A very important aspect to a well researched diet plan is the macros split. Before we start talking about the split, let me try to explain what macros are:
What are macros?
Macros (short for macro-nutrients) are the building blocs of our food. After digestion, our food is split into 3 main categories (macros): Protein, Carbs and Fat.
This is the main component that goes into the muscle composition, proteins are found mainly in meat, eggs, diary products, and in smaller amounts in vegetable sources.
Protein intake is crucial in muscle mass building and preservation. Some supplements can be used to get a lean quantity of proteins into the body fairly quickly.
Carbs are also called sugars, they are the main source of energy for the body, we can find them in grains, fruits, sweet products and in smaller quantities in vegetables.
Carbs are divided into two categories:
- Slow digesting carbs: These take time to digest by the body and convert to simple sugars that can be used by the body cells, these are mainly found in whole grains, sweet potato, and fruits. If you are a “quick gainer”, try to stick with slow digesting carbs as they don’t cause a spike in insulin production that causes fat storage.
- Quick digesting carbs: These are already a simple form of sugar, so the digestive system doesn’t have to perform much work before getting the to the body. That’s why the consumption of slow digesting carbs can cause insulin spikes resulting (potentially) in fat storage. You can find quick digesting carbs in white bread, sugar, soda, potatoes …
More information on the two forms of Carbs can be found on our more lengthy article Slow digesting VS fast digesting Carbs.
Fats are very important to the body as they are used in the production of hormones, we distinguish two types of fats:
- Saturated fats: Because of their simple chemical structure, they are easier for digestion than unsaturated fats, consequently their digestions doesn’t cost much energy. Saturated fats are found in “junk” food, fatty meat, cream, cheese, butter, egg yolks …
- Unsaturated fats: Also called healthy fats, they are complex in structure, which make the digestion more costly for the body, so the body burns calories to digest them, which is good. Unsaturated fats can be found in olive oil, avocados, salmon, nuts …
Macros and calories
Each macro type releases a certain amount of energy for the body, here are the number of calories for each macro type:
- Protein: 4 calories per gram of protein.
- Carbs: 4 calories per gram of carbs.
- Fats: 9 calories per gram of fat.
You can see that fats are very caloric dense, that’s why even though they are essential to the health, you need to consume them moderately in order to not exceed your daily caloric limit.
What Macro are fibers?
Fibers are not in any macro category, fibers are components that are not utilized by the body and are directly thrown out of the body.
What macro split should I do?
That is a little complicated question and depends on your goals, but the focus here will be on macro splits that will help you in your fat loss diet.
When trying to lose fat, you have to make sure to lose exactly that: fat and not muscles. In order to accomplish that, you should consume larger quantities of protein, I recommend eating 50% of your daily caloric intake in the form of protein.
The split of the two other macros (Carbs and Fats) depends on your daily activity:
- On your rest days, try to consume less Carbs and more healthy Fats, let’s say 20% Carbs and 30% Fats.
- On your workout days, consume more Carbs (as your body needs the energy to lift those heavy weights) and slightly less fats, say 20% Carbs and 30% Fats.
Overall, favor slow digesting carbs over quick digesting carbs, and healthy fats over saturated fats. Saturated fats are still essential to hormone production, especially testosterone which helps with fat burning and muscle building.
That’s it, by combining the recommendations in this article, and the ones on my previous one (Losing body fat is a matter of simple math), you will be on your way to carve your warrior body.