Hey there! Today, we’re gonna talk about macronutrient balance. Don’t let the word intimidate you, girl – this is just fancy talk for the three main types of nutrients that our bodies need to function properly: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
So let’s break it down.
Carbs, Protein and Fat… the Basics
Carbs are like the cheerleaders of the nutrient world – they give us energy, they’re easy to digest, and they’re super fun. Many of us still fear carbs, but in reality, carbs should be about 50% of our daily food intake.
It’s the first thing our body and brain use for energy. If you’re balancing your macros, there is no need to worry about “too many carbs”. You can, however, focus on quality carbs, like whole grains, legumes (beans and peas), fruits and veggies!
Proteins, on the other hand, are the builders. Protein is responsible for repairing and building tissues, and it helps keep us strong. Have you ever heard the saying “muscle burns fat”? Welp, it’s true. And when we’re getting enough protein, it supports our lean muscle tissue, keeps us full, and helps our body burn excess fat. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT macronutrient to track, if you’re going to go that route.
Finally, fats are like the Beyoncé of nutrients – they’re essential for hormone production, brain and cell function, and they keep us feeling fabulous. Again, fat gets a bad wrap, but a lot of “low fat” foods that have been labeled by the diet industry as “healthy” actually have a lot of sugar, preservatives, or both!
The best way to go is to upgrade your fats, think coconut oil, olive oil, avocado (whole and the oil), nuts, seeds, fish, even grass-fed butter in moderation. 🧈
It’s All About the Balance
Here’s the thing, love – it’s not just about eating these nutrients in isolation. We need to make sure we’re eating the right balance of all three in order to optimize weight, energy, mood, body composition and more. Think of it like a team sport – you need all the players on the field in order to win the game.
Macronutrient balance is also important because it helps regulate our blood sugar levels. If we eat too many carbs and not enough protein or fat, we might experience a sugar rush followed by a crash – not fun. Plus, it’s not sustainable – we’ll be hungry again in no time.
On the flip side, if we eat too much protein and not enough carbs, our bodies will start breaking down our muscle tissue in order to get energy. That’s definitely not what we want, especially if we’re working hard in the gym to build that muscle tone.
This is yet another reason to NOT be afraid of carbs. In fact, eating more carbs before a workout actually helps us perform better, burn more calories, and not lose muscle.
Let’s talk about how balancing our macronutrients helps us balance our weight. When we eat the right balance of carbs, protein, and fat, we’re more likely to feel satisfied and less likely to overeat. Plus, we’ll have the energy we need to stay active and crush our workouts.
How Do I Know if I Have Macronutrient Balance?
So, how do we make sure we’re getting the right balance of macronutrients? I have a few different suggestions for you.
1 – THE PLATE METHOD
If you tend to fall into diet-mode and get a little obsessed about numbers, I DON’T recommend rigidly tracking macros right off the bat. This method is great for you!
I always recommend healing your relationship with food and body before diving into more structured goals again. If you want support with this, grab my FREE body love bundle here.
How to implement the plate method:
- For each meal or snack, you should be able to look down at your plate and visually break it down into 4 categories.
- 25% of the plate should be taken up by protein (lean meats, fish (also a source of healthy fat, but it would be considered the protein element to your meal), beans, eggs, tofu, some grains (like quinoa) are a great protein source as well.
- 25% of the plate should be a starchy carb. With “starchy” think of mainly your white and yellow carbs – corn, rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.
- 50% of the plate should be fruits and veggies
- The 4th component is having a serving of healthy fat, and/or a serving of a sugary element. For fat, if you’re eating fish, that counts. Certain meats like beef and pork have fat too, and you don’t need to add much more to the plate. Other examples are 1 TBS oil, half an avocado, 1/4 cup of nuts, 1 serving size of seeds like flax meal, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
2 – TRACK YOUR MACROS
Use the app My Fitness Pal to track your daily intake. I don’t recommend tracking for the rest of your life, so as not to feel like you’re on a diet.
But tracking for 2-3 weeks will get you an idea of how you are eating now, and which macronutrients you might need more or less of. After a few weeks, it’s easier to eye-ball your meals and determine if it has enough of each macronutrient.
*To learn how to set up your macronutrient percentages and goals in My Fitness Pal, see this blog.
3 – GET A PERSONALIZED PLAN
The last important thing about working on macronutrient balance, is that it will look slightly different for everyone. Factors such as age, gender, weight, height, activity level and more can determine the best macronutrient approach for you.
If you’d like a complimentary discovery call to see if this method would be best for you, book a complimentary discovery call with me here. You’ll get some initial action steps, and I’ll share my services for creating customized macronutrient meal plans… that don’t feel like you’re on a diet, of course!
At the end of the day, balancing our macronutrients is all about treating our bodies with love and respect. It’s about fueling ourselves with the nutrients we need to feel strong, energized, and confident.
Have fun digging into your macro balance, and let me know how it goes! I’m here if you need support.
*HABIT HACK* – Working on your macros will be a NEW HABIT in itself. To make sure you get the most out of it, and follow through, I recommend tracking your habit, of tracking your macros. Not to throw tracking on top of tracking at you, lol, but it will help!
Example: make it super doable by committing to “tracking macros 3x a week” or “implementing the plate method for lunch 5 days a week”. Right? Keep it doable and simple.
Get my 5-step Goal-Setting Method and sample Habit Tracker to help you. Go to tessietracy.com/masterclass and start setting food, fitness and mindset goals in a non-diet way that actually works!