By now, you’ve gained a strong foundational knowledge of macros throughout this series. Not it’s time to implement your understanding in real-world application! This final blog in the series will walk you through setting up your meal plan so you can crush your goals!
In Part I, you learned the formulas to determine an estimate of your Total Daily Energy Expenditure as well as how to calculate your daily calories for a deficit (weight loss). If you haven’t done these equations, do it now! It takes just a few minutes and you’ll need that data to figure out your macro ratios.
You know your daily desired calories. You know the differences between protein, carbs, and fats. Now it’s time to figure out how much of each macro you want to eat! That’s right: want. This is the part that gets fun, creative, and really individualized. Love carbs? Then you can make room for a cup of pasta or a few slices of bread. Are you an avocado-loving millennial? Good news: you can choose to have a higher ratio of fats! That’s the amazing thing about macros: the diet is fun to adhere to because you don’t have to eliminate your favorite foods. Flexible dieting allows for you to practice moderation, thus feeling positive about your choices while also “indulging”!
Let’s start with protein:
There is a TON of research on protein intake and it is ever-evolving. When it comes down to it, it’s up to you to make a conscious choice about what you eat. There are many factors that go in to figuring out your optimal amount of protein per day. For example: age, lean body mass, and whether or not you are in a deficit.
As you age, you will need more protein.
If you are in a deficit, you will need more protein.
Generally speaking, most individuals should consume between 1.9-2.5g/kg of lean body mass. If you need to calculate your lean body mass, refer to the first blog in this series.
For example, if you have 56kg of LBM (lean body mass) and choose to eat 2.3g of protein per kg, you would do the following equation: 2.2 x 56= 128. Therefore, you would eat 128g of protein per day.
Remember, one gram of protein contains 4 calories. 128 x 4 = 512 calories
Figuring out your protein is the most important part. If you wish to simplify, you can focus simply on hitting your overall calorie and protein goals. That is completely fine, and you will see progress!
If you’d like more detail, you can further dive in to carb/fat distribution.
And once again- it’s up to YOU. Deciding your ratio of carbs and fats is a personal preference. This may come as a surprise to some, but studies have proven that low carb vs. high carb diets have no difference in weight/fat loss.
When deciding on your carb and fat amounts, consider the following:
- Pick something you enjoy and will adhere to
- Pick something that keeps you full (not relying on “empty” calories)
- Pick something that allows you to eat nutrient-dense foods
For example: I LOVE carbs. So, when making my macro breakdown, I decided on a 60/40 split.
(60% carbs 40% fat)
Subtract your protein from your daily calories. The remaining number is what you will distribute amongst carbs and fats.
Let’s say, you consume 1623 calories per day, and we will use the aforementioned 512 calories of protein. That leaves us with 1,111 calories.
If you do a 60/40 split, you would consume 666 calories/day from carbs and 444 calories/day from fat.
Let’s divide to find the grams:
Carbs: 666/4= 166 grams
Fats: 444/9=49 grams
In conclusion, the example macronutrient breakdown would be as follows:
Total Daily Calories: 1623
Protein: 128 grams (512 calories)
Carbs: 166 grams (666 calories)
Fats: 49 grams (444 calories)
You have many options when it comes to tracking your calories. See the first blog in this series for a brief list! However, many of these apps have user-input data- meaning they could be incorrect. Be vigilant in checking the nutritional labels.
This blog series was intended to empower you to live a healthy lifestyle. If you would like a detailed, individualized nutrition and training program, click here!