Pause. Doesn’t that photo above make your mouth just salivate? Every bite was too good to be true. That is from Tender Greens for those of you who are in Southern California.
Have you heard of macros? Let’s define quickly what macros are. Marcos are the MACROnutrients in food; fat, protein, and carbs.
You may have heard of IIFYM, it became UBER popular in the recent years (IIFYM= if it fits your macros) and while I’ve seen it work for people, Im not an advocate.
Reason being, if you’re really working on your health journey, and not just your physique, you won’t use Oreos and french fries or nachos as part of your daily nutrition regiment and be considered healthy in my book. But hey, if that is for you, write your own story.
I consider those cheat treats as an occasional indulgence, not a daily or weekly option for ‘food’ because anything manufactured in a lab or factory and then put into a bag or box that has a list of ingredients a paragraph or two long is not exactly whole food. #NotSorry #FMonsanto #FDAisAjoke
Don’t get me wrong, I love that ish too. Pop tarts were my go to and my Aunt Tracey knows that if I’m coming over, at least 3 Oreos will be missing from her pantry. But let’s also not kid ourselves, eating clean all the time is super boring too. In future posts, I’ll share my favorite Trader Joes hauls that take me 5 minutes to prep meals and aren’t a chore to choke down.
Every body type responds to different macro ratios in their unique way. Also lets be clear moving forward, healthy fats are necessary in any diet for brain function (the brain is 70% fat), an efficient metabolism to burn bad fat and overall #PHAT goals (pretty hot and tempting).
Also carbs are usually referred to as either complex or simple (starchy). Complex means it takes longer to digest and can be used for fuel much later and simple meaning it digests quickly and will turn into sugar faster if not used as fuel (aka glucose).
Complex = fruits and veggies *pick fruit low on the Glycemic Index like cantaloupe, melons, apples.
Simple/Starchy = rice, oatmeal, pasta, bread, pancakes, potatoes, etc.
If you are consuming starchy carbs and not using them as fuel soon after digesting them, they will turn to sugar and be stored as fat. The best way to eat starchy carbs is in the morning and early afternoon, unless you are an ectomorph who can have a little more leniency with this. #LuckyYou
And protein sources vary on your eating style. Rule of thumb is for every pound of body weight you need 1 gram of protein needed for daily consumption. I personally don’t like labels like paleo and vegan because it can be limiting to what’s best for YOUR body at THIS point in time. In future blog posts, I’ll share how you can be more ethical and safe with protein sources that will not only make you feel better about eating meat, but supports small farmers. #EveryoneWins
I think that trying different styles to see if you enjoy it more is a great option, but I’ve seen people who are paleo for years end up getting sick from over consumption of too much meat, and vice versa with vegans who don’t have enough variety of protein sources and become deficient. And eating only fish, no offense but thats gotta be boring. And trust me, Ive tried it ALL (mostly for the sake of experimentation).
Since a lot of us are a combination of the two, your macro ratios will vary and depend on what your primary and secondary is.
So the ranges I’m giving you will need to be adjusted. I suggest all of these in moderation, especially if you are trying to shed fat. If you go from eating 1500 calories to 1000 a day because you want to lose fat, AND working out, you are going to lose a lot of muscle (which burns the fat on your body btw). Also your body will store MORE fat, and you’re going to jack your metabolism up. Anytime you adjust your caloric intake and deficit you should do so by 150-200 calories and then adjust your macro % accordingly.
I personally suggest adjusting your macro ratios BEFORE removing any calories from your diet. For example, you may want to try a lower % of carbohydrates before you cut calories out and see if that does the job. I know that a lot of professionals suggest subtracting 500 calories from your diet a day to lead to a 1 pound fat loss per week, but have you cut out 500 calories daily and been long term successful? It’s brutal. #DatYoYoDiet
Keep in mind that gender, height, weight and age also play an important factor in the way you calculate your macros. Females tend to carry more body fat (hello reproductive organs) and both men and women tend to drop in BMR each decade (basal metabolic rate, aka the energy your body needs to function without factoring in any activity).
Aight, lets DO dis. 😉
Mesomorphs, we will start with you this time. Just like your body does well with balance in your workouts with lifting, cardio and interval training, the same goes for your diet. If you are a pure mesomorph (both mom and dad are mesomorph) you can enjoy the benefits of being able to have a pretty balanced protein/carb/fat ratio.
Carbs – 20-50% of your daily caloric intake. If you are trying to shed fat, aim for 20-30%. If you are trying to gain muscle mass, you can bump that up to 40-50% ( #iWish). Protein is ideally per pound of body weight, but you can estimate between 30-40%. Fat is around 25-40% and is more flexible based on your goals. I know some mesomorphs who follow a Keto diet and have a high % of their calories come from fat (think eggs, avocado, oils, meat).
Example % and ratios for mesomorphs: (your % should total to 100)
30% carbs + 50% protein + 20% fat = 100
OR 25% carbs + 50% protein + 25% fat = 100
OR 30% carbs + 40% protein + 30% fat = 100
So if you are mesomorph on a 1500 calorie diet, to determine your ratios I highly suggest going to my fitness pal and adjusting the % per macro under ‘GOALS’ and ‘Calorie & Macronutrient Goals’. It will do the math for you.
Otherwise, you’re going to do the math yourself and probably get confused. For you stubborn types or math whizzes who want to do it yourself, here’s the formula.
Think of calories as the source of energy you consume in order to be used as fuel. The three macronutrients (we are focusing on) below are the main types of fuel your body will use to burn calories. Fat has almost twice the concentrated source of calories for energy. Hence why fat is a longer lasting source of energy vs. carbs or protein.
Protein = 4 calories per gram
Carbs = 4 calories per gram
Fat = 9 calories per gram
Using the first marco ratio above you can calculate how many grams of each macro.
Doing carbs first, 1500 calories X .30 = 450 calories. 450 calories divided by 4cals per gram = 112.5g of carbs a day.
Protein = 1500 x .50 = 750 calories divided by 4cals per gram = 187.5g of protein a day
Fat = 1500 x .20 = 300 divided by 9cals per gram = 33.33g of fat a day.
Like I said, doing this in My Fitness Pal is a ton easier. But do it how ya like.
Alright you Endomorphs – being that you hold onto fat and have a tougher time losing fat, its important you have your carbs earlier in the day. Eating carbs later in the day will store it as sugar and then fat. Bleh. #AintNoBodyGotTimeForThatKindaFat
So make sure if you eat oatmeal, rice, sweet potatoes or anything that tastes, looks or smells like a carb it’s apart of breakfast or lunch. And when you eat fruit, do so earlier in the day and choose fruit that is low on the GI spectrum (glycemic index = how long it takes for your food to digest – does it turn to sugar quickly or does it get used for fuel?)
Carbs can range between 10-30%, low end for fat loss being 10-20%. Protein ranging from 30-60% of your caloric intake and 15-40% from fat. Yes, your fat range is quite big, and that can really work to your benefit. Because you need to build muscle and muscle burns fat, you need healthy fat in your diet. This really does depend on how much fat you want to lose though, so as I mentioned before, moderation is key. Approach your diet with moderate levels. Some ratios below can be put into My Fitness Pal and you can see if that works for you.
20% carbs + 60% protein + 20% fat = 100
15% carbs + 60% protein + 25% fat = 100
30% carbs + 50% protein + 20% fat = 100
10% carbs + 60% protein + 30% fat = 100
I won’t calculate this out like I did above, too much math and I’m already disliking the amount of numbers in this post.
Ectomorphs – you get to have the most fun with carbs. We’re all jealous. However, if you are skinny fat, don’t approach carbs with too much vigor. Be smart girlfriend. And do NOT eat too many starchy carbs if you are trying to cut fat, stick to the complex kind.
30-60% of your diet can be from carbs, higher end for mass gain and lower end for fat loss. 25-40% from protein and the remainder from fat, anywhere from 15-35%.
As you can tell, you got some wiggle room. This is where combination body types come into play. If you are a ectomorph/mesomorph mix, you can mess around with these ratios. Let’s say if your mom was an ectomorph and your dad was an endomorph and you got more of the endomorph from your dad, then obviously you would do endomorph ratios. Sometimes parent genes dominate in this area, I don’t know how or why because its too freakin science-y, but Im giving you the idea and blueprint you can work with.
Alright, if your head isn’t spinning, I’m giving you a virtual high five because after I learned this and had to re-learn, re-watch videos and reread articles on it, I finally grasped it. If your head is spinning, well, it will stop eventually but like anything, the more you take time to learn about it and understand it, the better you will get at it. And you have this body for as long as you live, may as well figure it out right?
As I mentioned in my videos and blogs, if you are seeking accountability from a coach, I’m a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and certified through ACE Fitness as a Group Fitness Instructor. I’ve also had 5 years of being a business owner in a well known fitness company coaching literally hundreds of people. I offer FREE 45 – 1 hour break through sessions as a prelude to my coaching program if you are truly seeking lasting change in the areas of holisitic wellness. My program focuses on nutrition, relationships, career, spirituality and exercise, all of which are a HUGE factor in overall fulfillment. Contact me for more info!
Until then, keep rockin’ and stay tuned for Part VI Know Your Body Type: Life and Metabolic Changes/Hormones