A table topped with avocados, bananas and almonds.

What is Your Macro Split?

Want consistent weight loss? Look at your food lifestyle through the numbers.

Weight loss is a science. There are lots and lots of nutrition research studies that help us understand how food breaks down to building blocks in the body and then how those building blocks get used for body functioning. We have an increasing understanding of how food is used in all systems in the body to assist our mental and physical well being and balance.

Focus on These 3 Food Groups
All food breaks down to 3 macronutrients in the body: CARBOHYDRATES (carbs), FATS + PROTEINS. How we build our plate determines what percentage of these macronutrients we consume. The macronutrient (macros for short) split is this percentage per meal, snack and as food accumulates at the end of the day. We tend to designate foods to a singular macronutrient group. Normally in the nutrient group that the food is the richest. But, most foods have a combination of two or three macronutrients, and are a bit more complicated. All three groups are used throughout the body.

There are LOTS of carbohydrate-heavy foods. Some better for you than others. They tend to be both sweet and savory, simple and complex, brown and white, processed and unprocessed/real and manufactured. Carbohydrate-heavy foods include all grains, vegetables and fruits, legumes including peas, beans, and lentils, cakes, cookies, breads, crackers, chips, pizza and candy. Honestly, many of our favorite foods.

Carbohydrates break down to simple sugars: glucose, fructose and galactose. They get used directly as energy, used in combination with other macro and micro nutrients as do-ers to make the body run smoothly. Carbs, in general terms, give us energy. Also, their vitamin/mineral and antioxidant qualities help fight off the bad guys.

As with carbohydrates, fats include many foods that are good for you – and many that are not. This grouping includes the healthful avocado, all nuts and seeds, and oils. It also includes a lot of processed cookies, cakes and other not healthy packaged foods and seed oils. Fats break down to the building block of fatty acids and are used heavily in the nervous system, brain, skeletal and cardiovascular systems. Fats contribute to our satisfaction after a nice meal.

The protein macronutrient includes both plant and animal options, including beef and bison, lamb, pork, chicken, eggs, lentils and beans, quinoa and small amounts in vegetables. Protein breaks down to the building block amino acids and assists the body with build and repair. Also, it keeps us nice and full.

Creating Your Personalized Roadmap
At Healthy Nest Nutrition, part of the early weight loss discussion is figuring out what your body needs from a macronutrient as well as caloric perspective. We look for meal balance and what helps you feel energized, full and satisfied by your meals and snacks such that your body uses your food AND stored fat for energy, chipping away at extra weight.

Red flags that you ARE NOT in balance: 

  • Tired all the time, before and after you eat, sleep disruption
  • On the energy roller coaster (energized and tired through the day)
  • Gaining weight, especially around the middle/muffin-top weight
  • Skin issues
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Brain foggy
  • Not digesting well, feeling bloated by end of day

Gender Differences
In general, men seem to need more carbs and protein. Women, probably because we are hormonally more complicated, tend to need more fats and proteins, but this is a general statement. It really is a bio-individual puzzle.

Macro Split Success Stories

At Healthy Nest Nutrition, we’ve had great success with macro splits for women at various ages and stages of life. Here are a few inspiring shares.

The Bride
Early 30s
I worked with Kate on weight loss for around six months. She successfully hit her weight goals with the macro split of Carb 25%, Fat 55%, Protein 20% while maintaining a steady work, workout, travel and social life. She met her weight loss goals for her wedding. Kate adhered strictly to her caloric boundaries, chose to eat self-prepared meals with one celebratory meal out per week. When she was traveling, she was very careful when ordering. She scheduled meal planning, prep and cooking time each week. This preparedness and months of accountability helped her succeed.

The Working Mom
Carol had two kids under the age of 10 and was using food to escape the working mom mayhem. She was very very busy working and maintaining a family and a home and wasn’t paying attention to her own needs. Carol is a strict vegetarian. She successfully hit her weight goals with the macro split of Carbs 35%, Fat 50%, Protein 15%. Carol’s food transitioned to a more whole, mediterranean-style, anti-inflammatory diet framework. She focused on whole vs. processed, very simple colorful food combinations, and scheduled meal and snack times. She also started walking in her neighborhood when she could make time.

The Perimenopausal Puzzle
Rachel was experiencing a lot of sleep issues, sugar cravings and mood/hormonal issues. Just not feeling good and consistently gaining weight no matter what she ate, so she gave up trying. First, we put her on a food schedule, then added foods and supplements to meet her stress needs, which helped with sleep. Adding more consistent hydration was a daily priority. The sugar cravings were helped by added fat and strategic carbs post workout. She successfully hit her weight goals with the macro split of Carbs 20%, Fat 50%, Protein 30%. Perimenopausal women have a very difficult time losing weight because of sex, stress and other hormone (thyroid and insulin) fluctuations. We look closely at where imbalance is and support the body with food, exercise, lifestyle and sometimes testing and doctor help.

The Menopausal Retiree
Early 60s
Kim was stuck. She finally retired from work and was traveling and enjoying life, but weight was creeping up and all of the things she normally tried weren’t working. Kim was living in celebration and was eating for fun, love, comfort, boredom and lots of other emotions, as opposed to living with a nice balance of food as fuel and celebration. Once Kim realized she was emotional eating and celebrating with food, it allowed her to find other ways of celebrating life. She started cherishing walks with friends, new workout routines, delicious mocktails, travel without tons of pastries, enjoying life’s simple pleasures. She successfully hit her weight goals with the macro split of Carbs 30%, Fat 45%, Protein 25%. Kim made new habits around eating at home when she was in town and enjoying the creativity of cooking. She became more intentional with her food choices, planning her sweets and drinks, and even making reservations well in advance so she had something to look forward to. She planned non-eating get togethers and became much more aware of her habits around food. She discovered tea and looked forward to tea time at 3pm. She also used exercise for a sense of calmness instead of food. Overall, Kim changed her lifestyle and continues to maintain her weight loss.

Ready to discover your ideal macro split and to feel your best every day? Reach out to a holistic nutritionist for a complimentary consult. We’re here to help!