Currently, one of the trending weight loss strategies is counting macronutrients. There are three types of macronutrients, such as proteins, carbs, and fats.

Macronutrients are elements that you must take in large amounts to maintain normal growth and development. Conversely, there are those nutrients that are needed only in small amounts. These are called micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.You might have thought of counting calories when you heard about doing the same on macronutrients. They are the same, only that counting macronutrients is highly considered where specifically the calories come from.This article explains the best macronutrient ratio for weight loss and how to have it.Calorie Intake and Macronutrient Ratio for Weight LossLosing fat in the body is determined by several factors. As opposed to what many think about intake of carbs, fats, and proteins, losing fat largely depends on how much you actually take.One study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information examined over 600 individuals by exposing them to a low-fat or low-carb diet.In the first 60 days of the study, the low-fat group was fed with 20 g of fat per day, while those who were on low-carb were given 20 g of carb per day.After another 60 days, participants in both groups began to slowly add either fat or carb into their routine diet. This happened until they attained the minimum level they were sure to maintain.

For each group, calorie intake wasn’t limited to a certain number. Still, they had to reduce their daily intake of calories by about 500 and 600.At the end of the study, those in the low-fat diet cohort lost 5.3 kg of body weight, while those in a low-carb diet lost 6 kg over 12 months.

Another study by the same organization examined 645 people who were overweight. They were put on a diet with different macronutrient content, that is, fat (40% against 20%), protein (25% against 15%), and carbs (32% against 65%). After two years, these diets resulted in the same amount of weight loss irrespective of the macronutrient ratio.It can thus be concluded that following any diet with a reduced-calorie amount can still result in the same amount of weight loss.

What Lies Behind Calories

A calorie is simply the measurement of energy content in any food or beverage. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, one calorie in the diet contains about 4.2 joules of energy from protein, fat, or carb.

Therefore, all calories are of the same value. However, differences in the physiology of humans should be taken into considerations. The macronutrients in any food you take can influence several things. This includes the rate of metabolism in your body, hormonal response, the activity of the brain, and how hungry or satiated you will feel.

For example, sourcing 100 calories from broccoli or doughnuts can impact your food choices and the general body in different ways. Also, 340 g (four cups) of broccoli can offer 100 calories and 8 g of fiber. The same amount of calories can be obtained from a half doughnut of medium size and contains lots of refined carbs.

You can imagine how hard it can be to eat four cups of broccoli in a single serving and sitting. It would consume your time and need much effort to chew, but it would offer lots of fiber that would likely leave you satisfied and for long. That is not true with eating a half doughnut, of which you may eat the other remaining portion.Therefore, counting calories doesn’t tell the whole story. This means that you need to focus on the quality of your diet to facilitate fat loss and adhering to it.

Why Diet Quality Is Important

To improve your weight loss program, you must follow a calorie deficit diet that allows you to eat fewer calories than you burn. This will mean that your body will turn on another source of energy which is fat, regardless of the protein, carb, or fat content in your diet.Upon generating a calorie deficit diet, you must account for each type of food you eat because some of them might be more nutritious and diet-friendly than others. Below are macros and foods you can consider eating for the calorie deficit.

Consume Nutrient-Dense Foods

Nutrient-dense foods are those that contain increased levels of nutrients and have a lower content of calories. They are important for weight loss as they help provide healthy fats, lean proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.Examples of nutrient-dense foods include lean meat, fruits, fish, whole grains, legumes, beans, and dairy.

Choose High-Protein Foods

Proteins are good at preserving muscles, promoting feelings of fullness, and have the highest thermic effect. This means that more calories are used to digest proteins than fats or carbs.For weight loss, go for animal-based proteins, plant-based proteins, or protein shakes. These may include eggs, poultry, fish, meat, dairy, soy, green peas, and grains. A good way to increase your protein intake is by having protein shakes that you can take even between meals.

Lower Fat and High-Carbohydrates Foods

Consuming lots of fat and foods with high carb content can severely sabotage your program of weight loss. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, eating such foods increases food cravings, leading to overeating and weight gain. Therefore, try to avoid taking lots of pizza, potato chips, doughnuts, and crackers.

The Best Macronutrient Ratio

The only way of succeeding with counting macronutrients and eating a calorie deficit diet is by individualizing your macros based on your food preferences and overall health.The acceptable macronutrient distribution ratio (AMDR) is getting 45-65% of calories from carbs, 20-35% of fats, and 10-35% calories from proteins.


Counting macronutrients is a strategy for weight loss that requires one to calculate the number of calories from proteins, fats, and carbs. Focus on the source of calories instead of the calorie itself.

Nataly Komova

Nutritionist. Bluffton University, MS In today's world, people's eating and exercise patterns have changed, and it is often lifestyle that is the cause of many diet-related illnesses. I believe that each of us is unique – what works for one does not help another. What is more, it can even be harmful. I am interested in food psychology, which studies a person's relationship with their body and food, explains our choices and desires for specific products, the difficulty of maintaining optimal body weight, as well as the influence of various internal and external factors on appetite. I'm also an avid vintage car collector, and currently, I'm working on my 1993 W124 Mercedes. You may have stumbled upon articles I have been featured in, for example, in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Grazia, Women's Health, The Guardian, and others.