Lately I've had alot of people asking me to take a look at their nutrition journals and/or diets they've been following, and there seems to be a slight trend to
most of them.
So let's talk about how to improve what you're doing and some of the reasons behind it. A lot of this I've talked about before, but let's get into some details.
You might want to save this until you have a few minutes to read it in its entirety. Ok then.....Macro, as we’ll refer to it, refers to macronutrient levels.
Basically the amounts or ratios of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in your eating plan.
It's not necessary to get crazy with exacts, but let's briefly talk about them and some general rules to keep you "AWARE" of.
What we’ve found to work best for women is close to the popular “Zone” macro levels which is a macro breakdown of 40/30/30
(carbs, protein, fat).
I believe ideally, the ratios should be closer to 40/30/30 (Protein, Fat, Carbs), but let's not get caught up in the minutia and focus
instead on what you need to do.
You can always adjust up or down. Usually it’s the carb levels that will need some adjusting! ;-)
Anyway, using that as our general basis, let’s get into a specific example.
BUT remember, this is just for demonstration purposes so you can see what we're talking about.
If you’re 150lbs, age 35, have a fairly sedentary job, walk 4-5 times per week and train with weights 3-4 x week for about an hour…..this is your approx.
RMR (resting metabolic rate).
That basically means your body requires 1300 daily calories to maintain its metabolic functions…
BUT that doesn’t include the calories needed to support your activity (exercise and normal daily activity).
If you add in your activity, based on our example above, you’ll need another 900 daily calories on top of your RMR.
So 2200 calories altogether (RMR + Activity). More than you'd think, I'm sure.
So, in order to lose body fat, you’ll need to create a caloric deficit….BUT without adversely lowering your RMR.
In order to do that, you’ll want create your deficit by slightly reducing your daily calories by about 400.
You could also increase your activity levels to create your caloric deficit....which I'd prefer to see you do.
Makes sense right?
So we have your baseline level of 1300 as “Must” have daily calories. AND your activity requires another 900.
To get you into a deficit, you need to decrease your calories by about 400 or use some additional exercise to create that 400 calorie deficit.
Ok then….so we have that all squared away.
Now let’s look at where those calories are coming from. Again, just using an example of a good macro breakdown.
40% from protein
30% from carbs
30% from fats
If we stick with our example and take 2200 (1300 + 900) and subtract our 400 calories to create the needed deficit to lose body fat,
we get 1800 calories remaining for our daily intake.
To figure our protein level for the day, we take the percentage from above (40%) and multiply it with our total calories to get the amount of calories
we need from protein.
e.g. 40% of 1800 is 720 calories of protein.
Each gram of protein and carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram while fat has 9 calories per gram.
So, if we divide our 720 by 4 we’ll get the number of grams needed each day from protein.
In this example, we get 180 grams of protein or about 1.2 grams per pound of body weight. (ideal)
If you split that among your 5 meals, you get 35 grams of protein per meal.
If we do the same thing with carbs (30% x 1800 / 4), we get 540 calories and 135 grams of carbs.
Same with fat (30% x 1800 / 9) equals 540 calories and 60 grams of fat.
Here’s what it looks like broken down….
Protein (40%) 180 grams per day or 35 per meal
Carbs (30%) 135 grams or 27 grams per meal
Fat (30%) 60 grams or 12 grams per meal
So really, the only numbers you need to remember are your per meal numbers. Right?
Easy right. Sounded like a lot when it was 2200 calories, but not after breaking it down into manageable “mini” meals.
Obviously, not all of your meals are going to fit perfectly into these exact grams, but you know what levels you should be basing
your meals around and not just guessing.
If you implement your new meal plan based on these types of calculations and you’ve not lost any body fat or scale weight within two weeks,
slightly reduce calories by a 100 or so and hold steady.
The thing you don’t want to do is start dropping them too much for too long or your RMR will negatively be affected.
Now here me again....these are examples and in no way is it going to be exactly the right macro levels for every single person.
My point in demonstrating this to you is to show you what a "good" macro level is for protein, carbs and fats.
Not knowing is random and with that comes random results.
Once you understand and know gram levels per meal, it becomes a lot easier to figure out your meals.
Yes, calories play a role, but the old misnomer that "a calorie is a calorie is a calorie" isn't really a substantiated fact.
Food type, quantity and frequency all play a role in metabolic rate and this is a good way to "know" what you should be consuming at each
of your daily meals.
Your in-between meals may be a little smaller and your breakfast, lunch and dinner a little bigger.....but that’s easy to figure out.
Once you've made the above calculations, you don't have do them.....EVER again.
So spend a few minutes punching the buttons on this calorie calculator so you can make the best meal decisions you can.
Estimated Calorie Requirements
That's when your progress starts to really take off!
Begin creating the right environment for your body to "work" for you and not against you.
You can do that right now with a diet higher in protein, low in sugar, and high in nutrients.
Really take the few minutes and get your numbers together....it's some of the most productive time you can spend on getting
better fat loss results!