Yesterday we talked about calories, what they are, and how they can influence your progress towards your goals. Today, we are going a layer deeper to understand the sources of calories, and how we can use that to further accelerate our progress towards our goals.
Calories can come from three sources. These sources are, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These are also referred to as “macronutrients.” One gram of carbohydrate and one gram of protein each have 4 calories, and one gram of fat has 9 calories (alcohol typically has 7 calories per gram). In order to leverage your calories in a way that helps you reach your goals, you need to break down how many calories are coming from each source of macronutrient.
To understand what a good breakdown is for you, you need to first know some basic numbers, such as body weight, body fat percentage, and you need to know your activity level. When you know this information, you will be able to first start by figuring out how much protein to eat. Calculate your lean body mass (example, 200lb body weight, 20% body fat = 40lbs of fat = 160lb lean body mass). Once we have that number, we need to look at carbs and fat. Fat typically will be a sliding scale of 30-60% of your body weight. If you are looking to lose weight, you’ll be closer to 30%. If you are looking to gain weight, you will be closer to 60%. You will fill in the remainder with carbs. This will be a great starting point.
If you know your totally calories, you can then use the numbers above to breakdown a baseline of macro nutrients you should consume. This will upgrade your plan and have you moving towards your goals quicker than just counting calories would. You need proper fuel coming from proper sources. If you just fueled your body with refined sugar, it would breakdown quickly. You need a well-rounded fuel source.
The processed of dialing in your macros may take some time. If you are not seeing the results move in the direction you want, consider tweaking the numbers a bit so that you are still eating the same amount of calories, but with a different macro breakdown.
You can upgrade your nutrition and go beyond just counting calories by also counting your macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats). The process will take some time to dial in, but it will be well worth it. If figuring out your macros seems a but daunting, schedule a call with one of our coaches and they will be able to help you out. You can do that here: