To understand why WTE? Meal Plans are macro based, first, we need to know what macronutrients are! There are three types of macronutrients:
- Protein, provide 4 calories per 1 gram
- Fat, provide 9 calories per 1 gram
- Carbohydrates, provide 4 calories per 1 gram
The ratio of macronutrients that make up the calories you consume determines how full you will be, your energy levels, hormone status, and resulting body composition.
(Note the image above does not contain grains, but we do have gluten-free grains in our meal plans such as quinoa and oats. It’s surprisingly hard to find a graphic with vegetables at the bottom of the pyramid!)
What Does Macro-Based Mean?
When creating our meal plans, we strive to make not only each day contain a balanced amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrate but each meal as well, this is what we mean when we say “macro-based.” Each meal typically has somewhere between 20-45 grams of protein per meal, 20-45 grams of carbohydrates, and some healthy fat. Then we ensure the entire day has at least 100 grams of protein, 100-150 grams of carbs, and the rest of the calories come from healthy fats which help keep you full.
Why Are We Spending The Time To Calculate Macros For Our Plans?
Just like calories, macros have a big impact on your body composition. If you are not eating enough protein during weight loss it can lead to a loss of muscle mass instead of fat mass. Furthermore, going extremely low carb or low fat (either direction or both) can impact your hormones and metabolism, preventing you from losing weight or fat mass, especially in stress-related areas like the abdomen.
Balanced meals help fight cravings for sugar and junk food, give you steady energy throughout the day, they help keep you full and can aid in weight loss as well as weight maintenance. It’s important to us that we set up our meal plan subscribers with not only great tasting food but food that will make them as successful as possible.
Here is an overview of how each macronutrient aids your body to help you reach your goals:
Protein – helps maintain, rebuild, and repair muscle mass. Getting enough protein throughout the day helps to preserve your muscle mass so that the weight you lose is fat, instead of muscle mass. It also aids in keeping you full and balancing your blood sugar throughout the day, so you have steady energy levels.
Carbohydrate – for this post, we are referring to net carbohydrate (total amount of carbohydrates minus fiber.) There are two types of carbohydrate: fiber-rich non-starchy vegetables and energy-rich starchy carbohydrates. Non-starchy carbohydrates, mostly vegetables, provide fiber which keeps you full and regular, they also supply vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Starchy carbohydrates give you energy; it also helps you recover from your workouts.
Fat – Healthy fats are key to burning fat off your body. They suppress appetite, train your body to burn fat instead of sugar and nourish your body.