A simple guide for macros for middle aged adults

A Simple Guide to Macros for Middle-Aged Adults

In this simple guide to macros for middle-aged adults, we will explore the main roles of protein, carbs, fats and water. I provide practical tips to for better balance of macros along with suggested daily intake. There is also a section for women going through menopause.

As we journey through our middle years of life, the importance of a balanced diet becomes paramount for maintaining overall health and vitality. Understanding macronutrients—proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and water—and how they work in our bodies will us make better decisions.

NOTE: The daily recommendations that I have suggested are not specific to you because I have no way of knowing your current exercise routines, medical history, age, weight and other important factors. I provided an estimated range based on the current guidelines for a lower to higher end. Always consult with your doctor, dietician or nutritionist before using any guideline to ensure it is right for you.

Protein: Building Strength and Resilience

Proteins are the building blocks of life, crucial for muscle maintenance, repair, and overall body functions.

  • Muscle Health: Adequate protein intake supports muscle mass, strength, and function, vital for active living.
  • Metabolism Boost: Protein-rich foods enhance metabolism, aiding in weight management and fat loss.
  • Hormone Balance: Proteins contribute to hormone production, assisting in mood regulation and overall well-being.


  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, and plant-based proteins in your diet.
  • Aim for a balanced protein intake throughout the day to support muscle repair and growth.
  • Suggested daily intake per kilogram of body weight: 1.2 – 1.6 grams.
  • Suggested daily intake per pound of body weight: 0.54 – 0.73 grams.

Carbohydrates: Fuelling Your Active Lifestyle

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source, essential for physical and mental performance.

  • Energy Production: Carbs provide readily available energy for daily activities and exercise.
  • Brain Function: Glucose from carbs fuels the brain, enhancing cognitive abilities and focus.
  • Digestive Health: Carbohydrates, especially fiber-rich ones, promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation.


  • Choose whole grains, fruits, berries, greens, vegetables, and legumes for complex carbs, ensuring sustained energy.
  • Limit processed sugars and refined carbs to support stable blood sugar levels.
  • Suggested daily intake per kilogram of body weight: 3 – 6 grams.
  • Suggested daily intake per pound of body weight: 1.3 – 2.72 grams.

Fats: Nurturing Your Body Inside Out

Healthy fats are essential for brain health, hormone regulation, and overall cellular functions.

  • Brain and Nervous System: Omega-3 fatty acids support brain health, memory, and mood.
  • Heart Health: Unsaturated fats, like those in avocados and nuts, promote cardiovascular well-being.
  • Nutrient Absorption: Fats aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) for overall health.


  • Incorporate sources of healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish in your diet.
  • Limit saturated and avoid trans fats found in processed foods and fried items to support heart health.
  • Suggested daily intake per kilogram of body weight: 0.2 – 0.44 grams.
  • Suggested daily intake per pound of body weight: 0.44 – 0.77 grams.

Water: The Foundation of Wellness

Staying hydrated is vital for bodily functions, metabolism, and overall health.

  • Hydration Balance: Water maintains bodily fluids, aids digestion, and regulates body temperature.
  • Appetite Control: Drinking water before meals promotes a feeling of fullness, aiding in portion control.
  • Detoxification: Proper hydration supports kidney function, assisting in the elimination of waste and toxins.


  • Drink water throughout the day, even when not feeling thirsty, to ensure proper hydration.
  • Monitor urine colour; clear or light yellow indicates adequate hydration.
  • Suggested daily intake per kilogram of body weight: 30 – 35 millilitres.
  • Suggested daily intake per pound of body weight: 13.6 – 15.9 millilitres.
Macronutrients wellness middle years menopause

Women’s Health: Navigating Menopause with Nutrition

Menopause brings unique challenges, and proper nutrition can ease symptoms and support overall well-being.

  • Hormonal Balance: Protein-rich foods help stabilize mood swings and hormonal fluctuations.
  • Bone Health: Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake support bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Hot Flashes and Weight Management: Limiting caffeine and alcohol, along with managing calorie intake, can reduce unfavourable symptoms and aid weight control.


  • Prioritize calcium-rich foods like dairy, leafy greens, and fortified products.
  • Engage in regular physical activity and manage stress to support emotional and physical well-being.

In my opinion, I believe menopausal women should eat protein at the upper limit and it should take greater priority in their diet. For carbs and fats, I think there is more wiggle room for choices based on lifestyle and food preferences. However, considering the struggles with increased belly fat storage with hormone fluctuations, I favour the lower end for fat and middle range for carbs. It really depends on so many factors such as daily activity level alongside type and duration of exercise.

Note: while menopause may cause a change in belly fat storage, it is not the cause of weight gain. The tissues may change in the body with more fat and less muscle but weight gain overall is predominately caused by a surplus in daily calories. If you want to discuss this, please post your comments below.

Avoiding Fad Diets: The Pitfalls of Quick Fixes

Fad diets promise rapid results but often fail to deliver sustainable and healthy outcomes.

  • Nutrient Deficiency: Restrictive diets may lack essential nutrients, leading to deficiencies and health issues.
  • Metabolic Impact: Extreme calorie restrictions can slow down metabolism, hindering long-term weight management.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Fad diets often set unrealistic expectations, leading to frustration and disappointment.
  • Yo-Yo Effect: Quick fixes rarely result in lasting changes, contributing to a cycle of weight gain and loss.
  • Mental and Emotional Toll: Fad diets can create an unhealthy relationship with food, causing stress and anxiety.

Why Building Sustainable Healthy Habits Matters

  • Long-Term Success: Sustainable habits lead to gradual, consistent progress, ensuring lasting health improvements.
  • Holistic Wellness: Building balanced habits supports overall well-being, encompassing physical, mental, and emotional health.
  • Positive Mindset: Focusing on healthy habits fosters a positive attitude towards food and self-image.
  • Enhanced Energy: Balanced nutrition provides sustained energy, boosting productivity and vitality.
  • Prevention of Health Issues: Healthy habits can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, enhancing quality of life.
Macronutrients balanced diet for wellness during the middle years

Five Tips for Developing a Sustainable Balanced Diet

Building long-lasting healthy eating habits is key to optimal health as you age.

1. Embrace Variety: Include a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats in your meals. Experiment with new recipes and flavors to keep your meals exciting.

2. Practice Mindful Eating: Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues. Eat slowly, savoring each bite, and avoid distractions like TV or smartphones during meals. This fosters a healthy relationship with food.

3. Plan and Prepare: Plan your meals and snacks in advance, incorporating a mix of macronutrients. Prepare balanced, portion-controlled meals to avoid relying on unhealthy options when hungry.

4. Stay Hydrated: Water plays a vital role in digestion, metabolism, and overall health. Keep a water bottle handy and sip throughout the day. Herbal teas and infused water can add variety to your hydration routine.

5. Seek Support: Surround yourself with a supportive community. Engage in group activities, join cooking classes, or connect with friends and family who share your health goals. Social support enhances motivation and accountability.


Mastering macronutrients is the cornerstone of a healthy middle age. By understanding the roles of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and water, and tailoring your diet to meet your body’s specific needs, you can optimize your health, energy levels, and overall well-being. Remember, small changes can lead to significant improvements in how you feel and live each day.

Embrace a Balanced Diet:

  • Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your meals.
  • Practice portion control to avoid overeating and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Stay mindful of your body’s signals, and make adjustments based on how different foods make you feel.

Stay Active and Engaged:

  • Engage in regular physical activity, combining cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
  • Prioritize sleep to support physical recovery, mood regulation, and overall vitality.

Consult a Professional:

  • If you have specific dietary concerns or health conditions, consider consulting a registered dietitian or healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Remember, your journey to a healthier lifestyle begins with small, consistent steps. Try not to overthink things. The fitness and wellness industry is full of misleading information that creates a lot of confusion.

Follow people who are experts in the topics they discuss. Just because they have a Ph.D. doesn’t mean they are speaking within their lane. For example, a chiropractor is not a nutritional scientist.

One of my go-to experts on exercise and nutrition for aging adults is Dr. Stuart Phillips at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

With the right guidance, knowledge and a positive mindset, you can achieve and maintain optimal health in your middle years and beyond. Feel free to express your opinions and ask questions in the comments section below.

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