Updated: Aug 31
So following on from a previous post you will now know the most important principle for losing weight is counting calories, and how to do it.
Now we are going to explain the second most important principle for losing weight. By combining these two principles you can finely tune your diet to your requirements, thereby progressing towards your goals.
What is a macronutrient?
A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required in relatively large amounts:-
From my previous post you will have learned how to work out the calories required to lose weight. We are now going to turn those calories into protein, carbohydrate and fat percentages that you can use to create a diet plan.
Now lets make this very clear; these amounts will vary depending on your lifestyle. An example is a sedentary person will not require as much carbohydrate for energy as someone who exercises frequently. The person that exercises will need energy for his/her strenuous exercise program, and this extra energy can be provided by a higher intake of carbohydrate. An obese person will also require different macronutrient percentages.
To reiterate, the levels of macronutrients (Macros’s) do vary depending on the individual and their personal requirements, and the percentages of macro’s may need to be adjusted while progressing through a diet program. I am going to explain more but the following offers an idea of the macronutrient percentages required to reduce body fat.
Eat 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight Eat 0.2 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight The rest of of your calories come from carbohydrate
You do need to know that there are 4 calories in a gram of protein, and also in a gram of carbohydrate. There are 9 calories in a gram of fat.
I will use myself as a example to offer more detail:-
Body Weight – 168 pounds Calorie Intake – 1,800 (for fat loss)
Protein – 168 x 1.2 = 202 grams Fat – 168 x 0.2 = 34 grams Carbohydrate = 172 grams
Protein – (202g x 4)= 808 calories Fat – (34g x 9) = 306 calories Carbohydrate – (172g x 4)= 688 calories
Total Calories = 1,802
So I know that I need to eat 1,800 calories per day to lower body fat and the grams of macro’s that make up my calorie quota. What’s next?
List the foods you eat every day, use some recipes ideas we will post, or create yourself new healthier meals. Using MyFitnessPal find the macronutrient profile of a meal or food and design a meal plan that fits your calories and macronutrient percentages.
To adjust your macronutrient percentages in MyFitnessPal go to:- Home-More-Goals-Click on one of the macro’s and adjust to suit you.
Try to get within 100 calories of your target and as close to your macro’s as possible.
Protein should stay the same but you can adjust your carbohydrate and fats. If you find your meal plan is slightly higher in fat and lower in carbohydrate adjust your percentages to match this.
Using myself as an example I eat the same four meals everyday because I enjoy them. I only change my evening meals that already have balanced macro’s. I found that I consumed a slightly higher amount of fat and less carbohydrate. So rather than change my whole meal plan I adapted my macro percentages to match the plan as it is just easier.
Its really not that hard to count calories and track macro’s as MyFitnessPal does it for you. You still have to take the time to add your food to MyFitnessPal but it soon becomes habit to log your meals on a daily basis.
Do not raise your fat intake above 30%.Try to get within 100 calories of your targetTry to get close as possible to your macro’sEating the same meals during the day every day makes it far easierAlternate your evening meals, but make them healthier and tastyAdd all your calories such as dressings. Remember there can be 100 calories in a teaspoon of olive oilDo not stress about getting everything exact, or going over slightlyStick to the planIf you get bored design a new meal and add it to the planSo you now can count calories and adjust and track your macro’s, this is enough to guarantee fat reduction if you stick to the plan and don’t cheat
Do not forget this calorie and macro tracking is only short term until you reach your target weight.
But what if you are going out for a meal with the family, or fancy a treat? Well that’s fine as number three in my best principles to lose weight is flexible dieting which is fantastic for ensuring you adhere to your diet program. More on this in forthcoming posts.
Let me know what you think about balancing macronutrients – Do you have any comments or questions?
Be Happy, Be Healthy, Enjoy Life