Do you want to lose weight? If so then different factors to consider. One of the main ones is reducing how many calories you eat/drink. You can also burn more calories by going for a walk, lifting heavy weights, and so on. However, another important issue to take up is the macro ratio for weight loss. Macro-nutrients include carbs, protein, and fats. Low-fat diets have been trending in recent years but you can also take other approaches. There’s ‘carb cycling” that includes low, mid and high-carb days. The first low-carb diet was also high-protein, which is interesting. Which option is the best?
Search giant Google reports the ketogenic diet was the top trending diet last year. It’s a low-carb diet that uses a macro ratio of about 70% fats, 20% protein, and 10% carbs. These figures might be tweaked but the main features are low carbohydrates and high good fats. This approach is one of many you can follow. For example, Atkins is different because it’s low-carb but also unlimited protein and carbs. It might seem like simply eating less food by dropping carbs is the best and only way to lose weight fast. However, protein and fats are also key factors.
What Are Macronutrients?
You might hear a health nut refer to “macros” and wonder what in the world they’re talking about. These are macronutrients that include carbohydrates, protein, and fats. In fact, in many cases when people refer to “carbs” they talking about refined flour and white sugar, but that’s another story.
A macro split/ratio is the percentage of total calories that you get from the three macros. For example, as noted Keto has a rough macro split of 70/20/10 of fat/protein/carbs. You might hear people claim that this or that macro ratio is the best one for shedding pounds and burning fat.
Let’s start with the three macros:
Eating low-fat food won’t automatically help you lose weight. In the past, that was the conventional wisdom. Health experts talked about how dangerous a high-fat diet was and that it would always lead to health issues like heart disease.
In recent years high-fat diets like Keto and Atkins have been trending. However, there are a few caveats. Atkins arguably didn’t focus enough on “good” fats. Meanwhile, while Keto puts fats at 70% to 80%.
However, there are question marks about Keto’s approach. Several studies show that healthy fats can provide many benefits and are better than a low-fat diet. However, the Mediterranean Diet includes high-fat foods like fatty fish, seeds/nuts, and olive oil yet doesn’t require a carb split.
It’s been said that carbs are making a comeback. The problem is fad diets have argued carbs are bad. Keto puts them as low as 5%. The problem is it swaps out many healthy foods like whole grains, sweet potatoes, and apples.
Some studies show that protein can help with weight loss. There are many healthy sources of protein like.
- Grass-fed beef
- Fatty fish
- Whole grains
Protein is important for building lean muscle mass but daily values (DV) are often exaggerated.
What’s the Best Macro Ratio for Weight Loss?
There are various factors to consider. For example, if you want to go on a short-term weight loss plan then it’s probably a good idea to go on a Keto-like diet that’s low-carb and high-fat. However, even some of the strongest supporters of Keto say that you probably shouldn’t stay on the diet for more than a month or two.
Most people don’t realize it but the Keto diet was launched in `1923 by the Mayo Clinic. During that decade it was used for diabetes and epilepsy patients. There’s no doubt it can provide many benefits for people who could experience serious health issues if their carbs are too high.
That said, it’s interesting the diet is trending about one century later. Some studies have been done on whether this diet is effective. The results have been mixed although several studies seem to reveal that a low-carb and high-fat diet can provide health benefits.
However, compare that to the Mediterranean Diet. There’s no carb split yet the diet has produced three countries with the world’s top 10 highest average lifespans: Spain, Italy, and France. Whatever they’re doing seems to be producing results.
There are lots of fans of diets with carb splits like Keto. However, many people are returning to a more flexible approach like something called “carb cycling.” This idea is your body has different needs in terms of macros and this case—carbs in particular.
Here’s how it works. Carb cycling usually includes days of the week that require you to consume low, moderate, or high amounts of carbs. For example, you might go high carb for weight-resistance workouts, mid-carb for cardio workouts, and low-carb for rest days.
This sort of approach might be a better way to deal with macro ratios in terms of weight loss. In other words, different people need different macro splits at different times.
Top Weight-loss Foods
The grapefruit is a hybrid of two tropical fruits: oranges and pomelo. This food is often included in diet plans for various reasons. It’s low-calorie and high in nutrients like Vitamin C. Studies also show that citrus fruits can boost metabolism, which results in weight loss.
It might be surprising but full-fat dairy increases metabolism, which is a plus if you’re trying to lose weight. Yogurt is also a good diet food because it provides good bacteria for your stomach. It can help to prevent obesity by fighting health conditions like inflammation.
There are various options but if you want to lose weight these low-calorie options are a good option. If you’re on Keto then go with options like berries and avocado. These foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants.
If you want to lose weight then watch out for high-sugar fruits. These can cause sugar spikes like cane sugar, which can result in weight gain. The fruit is still healthier than cookies and candy.
There are many crunchy options like pumpkin, sunflower, flax, and chia seeds. These are high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. They’re also very filling so you’ll feel satisfied between meals when eating these superfoods.
5. Coconut Oil
This is one of the best options along with olive oil for healthy fats. It’s high in fatty acids known as MCTs. Dairy is another source of this healthy fat. Studies show that these fats are a good option for better health. They might help to reduce belly fat.
You should probably go easy on all oils since fat contains 2x more calories than carbs/protein. However, if you’re looking for a healthy oil for cooking then this is a good one when calculating the best macro ratio for weight loss.