How to set your macros
There are 3 main macronutrients. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These are the nutrients our bodies need in larger quantities.
Micronutrients are also needed by our body but in smaller quantities and generally consist of vitamins and minerals. These are also highly important.
So let's take a closer look at macronutrients (or macros as you may have heard them called!)
Protein - Our body uses protein to build and repair tissues. It is an important building block of bones, muscles and skin. We find protein in products such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, greek yoghurt, broccoli, quinoa and lentils.
As a minimum we need 1.6g of protein per kg of body weight when resistance training. I will put clients as high as 2.5g of protein per kg of body weight dependent on their current goals and body weight. If you are in a calorie deficit, you need to be towards the higher end in order to maintain your muscle mass. As your body has less energy, it will try to lose muscle mass as well as fat which we do not want to happen! So in order to preserve all that amazing muscle, you need to be consuming higher levels of protein.
Someone who is higher in body fat will not need as much protein as someone who is leaner. A higher body fat percentage can actually help prevent muscle protein breakdown. So as always, nutrients are highly individual. Find what works for you.
1g of protein = 4 calories
Fats - Fats are highly important within our diet. Fats DO NOT make you fat!! Our body can not make essential fatty acids on its own and so we need to get them from our diet. Fat helps us to absorb vitamins such as vitamin A, D and E. There are two main types of fat found within foods, saturated and unsaturated. Although some saturated fat (cakes, biscuits, ice cream, chocolate, cheese, butter) in our diet is OK we want to limit this and really focus on those high quality unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and oily fish. It is also important to note that women need more fat in their diet in men! This is because we reproduce! In order to keep your hormones happy (this is super important!) we need 0.8g of fat per kg of bodyweight as a minimum.
Carbohydrates and fats are interchangeable so if you feel better on a higher fat, lower carb diet then feel free to add more fats and lower the carbs. However, it will make no difference to your weight loss. Calories are king for that!!
1g of fat = 9 calories
Carbohydrates - Carbohydrates (or carbs) often get bad press and for no reason! Carbs DO NOT make you fat! In fact they are super important as they are the body's main energy source as they provide the body with glucose which is converted to energy. People often think of carbs as bread, cakes and pasta and demonise it but carbs are also fruit and vegetables! And it literally makes no sense to remove those from your diet! Fibre is also a type of carbohydrate which will aid your digestion! As mentioned, you can find carbohydrates in bread, cakes, pasta, potatoes, popcorn, cereal but also in quinoa, oats, bananas, beetroot, chickpeas, kidney beans and dairy. Carbohydrates are the last macronutrient I would set. Once you have set your protein and fats, carbs take up the remainder of your calories. Again, they are interchangeable with fats so if you prefer a lower fat and higher carb diet then keep fats at a minimum (0.8g per kg body weight) and make up the rest of your calories with carbs!
1g carbohydrate = 4 calories
Hope this has helped! Feel free to leave and comments or questions