Macro friendly foods are foods that can easily slot into your daily calorie and macro (proteins, fats, and carbs) nutrient targets and keep your hunger at bay. During a fat loss phase the main hurdle to your success is stopping yourself from getting hungry. When you’re hungry the chances that you will cheat on your diet are increased. So if you fill your diet with satiating foods that are relatively low in calories then this enhances your chances of reaching your body composition goals. Here is a list of 10 foods that I would recommend and use myself during a fat loss phase.
Shrimp – Seafood is easily accessible and affordable in Thailand so it’s worth including shrimp as one of you regular sources of protein. They are low in fat and taste amazing in a variety of dishes. Eating grilled tiger prawns during a diet doesn’t sound like torture to me! In 100g of cooked shrimp there is approximately 26.5g of protein for only 138 calories.
Chicken breast- Not exactly the most exciting food to eat but there’s a reason most diets are often associated with them. It’s high in protein and low in fat and fairly cheap to buy too. If you make a bit of an effort you can make it quite tasty without adding a significant amount of extra calories. There is 31g of protein in 100g of chicken breast.
Salmon – Almost tastes like a cheat meal because there’s such a rich flavor to it. Admittedly it is high in calories but it’s packed with healthy fats and protein. You have to get a certain amount of fat in your diet, so why not get it from something as tasty as salmon. 100g salmon will give you 26g of protein and 6g of fat.
Protein powders – Whatever you may think of protein powders they are definitely a great tool for helping you reach your protein targets. Protein should be relatively high during a fat loss phase as it has a high thermic effect, is satiating, and helps preserve lean muscle tissue. A lot of people struggle to reach the necessary protein requirements needed for their goal. This issue is easily helped by using protein powders. The average serving of protein is 125 calories but you get at least 25g of protein out of it.
Pumpkin – As your carbs are most likely limited when you’re in a calorie deficit, you want to be selective with your carb sources. Steamed or grilled pumpkin is surprisingly low in calories for how much it fills you up and is a great lower calorie alternative to white potatoes. A large 300g portion of pumpkin is only 78 calories.
Berries – Whether its raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries, all three are highly nutritious and a lower calorie option for something on the sweeter side. If you’re like me and you have a sweet tooth then these are useful when putting them into a protein smoothie or adding them to oatmeal. There is only 1 calorie in a single raspberry. Definitely macro friendly in my book!
Oatmeal – I love oatmeal and eat it at least once a day. It keeps me full for a long time and I enjoy mixing my protein powder with it. In a 40g serving of oats there are 26.5g of carbs.
Zucchini – I’m not a huge fan of broccoli as I find it super boring, so I mix up my veggies by having zucchini. It’s easy to just add a pinch of salt and put them under the grill. A quick and easy way to get some dietary fiber into your system. You can eat 200g of zucchini for just 32 calories.
Avocados – A worthy addition to most dishes and a healthy source of unsaturated fat. Fats by nature are calorie dense, so it’s worth using the majority of your fat macros on something healthier. The 50g of avocado that you might add to your taco is around 80 calories.
Whole eggs – The egg yolk has unfairly been given a bad rap because of the high fat content and the perceived issues with cholesterol. Whole eggs are high in protein and full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids (improves brain health and helps with inflammation). If you keep your overall dietary fat and calories within range as well as your overall cholesterol, then there’s no reason to just eat the egg whites. The average large egg has 80 calories, 7g of protein, and 6g of fat.
There will be many other foods out there that are great for dieting, but these 10 are a staple in my pantry especially when my goal is to get leaner. You should be combining healthy foods at the correct macro quantity for your goal. Dieting gets easier the more you learn about nutrition.
By Coach Rishi – Strength and Nutrition Coach