We often major on minors when in comes to the space of health and fitness, as if one miscalculation in our diet or training split will have a catastrophic effect on our lives. In reality, even imperfect attempts to improve our health and physique yield positive results… and they far outweigh the negative consequences of doing nothing. As a dear friend once put it, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” If we are committed to our own self-improvement… we will learn from our mistakes and be better for it. So, as an individual committed to helping YOU make positive and informed changes in your diet, I recommend starting conservatively and making small changes over time as you learn how your body responds.
When counting macronutrients we are most concerned with the energy breakdown of food by category. The 3 categories are; Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins. Each one is rated for caloric value, or energy value, and that’s rated per unit of weight. 1 kilocalorie is the energy required to raise 1kg of water 1 degree Celsius. 1 gram of carbohydrates requires 4 kilocalories per gram, Protein is also 4 kilocalories per gram, and Fat is a whopping 9. So fat is the most energy dense category of macronutrients, being just over twice as dense as protein and carbohydrates
As far as a meal plan or “diet” is concerned it’s really quite simple. We want to supply our body with the necessary macronutrients to maintain vital function, fuel our activity level, and recover. This means we need to consume the PROTEINS necessary for tissue repair, consume the FAT necessary for vital function, hormone synthesis and energy production, and consume just enough CARBOHYDRATES to maintain appropriate blood glucose levels and provide energy for vigorous activity.
When MAINTAINING, the idea is to meet all your bodily needs perfectly and have zero surplus.
When LOSING weight, as in cutting fat while protecting muscle, the idea is to pull the deficit from the least essential source—that being carbohydrates.
When GAINING weight, you want maximum muscle gain with minimal fat accumulation, AKA a “lean bulk.” You do not want to simply pack on pounds, because this will cause a lot of unnecessary difficulty in fat loss later. I will expand on this in a later BLOG (comment below if this is something you want to read more about). Basically, the caloric surplus required to build muscle is a not really a true surplus, but rather a providing of the additional kilocalories required to respond most efficiently to the stimulus of training with an overload. Or to put it in better words: you’re muscles will be hungrier—feed them appropriately.
As stated above, the 3 categories we are concerned with are Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins. I will be digging deeper into each one of these for the next 3 weeks. NEXT MONDAY is all about PROTEIN! Stay tuned, thanks for reading.
COMMENT below if you have any questions regarding protein, and I will be happy to answer them in next week’s post.