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Understanding Macros and Nutrient Timing:1

Whether your goal is to lower body fat, build muscle or a bit of both, it is important to adjust your dietary macronutrients and consider optimal nutrient timing in order to optimise results.

What are macronutrients?
Macronutrients are your dietary protein, fat and carbohydrates. In order to really transform your physique you need to get a good idea of your intake of these 3 macros.

What is nutrient timing?
Nutrient timing involves adjusting the timing of certain food intake to optimise body composition and performance results. The timing of macronutrient intake is crucial, especially when wanting to lose body fat or build muscle.

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Protein
Most of us know that protein is crucial for building muscle but it is equally as important when wanting to lose fat. 30% of the calories you consume from protein will get burnt by the body to absorb the protein you have eaten, protein has a high TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) and it will boost your metabolism dramatically. So, what should you be consuming? Approximate amounts are:

• 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight everyday for fat loss
• 2.5g + per kg of bodyweight for muscle building.

Our best dietary protein sources are lean meats, fish, eggs and whey protein.

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Fats
Fats are more important for health than carbohydrates ever were, I never promote a low fat diet. A diet very low in fat promotes ill health, hormone disruption and will result in nutrient deficiencies however an excess of dietary fat will hinder fat loss efforts. In a meal where carb intake is higher, fat should be lower and visa versa. When wanting to lose body fat I usually recommend 1g of fat per kg of bodyweight a day; if looking to maintain body weight this can be higher.

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Trans fat and hydrogenated oils should be avoided, these are damaged oils and are harmful to the body.

Good fat sources are grass fed beef, lamb, nuts, seeds, avocado, oily fish, ghee and especially coconut oil.

 

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Carbohydrates
This is the main macronutrient to manipulate with nutrient timing and dietary intake can be considerably different depending on your goals.

 

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Consumption guidelines are:

To lose body fat:

• Aim for 1-1.5g of carbohydrates per kg of BW a day
• The more fat you have on your upper back & waist the lower your starting point will be.
Avoid all high starchy carbs such as grains, potatoes, rice and higher sugar fruits such as bananas, grapes and pineapple for the majority of the time

 

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To build muscle:

• If you are already lean and want to build muscle you can experiment with your carb intake
• Generally the leaner you are the higher your carb tolerance
• Start with 2.5g per kg bodyweight (b/w) a day. Slowly increase up to 5 or 7g per kg of b/w a day.
• Remember that all carbs are not equal, some will increase blood sugars faster then others.
• Spread quality carb consumption throughout the day
• Quality carbs include sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, gluten free oats and medium GI fruits.

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