Welcome to the fourth installment of the Blueprint Series. I really hope that this guide helps you finally set up your perfectly personalized diet. With the following Macronutrient recommendations, you cannot fail.
If you missed the previous posts, here they are:
Macronutrients: The building blocks of calories
To help you lose weight, in the previous post, I explained how to calculate your required calories. Today I am going to talk about macronutrients and how to calculate these elements towards your calories intake.
There are three basic macronutrients that make up the energy (calories) in our food. These macronutrients are Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat (I will discuss alcohol later). In the scientific world of sports nutrition there has been numerous debates on the perfect ratio of these nutrients in a diet. In this post I will be providing the most agreed upon and latest findings.
I want to start of by saying something about the low-carb, ‘banting’ craze that has the world shook.
For a very detailed article about LCHF macronutrient-distributed diets please read this article. There I have covered: Who benefits from a low-carb diet, why I do not think it is the best approach and why the average person will fair better with moderate ratios.
Cutting out carbohydrates from your diet will give you quick results. This is mostly because of the fact that one third of your energy-providing nutrients are now gone and your glycogen is depleted. Anything drastic like this is bound to have you getting ‘on and off’ a diet. That’s not what a diet should feel like. The same goes for the low-fat-high-carb crew.
Flexible dieting: moderation in all areas
The perfect macronutrient recommendations for a flexible-dieter is as follows:
We’ll start off with protein requirements. A safe zone for protein intake is 0.8 to 1.2g per pound of lean body weight.
So if your ideal body weight is 70kg (154lbs) your protein should be around 123 to 185 g a day. Aim on the higher end of the scale if you regularly partake in intense exercise or if you are doing a big calorie deficit.
The consensus for fat intake is anywhere from 15 to 30% of total calories. Calculating your total calorie intake has been discussed in the previous post, but let’s assume you should be consuming 2300 calories. And let’s set fat at 25% of that (25% x 2300) to get 575 total calories coming from fat. If you you remember the image below from the previous article,
you would know that one gram of fat equals nine calories. So to convert 25% of your calories to fat, just divide 575 by 9 to get 64g of fat a day.
After calculating the essential macronutrients you can set carbohydrate intake to come from the rest of your calories.
To make the numbers simpler, let’s say your protein and fat intake should be 150g and 65g respectively (600 Calories + 585 Calories). That means you have (2300-600-585) 1115 Calories remaining. 1115 calories comes out to (use the picture above) 279 grams of carbohydrates a day. Again, make it simple by rounding it to 280 grams.
Your final macronutrient intake should be 150g protein, 65g fat and 280g carbohydrates if you are eating 2300 calories per day.
How to subtract alcohol from your daily macronutrient intake
I have shown you in previous posts that one gram of alcohol contains around 7 calories. If you plan on consuming alcohol, you should account for it by adjusting your other macronutrients.
When you search for an alcoholic beverage on any food database you will find that the calorie and macronutrient values don’t usually add up. That’s because they don’t list alcohol as a macronutrient. E.g. A shot of vodka comes up as 70 calories but no macronutrients.
What I recommend is to take away those calories from your daily allotment through subtracting it from carbs and fat (not protein). Divide 70 by 2 to get 35Kcal that will come from carbs and fat each. That is around 10g of carbohydrates and 4g of fat that you have to consume less to make up for your drink.
Tracking the macronutrients
Keeping track of your macronutrient intake is now easier than it has ever been before. With Apps like MyFitnessPal that has practically every brand, food source, drink or restaurant that you can think of, there is nothing that you cannot track on the fly.
The tricky part comes in when you have to start learning things like: Which food contains which macro or what option to choose in the database that has many different versions. But those are minor issues that you will figure out fast.
After this article you should now have enough tools to start your flexible dieting blueprint and transform yourself. For more fitness and health related plans, products and articles you can visit www.drvft.com.
Thank you for reading. The next few articles will still cover:
- Food choices and meal timing
- Broken metabolisms
- Training and cardio implementations
- An example blueprint
If you would like to skip all the guesswork you can order your own blueprint from firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be shipped to your doorstep, printed on high quality sheets and contain all your food, training and tracking needs.
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