What are your fitness goals? Do you want to lose fat, build muscle or purely maintain your appearance? Well, depending on what your goals are and where you are in your macrocycle, your macronutrient requirements fluctuate.
So, what are macronutrients, and how do they affect your fitness goals?
Macronutrients: The Basics
Macronutrients are foundational components of food that store and release energy the body needs. The three macronutrients are:
Fat is the energy reserve of the body. It functions as insulation to protect organs and transport fat-soluble vitamins, among many, many other necessary functions your body needs to perform each day.
In 2005, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee stated that dietary fat should take up to 35% of daily calories at most.
Recently, The DGAC concluded that, “Reducing total fat (replacing total fat with overall carbohydrates) does not lower CVD risk Dietary advice should put the emphasis on optimizing types of dietary fat and not reducing total fat.”
Not all fats are made equal. Trans fats and saturated fats are much worse for you than the unsaturated — healthy fats– that your body crave, or even the saturated fats which you body can use, but only need sparingly.
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are the primary fuel for the body. Carbs provide the energy that your muscles and central nervous system consume during your existence, and burn them as your primary source of energy during exercise and physical activity.
The amount of carbs you should consume daily depends on your fitness goals, caloric intake and body type. Endurance athletes need more than bodybuilders, for example.
Protein provides the structure for our bodily tissues., and is integral to giving cell membranes, skin, hair and muscle support. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends consuming 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily.
Increasing the amount of protein-based on desired body weight cultivates mass and builds muscle. There are many quick and easy ways to work the desired amount of protein into your diet.
Calculating Macronutrient Ratios
Macronutrients have different caloric contents per gram:
- Fats: 9 calories/gram
- Carbs: 4 calories/gram
- Proteins: 4 calories/gram
The number of calories you should consume daily must correspond with the total amount of calories you should be consuming per day and your overall fitness goals.
If your fitness goals are to lose weight while maintaining muscle, you should maintain a caloric deficit. How you get there is up to you, but doing more exercise and burning calories is much easier than doing less activity and eating a lot less.
Regardless of if your objective is to maintain your weight, lose weight, or hit a higher weight, eating enough protein (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight) should be your primary goal. Continuing to lift weights and eat enough protein will help you retain muscle mass on a cut or gain lean mass on a bulk.
When it comes to carbs, lifestyle and activities dictate where they should be.
Overall, and for most people, carbohydrates should make up the bulk of your diet.
For those on a keto diet, the macronutrient ratio will be much higher in fat than carbs while also prioritizing protein.
NOTE: Low-carb diets will not give some individuals enough energy to accomplish their goals throughout the day, especially at first.
You have to experiment with different macro ratios to find the one that works best for you.
There is no right or wrong way to construct a macro ratio. Specific ratios will work better for some than others. Your macro ratio is working for you as long as you have enough calories and energy to reach your fitness goals throughout the day.
A calorie calculator, macro calculator or other fitness tools may be the key to finding the perfect ratio for you.
It might seem daunting at first to get going, so if you need some help getting started, hit us up. That’s why we are here.
Let us help you out.
We can get you setup with a periodized workout plan, supplement information, and advice on nutrition to help you reach your goals.
Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just staying in shape while stuck at home.
The only thing you need is some motivation and a willingness to change some old habits.
Get into contact with us to find out what membership is right for you. In a Conditionerd program, you’ll be surrounded by others who can help you to get where you want to be.
Generally, our clients start to see some pretty awesome changes in 2-3 months time, some sooner.