Losing weight is straightforward. You can achieve it quite easily even if you don’t want to exercise, by simply counting your calories. But if you want to build muscle and burn fat simultaneously, and are concerned about your overall fitness, then you need to factor in your “macros” as well. What are macros? And how do you figure the right macros split for yourself? Read on to find out.
Losing the Right Kind of Weight
In order to lose weight, you need to follow a calorie deficit diet – that is, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? The only problem with this is that it gives you no control over the kind of weight you are losing: you could be losing fat, muscle or water weight. Ideally, you want to lose fat and retain as much muscle as possible. How do you do this? By making sure to consume the right amount of macros.
What are Macros?
Macros (or macronutrients) are nothing but the nutrients that contribute to the calorie content of your food – basically Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats. If you want to lose the “right” kind of weight, then in addition to keeping track of the number of calories you are consuming, you need to watch out for the type of calories (macronutrients) as well.
The Formula for Macros
Your macro split will depend on your body type and fitness level. Those with a high metabolism can consume more carbs and fat than those with a slow metabolism rate. Similarly, someone who exercises regularly will need more carbs as compared to someone who leads a sedentary life. And a person who works out regularly will need a higher amount of protein than a person who does not.
So how do you figure out the correct macro split for yourself? Here’s the formula I use for myself and for all my clients (unless they are on a Keto diet*):
- A minimum of 1 gram of protein per lbs of your Lean Body Weight (LBW)**
- About 0.4 grams of Fat per lbs of your LBW
- Over 1 gram of Carbohydrates per lbs of your LBW
**LBW = your total body weight minus your body fat weight
Sounds complex? Let’s make things easier with an example:
For an individual weighing 200 lbs with 20% body fat, their LBW = 200 – (0.2 × 200) = 160 lbs. So this person will require a minimum of 160 grams of protein, 60-70 grams of fat and over 160 grams of Carbs.
Tracking your progress
When you use macros to lose fat and gain muscle, you may not see much of a difference in the numbers on the weighing scale. But you will witness a massive change in the appearance of your body. Keep track of your progress through photos or Body Composition Analysis (BCA) reports, rather than just relying on the weighing scale.
Once you get the hang of it, figuring out the right macro split for your body is simple. You can try out these calculations for yourself and set a target to attain the physique of your dreams. Or, you can make things easier for yourself by joining our MSF Transformation Plans. I’ll personally calculate the calorie intake and macro split that you need to slay your fitness goals and tell you in plain English what you need to eat every day, meal after meal, along with delicious recipes. All you’ll need to do is follow your fully customised fitness plan, eat some amazing food and let the results amaze you!
*A separate article covering everything you need to know about Keto is now available!