Understanding the basics of macros while going through nutrition coaching is important. Even if you aren’t going through nutrition coaching or just interested in the process. Understanding how your body reacts to macros will help give an understanding to why coaches make certain decisions.
Order of Importance in Body Composition
- Total caloric balance: create a deficit to lose weight or a surplus to gain weight.
- Macronutrient balance: protein carbs and fat make up your total calorie intake for the day, but where you get your calories matter ( that’s what this article is introducing )
- Timing: because each macronutrient has a specific affect on the body timing when you eat each one can significantly enhance progress
- Quality: while important for health its affect on body composition is negligible
- Supplements: Unless paired with the other components, supplements will have little affect.
Basics of Macros
Each macro plays a specific role in the body, with specific hormonal responses and specific effects on digestion. Learning how to manipulate these can go a long way to improving your diet adherence and success.
Protein = lean mass support and hunger suppression
Fat = Calories & hunger suppression
Carbs = Energy and performance
What Gets Reduced
As you progress through the phases of the template you will notice that the first and primary cuts come from fat. This is because calories are the most important variable when it comes fat loss.
First we can reduce calories by a significant amount by slightly reducing fat intake through the day. Fat is an essential macro for survival so there is a limit for how little fat we will consume, but in general if you are getting most of your protein from the animal sources listed on your template and some healthy fats during the day you will not be in danger of passing below this point
Second, while carbs are reduced each phase the bigger cuts come later on. This is so that we can continue to support energy levels for workouts. We wants to continue to provide adequate stimulus for change. Carbs are eventually reduced to very low numbers, and we can perform OK on very low carb intake. This is not ideal for performance so we typically delay it as long as possible
Lastly we will begin to cut calories in protein. This is due mostly to its ability to suppress hunger. We actually need very little protein to support lean mass (only around 0.8g per pound of lean body weight ). However, hunger is a biological signal ingrained deeply in our genetics that is hard to fight. So minimizing hunger throughout a diet is generally a good idea.
Why does this matter?
I think it is important to know what to expect from the changes in your template. When fat is reduced past a certain threshold, you can expect hunger to increase and a slight decrease in energy throughout the day. When carbs are decreased past a certain threshold you can expect performance in hard workouts to get worse. When protein is reduced you can expect even more increase in hunger. When any of these are reduced it reduces total calories and if the caloric deficit is enough it will cause weight loss.
The goal of the challenge is to preserve performance improvements while losing fat. We balance all these things to achieve a specific result. That is fat loss and performance improvement. Every person is different and will respond slightly different, but the general pattern holds true.
If you want to see your results you have to stay consistent to the templates and knowing what to expect from the changes should help prepare you when it is time to switch phases.
By Mike White
Are you making this common diet mistake? When it comes to nutrition there is no greater debate than the role of carbohydrates in weight loss. Carbs are seen as the sol reason for excess weight game but at the same time they are praised as a sure fire way to increase performance.
The Usual Diet Routine
You step on the scale in the morning and see a number you thought you never would.This causes you to try and “eat better”. Often this means that you cut out carbs. For most people this works fantastic, you step on the scale 5 days later and Wham! That’s a lot of weight loss if you keep this up you’ll be back in shape in no time. A few days later though you have to end your work out early, you just don’t have it today. The next day you feel sluggish all day, and end up skipping the gym so you can rest and hit it hard the next day. 3 weeks in and you have had to take a few more rest days than normal and your weight loss has stopped. At about 4 weeks you decide you need break and order pizza and have a few beers as well. The next morning your wake up and have gained 1/2 of what you lost back. From here you resolve to stick with it this time and resume your dieting, within a few days you are back to your initial weight loss but once again your work outs begin to suffer. You cannot use as much weight for as many sets or reps and it is hard to maintain the right pace during your cardio. Once again your weight loss stalls at about the same spot.
This cycle repeats itself over and over again slow progress on the scale and no progress in the gym performance. Typically ending when you give up on the low carb route and add them back in. Performance in the gym improves but weight gain resumes.
If this sounds familiar then you have been bamboozled about what proper nutrition is. There is no good food or bad food. What you eat should simply be a reflection of your goals and some simple math.
What Role Do Carbs Play?
Carbohydrate are only one part of the math equation. However to eliminate them completely, except in very specific circumstances like the final cut before a physique show, is a mistake. Eliminating carbohydrate will almost certainly result in fairly rapid weight loss. It will negatively affect performance and diminish the overall results you can achieve with body re-composition over time. Carbohydrates are required to perform optimally and optimal performance is one of the main key factors for improving body composition over time. Carbohydrate also plays an important role maintaining and building new muscle and even in the metabolism of fat. Eliminating it will absolutely negatively affect your results over the medium to long term.
At Renegades we offer customized nutrition plans that will take care of the math equation for you. It will ensure that weight loss progresses at an appropriate maintainable rate while still allowing you to improve performance. We start with a free one on one nutrition consultation that goes over your current eating habits as well as your goals.
You can sign up for your One on One Consultation Here
Do not succumb to the quick fix no carbohydrate path. Your performance will decrease and your weight lose will stall. Instead focus on the long term with gradual changes to body composition and regular improvements in performance.
By Mike White