If you really want to shred the fat and nothing else has worked, despite continually working out, it’s almost certainly due to your diet and macro-nutrients split.
Unfortunately until recently the majority of diets focused on reduced fat options which can lead to a low-calorie/high sugar diet restricting what your body needs to function. Ultimately leading to your body storing fat, weight fluctuation and a reduction in metabolism.
To strip the body of fat, you need to build muscle. If you are in a calorie deficit and not getting the right macro nutrient split you are at risk of lean muscle mass loss. Calculating your macros based upon your height/weight and exercise level will ensure your body gets what it needs whilst making small adjustments which can reduce your overall body fat, build lean muscle mass and preserve your metabolic health. If you’re interested in learning how you can do this then keep on reading…
The first thing you need to calculate is how much energy does your body need if you are in a state of rest for the day? This is called your BMR basal metabolic rate. To calculate you need to know your weight/height and age.
Weight and height are important as these calculate your mass. Your age is also important as you get older your muscle mass will reduce.
The calculation for this is as follows (Mifflin St Jeor Equation):
|Male BMR =||10 x weight + 6.25 x height – 5 x age + 5|
|Female BMR =||10 x weight + 6.25 x height – 5 x age – 161|
This gives us a total amount of calories you will burn at a state of rest. For example:
Weight(KG) – 63.5
Height (CM) – 172
Age – 34
My BMR would be 1379.
Your BMR excludes physical activity. So to find out how many calories you burn a day based on your activity level, you need to calculate the following. BMR x activity factor, where –
1.375 light activity (1-3 30 minute exercise sessions per week)
1.55 – 3-5 a week
1.75 – 6-7 a week
For example sake, if my activity level is 1.75, this would give me 2,413 calories that I am burning per day with my current activity level.
Now we need to consider your goal – do you want to lose weight/gain weight.
We know that it takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose 1 lb of fat, which is 500 calories per day to lose 1 lb per week. If this is your goal subtract 500 from your 2,413 (in this example) and this gives you your daily goal (1,913). I would advise not to go lower than 800 calorie deficit per day as this could lead to muscle loss.
Now to calculate your macro split.
The calories for macronutrients are as follows:
Protein = 4 kcal /g
Carbs = 4 kcal / g
Fat = 9 kcal/g
For fat loss you need a high protein diet. The range for protein can be from 0.8 – 1.5g per lb of bodyweight.
For this example lets go with 1lb which is recommended for a fat loss goal.
Protein = 1g/lb (bodyweight) = 140g protein/day = 560 cal (based on 140lb person as per above example)
Fat = 0.4g/lb (bodyweight) = 56g fat/day = 504 cal (based on recommended 0.4g of fat per lb of bodyweight for fat loss)
Carbs = 1913 – 560 – 504 = 849 calories (divide by 4 = 212g carbs per day)
My target macros would be 140g Protein / 56g Fat / 212g Carbs to lose 1lb of fat per week.
You can tweak slightly if you know how your body responds, for example if you’re looking to define muscles you may want to increase protein to 1.5g per lb. Once you have your macros split you need to start tracking them to make sure you are hitting your targets. You can use an app like Lifesum, you can track your food intake daily and it will breakdown your macro nutrients for you, you can even set your targets which you have created above.
All new subscribers to my website receive a FREE downloadable BMR & Macro calculator and a FAT LOSS Cheat Sheet. My Macro calculator shows you how you can tweak your macros to increase or reduce your protein intake based on your goals. Subscribe to receive yours for free.