In today’s blog, we’ll be talking about one of my favorite macronutrients – protein.
You see, in my own personal plight of losing weight, understanding the role of macros has made an incredible difference.
It has also boosted my results compared to a workout regimen without a balanced diet. In fact, I only lost 2 lbs in 2 months doing cardio and weight lifting while fully neglecting my diet.
So yeah, that was a complete waste of time – until I started taking a closer look at calories and macronutrients.
I’m joking about the workouts being a waste of time, a minute of workout is better than zero, and there are other amazing benefits from elevating your heart rate on a regular basis (spoiler alert: your heart will thank you).
First off, this isn’t an expert breakdown and definition of macronutrients, just personal takes and observations on what has worked, what has continued to work, and what has delivered lasting results. I’ve lost 20 lbs in 9 weeks, and have remained there for a few months.
And to allay any fears or concerns about counting calories and grams and all of that fun stuff – here’s the catch: you don’t have to. If your meals are premeditated, you already know what’s in them.
Nowadays, there are plenty of smartphone apps that do the counting for you. My favorite ones are Lose It! and MyFitnessPal.
You basically type the meal, or scan the barcode of your snack (if any), and it’ll populate all of the information against your personal weight, height, and age, scramble the numbers, and give you your stats.
And if you follow these guidelines, you’ll get there eventually.
Buuuut…. if you like to jot things down on pen and paper, weigh your meals, etc. Nobody’s stopping you. Heck, you might even get there faster! Your progress will be more accurate this way.
It might be a pain at first, but once you see results, you’ll realize how easy it is and always has been. After all, weight loss simply means burning more calories than you consume, and any diet you name will succeed because of this caloric deficit.
What Are Macros?
Macro is short for macronutrient, and all of the nutrients in the meals you eat each day fall under 3 main categories: Carbs, Fat, and Protein.
All you have to do is balance these 3 big ones to your desired outcome (weight loss, endurance, muscle gain, you name it.)
Examples of protein:
- Greek Yogurt
- Protein Shakes
To name just a few things. You could eat large portions of some of these and still remain below your caloric threshold for weight loss while boosting your protein macro (also for weight loss). Losing weight isn’t about starvation, just moderation.
Protein keeps you feeling fuller for a lot longer than, say, carbs or calorie-dense meals that are high on fat. This fullness keeps you away from overeating. That’s another big one for me.
It’s also the macro responsible for increasing muscle mass, improving performance, and recovery.
Protein will help you:
- Reduce cravings
- Lose body fat
- Increase muscle mass
- Improve your metabolism
And more – depending on how you use it, of course. For example, if you take 120 grams of protein a day while lifting weights, this may add mass to your muscle depending on your age, height, and weight.
How Much Protein Should I Eat To Lose Weight?
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), you should strive for an intake between .72 and 1 grams of protein for each pound of total weight.
For example, if you’re 140 lbs, you should be taking 100g – 140g of protein. And if you exercise regularly, NASM recommends between 1 and 1.5 grams per pound of total weight.
If that sounds like a lot, just remember a protein shake can boast 20 to 50 grams of protein. A chicken breast typically offers 43 grams. So, a couple of eggs for breakfast, a protein shake, and a chicken dinner and you could have your target macro fulfilled!
It’s really that simple (once you get the hang of it.) Figure out your health goals and adjust your caloric intake to match. Then, target your macros accordingly. More on this soon!
Don’t forget to check out some of our recipes using our VIIVA’s Plant Protein Base shakes. An entire serving boasts a mere 130 calories and 20 grams of protein that will help you reach your health goals.
Hector is VIIVA’s copywriter. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California. His favorite activities include collecting dusty typewriters, writing suspense fiction, and songwriting.