Many people understand some of the basics. If I eat less I'll loose weight. If I exercise more I'll loose weight. But when those two things are stressed enough your results ends up hitting a wall. Then you don't really know where to go from there.
I personally believe you should have a general idea where your macro nutrient intake is, on a daily basis to:
1. Know if you are eating enough
2. Know if you are over eating
What are macro nutrients? Well let's get started and figure out and how much you need on a daily basis.
Macro nutrients are made up of 3 things:
3. and Fats
Why are these 3 things important?
1. Protein - helps to control your appetite. It keeps you feeling full longer than carbs or fats, and takes longer digest. Which means, you burn more calories eating protein than carbs and fats. This is why with every client I train I tell them to up their protein intake. No matter what the situation, more protein can be very useful in any fitness goal. Unless you are having 6 protein shakes a day, you should probably cut that out immediately...
2. Carbs - Is stored in our livers, brain, blood and muscles as gylcogen. Which then can be used for energy production. Depending what your goals are, it depends how many grams of carbs you need per day to produce your desired result.
3. Fat - Is essential to our bodies for living. It helps us absorb vitamins, hormone regulation and brain function. Many people still live in the fear of Fat = More Fat on the body. Not true! Fat can help burn that stubborn spare tire off of you!
So... how many calories per day should you be having? Well that depends on what your goals are and what type of body you have, age, activity level and other factors. But for the sake of this blog I will show you an example of the most common client's calorie intake should look like.
Since I follow Precision Nutrition's guidelines, below is an example how they calculate calorie intake.
140lbs woman that's moderately active that wants to lose weight would eat between 1680 calories to 1960.
PN has a formula that goes like this ( your body weight) x 12-14 for a moderate active individual. 12 is equal to 1680cal and 14 is equal to 1960 cal. Why these numbers? A lot of years of research and trial and error. These numbers turned out to be the best when it came to calculating calories for weight loss.
Now, how should this individual spread out her macros? Since this woman is trying to loose weight I'm assuming her body type would be on the thicker and bigger side. She is probably insulin dominant, has a slow metabolic rate, and most likely a low carbohydrate tolerance due to her weight gain over the years.
I would put her on:
35% of her diet Protein
25% of her diet Carbs
40% of her diet Fat
Now how does this look in grams per day?
Since her calories is suggested on the low end 1680 calories, just divide the percentages and you receive your daily allowance.
558 grams of Protein
420 grams of Carbs
672 grams of Fat
How much is that per meal? Just divide 5 meals a day and you have your numbers!
111.6 grams of protein per meal
84 grams of carbs per meal
134.4 grams of fat per meal
When you break down the numbers you can really see a balanced ratio and may even surprise you if you are not eating enough,
Remember, this is just an example. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. To properly determine what you need, I'd have to sit down with you discuss your goals, background, body type, and more just to figure out a baseline and then hammer out the fine details.
If you'd like to know more, feel free to ask!