Weight Loss NHS
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Hi everyone,

My name is Kyle. I was wondering, is anyone tracking Macros (Protein, Carbs, Fats)? Or are you just tracking totalled calories?

I currently attend the gym on average 3 times a week with a trainer, he suggested I eat 2900 calories but I just can't seem to eat that much seeing as it's a lot of food. I'm also just going for weight loss, I have no intentions of becoming a bodybuilder so that amount of food just seems to be a waste for me.

Any help or input would be appreciated...


Kyle :)

3 Replies

This sounds like a conversation that you need to have with your trainer - explain that you're not aiming to build up too much muscle and trying to lose weight, then he should adjust the training programme and recommended calories. Not sure about the macros, apart from if you use the myfitnesspal app, that breaks things down into protein, carbs etc, which could be useful information if you're trying to track those aspects of your diet.


Yes - I count calories, protein, carbs (sugar separately too), total fats and sats, fibre, and sodium.

I've set myself a target of not more than 1500 cals/day (though the 12-week plan would have me on 1400). I'm not doing low carbs/high fat but instead being careful with sweet things (and not tackling this with artificial sweeteners, just trying to avoid having too much sugar).

It's working for me - gradually, which I'm satisfied with on the whole.


Sorry for the necroposting, but I feel there are a couple of issues to address.

I like tracking macros because it feels like it gives me a better understanding of what I'm eating and lets me understand patterns of hunger etc. The inexact good / bas food advice that the NHS offers can be replaced by daily totals that actually mean something and take account of portion size.

The free my fitness Pal is unusable for macro tracking (by design), I use my net diary, the free version lets you track macros but I ended up paying for the full version (significantky cheaper than mfp).

You might also want to track fibre and saturated fat.

I found the NHS website woeful for providing macro information, though with a calculator and the energy to read through the annoying recipe advice you can get information.

I found Lyle Macdonald's website useful for numbers.

Here are some vague numbers:

Carbohydrate: at least 50g if you want to stop your brain using ketones (see low carb flu) 100g or so to avoid any ketosis. If you are doing a lot of intense cardiovascular exercise you might want to get more energy from carbogydrate than fat. For gentle exercise more than 80 percent of the energy comes from fat (in contrast to the nhs's vague and incorrect statements about carbohydrate being your main source of energy) for very intense exercise more than 75 percent of energy comes from carbohydrate

Protein: 0.8 grams per kilogram is one of the lower estimates. 2.2 g per kilogram is used by body builders. I've read recomendations to increase protein if dieting very aggressively (see gluconeogenesis).

Fat; you need some fat for essential fatty acids. It might be common to eat 20-25% of calories as fat (around 50g 80g). The NHS advise for saturated fat is less than 10 percent of your calories (less than 20g or so). This is controversial. People go on about omega 3, but my research suggests nothing apart from flax seed oil and cod liver oil has particularly large amounts of omega 3. Flax oil is an utter pain to handle (keep cool and away from light), cod liver oil contains a lot of vitamin A, very large doses of vitamin A cause liver damage. Nuts have no omega 3 (apart from walnuts)

Fibre: At least 20 to 30 grams, more may have benefits.

Some comments on sources. The main problem I found was meeting protein and fibre targets subject to calorie restrictions. Relatively low calorie protein sources were also more expensive. In order of protein content we have egg whites (expensive), fish (economy white fish is cheap), chicken (frozen chicken is cheap), dried soya mince (very cheap), quark (expensive), skimmed milk (cheap).

The nhs's emphasises whole grain carbohydrate for fibre and uses this as part of its justification for high carb diets. You might track macros instead.Vegetables and fruit don't turn out to be particularly low calorie fibre sources. Beans (notably black beans) and soya protein are low calorie sources of protein.

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