Dieting is a difficult process for many people because it makes one feel restricted and often the diet is not working. Fortunately, there are other ways to lose weight or achieve fitness and nutrition goals. One of them uses the Macro approach to diet, also known as a flexible diet. The only thing to do is to count the unique macronutrient intervals every day. Counting macros helps make better choices because this diet requires calculating nutrients, not the calories of the food in question.
Definition of Macro Diet
The macro diet has nothing to do with the macrobiotic diet. This is a completely different diet style that is the foundation of Zen Buddhism. When IIFYM is decided to eat, it has nothing to do with food. It is necessary to count calories one step further. Instead of saying food in a calorie range, it is possible to see if a food fits into the macro range by looking at the macronutrients. The main point of this diet is that nothing is restricted. There is no need to consume low-carb, low-fat or high protein, and it is not necessary to cut the desired food. In theory, everything follows the IIFYM diet, because all types of food contain macros.
What are Macronutrients?
Protein, fat and carbohydrates are the three main sources of energy or macronutrients. There are also micronutrients known as vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates are equal to 4 calories per gram and the protein is the same. Fat is highest in 9 calories per gram. Everything that people consume has a full range of macro and micronutrients. Some foods may be lean, but they always have protein and carbohydrates. Others may be very low in protein and high in carbohydrates and fats. For example, lean beef is high in protein, peanut butter is high in fat. However, the quality of macronutrients is different. For example, carbohydrates from white bread are different from carbohydrates found in sweet potatoes.
There are some foods available to make the healthiest choices possible and they are as follows:
• Oils: Nuts, seeds, nut paste, olive oil and coconut oil
• Carbohydrates: Whole grains, green leafy vegetables
• Proteins: Eggs, fatty wild caught fish, poultry
First, basal metabolic rate (BMR) and total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) should be found. To calculate total daily energy expenditure (also uses the BMR equation). This equation is as follows:
• Women: TDEE = Activity Factor x [(4.35 x weight in lbs) + (4.70 x inch inch) + (4.68 x age) + 655]
• Men: TDEE = Efficacy Factor x [(6.25 x weight lbs) + (12.7 x inch inch) – (6.76 x age) + 66]
The activity factor is a number determined by the level of activity and the thermal effect of food (TEF). The activity factor is as follows:
• Sedentary: Little or no daily exercise; table work. The activity factor is 1.2.
• Lightly active: 1-3 days a week low-intensity exercise, including things like walking and yoga. The activity factor is 1,375.
• Moderately active: Low to medium intensity exercise or sports 3-5 days a week. The efficiency factor is 1.55.
• Very active: Moderate to intensive exercise and sports 6-7 days a week. The efficiency factor is 1,725.
• Highly active: Physical work and intense exercise and sports 6-7 days a week, several times a day. The activity factor is 1.9.
Also, any number for calculations or activity factor should not be rounded. So, calculating TDEE is as follows:
• Male TDEE = 1,725 x [(6,25 × 190) + (12,7 × 74) + (6,76 × 28) + 66] • Male TDEE = 1,725 x [562,5 + 939,8 + 189,28 + 66]
• Male TDEE = 3031.8 calories per day
This means that this powerful exercise burns 3032 calories per day. In the example, let’s say this person wants to build muscle and needs too many calories to do this. Since protein is essential for building muscle, it will want to prioritize protein intake. If his goal was to lose weight, he could choose to increase protein and fat while reducing carbohydrates.
Recommended rates for macronutrients are usually 45-65% carbohydrates, 10-20% protein and 20-30% fat. If a person wants to build muscle, they should prefer 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. If it works for a long time, it raises carbohydrates for more energy, so the ratio seems to be 45% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fat. Bodybuilders choose 40-60% carbohydrates, 25-35% protein and 15-25% fat. To lose weight, there should be 10-30% carbohydrates, 40-50% protein and 30-40% fat.
Looking at the example, if this person wants to calculate how much protein he needs to gain weight, he first multiplied his calorie intake by 200-500 calories, then found the percentage of calories from each macronutrient. For example, it can take 3232 calories times 30% protein (3232 × 0.30) to find that it needs 969.6 calories from protein. Since protein is equal to 4 calories per gram, it is possible to divide 969.6 calories by 4 to get 242.4 grams. This should then be repeated for both fat and carbohydrates. Having these numbers, it is possible to know macros and then must decide what can fit in this daily allocation.
What are the Benefits of the Macro Diet?
There are many practitioners of the macro diet for good reason. A flexible diet means that you won’t have to restrict certain types of food, there are more options and even occasional decadent treatment. Just one reason is enough to try it out. But the real benefit is: learning how to make smart decisions. For example, let’s say snack time. On the one hand, if calories are counting and there are 200 calories left aside for a snack, it is possible to get a bag of chips or 2 cookies to cover hunger pangs. On the other hand, if its macros are counting, it may be necessary to fill in protein and fat, so a handful of roasted nuts should be chosen instead. In terms of weight loss, choosing higher foods in protein and fat keeps the person satiated for longer than simple carbohydrates.
Disadvantages of the Macro Diet
The disadvantage of the macro diet is planning. Counting macros is usually easier than counting calories, but that doesn’t mean everything always fits perfectly. It is not a problem to follow the general guidelines, always eat the recommended portion sizes; but it is not possible to eat 100% of the portion size. There are also three totals to worry about, rather than an amount for calorie consumption. When he follows a certain diet, he can make this plan a little stricter. It should not be forgotten, every macro should be considered. It is not only 100 calories of yogurt, but 8 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of fat to consider.
How to Start a Macro Diet?
It is easy to start after calculating the macros. After that, it is possible to understand the menu and start planning meals. You can choose your schedule. You can choose between small meals or 3 large meals throughout the day. The important thing is to comply with the right amount of macro. Ideally, snacks should be consumed when needed to prevent blood sugar from hitting the bottom. It also needs to consider timing, budget and dietary restrictions. Some people like to match the ketogenic diet with IIFYM, for example. There are macro diet applications for smart phones. It can save the person more time than necessary to adjust the food and portion size. The app gives results after all the complex math will do for you. It provides the ability to access data throughout the day to ensure you are on the road.
The first few weeks are trial and error. He can see that the rate is not suitable for the person. Hunger can be a problem or tired. If the person has trouble filling, more protein and fat should be chosen. If the weight does not change, he should cut carbohydrates during dinner and add more fiber and protein.
Macro Diet Food Planning Tips
The macro diet requires some time in the kitchen. If switching to IIFYM seems a bit scary, there are some tips to make the transition easier and these are as follows:
• Meal program should be considered. If a person eats 3 squares a day, this means eating 21 meals a week. You can also take 2 snacks a day, 14 snacks per week.
• Instead of thinking about these 21 meals and 14 snacks, meals should be cooked collectively. In this way, you can cut the exact quantities into pieces, freeze them and then eat them. Snack mixes can be made by purchasing ingredients.
• It should be purchased wholesale. Larger dishes can be prepared that will not only stick better to the market budget, but can also be split.
• Brown rice, oatmeal, eggs, peppers, fruit, etc. Materials that can be prepared in many ways should be purchased. For example, you can make mixed vegetable omelets in the morning and fried rice in the evening.
• Some safe to scale, casserole dish and freezer bento lunch boxes should be taken. This makes it easy to cook and store.
• If carbohydrates are cut, cauliflower rice and pizza crust, zucchini and carrot noodles, broccoli tots and more can be used.
• The person should reward himself once in a while and this can happen with ice cream. Good things should be enjoyed and that’s why it’s called a flexible diet. It should not be forgotten just to follow tolerance!
The macro diet makes it easier than ever to stick to a diet, because the person does not have to deprive himself of anything as long as he complies with the macro rate. Thanks to IIFYM, it is possible to lose weight or gain muscle by eating a wide variety of foods. Whatever the goals, it is an approach that will help to succeed in a macro diet.