).