Flexible Dieting + Counting Macros 101

If you’ve heard of flexible dieting or counting macros, 它可能来自Instagram上的一位健身大师,或者是一位正在和教练一起减肥的朋友. A few of you have expressed interest in learning more about this health trend, so I thought I would break it down for you and share my experience with tracking macros!

What are macros and why count them?

Let’s start with the basics: what are macros? “Macros” is short for macronutrients. The three macronutrients are carbohydrates, 脂肪, protein. 酒精实际上是第四大营养素,但酷游九州体育官网App将把这个话题留到下次讨论. When trying to lose weight, some nutrition experts suggest that instead of focusing on calorie counting alone, 你还应该跟踪你的常量营养素摄入量,以更好地了解你在吃什么. 这很重要,因为如果你没有摄入平衡的大量营养素(碳水化合物), 脂肪, protein), you might not see the results you’re looking for or feel as good as you’d like. The idea behind macro counting is that you’re allotted a specific number of carbohydrate, 脂肪, protein grams each day (depending on your body composition and health goals).

Four balanced meals-- eggs and oatmeal, a salad with veggies, veggies with hummus, a bowl of spaghetti squash with 豆腐 and broccoli.

The Three Macronutrients

Carbohydrates – “Carbs” have a bad rap in the health world but the truth is, our bodies 需要 碳水化合物! Carbohydrates fuel our brains and muscles. We want to stick to nutrient-dense 碳水化合物, like fruits, veggies, whole grains – foods 它们含有大量的纤维和较低的血糖负荷——所以它们不会使你的血糖升高那么多. Carbs to limit include processed bread, crackers, chips, 糖果. Some examples of healthy 碳水化合物 to incorporate into your diet including whole grains (rice, 燕麦), starchy vegetables (sweet potato, white potato, 南瓜), fresh fruit, legumes.

脂肪 – 脂肪 has also gotten a bad rap in the health world! It’s so strange that these huge overarching nutrients are looked down upon by some. 确定, we want to limit certain 脂肪s (trans 脂肪 specifically) and eat more healthy 脂肪s, but in general, 脂肪 is good! 脂肪 helps with vitamin absorption and brain function. It also helps insulate and protect our bones and organs. It’s a precursor for many hormones and acts as a backup fuel source. Some examples of 脂肪s to incorporate into your diet include nuts, seeds, oils (coconut, avocado, olive), nut butters, avocado, 大马哈鱼, coconut.

蛋白质 -蛋白质是一种在健康世界中一直被积极看待的大量营养素——让酷游九州体育官网App保持这种方式! 蛋白质 is made up of amino acids, the building block of muscles. It also supports our organs, skin, blood, hormones, helps with satiety. Some examples of healthy proteins include lean meats and poultry (chicken breast, 火鸡, low-脂肪 beef), fish (tuna, 罗非鱼, 鳕鱼, 大马哈鱼, 虾), protein powder, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, 豆腐, tempeh.

Calories in Macronutrients

1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
1 gram of protein = 4 calories
1 gram of 脂肪 = 9 calories

How do I figure out my macros?

My recommendation here is to work with a coach that specializes in macros! There are websites (like this one),你可以用它来计算出一个大概的范围,但也可以得到个性化的实际数字, your body, your activity level, your health goals, I recommend working with a coach. I’ve experimented with a ton of different macronutrient ratios over the years, but lately I’ve been focused on 40% 碳水化合物, 30% protein, 30% 脂肪. This seems to feel really balanced and achievable for me!

Benefits of Flexible Dieting and Tracking Macros

  • You can be vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc. and follow the guidelines of flexible dieting and tracking macros. It works for any and all dietary preferences.
  • 注意你所吃的宏量营养素的最大好处之一是,你可能会在大多数时间吃完整的食物, because it’s much easier to meet your goals this way. For instance, 当你只关注特定食物的卡路里数量时,你可以很容易地摆脱整天吃垃圾食品,但仍然满足你一天的卡路里分配. With counting macros, you can still do this – but it’s much harder to meet your goals by eating processed junk.
  • You’re also more aware of the food you’re eating. I’ve found that planning meals around a balance of protein, 碳水化合物, healthy 脂肪s has helped me feel better overall . . . I feel full longer and my energy is more balanced throughout the day.
  • 灵活节食法的另一个好处是,没有什么食物是禁止食用的——你只需要跟踪食物,并将其与你每天的常量营养素比例相适应. Once you’ve been tracking for a while, this process gets easier because you’ll know that if you eat a doughnut for breakfast, 你可能会希望剩下的饭菜中碳水化合物和脂肪含量更少(以及蛋白质含量更高),以达到你的目标.

Downsides of Tracking Macros

Like everything, 这个故事有两个方面——包括跟踪宏的以下缺点:

  • It can be a cumbersome process, especially if you’re new to the world of macronutrients. 要学习的东西很多,测量和跟踪你吃的每一件东西会让你感觉不知所措.
  • It can take the fun out of eating. 如果你每次吃饭之前和之后都会做数学题,以确保每顿饭都符合你的宏观比例, it can take the enjoyment out of eating and make you eat less intuitively.
  • 它也会让你觉得你必须一直吃同样的食物,因为它们更容易追踪, or that you can’t eat out because you’re not sure how to pick macro-friendly meals at restaurants, or how to fit “fun foods” (like wine and dessert) into your macros for the day.
  • Tracking macros isn’t ideal for someone with a history of disordered eating, 因为人们很容易被数字所迷惑,或者沉迷于获取正确数量的大量营养素.
  • I don’t think this is as big of a trend as it used to be, but some flexible dieting advocates on Instagram will post photos of doughnuts, 糖果, 还有一些上面带有#iifym标签的酷游九州体育官网App——建议你在遵循灵活的节食方法时,可以吃大量的垃圾食品,只要它适合你的宏. As we all know, 加工过的垃圾分解和影响酷游九州体育官网App身体的方式与蔬菜有很大不同. You’re also missing out on loads of micronutrients (like vitamins, minerals, enzymes) when eating this way and likely increasing inflammation, bloating, cravings.
Woman sitting at a kitchen counter, on her phone. Her laptop, coffee mug, notebook are on the counter.

How to Count Macros

最精确的追踪宏量的方法是测量或称量你的食物,并通过应用程序(如MyFitnessPal)跟踪你的食物摄入量。, a spreadsheet if you’re super into math, or good ol’ pen and paper.  如果你对大量营养素(它们是什么以及如何给食物分类)不是很熟悉,使用跟踪应用程序将是你最容易的选择. 如果你能很容易地确定一种食物的宏量营养素是什么,那就称重并跟踪它.

For example, when I’m making a simple dinner of grilled chicken and roasted veggies, 我可以称一下鸡肉的重量,把它放到MyFitnessPal上,看看我吃了多少克蛋白质, measure the veggies to see how many grams of carbohydrates I’m eating, 量一下油,把蔬菜裹上,然后烤一下,看看我吃了多少克脂肪. If I’m eating a casserole or soup, 我把所有的食材或九州体育App下载输入MyFitnessPal,它就会计算出碳水化合物的克数, 脂肪, protein are in the dish. EBF上的所有九州体育App下载都有营养成分(大多数已经在MyFitnessPal上了),所以你可以很容易地跟踪大量营养成分,如果你感兴趣的话,可以把它们添加到你的日常日记中.

The Best Tools for Tracking Macros

Measuring cups + measuring spoons: I’m sure you likely already have a set of measuring cups and spoons, but if not, 是时候投资这些婴儿了,因为你肯定需要它们来测量和跟踪你吃的食物. Some recommended options: dry measuring cups, liquid measuring cups, measuring spoons.

Digital food scale: Some foods (like chicken breast, 例如,用秤测量体重要比把它们放进量杯容易得多. 如果你要做很多烘焙工作,食物秤也非常方便,因为测量更准确. I recently purchased this one.

应用程序: There are a ton of apps out there, but here are a few that I’ve heard of or used: MyFitnessPal, LoseItCronometer.

My Experience with Tracking Macros

I’ve experimented with a few different ways to track macros. 第一种方法是请一位教练帮助我提出宏观需求,并使用MyFitnessPal进行跟踪. I’ve used MyFitnessPal on and off for years, but until about 5 years ago I had never used it to track macros. 整体, every time I’ve tried this method, it’s felt too daunting and overwhelming to stick with long term. I will track for a week or so, 但终有一天会忘记追踪,然后就会放弃追踪. 我已经这么做过很多次了,我意识到记录我吃的每一件东西可能不是我最好的方法.

幸运的是, through the tracking process, 我已经学会了如何观察每种营养素的份量,这样我就可以建立宏观平衡的膳食,而不必跟踪我吃的每一种食物. Sometimes I’ll still break out my food scale, 只是为了确保我摄入了适量的蛋白质,或者衡量一下容易吃过量的食物的分量(比如什锦果仁), 但总的来说,我已经很擅长知道哪些食物属于哪些常量营养素的类别,我可以建立均衡的膳食,而不需要跟踪每一项.

当我第一次开始追踪时,我学到的最主要的事情是,尽管我每天摄入的卡路里数量是适当的, I was eating a lot of 碳水化合物 and 脂肪 but not enough protein. Once I started adding in more protein-rich foods to get my protein intake up, I noticed that I wasn’t hungry all the time, I had more energy at the gym, I noticed my body composition changing as well.

Some of My Favorite Macro-Balanced Meals:

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    13 comments
    1. Jin John
      January 23, 2021 AT 4:41 am

      A flexible diet is 需要ed for everyone. 谢谢 for share your good knowledge with us.

    2. Laura Casado
      January 29, 2020 AT 1:37 pm

      谢谢 for posting! I have a question. I love to eat something sweet in the evening. I have been able to make a “nice cream” with frozen bananas, almond milk, protein powder, a tbsp of peanut butter. 它们适合我每天的宏量饮食,这很好,但我不确定是否建议在晚上吃香蕉之类的水果. Even though it fits my macros. Let me know your thoughts! 谢谢

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 3, 2020 AT 1:19 am

        Hey Laura! I’m all about a balanced diet and way of living. You have to do what feels right for you! So, if you want something sweet at night like nice cream than I’d say go for it! It’s a much better option than many other sweets out there. 🙂

    3. 帕特
      October 11, 2019 AT 9:12 am

      What is the dish on the top right, please? It looks really good, I’d like to make it!

    4. 塔米
      April 7, 2019 AT 8:52 pm

      Thank you for posting! This helped me to better understand macronutrients and the percentages.

    5. 塔拉
      March 25, 2019 AT 6:41 am

      Great advice, thank you 🙂 xx

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