Macronutrients are composed of fats, protein, and carbohydrates. A macronutrient diet focuses on finding the right balance of these fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, in order to achieve a better body composition.
The benefits of a good supply of protein to your health are quite numerous. If you practice your workouts faithfully, you will need considerable amounts of protein, because your workouts would begin to tell on your muscles.
Protein is essential for maintaining lean muscle mass and repairing muscle tissue. The amino acids in proteins are basically the building blocks of muscles. It also energizes your muscles, strengthens your immune system, and may even add one or two inches to your weight.
Good sources of protein are not hard to come by, white eggs contain as much as six grams of protein, only be sure to take out the yolks.
Carbohydrates are your body’s first source of fuel and energy because they are the easiest to metabolize. Carbohydrates are also very important to your body’s organ and brain functionalities.
Carbohydrates transport protein to your muscles. They also help protect your muscles, because your body will burn those carbohydrates for fuel instead of your main muscle.
Fats protect your heart, cushion your joint and it is essential for brain function and memory. Depending on your activity, fats will be your body’s second source of fuel and energy. It also helps your body absorb vitamins A, E, D and K. Keep in mind that contrary to common misconceptions, fats are not the enemy, at least not all fats.
Fats contained in foods like fish oil and flaxseed oils must find a place in your weight loss diets because they won’t make you fat. On the contrary, they are excellent body metabolism drivers, hair and skin supplements, and if as a man; you are interested in a powerful sex drive, don’t joke with them.
Macronutrients and your meal plan
In planning your meal, it is important to keep in mind that a gram of protein is equivalent to 4 calories. Same goes for carbohydrates, while one gram of fat is equivalent to 9 calories.
To help you better understand the importance of macronutrients, it helps to think of the body like a car.
Carbohydrates are the fuel; they determine how far your car can go. Fats are the oil which determines how well your car runs, and protein is like the frame or the structure of your car which is really important to your car’s longevity. Your body is the only car you get for the rest of your life, so it is important to take care of it.
A great starting point for weight loss is 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrates, and 20 percent fat. If you wish to cut that but maintain lean muscle mass, try 45 percent protein, 35 percent carbohydrates and 25 percent fat.
For gaining muscle mass, shoot for 35 percent protein, 45 percent carbohydrates, and 20 percent fat. For example, let us look at a 2000 calorie diet for someone trying to lose weight. The macronutrient diet would be 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrates, and 20 percent fat. Translated into grams, this would amount to 200 grams of protein, 200 grams of carbohydrates and 44 grams of fat.
Carbohydrates should be consumed earlier in the day, and fats may be consumed later in the afternoon in order to give you enough energy to last the rest of the day. When you work out, you do not want to burn lean muscle, so on heavier workout days, it is important to consume carbohydrates.
To get started with a macro based meal plan, first, you have to know how many calories your body needs in order to reach your specific daily goal.