What should you eat to lose weight? That can be different for each person, but a basic understanding of each nutrient and how it serves your weight loss goals is important. Here’s how we have used macronutrient balance for weight loss. Nutrition is important for overall wellness.

woman with a tape measure around her

Food macros

What are macros anyway? Are carbs evil? Do we need to avoid fat? The problem with these questions is that the perfect balance can be different for each person, but if you need to lose weight for your health, balancing what you eat is a great place to start.

Macronutrients are proteins, carbs, and fats. And your body processes each differently.

  • Your body digests starchy carbs first because they are the easiest, and they turn into sugar.
  • It digests high fiber carbs next.
  • Proteins and fats take way more energy to digest and this is why they keep you fuller longer.

Protein is key for staving off hunger and building lean muscle in your body.

Fat is also important for satiety. Healthy fats reduce inflammation and balance hormones. They also help your hair and skin look amazing.

Carbs, just like the other groups, need to be of high quality. Highly processed carbs are fast-digesting and sugar forming. They have little nutritional value and cause weight gain. So what about nonstarchy carbs? Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables will give you sustained energy without the insulin spike. They are called resistant starches. They convert to sugar or energy more slowly and in the liver. They feed healthy gut bacteria as they pass through digestion.

woman heavier and lighter

Macro balanced meals

Each body is a little different, but to start out with macronutrient balance in your meals, try to get 1/3 of your calories from each group in high-quality form. It takes all of them combined together to get the desired well-running results you need. You’ll be burning excess fat, metabolizing sugar, and have more energy, feel better, think more clearly, and have an improved mood. This has been a life-changer for us! And remember that exercise helps you control your food cravings!

Keep in mind that fat has the most calories, 9 per gram, then protein and non-starchy vegetables have the least at 4 per gram. So you can fill your plate with a lot of them. This will balance your blood sugar, and calm hunger, and food cravings. And once you get used to it, you’ll be a pro in no time. Once your blood sugar is balanced and your food cravings diminish, you’ll start seeing the weight loss you need for your health. We have been doing it for about 5 months and have each lost a considerable amount of weight and lots of inches. Our joints are feeling better, our clothes are not so tight. I’ve lost over 25 pounds myself.

Protein is so important to help you shed unwanted pounds. But like I said before, quality matters. It’s best to get grass-fed meat, dairy and eggs. Organic is preferred also. But get the best quality you can afford. You are worth it. Some good protein sources are:

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Lean beef
  • Whole fat Greek yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and nut butters

High-quality fats include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Olive oil
  • Butter from grass-fed sources

High-quality carbs include:

  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Blueberries
  • Apple
  • Strawberries

Some sources of really low carb vegetables you can have more of include:

  • Celery
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini

We’re not talking about low carb, keto, or paleo here. We are talking about balance that sustains long-term wellness.

Our eating plan includes making sure we have each of these items in each meal. We have breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner each day to keep our metabolism moving. The meals are small. We do 4 oz of protein, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, or 2 Tablespoons of nuts or nut butter for the protein. My wife is allergic to nuts, so she does sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead. The nuts and yogurt have fat in them already, so we don’t add it to those meals, but if we use lean meat or eggs, we cook them in oil or butter or add a sprinkle of organic cheese.

For the carbs, we do 1 cup of the top list of vegetables or fruit, 1 1/2 cups of the really low carb ones, or 1/2 cup of whole-grain such as old-fashioned rolled or steel-cut oats, whole grain rice, or another whole grain. High fiber foods are great for weight loss. We do not eat wheat except for einkorn wheat and we do try to avoid corn. Even though it is so yummy! It’s really not good for the body.

woman holding pants waist out showing how much she's lost

Weight loss vs inch loss

If you have a lot of weight to lose to give a break to your bones and joints, obviously you will shed some pounds, but the shape of your body is far more important than pounds. Inches lost are the goal. We have seen our bodies change shape completely when eating this way. More muscle tone, and a stronger overall shape. We still have a long ways to go, but we are heading in the right direction and I am under the absolute minimum my doctor wanted me to lose for my hernia issues. So that’s a huge victory in itself.

It’s not always easy to choose my wife’s super healthy and macronutrient balanced meals over a burger and fries. She’s a saint and cooks such great things for me, but I also like junk food. I was raised on a total crap diet and that’s what I like. She’s been working on me for over 30 years and there are a lot of vegetables I really enjoy now and tons of them that I think are okay.

How to lose weight when you hate vegetables

We have a ton of advice here on how I went from hating all vegetables to liking quite a few, so check it out. And here are some inspirational recipes for meals with vegetables that you are going to love.

Do you need grains in your diet?

It’s not totally necessary to have grains in your diet as long as you have carbs to give your body energy. Carbs are an important part of your health and if you limit them too much, it causes your body to cannibalize itself to get energy. Low carb diets are not healthy, but macronutrient balance diets with healthy carbs are. And whole grains are full of healthy fiber and nutrients that will help you stay full, feel energetic and lose weight if they are eaten in moderation. We recommend ancient grains that are good sources of nutrition and have not been genetically modified or overly hybridized. Check out some ancient grains recipes here.

Check out these healthy breakfasts to help you lose weight for ideas to start your day!

If you’re on a budget, check out these cheap nutritious foods to keep in your diet. Also, meal prep planning helps a lot.

Get your macro cheat sheet, macro tracker, and water tracker bundle here!

Free Printable Macro Cheat Sheet

Print out your free cheat sheet to carry with you here.

And your free macro tracker here: