The Best Macros for Weight Loss Female: Healthy Fat Loss

Posted: December 24, 2022

The best macros for weight loss female can help you create a nutrition plan to lose weight and develop healthy eating habits. A healthy weight loss is one that also leads to a long term weight loss. This is why it is important to understand your eating habits so you know exactly where to focus on.

Weight loss dietitian cutting a red apple

Losing weight and reducing body fat can be a challenging and frustrating process, especially as a female with fluctuating hormones. You may have tried many different diets only to regain the weight back. One key aspect of a successful weight loss journey is understanding your macronutrient intake. Counting macronutrients is one tool you can use to reach your weight loss goals. However, I don't recommend solely using this method if you are looking for long-term weight loss.

The best weight loss method is one that is sustainable for you and one that fits your lifestyle. This is why Long-Term Success on a Low Carb Diet Can Be Challenging for Women.

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What are macronutrients?

Macronutrients, also known as macros or a flexible dieting approach, are the nutrients that provide us with energy. These include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each of these nutrients has a specific role in the body and is necessary for proper functioning.

In other words, the macronutrient diet is not a fad diet.

It is a way of eating that is focused on the ratio of the different nutrients you are eating. It does not cut out entire food groups, like other diets.

The Three Macronutrients

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy. They are important for maintaining proper brain and muscle function.

This is why personally, I do not love a low carb diet.

There are two main types of carbs: simple carbs (like white bread and candy) and complex carbs (like whole grains).

Simple carbs are quickly absorbed by the body and can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Complex carbs are higher in fiber and nutrients and are absorbed more slowly. This helps keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer.

Proteins:

Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, as well as supporting muscle growth and maintenance. They can be found in a variety of foods, including meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, and legumes.

Fats:

Fats are an important macronutrient that the body needs to function properly. They provide the body with energy, help to absorb certain vitamins and minerals, and play a role in hormone production.

Fats can be found in a variety of foods: including avocados, nuts and seeds. Choosing healthy fats, rather than the less healthy fats, such as those found in ultra-processed and fried foods.

In addition to providing the body with energy, each of these macronutrients has specific roles in the body and are necessary for proper functioning. It's important to get a balance of all three macronutrients in your diet to support overall health and wellness.

How do you determine your macros?

Determining your macros, or the proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that make up your diet, can be a useful tool in helping you reach your health and wellness goals, such as weight loss or muscle gain.

Here are a few steps you can follow to determine your macros, but first, you need to know that there are different numbers of calories in a gram of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Here is the breakdown:

  • Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates.
  • Protein: 4 calories per gram of protein.
  • Fat: 9 calories per gram of fat.

To determine your macronutrients, follow these 4 steps:

  • Calculate your daily calorie needs: The first step in determining your macros is to determine the daily calories you need to consume each day to meet your specific health and wellness goals. There are a number of online calculators you can use to determine the total calories you need based on factors such as your age, gender, weight, height, and activity level. However, I will say these calculators are not always accurate in determining your daily calorie goal.

  • Determine your macro ratio: Once you determine the total number of calories you need to consume each day, you can then determine the percentage of each macronutrient that should make up your diet. A common macro ratio for weight loss for females is 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, and 30% fats. However, the best ratio for you may depend on your specific goals, needs and health conditions.

  • Calculate your daily macro intake: Once you know your macro ratio, you can then calculate the number of grams of each macronutrient you should consume each day. To do this, find your daily calorie needs from each macronutrient and then divide by the number of calories per gram (listed above).
  • For example, if your daily calorie needs are 2000 calories and you want to get 40% of your calories from carbohydrates, then you would do the following:
    • 40% of 2,000 calories = 800 calories of carbs per day 
    • Total grams of carbs per day = 800/4 = 200 grams¬†
  • Consider your food preferences: When determining your macros, it's important to consider your food preferences and choose foods that you enjoy and that fit into your lifestyle. This can help to make your diet more sustainable and enjoyable in the long term.

It's important to note that determining your macros is not a one-size-fits-all process, and the best macro ratio for you may depend on your specific goals and needs. It may be helpful to consult with a registered dietitian to determine the best macro ratio for you.

What is the best macronutrient ratio for fat loss?

The best macro ratio for fat loss may vary depending on your individual needs and goals. However, a common macro ratio for weight loss is 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, and 30% fats. This ratio helps support weight loss by providing the body with the energy it needs to function while also promoting fat loss.

It's important to note that the key to fat loss is creating a calorie deficit. This means burning more calories than you take in. This can be achieved by eating fewer calories, increasing your physical activity, or a combination of both.

While the right macro ratio can help to support weight loss, it's just one factor to consider when trying to lose fat. Other factors, such as overall calorie intake, exercise, and lifestyle habits, also play a role in fat loss.

It's also important to choose the right types of carbs, proteins, and fats when trying to lose fat.

Examples of foods in each macronutrient category

High-fiber Carbohydrates:

best macros for weight loss female: image of vegetables in and around a bowl

Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy and are important for maintaining proper brain and muscle function. However, it's important to choose types of carbs that put you at an advantage when it comes to weight loss.

Complex carbs are high in fiber and nutrients and can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied. On the other hand, simple carbs quickly digest and spike insulin levels, making it harder to lose weight.

Aim to get the majority of your carbs from complex sources, and be mindful of your intake of simple carbs.

Here is a list of high fiber carbohydrates to add into your diet:

  • Whole grains: Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat, are high in fiber and nutrients. They can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied and can support digestion and heart health.
  • Legumes: Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas, are high in fiber and protein and can be a great addition to a healthy diet. They can be used in a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, and salads.
  • Fruits: Fruits, such as apples, berries, and pears, are high in fiber and nutrients and can be a great snack or addition to a meal. Be sure to choose whole fruits rather than juices, as juices do not contain the same amount of fiber.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes, are high in fiber and nutrients and can be a great addition to any meal. Aim to include a variety of vegetables in your diet for optimal health benefits.

Lean Proteins:

the best macros for weight loss image of chicken breast sliced with ketchup in a bowl and a fork on the table

Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, as well as supporting muscle growth and maintenance. Focusing on a higher protein intake can help keep you full and satisfied, making it an important nutrient for weight loss.

In fact, increasing grams of protein to a ratio of 40% is a great way to kickstart your weight loss. Eating more protein gives you better results when it comes to muscle maintenance while being in a calorie deficit. This can also help increase muscle mass in your body composition.

Good sources of protein includes:

  • Chicken breast: Chicken breast is a low-fat, high-protein option that can be grilled, baked, or added to a variety of dishes.
  • Turkey breast: Turkey breast is a low-fat, high-protein option that can be grilled, baked, or added to a variety of dishes.
  • Fish: Fish, such as salmon, cod, and tuna, are low in fat and high in protein and can be grilled, baked, or added to a variety of dishes.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a low-fat, high-protein option that can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as scrambled, fried, or hard-boiled.
  • Tofu: Tofu is a plant-based protein source that is low in fat and high in protein. It can be grilled, baked, or added to soups and stir-fries.
  • Beans and legumes: Beans and legumes, such as black beans, kidney beans, and lentils, are low in fat and high in protein and can be added to a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, and salads.
  • Low fat Greek yogurt: Choosing a whole or low fat dairy option is important as it helps the nutrients in the yogurt absorb better. It also helps fill you up and keep you satiated for longer. 

Healthy Fats:

macros for weight loss image of a sliced avocado with seeds and olive oil

Fats have gotten a bad reputation in the past, but they are important for the body to function properly. Fats provide the body with energy, help to absorb certain vitamins and minerals, and play a role in hormone production.

It's important to choose healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil. And steer clear of a low-fat diet, especially if you are a woman. High-fat diets rich in healthy fats help balance hormones and can improve the quality of your skin and hair!

However, because there are 9 calories in a gram of fat, it is important to be mindful of portion sizes. Even though they are important, they add more than double the calories/gram compared to protein and carbs.

Healthy sources of fat include:

  • Avocado: Avocado is a good source of monounsaturated fat, which is a healthy type of fat that can help to lower cholesterol levels. It is also a good source of fiber and potassium.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fat, which is a heart-healthy fat. It is also a good source of antioxidants and can help to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Nuts: Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and peanuts, are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats. They are also high in protein and fiber.
  • Seeds: Seeds, such as chia seeds and flax seeds, are a good source of healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. They are also high in fiber and other nutrients.
  • Salmon: Salmon is a good source of healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a good source of protein and other nutrients.

What are the benefits of a macro diet?

This approach can have a number of potential benefits, including:

  • Improved weight management: By paying attention to your macro intake, you can better control your overall calorie intake and support weight loss or maintenance.
  • Improved nutrition: A macro diet allows you to meet your nutrient needs while still allowing you to enjoy a variety of foods. This can help to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs to function properly.
  • Increased flexibility: A macro diet allows you to choose the foods that you enjoy and that fit into your lifestyle, rather than following a strict list of approved foods. This can make it a more sustainable and enjoyable way of eating in the long term.
  • Better performance: By paying attention to your macro intake, you can optimize your nutrition to support physical performance, whether you are an athlete or just looking to improve your overall fitness.

What are the side effects of counting macronutrients?

Counting macronutrients can be a useful tool in helping you reach your health and wellness goals. However, like any dietary approach, it's important to be mindful of potential side effects.

Here are a few potential side effects of counting macros:

  • Obsessive behavior: For some people, tracking macros can become obsessive, leading to an unhealthy focus on food and numbers. It's important to remember that food is more than just a source of nutrients, and it's okay to enjoy your meals and not stress about every bite.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: While counting macros can help to ensure that you are getting the nutrients your body needs, it's important to be mindful of the types of foods you are choosing to meet your macro goals. For example, if you are focusing too much on protein and not enough on carbohydrates and fats, you may not be getting enough of certain nutrients, such as fiber, that are important for overall health.
  • Disordered eating: For some people, tracking macros can lead to disordered eating behaviors, such as restrictive eating or an unhealthy focus on food. If you have a history of disordered eating or struggle with body image issues, it's important to be mindful of this risk and seek help if necessary.
  • Reduced enjoyment of food: Focusing too much on numbers and macros can take the enjoyment out of eating and make meals feel like a chore. It's important to remember to enjoy your food and not stress about every bite.

It's important to be mindful of the potential side effects of counting macros and to seek help if necessary.

Is there an easier way to lose weight without counting macros? 

While counting macros can be a useful tool in helping you reach your health and wellness goals, it's not the only way to lose weight. Here are a few alternative approaches to losing weight:

  • Focusing on whole, unprocessed foods: Instead of counting macros, you can focus on eating a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This type of diet can help to support weight loss by providing your body with the nutrients it needs while also keeping you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Incorporating physical activity: In addition to paying attention to your diet, incorporating regular physical activity into your routine can help to support weight loss. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, such as running, per week.
  • Reducing portion sizes: Another simple way to support weight loss is to pay attention to portion sizes. By reducing the amount of food you eat at each meal, you can create a calorie deficit and support weight loss.
  • Practicing mindful eating: Mindful eating involves paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues and eating in response to those cues, rather than in response to external factors, such as emotions or stress. This can help to prevent overeating and support weight loss.

While counting macros can be a useful tool for some people, it's not the only way to lose weight. It's important to find an approach that works for you and that you can sustain in the long term. If you are struggling to lose weight, it may be helpful to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, for guidance.

Summary

the best macros for weight loss image of Weight loss dietitian nutritionist writing in food diary

Macro-focused diets is a way of eating that focuses on the proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This approach allows you to make food choices that support your health and wellness goals.

One of the benefits of the macronutrient diet is its flexibility. It helps you avoid a strict low-carb diet or eating too much protein or fat.

To determine the best macros for your specific needs, you can use a macro calculator. This helps you calculate your total daily energy expenditure.

Once you know your daily calorie needs, you determine the percentage of each macronutrient to make up your diet. A common macro ratio for weight loss is 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, and 30% fats. However, the best ratio for you may depend on your specific goals and needs.

It's important to note the potential side effects of counting macros, such as obsessive behavior, nutrient deficiencies and disordered eating.

Bottom line

The best way to reduce body weight is focusing more on the overall food quality and your lifestyle. This includes choosing minimally processed foods, strength training to build muscle, prioritizing your mental health and enjoying rest days.

Calorie counting and macro counting usually have negative side effects. This includes lowering the enjoyment of food which leads to short term results and even worse, disordered eating. 

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