Macronutrient ratios play a key role in fat loss and muscle building. While it is true that macronutrient requirements vary from one person to the next, you can manipulate these numbers to reach your fitness goals. If you want to lose weight, reduce your daily carb intake. Eat more protein and fats at the same time. For muscle growth, consume more protein and carbs. Mix fat with carbs and you’ll gain weight, develop insulin resistance, and increase bad cholesterol.
What Are Macronutrients?
Everyone is talking about calories and fad diets, but only a few people focus on their macros. How much muscle you gain and how much fat you can lose depends entirely on the macronutrient ratios in your diet. Macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates, and fat. These are the only nutrients that provide your body your calories. If you read my previous article, you’ll see that 100 calories worth of carbs will impact your body differently than 100 calories worth of protein. Macronutrient ratios can make or break your diet.
In my previous post, I’ve mentioned the number of calories in macronutrients. It’s essential to remember these numbers, regardless of your fitness goals.
• 1 gram of protein provides 4 calories
• 1 gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories
• 1 gram of fat provides 9 calories
Macronutrient ratios are the percentages of fat, protein, and carbs in your diet. Contrary to the popular belief, there’s no magical macronutrient ratio for weight loss. In order to determine the exact amount of nutrients needed, you have to consider your age, body weight, muscle mass, fitness level, and goals.
Some people lose weight by sticking to a diet that includes 35% protein, 40% carbs, and 25% fat. Others only set minimum amounts of protein and carbs. Those who follow ketogenic diets stick to 75% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbs. There’s really no exact right or wrong when it comes to macronutrients. The only way to figure out your ideal macronutrient ratio is by trial and error.
What’s the Best Macronutrient Ratio for Fat Loss?
There are many different ways to determine your daily macronutrient ratio. To keep things simple, calculate your daily ratio of proteins and carbs based on your body weight, and get the rest of your calories from fats. When calculating your macros, aim for at least:
• 1 gram of PROTEIN per pound of body weight
• 0.35 grams of FAT per pound of body weight
• 100-150 grams of CARBS a day to stay healthy and maintain your weight
• 50-100 grams of CARBS a day to lose weight effortlessly
• 20-50 grams of CARBS a day to get into ketosis and LOSE WEIGHT FAST
How much carbs you should eat depends on your goals. If you want to lose fat and preserve muscle, eat 50-100 grams of carbs daily. This is the usual maintenance range for people who are carb sensitive. If you want to get in contest shape or lose weight fast, consume less than 50 grams of carbs a day. This way you’ll get into ketosis, eliminate excess water, and burn fat quickly.
Active individuals who want to maintain their weight should eat 100 to 150 grams of carbs every day. To lose fat, go under 50 grams of carbs a day.
Your macros should come from whole, natural foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, fish, lean meat, nuts, and seeds. If you take your carbs from refined sugar and junk food, you’ll eventually gain weight. Athletes and bodybuilders with a very low body fat percentage should consume more protein to prevent muscle loss.
The bottom line is that different macronutrient ratios work for different people at different stages of their progress. A high protein, low carb diet will work great for an obese person. However, the same diet can have devastating effects on a bodybuilder looking to gain muscle.
Play with different ratios to find out what works best for your body. Get your nutrients from real food and steer clear of alcohol, sweets, and processed foods.