First of all, what exactly are macronutrients?
Macronutrients, most often referred to as macros, are the components of food that have a caloric value. These are protein, carbs, and fat.
Protein has 4 calories per gram.
Carbs have 4 calories per gram.
Fat has 9 calories per gram.
When something is described as being “macro-friendly” it typically means that it is favorable for most goals- often high in protein and lower in carbs.
Tracking your macros quite simply means tracking the food you eat and trying to hit specific macro goals. The different macronutrients will help us accomplish different goals (eating high protein is ideal for building muscle, for example) so when we track our macros, we are hoping to maximize our diets.
And when it comes to building our own perfect diet, we all have specific (and different) goals when it comes to protein, carbs, and fat.
Some people prefer to eat lower carb (or even keto), while others prioritize carbs as an energy source.
Depending on your specific macro goals, some foods might be better than others…
The Ultimate Macronutrient Cheat Sheet
For most of us when we first start tracking our macros, we have a hard time consistently hitting them.
And it’s not our fault- it comes with the territory.
Tracking macros is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. Outside of literally tracking your food, the next best thing you can do to get a handle on your macros is learning which foods contain the different macronutrients!
So, I took it upon myself to make a simple cheat sheet displaying which foods can be categorized as providing which macros!
Some foods provide solely one macronutrient, while others provide multiple.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the examples listed above for easy reference:
Carbs + Protein Sources
- Sprouted Grains
- Most Yogurt
- Skim milk
- Egg Whites
- Whey Protein
- Turkey Bacon
- Extra Lean Beef
- Fat Free Cheese
- Non-fat Greek Yogurt
Protein + Fat Sources
- Whole Eggs
- Most Cheese
- Nut Butters
- Egg Yolks
- Chia Seeds
- Protein Bars
- Protein Smoothies
- Whole Milk
If you struggle with hitting each macronutrient source or you’re confused by what foods are what, I hope this macro cheat sheet can help!
Also, here is an older blog I posted that has helped a ton of people reach their goals and understand how diets actually work!
There is no magic pill or product. A Diet and lifestyle that is consistent will prove results. I know no one wants to hear it, buttttt…. consistency over perfection in the long run = results! It’s that simple, but it seems to be the hardest thing to implement.
You are not alone trying to figure out the “perfect diet.” Many people are in a more desperate state than you are, in regards to trying to lose weight or reach their goals. Find a plan and lifestyle that will work for you OVER THE LONG TERM and stick with it!
That is why we love Flexible Dieting around here 😉