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Macronutrient Breakdowns For Fat Loss

Macronutrient Breakdowns for Fat Loss“Diet” has been turned into a word that people fear – no one REALLY wants to completely stop eating carbs, go on a low fat diet, or severely restrict calories (these are not healthy methods of losing weight, by the way; but thats a different post for a different day). The truth is, though, is that “dieting” doesn’t have to be that bad. All you really need to know is what your goals are, be it fat loss or building muscle, and then eat the proper macronutrient profile for those goals. However, don’t mistake simplicity for lack of importance – diet will account for around 80% of your results. You could do hardcore workouts on a regular basis, but if you’re eating garbage, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.

One of the concepts that we talk about in our free report is that all calories aren’t really alike. For example, someone could eat 1,500 calories of cookies a day, while another person eats 1,500 calories of healthy food. The person who ate the healthy food is much, much more likely to lose fat. This is because of the macronutrient profile of the foods they eat. It’s important to have the right balance of macronutrients, otherwise you’ll be sabotaging your fat loss goals. So, because this is a website about losing belly fat, let’s talk about what kind of macronutrient ratios you should be looking at for fat loss. Macronutrients, of course, are Fat, Carbohydrates, and Protein.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about macronutrients.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules that your body will break down into fuel when you’re working out hard. The basic forms of carbohydrates are sugars, starches, and fiber. There are actually two separate types of carbohydrates – simple, and complex.

Simple carbohydrates are foods such as soda, syrups, sugars, cake, candy, etc. They generally are processed in your body fast, so they can actually make you hungry again much quicker than if you had complex carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates are foods like oatmeal and whole wheat bread. They generally digest much slower in your body, giving you a feeling of fullness for a longer period of time.

Carbs have been given a bad rap for a while now with the popularity of the atkins diet, however, low carb diets are not the be all and end all of fat loss. While on a fat loss diet you’ll probably have lower amounts of carbs than if you were trying to build muscle, the point to remember here is that your body actually NEEDS carbs. If you are not eating carbs, your body will end up breaking down muscle for fuel — and that is pretty much the opposite of what you want to have happen in fat loss.

Some basic guidelines for carbs:

  • Usually around 100g a day is a good amount for fat loss – .5 to .75 grams per pound of lean body mass is what you should shoot for.
  • You should generally always have protein with your carbs, as this helps reduce the glycemic/insulin response of the carbohydrate foods

 

ProteinThe least victimized macronutrient of the three, protein’s reputation has only improved over the last few years. Protein basically helps you build and repair muscle, skin, bone, teeth, and hair, maintain muscle, calm your hunger, and speeds up your metabolism.  But how much do you really need? What’s the ideal amount of protein for fat loss?

First, you need to know that there are two types of proteins: Complete and Incomplete.

Basically, protein is made up of 22 amino acids. 9 Of those amino acids (Tryptophan, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, leucine, histidine, and isoleucine) are not produced by your body, and can only be obtained from the food that you eat.

So a complete protein is a protein that has adequate amounts of those 9 essential amino acids. An incomplete protein will be lacking in one or more of those amino acids.

It’s important to make sure that you get complete proteins, so that you are not deficient in any of those 9 essential amino acids. Foods that are complete proteins include turkey, chicken, eggs, cheese, fish, and red meat.  Foods that have INCOMPLETE proteins are fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

So, how much protein do we need for fat loss?

A good number to start at is around 60-90 grams a day, or .5 grams per pound of lean body mass. With that said, you can definitely have more protein than that if you wish, you just don’t want to go too overboard – i’d say at the most, 1 gram per pound of lean body mass is okay.

The Truth About Fat
And finally, last but not least, fat. Easily the most victimized macronutrient, eat fat has long been said to be the mortal enemy of fat loss. Basically, you were supposed to eat low fat diets, and that would help you lose fat.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. The study that drew the conclusion “Eating fat makes you fat” was based on bad science – but that’s a different article for a different day.

So, what is fat, and what does it do for your body?

Fat and fatty acids help form the barrier to water in the skin, help speed up conduction of nerves (i.e. help your nervous system perform better), reduce inflammation, help with blood clotting, and help reduce blood pressure.

There are 4 different types of fat, Saturated, Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated, and Trans Fat.

Saturated fat gets an extremely bad rap due to a study by Ancel Keys which claims that saturated fat intake correlated with instances of heart disease. There are multiple reasons why this study is inconclusive, however, to prevent this blog post from becoming a book, just understand that the data was flawed and that there isn’t really any legitimate proof that saturated fat causes heart disease. While not exactly the BEST fat for you, it’s not as bad as it’s reputation, and it won’t hurt to  have a little bit of it in your diet.

Polyunsaturated fat is a good fat that helps fight bad cholesterol. It’s found in fish oil, sunflower oil, seeds, salmon, and soy. Polyunsaturated fats contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which are known as “Essential Fatty Acids”. Just like the essential amino acids mentioned previously, these essential fatty acids are ones that our body cannot produce, but it needs to function properly.

Monounsaturated fat is another good fat that you can find in some nuts such as pistachios, almonds, cashews, and walnuts. You can also find it in avocado and olive oil. Monounsaturated fat will help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, help fight weight gain, and can also even reduce body fat levels. Definitely a fat you want to include in your diet.

Trans Fats are the absolute worst fat you can have, and honestly one of the worst foods that you can consume as well. They are found in most processed, fried foods, and are absolutely terrible for you. They were created to help offer consumers a longer shelf life – however, in return for a longer shelf life, the food is now horrible for your body. In short, if you want to lose belly fat, don’t eat trans fats.

How To Make Sure You’ve Got Your Macronutrients In Check
One of the biggest issues people have when trying to lose weight is making sure their diet follows along with the macronutrient profile necessary for them to achieve that goal. It’s hard to count carbs/fat/protein and calories & constantly measure your food to make sure you’re eating the proper portions. Fortunately, our friend Dave Ruel & his partner Karine Losier created an awesome recipe book called Metabolic Cooking that details out over 250 fat burning recipes, with their exact macronutrient profiles and everything so you know exactly what you’re eating at all times. It’s an awesome program and we highly recommend you check it out.

Check Out Dave Ruel & Karine Losier’s Metabolic Cooking!

 


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