Joe and Simon Passey
So we hope you’ve now got used to tracking calories from using the method we explained in part 1 of this 2 part blog special. Hopefully you’ve got an idea of how many calories you are consuming on a daily basis now, and maybe this was the problem as to why you weren’t losing any weight. Maybe you were eating slightly more than you should be or maybe you were eating a lot less than you should be. Either way we now need to look at the macronutrients that make up these calories.
First of all let us introduce the 3 macronutrients and how many calories per gram that contain:
Protein- 4 kcals per gram
Carbohydrate- 4 kcals per gram
Fat- 9 kcals per gram
Now depending on who you are, your job, activity levels, training, sex, height, weight will determine how much protein, carbs and fats you need for effective fat loss. Again macros are just as important as calories. If you don’t know how much of each macronutrient you are eating, then how do you know if it’s aiding your fat loss goals?
For example, fat contains 9 kcals per gram, the most out of the 3. If you are over eating on fat, then you’re probably over consuming on calories. This can go for all 3. You could be eating an insane amount of protein every day and yet think it’s helping with fat loss and muscle gain, but in actual fact you’re still over consuming on calories.
Micronutrients, fibre and water
Before we start to calculate our macros. Let’s not forget about, micronutrients, fibre and water intake. All 3 of these play a huge part in an effective nutrition plan. We won’t go into too much detail on this one as these could make up a whole blog on their own. First of all we need to be getting enough fibrous fruits and veggies in our diet to aid digestion and improve gut health. This can also come from foods such as oats, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. We recommend at least 20g of fibre a day and if you're consuming a mixture of the foods mentioned, this should be no problem for you.
This leads on nicely to micronutrients. If you’re getting an array of colourful fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy and oily fish, to name a few, the you should be getting enough water soluble (Vitamin C and B complex’s) and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and minerals (zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron etc…) in your diet. Sorry, that was a bit of a mouthful! But it sums it up nicely, these micronutrients are crucial to include into diet EVERDAY for good functioning mind and body.
If you feel you’re not getting enough micronutrients from your diet, start by eating at least 1 piece of fruit and 1 piece of veg a day, or invest in Go Nutrition’s Ultiman or Go Greens to get a sufficient intake of fibre and micronutrients
Finally, don’t forget water. It’s so simple yet many of us forget to stay hydrated throughout the day, it’s even more important for those of us who train regularly. Your body is 70% water. Your bones are made up of 5% water. Every function of your body depends on it. Your blood is largely water, effective digestion needs lots of it, your joints are cushioned with it. Your brain is more than 90% water, it is vital to keep these organs hydrated all day every day for proper function of the human body. Drink AT LEAST 2 litres of water a day.
Okay, back to macronutrients now. Let’s start off with protein. Now there’s a couple of methods we could play around with here. The first one is nice and simple. Get your body weight in pounds and that’s the amount of grams of protein you need to eat. I’m 167 pounds, therefore I need to eat 167g of protein a day. Easy.
The second method is starting off with 2g of protein per kilo you weigh. So using myself as an example again, I weigh 75kg so times that by 2 and I get 150g of protein. As you can see there’s not much difference in the two methods. We would recommend increasing protein a bit more, anything up to 3g/kg of bodyweight if you train several times a week and are at the end of your fat loss phase when calories are low, this will help maintain or even increase the muscle mass you have.
With fat we’ll keep it simple again. A nice round number, start with 1 gram of fat per kilo of bodyweight. For me that would be 75g of fat. This would slowly come down to a low as 0.5g/kg of bodyweight, when you start reducing calories during your fat loss phase.
This is where you need to get the calculator out! Once you’ve got your protein and fat intake, the rest of your calories will come from carbohydrates. You need to go back to your calories for this one, so refer back to part 1 of the blog and get the calories you calculated from that. Again, let’s use myself as an example.
My total calories were 2338.
Let’s use method 1 with the protein so I need 167g of protein. There’s 4 calories per gram so I do 4x167= 668 kcals of protein.
Fat will be 75g. There’s 9 kcals per gram in fat so 9x75= 675 kcals of fat.
Now add the calories from protein and fat together and take that away from your total calories. 668 + 675 = 1343. So 2338 – 1343 = 995 kcals of carbs, to get the grams of carbs we need to do one more calculation.
There’s 4 kcals per gram in carbohydrates, so we just need to do 995/4 = 248.75g of carbs.
Final Macro Split
So there you have it my macro split.
Going back to what we said in part 1. These numbers ARE NOT 100% accurate. They are a starting point and a target to aim for. Try and hit these numbers by tracking them via my fitness pal or writing them down, as close as you can for at least a few weeks to see if you start to lose body fat. And my guess is you will. Somewhere along the way you will hit a plateau, this is where you need to re-adjust calories and macros as your weight changes.
Of course you need to be working hard in the gym to be getting the results you want as well as staying committed to the tracking of your nutrition.
We wrote these two blogs about setting up and tracking an effective calorie and macronutrient plan for fat loss because, we have been doing this the past 10-12 weeks in perpetration for our photo-shoot. To say it’s helped with us getting as lean as possible is an understatement. It takes patience, consistency, discipline and hard work to not only stay on track of what you’re eating, but also train several times a week to get in great shape. You will have good days and bad days, but if you stay consistent throughout, the results will come!
We hope this 2 part blog special has given you a good idea of where to start when it comes setting up an effective fat loss plan by calculating your calories and macros. Now go and apply what you’ve learnt and put it into practice, because summer is just around the corner!