It is no secret that diet and exercise is the secret to weight-loss but dieting is a hard area to conquer. There are so many diet fads promising weight-loss. This ranges from the simple low-carb and low-fat diets to diets based on specifics, like blood type. How many of these diet fads are sustainable in the long-term? Who can give up sweets, carbs, or hamburgers for long periods of time? Granted, there are vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free individuals, but others want less restrictions. The first thing to do is give up the idea of diets and accept that a lifestyle change must occur. Losing weight is a long-term process and maintaining weight is a life-long ordeal.

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Focusing on macro and micro-nutrients might be a sustainable way to lose and maintain weight.

Macros

Macro-nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are broken into two groups: simple carbs (white rice, white bread, crackers, chips) and complex (brown rice, vegetables, oatmeal). Proteins include meat, peas, beans, eggs, yogurt, and nuts. Fats include oils (almond, olive, peanut, canola) and healthy fatty foods such as salmon, almonds or egg yolks. There are some #Macros that serve in multiple categories, like how peanut butter serves as a protein and fat or how cookies serve as carbs and fat.

Micros

Micro-nutrients are the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy lifestyle. They are found in dietary supplements and foods such as fruit, kale, and brightly colored vegetables.

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The macro/micro lifestyle

Paul Salter, known as The Nutrition Tactician, explains the lifestyle in three steps: Set a daily calorie goal, choose a macro split, and convert the split into grams.

  • Set a calorie goal that will fulfill the body's daily needs but is less than what is used in a day. The suggested daily intake is 2,000 calories. People who are highly active or want to gain weight may need more calories. People who are less active or want to lose weight will need fewer calories.
  • Pick a macro split. Macro splits are designed according to individual goals and change with the needs of the body. Macro split ratios are aligned as carbs/protein/fat. For instance, a weight-loss split of 30/40/30 means the daily calorie intake is split into 30% carbs, 40% protein, and 30% fat.
  • Convert calories using the split. Take the 2,000 calories from step one and the 30/40/30 from step two. This person would have 600 calories for carbs, 800 calories for protein, and 600 calories for fat. Then convert these calories into grams. There are 4 calories per gram in carbs and proteins. Fat has 9 calories per gram. So this person needs at least 150 grams of carbs. 200 grams of protein, and 67 grams of fat.

Okay, there is still some counting.

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There are apps that can do this conversion and the rest is left to the individual. How individuals meet their macros is entirely up to them. Micros are to be consumed daily and do not count toward the macro split.

How is this better than counting calories?

Well, cutting calories means cutting anywhere possible. This causes deficiencies in vital areas, like carbs, and leads to the person feeling starved and tired. The body needs certain amounts of each macro to function properly while losing weight. The macro/mirco lifestyle focuses on healthy, sustainable calorie intake instead of just telling people to eat less, and instead, lets them cut whatever they think is damaging. #weight loss