ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Start Macrobiotic Diet Step by Step

Updated on June 8, 2011

How to start macrobiotic diet

Many people decide to start macrobiotic diet when they face certain illness or condition. Standard American diet has become unhealthy and many people are considering macrobiotic diet to be their choice.

But, there is no such thing as switching from standard to macrobiotic diet overnight. Macrobiotic diet doesn’t mean only choosing between different kinds of food. Macrobiotic diet means special way of live, and things such food preparation, cooking time and utensils are all considered to be important part of macrobiotics.

This is why becoming a macrobiotic and eating by macrobiotic principles is a process which lasts from four to six months. Switching from standard American diet to macrobiotics can be easily done through detailed steps.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that one should go through all the steps. Some people will be satisfied by changing only the part of their diet and some will change it completely. And, that’s the main beauty of macrobiotic diet, it gives you many benefits and lots of choices that can be applied based on anyone’s needs, wishes and health status.

If you are basically step-by-step person and don’t like any strict changes, getting used to macrobiotic diet through this step by step process shouldn’t be a big problem.

The most important areas that distinguish standard diet from macrobiotic diet are:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Sweeteners
  • Drinks
  • Stimulants.

First of all, you will find here some general guidelines (presented through steps) how to gradually change the standard to macrobiotic diet. This can also serve as an improvement plan for people suffering from conditions that can be cured naturally.

However, most people decide to start with macrobiotic diet when they face serious illness or condition. In that case changing the diet completely and going through all steps is recommended and it is beneficial for overall health.

Starting macrobiotic diet
Starting macrobiotic diet

Step by step process of changing the standard to macrobiotic diet

It is practically impossible to change the complete diet into macrobiotic one over night. It takes time for the organism to get used to new tastes and new kinds of food. Our bodies expect certain food, this is why it is important to make the gradual change, so that the body feels minimum stress caused by the new food and new preparation and cooking techniques.

This is step by step process, which can help you change your diet during several months without any stress and confusion. In case of any serious illness, the process can be shortened and done in less than a few months.

Nevertheless, this guide can help organizing the diet easily focusing on important things.

Standard diet
Standard diet with increased consumption of organic food
Standard diet with increased consumption of vegetables
Replacement of red meat with legumes
Replacement of poultry with soy products and cereals
Increase overall consumption of legumes, cereals and soy
Start preparing food according to macrobiotic principals. Listen to own needs and follow season rules for food preparation
Step-by-step process of switching from standard to macrobiotic diet

These were the general steps how to change standard diet into macrobiotic one. But let’s look at those food and food components that make the difference between the standard and macrobiotic diet in more details and go through their change again in step by step process.



Most carbohydrates used in standard diet are: potatoes, white bread, pasta made of white flour and refined rice.

Let’s look at the process of cutting out the unhealthy carbohydrates and introducing the healthy ones.

Replace white bread and pasta with bread and pasta made of wholegrain flour
Start eating organic cereal products and wholegrain cereals
How to start eating healthy carbohydrates



Proteins used in standard diet are mostly red meat and its products. The process of replacing red meat with foods which contain plant proteins can be done in four steps.

Replace red meat with poultry and diary products
Replace poultry with fish
Start eating more legumes and their products
Start eating tofu, tempeh, seitan and soy products
How to start eating healthy protein



Sweeteners are used in very small dosages in macrobiotic diet and mostly natural sweeteners made from cereals. Three steps are needed to stop eating standard sweeteners such as white sugar, artificial sweeteners and corn syrup.

Replace white sugar and corn syrup with fructose, glucose and honey
Replace honey with maple syrup or corn malt
Start taking rice and barley malt as only sweeteners
How to start eating helthy sweeteners



People on standard American diet take lots of drinks used that contain artificial sweeteners, CO2 and sugar. Those drinks are unhealthy and great precondition for hearth disease, diabetes and cancer. They can be replaced with healthier versions through three steps.

Replace drinks which contain any kind of sugar with fruit juices without sugar
Start drinking juices made of season fruits and herbs
Replace fruit juices with juices made of vegetables and cereals
How to start taking healthy drinks



Stimulants that most people take are alcohol, narcotics, and cigarettes as well as heavy spices. Those stimulants are not part of macrobiotic diet and if someone has a need for them, they can be replaced with healthy variants.

Replace ordinary alcohol drinks with alcohol drinks made of fruits and cereals
Replace heavy spices with light ones
Start using local light spices
Drink only non alcoholic bier and use special spices with light smell
How to stop taking standard stimulants

Suggestions for replacing standard foods with macrobiotic diet food

The next table should provide help and guideline for getting from standard to macrobiotic diet. The key is in replacing certain groceries with the healthy ones.


Increase intake of:

  • Brown rice
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Wheat
  • Oat
  • Buckwheat
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Cereal flakes
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous

Decrease intake of:

  • White rice
  • White bread
  • White flour pasta
  • Industrial processed cereals


Increase intake of:

  • Cooked legumes
  • Sprouted legumes
  • Green legumes and peas
  • Tofu and tempeh
  • Soy flour

Decrease intake of:

  • Textured soy products
  • Caned legumes

Fruits and vegetables

Increase intake of:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Pickles
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Dried fruits and vegetables

Decrease intake of:

  • Fruits that are not growing in your geographical area
  • Too long cooked vegetables
  • Vegetable chips
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables

Nuts and seeds

Increase intake of:

  • Fried nuts and seeds
  • Nut and seed butters
  • Peanut butter
  • Sprouted seeds

Decrease intake of:

  • Raw or salty nuts
  • Raw peanut
  • Peanut butter with sugar and hydrogenated fat


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • EmmaMedu profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Dana, first thank you for you very nice comment. When I first got the book about macrobiotic diet I thought it was the best thing I've ever read.

      I also started changing my diet in small steps. Now I can't even imagine to eat white bread, sugar in all kinds of food and so on. Not to mention cola drinks.

      I started to feel better, had more energy and solved some of my health problems.

      So macrobiotic diet is very healthy and actually very easy.

    • profile image

      Dana Vig 

      7 years ago

      We started a macrobiotic diet six months ago and it is definitely the healthiest thing we have ever done. It's difficult in the beginning, as you give up a lot of your favorite things, but in the long run, we have both seen exceptional results. When you start seeing resuts and feeling a lot better, you will find this way of eating/living extremely easy. For myself, not only have I lost weight (but losing weight isn't really the point of macrobiotic eating), my skin and hair look great, I have a ton of energy, my knees no longer hurt, I feel exceptionally great. I've started jogging again, I don't have hot flashes any longer, I sleep through the entire night (I used to have horrible insomnia), and I'm less stressed. My doctor said he couldn't believe the change in my blood pressure, cholesterol and weight as well as the improvement in my thyroid function, which has always been off the wall (it is now exactly where it should be and I attribute this to eating sea vegetables every single morning in my miso soup. He is a huge advocate of eating macrobiotically. While not for everyone, it has really worked wonderfully for myself. I was very skeptical at first, but figured I had nothing to lose by trying it. Now, I cannot fathom going back to my extremely unhealthy ways of eating. It's just a matter of making relatively small changes in not only your diet, but your lifestyle as well (yoga, meditation, etc..). I still love pasta, but now eat only whole wheat or Udon. The tables are definitely great, as the beginning can be very confusing and hard to understand what you should and should not be eating. There are also a lot of books on macrobiotic eating and great recipes, too.

      Dana Vigilante

    • EmmaMedu profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      vocalcoach, thank you for reading and commenting. Many people realize that macrobiotic diet is not so strange and distant when they read something more about it. It's very nice to hear that you like this way of eating and that you actually practice it every day.

      I'm happy that there are people like me, why pay attention to what they eat.:o)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      An excellent hub on the macrobiotic diet. I did not realize, until reading your hub, that this is exactly the way I presently eat. To read your hub and find validation in my food choices makes me shout " yeaaaaaaa"

      Love it!

    • EmmaMedu profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      PeperNotes, I'm glad that you find it useful. Macrobiotic diet is actually very healthy diet, even if you decide to try just a piece of it.

      Thank you for commenting.

    • PaperNotes profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks Emma! I was actually thinking of changing my diet and this hub surely gave me a concise idea of what diet to take.

    • EmmaMedu profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      hubpageswriter, thank you for you comment.

      People who are advised to start following macrobiotic principles, sometimes have no idea what to change and how to start eating different foods. It is impossible to change the diet complete over night. That's why I think those tables could be helpful to those who decided to switch from standard to macrobiotic diet.

      I went through them many times when I started changing my diet a few years ago.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very concise tables that you've got there and the tips are very useful for a macrobiotic diet. The steps listed are very good and detailed. Hub up.:)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)