Mastering Your Macros: Part 4
In our last installment, Mr. Kombat determined that he wanted to lose at least 30lbs while maintaining his same level of activity. He has a daily Caloric Intake Target of around 2600 calories. This takes into account the 8-10 hours a week he trains consistently. Because of his high level of activity, we decided that drastically reducing his caloric intake would make his performance suffer. So we need to ensure that we slowly cut down on his calories while ensuring he meets his daily macro targets.
After we established his daily calorie intake, we broke it down to how many grams of each of protein, fats, and carbohydrate macros he needed in order to meet his daily calorie target. This is where the flexible part of the diet comes in. Mr. Kombat is going to keep his protein intake at or slightly above his daily target. However, we will be manipulating his Fat and Carbohydrate numbers based on how his body reacts during a 2 week period. IF the original numbers we have come up with are working for him and he has no trouble eating enough of each, and he is losing the recommended 2-3lbs per week. Nothing needs to change. If he is having trouble meeting targets, feels bloated, constipated, or his mood is shifting towards the dreaded “hangry” state, (hungry + angry = Hangry), we need to revisit the formulas and recalculate how much of each fat and carb macros he will consume.
Some people react differently to eating carbs and fats, and a lot of times it has to do with the sources they choose. Not all carbs are created equal, same as for fats. I could write another Multi Part article on the glycemic index and calorie density and their effect on insulin uptake and metabolic profiles, and maybe I will someday. For now, I will just pick some generally acceptable sources for the purpose of this diet.
Proteins: Animal protein like beef, poultry, fish, pork, eggs, shellfish, wild game. Dairy Protein in the form of milk, cheese and yogurt. Plant proteins from legumes, grains, soy, and peas.
Carbohydrates: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, nuts, quinoa, lentils, fruit, green leafy vegetables, sugar, wheat products like bread, cereals, and pasta. The important thing to note about carbohydrates is that some are faster digesting, simple carbs are the quickest, and will quickly replenish glycogen stores, but eating an excess of them will (like anything in excess) be detrimental in the long run. Try to stick to the more fibrous carbs for the bulk of your intake, and round out your targets by treating yourself to a little sugar rush.
Fats: There are several types of fat sources, and lots of rumors about which ones are actually good or bad for you. Based on the studies and information presented to me for the basis of this article, I will address them this way. Saturated fats from animal and coconut products are the healthier choices for the bulk of your fat macros. For Unsaturated fats, stick with monounsaturated fats from nuts, olive oil, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils are ok in moderation, but try and stick with the first two as much as possible. Steer completely clear of Trans fats. Too much processing.
Now that you have a little more information on sources, how will you figure out how many macros are in each serving of the food you will be eating?
Find out in the next installment, when we learn about serving sizes, reading labels, and cool smartphone apps with barcode scanners that do the work for you.
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