Calculating Your Macronutrient Breakdown
First, find out your basal metabolic rate the number of calories your body needs just to function.
The formula is:
- For men: your body weight in kilograms x 24
- For women: your body weight in kilograms x 22
The number you get should be your BMR.
Youll also need to account for your energy levels. Here are the formulas. Youll multiply your BMR by the numbers given based on how active you are:
- Sedentary: BMR x 1.1
- Lightly active: BMR x 1.3
- Moderately active: BMR x 1.5
- Very active: BMR x 1.7
Now, well use your BMR to make adjustments that help you calculate your macros for different health goals.
Why You Shouldn’t Calculate How Much Protein You Need Based On Total Calories Or Weight
On a simple level, protein guidelines generally fall into one of two camps: a proportion either of how much you eat or how much you weigh. However, both are flawed if youre looking to build muscle fast.
Take only eating a specific percentage of protein. The problem is that the numbers are going to be affected in a big way by your total calorie intake. For example, 30 per cent protein on a 2000-calorie diet is very different from 30 per cent protein on a 4000-calorie diet despite the fact that the percentages are exactly the same: 150g a day compared to 300g a day.
So, calculating your protein intake relative to your weight could be better, as it stays consistent regardless of how many calories you’re packing in.
For example, if you were to eat two grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight, you’ll be fuelling yourself with the same amount of protein regardless of your total daily calorie count whether that’s 1500 or 4000. However, this system is also not without its flaws.
Body Recomposition Is More Than Just Weight Loss
Typically, people use a scale to gauge their progress when trying to lose weight.
If the number on the scale goes down, most dieters infer success.
However, the problem with using a scale as the only method to track your progress is that most scales dont differentiate between fat loss and muscle loss, which is an important factor in measuring health.
Having too much body fat has been linked to a slew of health issues and may increase your risk of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease .
In contrast, having a healthy ratio of muscle mass to body fat can improve your health while decreasing your risk of the above diseases (
Rather than simply aiming for weight loss, body recomposition focuses on decreasing body fat while simultaneously increasing muscle mass.
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What Should I Eat To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle
Remember, your eating strategy needs to include two points to lose fat while gaining muscle:
You may be thinking, âThatâs all well and good Steve, but whatâs that actually look like?â
It looks like this!
Taken from our Guide to Start Eating Healthy, which I really want you to read.
The plate is composed of the following:
- 1-2 servings of protein
- 2 servings of vegetables
- 1 serving potatoes, rice, or pasta.
- 1 serving of fat
- 1 zero calorie or low calorie beverage
Letâs hone in on protein for a moment, because itâs the critical piece for âbuilding muscle.â
Protein can come from any number of sources, including:
- Meat .
Not a meat-eater? Read our massive plant-based guide!
A serving of protein is about the size and thickness of your palm.
*The 4 oz serving is for an uncooked piece of meat. Cooking reduces about 25% of the weight, bringing it down to about 3 oz.
If youâre curious, hereâs how much protein is in a serving of food:
- 4 oz serving of chicken has around 30 g of protein.
- 4 oz serving of salmon has 23 g of protein
- 4 oz of steak has 28 g of protein.
While all of the Healthy Plate above is important, I want you to pay extra attention to your protein intake since we are trying to build muscle.
This is the exact strategy I followed to lose 22 pounds and get to single-digit bodyfat percentage WHILE building muscle:
Which means youâll have to eat more.
More On Building Muscle
Ive been a dietitian now for a long time , and if theres one thing I know for sure, its that fad diets are best avoided. This is why Im so pleased that whole food diets are being talked about more and more.
Rather than a diet, I prefer to think of a whole food diet as a way of life. Eating this way is balanced, and it is a great way to support your all-around body health and longevity. Plus, its delicious andin my opinionnot limiting either, which is a massive bonus.
A well-balanced diet follows some fairly basic principles and, in essence, consists of plenty of the following:
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How To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle At The Same Time
There are a lot of reasons to work out, including improving health, burning fat, gaining muscle, and just simply feeling better. Many of us have multiple goals at once, and luckily, a lot of these logically go hand-in-hand. Losing fat and gaining muscle, however, seem to be a little conflicting.
When you’re trying to lose fat, you’re trying to get rid of some of your body’s mass when you’re gaining muscle, you’re looking to do the opposite and build up your body. So it makes sense to wonder, can you really add muscle mass at the same time? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.
In fact, working on both goals at the same time will maximize your resultsmany of the same exercises that are good for burning fat are also great for building up muscles. And its kind of a domino effect: When you have more muscle mass, your body requires more energy at rest .
But nailing fat loss and muscle gains in one fell swoop requires a strategic approach. Heres why: If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. But when you restrict your calories, your body has to pull from existing energy stores in your bodyfat, carbohydrate, and even proteinin order to function. As a result, you wind up losing fat, but unfortunately, you also lose muscle mass.
To achieve both goals at once, you need to focus on two main things: protein and weightlifting.
And remember: losing fat and gaining muscle does not require cutting calories.
You Have To Lift Weights Too
The men and women in Dr. Antonios studies were all lifting weights several days a week and following a well planned strength training program.
This is a very important fact. If your goal is to build muscle and lose fat you must lift weights. Just eating more protein isnt going to cut it.
You should be lifting weights at least 3 times a week. Pushing yourself, working to get more reps per set or use a heavier weight as often as possible is key.
Dont take what Im saying to mean you need to put 110% into every workout, pushing yourself to failure on every set. This is a recipe for burnout and even injury.
This doesnt mean you need to push so hard that your muscles and energy are trashed when youre done. Make it your goal to feel as if youve worked hard but that you actually feel refreshed and energized when youre finished.
This way youll be able to recover before your next workout and are going to want to train the next day because your mental and physical energy are great. Heres What Dr. Antonio Has To Say.
In an interview with Auburn Education this is what he has to say about how much protein you should eat every day to build muscle and lose fat.
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What Are The Three Macronutrients
Macronutrients are the nutrients your body needs in the most significant quantities. They fall into three main categories:\
Some popular diets cut out specific macros or focus too much on others. However, many of these eating plans are fad diets. Most people should get a balance of all three macronutrients to maintain a healthy diet.
Lets look more closely at each.
How To Gain Muscle And Lose Fat
Scott Tindal, Head Physiotherapist and Team Nutritionist for the ORACLE TEAM USA, explains how to correctly use supplements and nutrition to achieve muscle gain and fat loss
This article is directed at men and women who are looking to change their eating habits in order to achieve their health and fitness goals. Scott discusses healthy and sustainable ways to lose fat and gain muscle.
Gaining muscle and losing body fat this pretty much sums up the goal of nearly everybody who sets their sights on doing more exercise and improving their nutrition in order to enhance their physique and health. The question I always get is but how do I do it? The real answer lies within.
Firstly, it is important to identify the areas where you may be going wrong. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link goes the Danish proverb, and nothing could be more relevant than with your nutrition and training regime. Look at your daily, weekly, monthly routine and ask yourself – is it really good enough to get the goals you are looking for?
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How Much Protein Do Women Really Need
If you simply follow the governments Recommended Daily Allowance, or RDA, for protein intake youll fall short. The RDA protein intake amountjust 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, or around 48 grams per day for a typical womanis just 10 percent of daily calories. With this plan most of your calories would come from carbs and fat. Technically, its enough for anyone who is sedentary, but its far from ideal.
Most people go over the RDA, and the average American consumes about 16 percent of daily calories in the form of protein. According to the Protein Summit Report, 16 percent of daily calories from protein is not too much, and in general Americans eat too little protein. The Report states that at least doubling the RDA is recommended and safe.
What Happens If You Dont Eat Enough Protein
A lack of protein can lead to muscle wasting, which is when your body burns its own tissue for energy instead of using the food you eat.
This process leads to a loss in strength and physical performance as well as an increase in fatigue during exercise. Muscle wasting also increases the risk of injuries, since weak muscles are less able to support the bodys weight and movements.
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Why Is Protein So Important
Im not going to go into all the deep sciency stuff about protein, as there are 1000s of articles already written about this on the internet. Plus, knowing things like what a protein is exactly made of isnt going to impact your goals, but I am going to try to make sure you realize how important protein is and how it can really impair you from improving if insufficient amounts are consumed.
I cannot stress this next point enough, and in terms of what we are trying to achieve with our bodies, its probably the most important fact you should take away from todays article. Protein is the only macronutrient that can directly repair and build muscle. So what does this mean for us? Well, its simple, you could have a diet rich in good sources of carbohydrates, fats and fiber, but if you are not feeding your body a sufficient amount of protein for recovery, then all your hard work lifting weights in the gym could potentially be wasted effort.
However, this is just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to protein. Apart from water, protein is the single most plentiful substance in our bodies. Protein is present in every organ in our bodies and is responsible for every process of promoting growth. Another important fact is that protein is extremely important and essential for an optimal immune system. So as you can see a lack of protein in our diets, will not only just affect muscle growth but a whole load of other mechanisms.
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Meal And Shake Ideas To Meet Your Protein Needs
Following a high-protein diet isnt as difficult as it may seem, we promise. If youre looking for foods and other sources of protein to add into your diet to boost your protein intake, here are some of our favorite dietary proteins:
Nuts, like almonds and pistachios
Seeds, like pumpkin seeds
Lean meats like lean beef
High protein veggies, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts
Another easy way to get your protein is through drinks like a smoothie or a protein shake. Bonus: Liquids are easier to digest, so your body is able to absorb and use the protein in protein shakes and smoothies much quicker. Opt to create your drinks using a protein powder made from fast-absorbing proteins, like whey protein or pea protein, for an even speedier absorption rate.
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We Looked At All The Studies And Spoke To Multiple Experts To Land On The Ideal Number
When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, few questions can be as confusing as that of how much protein you should consume. The FDAs suggestions for avoiding a protein deficiency are a lot lower than what the average lean, muscular person will tell you they eat. Whats the minimum and is there a maximum? We talked to multiple experts and look at a ton of research to land on the formulas used in this calculator.
Why Is Muscle Gain Important
There are many reasons why people want to gain muscle. Some people are looking for a way to lose fat and have more muscle mass, while others want more definition in their arms and legs.
Either way, gaining muscle can help you accomplish these goals by increasing your metabolism and building lean body mass . Your bodys muscle mass is going to affect the balance and coordination of your body.
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Gaining Too Much Fat When Adding Muscle
Increase your clients daily protein intake by about 25 grams, and decrease their daily carb intake by about 25 to 50 grams and/or fat intake by about 7 to 15 grams.
Or simply add 1 extra palm of protein to your daily intake, and remove 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of carbs and/or 1 to 2 thumbs of fats from your daily intake.
How Much Protein Is Needed To Build Muscle
Over the years I have gone through a lot of trial and error both on myself and clients trying to answer this question.
The most typical answer you will find on the internet is anywhere between 1 g to 2 g of protein per pound of body weight.
Personally, I believe 2g per lb of bodyweight to be fat to high, and no one regardless of how much muscle you hold will ever need this amount.
1g of protein per pound of body weight is a much better figure to work with and when putting my clients through a bulking cycle its the figure I will always use. However, when going through a cutting phase, I prefer a slightly different approach.
Let me explain below.
Every single persons calories and protein needs will be different. you can have two people with the same body weight but both requiring a huge difference in the number of calories they need.
So lets take John. He is 220 lbs in weight ripped at about 9% body fat and carrying a huge amount of muscle.
We then have Peter. He weighs exactly the same amount as John, however, has never weight trained before and has a body fat % of about 35% and very little muscle.
Using the most common formula of 1 g to 2 g of protein per lb of body weight, this would mean that both John and Peter would be consuming the exact same amount of protein. However, we know from reading above that the more muscle you have the more protein your body needs.
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Realistic Rates Of Fat Loss
How fast you can lose body fat depends on how consistently you can, or want to, follow the guidelines youre given.
Realistic rates of fat loss per week
Heres how to quantify each of these categories:
Extreme: Requires about 90 to 100 percent consistency.
Reasonable: Requires about 70 to 85 percent consistency.
Comfortable: Requires about 50 to 65 percent consistency.
Clearly, the more consistent you are, the faster your progress, and the more fat youll lose.
Its also important to realize that fat loss is rarely linear. It fluctuates from day to day and week to week. The goal is to see an overall trend downward over time.
But fat loss is often fastest when:
- Youre first starting out
- You have more body fat to lose
Why? Suppose you normally eat 3,500 calories per day and are maintaining your body weight. If you suddenly start eating 2,000 calories a day, youve created a massive deficit of 1,500 calories. Thatll lead to rapid weight loss.
Once you start to lose body weight, however, this deficit becomes smaller and smaller, slowing fat loss.
As this process continues, your metabolism adapts, lowering your calorie needs even more than what youd expect from the weight loss alone. Youll also become more efficient at exercising, reducing the number of calories you burn through movement.
And if thats not enough, you might even exercise less frequently and intensely because you now have less energy coming in.