Updated: Sep 2
When it comes to meal planning, there are many styles available. You may wonder if one method of eating is actually superior to another. The answer is a resounding NO. The most urgent matter-at-hand is to find the strategy of eating that you can most adhere to and follow sustainably. When consistency is king, you're bound to get results.
What are Balanced Macros?
Macronutrients are the 'big' nutrients in your food that contribute calories: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Balanced macros means that the percentages each of these three macros are contributing to the overall caloric total are fairly equal and balanced.
* Protein: 30%
* Carbs: 40%
* Fats: 30%
Quick Reminder: There are 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, and 9 calories per gram of fat.
Let's look at those percentage with a rough estimation off a 1,500 calorie slow-weight-loss meal plan for a semi-active woman around 5'5".
* Protein: 1,500 * 0.3 = 450 calories ~ 450 / 4 = 112.5 grams
* Carbs: 1,500 * 0.4 = 600 calories ~ 600 / 4 = 150 grams
* Fats: 1,500 * 0.3 = 450 calories ~ 450 / 9 = 50 grams
However, sometimes tracking that meticulously is not realistic OR feasible for your mental health.
For that reason, the Power Foods Methodology is really helpful. In the education book (which I highly recommend reading if you have not yet), we learn that a peak range is a suggested 'portion size' for each food. When you learn these portion sizes, you can easily begin tracking your macros in a general, ball-park sense (and get pretty close to your goal numbers!).
P: 15-30 grams protein from Power Protein category*
V: 1-2 cups veggies from Power Veggie category*
F: 8-12 grams fats from Power Fats category*
C: 20-30 grams carbohydrates from Power Carb category*
(*the power foods list is in the back of the book)
Once you know your desired macros for target calories, you can then decide on the number of meals you would like to eat per day. Try not to change this too much as it can get tricky to be thinking sooo much about this each day. If you plan it out once, then stick with it, you'll find yourself auto-piloting your fat loss and health goals sooner!
Let's say you wanted to eat 4 meals--your main meals plus an afternoon snack. This is what I would suggest as your Power Foods Lifestyle (PFL) strategy:
Meal 1 (breakfast): PVCF
Meal 2 (lunch): PVVC
Meal 3 (snack): PVC
Meal 4 (dinner): PPVVFF
From there, all you need to do is brainstorm some different meal ideas and combinations of foods you like using the power foods list. This isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle change! It's strategic eating! It's learning to view food as fuel!
If you like concept of nutrition, check out the 4-week plan I put together for you!