Macronutrients and Weight Loss

Aug 1, 2022 | Tara Schmidt | @taraschmidt

By Tara Wilde, RDN, CD at Mayo Clinic Health System La Crosse, WI

When it comes to weight loss, calories matter. However, where your calories come from also makes a big difference.  Consider the following when assessing the macronutrients making up your calorie intake.

  • Protein
    • Decreases the hunger hormone ghrelin and increases the hormones peptide YY, GLP-1 and cholecystokinin - which make the body feel full and satisfied.
    • Helps to maintain and build lean muscle tissue. The more muscle a person has, the higher their metabolic rate and the more calories they burn even at rest.
  • Fats
    • Can help with appetite control as they are digested slowly and can help promote fullness and satiety (though be mindful of high intake as this is the most calorically dense nutrient).
    • Contribute to food’s taste and mouthfeel to make meals appealing and pleasurable.
  • Carbohydrates
    • Fiber, an indigestible carbohydrate, found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans is associated with improved satiation and reduced total energy intake
    • Vegetables and fruit are full of good nutrition and low in calories due to their high water content, so they can help us eat less of other foods denser in calories.

Lastly, it is important to remember that portions still matter overall. A balanced diet helps to make sure you are getting a good variety and sufficient nutrients along with diet satisfaction overall and avoidance of feeling restricted. This is essential to be successful long-term, realistic, and achievable results.

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