If you were given a specific caloric number to meet on a daily basis, would you know how to balance each calorie with protein, fat and carbs? No?
It’s ok, not many of us do and this is why our diets are so off balance and causing a host of health issues.
The body is an amazing well-oiled machine that instinctively knows how to break down and transport each macronutrient to fuel and repair our bodies. But what happens when we do not give our bodies the right balance of nutrients? It puts a strain on our whole system and eventually breaks.
We see this all the time, it’s seems like out of nowhere you start feeling bad. After months and months of feeling horrible you finally give in and go to the doctor and receive a diagnoses of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, etc.
This did not happen overnight, but through the course of years of an unbalanced diet. You are faced to look back, reflect and realize you have not felt your best in a VERY long time. Most health issues point back to diet being either unbalanced or intolerant to certain foods.
Our bodies give us signals, yet we ignore and keep trying to push through our day, week, month or year. Until the warning signs are so big and prominent that we cannot ignore any longer.
I am not trying to use scare tactics here, just stating the facts. I sincerely want to help you turn your health back around so that you can feel amazing, have more energy and simply enjoy LIFE!
Are you ready?
Awesome, let’s get to work!
In previous blogs I wrote about the importance of protein, how to determine if your diet is carb dominate and how to balance the different types of fats.
So what are Macronutrients (Macros) and why are they important?
Macros are broken into three categories:
Each category represents a specific number for gram per calorie, not all calories are represented the same. For example there are 4 grams of protein per calorie, 4 grams of carbs per calorie and 9 grams of fat per calorie.
Next up is to figure out how many calories you need on a daily basis to achieve your goal. Is your goal weight loss, maintenance or weight gain? Click here to access a calculator to determine your daily calories needs.
To determine activity level click on calculate button and use the (i) icons for explanations:
Once you have determined your total daily calorie needs, it’s time to break it down per body type.
Each body type handles macros differently and will have different percentages per macros.
Please click here (scroll to midsection) to determine your body type. Based on your body type you will split your total daily calorie intake into the following percentages:
After you have broken down calories by the percentages, you will then divide each macro to determine the number of grams.
Here’s an example:
- Gender: Female
- Height: 5’6
- Weight: 170
- Body Type: Mesomorphic
- Activity Level: Sits most of the day at job and strength trains 3-4 times a week (1.8)
- Goal: Weight Loss (20 lbs. in 6 months
Based on the calculator this person’s daily caloric intake to lose weight is 2,082
Multiply total calories by the percentages listed above for mesomorphic
- Protein: 2,082 x 30% = 625 calories / 4 grams per calories = 156g
- Carbs: 2,082 x 40% = 833 calories / 4 grams per calorie = 208g
- Fats: 2,082 x 30 = 625 calories / 9 grams per calorie = 69g
Macros per day:
- Protein: 156g
- Carbs: 208g
- Fat: 69g
The macros are balanced out per body type and activity level to achieve optimal health and performance.
What if you took the calories of 2,082 and filled them with approximately 8.5 bagels?
Here’s what the macros would look like:
- Protein: 85g
- Carbs: 408g
- Fat: 17g
Do you see how off balanced this would be? But here’s my point, while most do not consume 8 ½ bagels in a day, most do consume mainly carbs. The comparison would be the same.
Protein is under by 71g, carbs are doubled and fat is under by 52g. While this person is consuming the same amount of calories, they would be experiencing fatigue, weight gain and health issues.
This is exactly why you should never count calories, if you choose to count anything COUNT YOUR MACROS!!
I have talked a lot about My Fitness Pal (MFP) and would like to show you how to set it up once you have created an account.
Please note if you have calculated your activity through the calculator above, there is no need to log your exercise on MFP as your activity level is already taken into account with your calorie calculations.
Under main menu, choose Goals –> Nutrition Goals –> Calorie and Macronutrients
Click on any of the macros and it will bring up percentages, adjust the percentage according to your body type, enter calories last and save changes.
If you are using the app on your phone, hit the check mark on the top right corner, then go back and enter calories and save.
Once you have entered your food intake into your food dairy, you can view the total nutrition to see results:
The great thing about MFP, is it stores your food choices and overtime you will have developed a library so to speak of foods you can add easily.
You can also use the bar scanner when using the app on your phone to add food. You can search for different foods by measurements in terms of ounces, grams, tsp, tbsp. etc. And many restaurant menus are available to search as well.
I feel this information is too valuable to keep only to my coaching clients and feel very strongly everyone should have this information available to them.
I sincerely urge you to pay attention to your body, listen to what it is telling you. Are you healthy and feeling great or are you struggling and on the verge of illness?
I hope this information has encouraged you to “lift your mind and body” and take action today!