Macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs) are needed to provide your body with energy measured in the form of calories…We all need to eat. We all need energy. But how do you get enough? Not too much? What ratios are best for fat loss? How do I even figure all this out for my personal goals?
The good news is I’m about to release an entire self-study mini course on this topic! I thought I’d give you a short overview this month to get the ball rolling… In my 1:1 practice I work with people on macros all the time with amazing success; after we address food quality, supplements, and lifestyle modifications for symptom reduction of Autoimmune disease. Those on my email list will get early access to this class!
The most important variables in macro calculations for fat loss are total calories and protein. Fat and carbohydrates are personal preferences or based on your genetic makeup.
First you’ll need to figure out how many calories you are taking in currently to maintain your weight. My best suggestion for this; as opposed to a fancy calculator, is to track what you currently eat for one week without making any changes and see what your total calories are. If you are looking to lose fat/weight then decreasing that by 10 % is a good place to start, then adjusting every 2-4 weeks as needed based on results. However, the macro ratio of what makes up those total calories very much matters for results!
Most important is protein…. In my class I’ll take a deeper dive into protein calculations but for this overview you can figure protein grams per day at your “ideal body weight in pounds”. Again, this will vary somewhat, and I often make modifications when I work with people individually but it’s a good place to start.
So lets say you are eating 2000 calories a day.. but want to lose some fat… Slow and steady is the name of the game so you don’t lose muscle mass… So using my suggestion above you’d cut to 1800 calories a day. If your ideal body weight is 150 then that’s your protein grams. I suggest for best absorption spreading those grams over 3-4 meals a day, no snacks only meals; pairing it with carbs and fat ideally. Protein has 4 calories per gram so that’s 600 calories of protein. 150 grams of protein is about 6 ounces of protein 4 times a day or a protein shake and 6 bounces of protein for 3 meals. So that leaves you 1200 calories to go.
I generally suggest 30% fat as a starting point for most people, again this can vary depending on your insulin resistance and your specific goals. So, 30% of 1800 is 540 calories. Fat has 9 calories per gram so 540/9 is 60 grams of fat per day or about 15-20 per meal… That’s about 1Tb olive oil and two boneless skinless chicken thighs.
So then by process of elimination the rest is carbohydrates. 1800-540-600= 660 calories. Carbs have 4 calories per gram so 660/4 is 165 carbs in a day. That’s 40-55 per meal. That’s about one cup of cooked rice or a large sweet potato.
Exceptions: if you are trying to gain muscle mass you cannot do this as a calorie deficit. You’ll need to eat at a surplus using similar calculations. If you are at a fairly low body fat (22 for women 15 for men) but want to get even leaner, then a greater calorie deficit with less fat would be needed. YOUR PROTEIN NUMBER SHOULD NEVER CHANGE unless your body weight goal changes.
Never decrease or increase your calories drastically or you’ll lose muscle or gain fat which is the opposite of what you probably want. It is a process that often takes years to see final results, although initial results can be seen in a couple months.
Did you know all of my meal plans for purchase have macros already calculated in this above ratio? View meal plan options HERE.
You can also download My Fitness Pal HERE to track your meals and macros. This is what I have most of my clients use.
Other topics we will cover in the class (including multiple handouts links and video segments)
Hormones and weight loss
Most nutrient dense foods and efficient protein choices (hint: it’s not eggs!
When and what to eat around workouts
Consistency vs perfection
TDEE calculations and other ways to figure out macros
How to adjust calories for activity level
Other more specific ways to calculate protein for best results
How to “build a meal” based on your macros
If all of this seems somewhat overwhelming give me a call! Find my contact info HERE. I have a specific macro program I work with people 1:1 for best results. I’ll do all your calculations and you’ll get some individual coaching as well as support and weekly accountability! Check out my Macros Coaching HERE.
WOW! I learned so much about reactive foods. I eliminated beans and noticed an improvement in digestion. I love that Sarah doesn’t make you feel like you need to make all the changes at once and you can choose what works for you. Its not overwhelming at all, and she’s so CALM and FUN.
One last item! The Lunch of the month is Spring Rolls with Shrimp! Because its FINALLY SPRING!
Happy Spring 😊 Sarah