Sweating up a storm with cardio, lifting heavy in the weights section, 5+ times a week. NEWSFLASH: While this is critical to your ultimate success, it’s not enough for you to lose the fat you want.
To reach your fat loss goal, you must also follow a fat loss meal plan. Why? Even if you workout hard for an hour every day, that still leaves more than 23 hours for you to wreck all your hard work in the gym with just one slip up: a beer or a vino with your friends after work, a cheeky 4pm chocolate bar. Diet is a huge part of the fat-loss equation.
The macro split for fat loss, as with any particular goal, varies greatly and there are many different protocols that people will champion. However there is one dominant theme that runs through most protocols, the reduction of carbohydrates in the diet.
There are two basic reasons for this:
1. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose by the body, spike insulin and are stored as glycogen. The body has a small capacity for storing glycogen so once these stores are full this excess glucose is stored as triglycerides in adipose tissue = increase in body fat.
2. The ingestion of carbohydrates inhibits the oxidation of fats at rest and during exercise.
The macro split used in nutritics for fat loss, is 20% carbs (1g per Kg of body weight (BW)) 40% Protein (2.2g per Kg of BW) 40% Fat (1g per Kg of BW).
This split is therefore low carb but high protein/fat. The high percentage of protein is important as not only do most people lack an adequate intake of protein in the diet but also because it is the nutrient, which helps the body repair, grow and function in many different ways. Although protein is mildly insulinogenic it has a very minimal effect on our insulin levels and therefore does not promote fat storage. Instead when it is ingested it is broken down into amino acids, these amino acids either enter the liver where they are synthesised back into protein or they enter the muscle. If the latter occurs the amino acids are synthesised into protein for use, either for grow or repair. A diet high in protein will promote recovery, maintenance of lean mass, which will in turn sustain or drive up metabolism and muscle growth. All these elements help an individual when training for fat loss.
The split is also high in fat. Although fat has got a lot of negative press in the past we now know that it isn’t a macro to be afraid of and is in fact incredibly important for optimal health and fat loss. Fat is slow digesting with means it keeps you fuller for longer improving satiety levels. This is useful when working towards the goal of fat loss as staying fuller for longer will discourage you from over eating and help you reach the appropriate calorie intake to burn body fat. Fat, like protein, is essential to support different functions in the body, it is vital for synthesising hormones, maintaining cell membrane health and giving the body slow releasing energy.
It is important however that you understand the importance of getting your fats from good sources and not from processed foods. As the body can recognise natural fats and then use them appropriately, processed fats aren’t natural and therefore the body doesn’t respond to them in a natural way, which leads to cholesterol issues, fat storage and many other potential health risks.
Stay on track easily with your macronutrient split using the myfitnesspal app.