Macronutrient ratios, basal metabolic rate, and killing sugar cravings are three essential dieting principles.
You want to feel and look great, right?
The second step of your elite lifestyle journey is planning a great diet.
You’ve already locked in motivation. So now we need to talk about these three essential principles.
Do you know that dieting is more important than your workouts?
Most people go to the gym without having a solid diet plan in place. We’re going to fix that problem today by talking about the following essential dieting principles:
- Macronutrient ratios;
- Basal metabolic rate;
- Calorie intake;
- Killing sugar cravings.
Let’s start with macronutrient ratios.
DIET PRINCIPLE 1: MACRONUTRIENT RATIOS
WHAT ARE MACRONUTRIENT RATIOS?
You already know what macronutrient ratios are. You eat them every day!
Macronutrients are the type of calories you eat – carbs, fat, and protein.
Macronutrient ratios are the percentages of carbs, fat, and protein you eat in your diet.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND MACRONUTRIENT RATIOS?
Macronutrient ratios are the fundamentals of dieting.
Do you want a healthy diet? A diet to gain weight? A diet plan for weight loss? Or do you want a muscle building diet? Basically, do you want to be in control of your body composition?
Each answer starts with macronutrient ratios.
For example, losing a few pounds of body weight is quite easy for the first couple of weeks. But when you’ve run out of water weight to cut, you’ll find losing body fat more difficult.
To lose body fat week-on-week, you need to understand dieting principles like macronutrient ratios.
The same goes for muscle building. You need to understand and plan macro ratios if you want to experience muscle growth week-on-week.
Diet Plan for Men vs Diet Plan for Women
One of the most common questions in the health and fitness industry is about diet plans for men and diet plans for women.
While there are differences in calorie intake, macronutrients apply to both genders. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, you need to tailor your macro ratios to suit your goals.
CALORIES AND MACRONUTRIENT RATIOS
Before we discuss macronutrient diet planning, let’s cover the relationship between calories and macronutrient ratios.
Approximately, men need to consume 2500 calories per day and women roughly 2000.
These figures vary depending on your basal metabolic rate (which we’ll discuss soon).
When planning your diet, you need to know exactly what your goal is.
Do you want to lose weight? You’ll need to eat at a calorie deficit.
Do you want to build muscle? You’ll need to eat at a calorie surplus.
But the type of calories you eat are just as important as the amount (this is where macronutrient ratios come in).
HOW YOU CAN USE MACRONUTRIENT RATIOS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL
In this segment we’re going to cover the following:
- How to use macronutrient ratios to build muscle;
- How to use macronutrient ratios to lose fat.
MUSCLE BUILDING MACRONUTRIENT RATIOS
Two key aspects of muscle building are:
• Being in a constant anabolic state;
• Consuming enough protein to repair and build new muscle fibres (muscle synthesis).
You can easily get into an anabolic state by being at a daily calorie surplus. But this doesn’t mean that you can stuff yourself with chocolate and cakes and expect to build muscle!
Consume a large % of complex carbohydrates to fuel your muscles for workouts, and simple carbohydrates post-workout to spike your insulin levels.
Your daily carbohydrate intake should ideally be between 40%-50%.
You need to consume between 0.9g-1.3g of protein per pound of body weight to build muscle.
So let’s say your daily calorie intake is 3000 and you weigh 170lbs.
You would need to consume between 153g-221g of protein per day (roughly 20%-30% of your daily calorie intake of 3000).
As a general rule of thumb, keep your protein macro ratio between 20%-30%.
I like to keep fat around 25% to minimise fat gain but you can go up to 30%.
FAT LOSS MACRONUTRIENT RATIOS
To get into a catabolic state (ideal for fat loss) you need to trick your body into targeting fat as its main fuel source instead of carbohydrates.
You do this by consuming a high % of healthy fats and a low % of carbohydrates (more on catabolism for weight loss in The FREE 5 Day Elite Body Bootcamp).
Your fat macro % will vary depending on whether you workout or not. If you workout you’ll need to increase your protein % at the cost of your fat %.
On non-workout days your fat macro ratio should be between 60%-70%.
On workout days your fat macro ratio should be between 50%-55%.
We’re talking about healthy fats sourced from eggs, coconut oil and nuts. Not fats sourced from sweets and chocolate!
Again, your protein % will vary depending on whether you workout or not.
On non-workout days your protein macro ratio % should be between 20%-25%.
On workout days your protein macro ratio % should be between 30%-40%.
Your only source of carbs should be low-glycogen foods like vegetables. This should put your carb macro ratio between 5%-10%.
You can add a high-glycogen snack like raisins post-workout though if you’re trying to maintain muscle while losing weight. This could put your carb macro ratio between up to 15%.
- Macronutrient ratios are the percentages of carbohydrates, fat, and protein you consume per day;
- It’s important to know what your goal is so you can plan your macronutrient ratios accordingly;
- High carbohydrate and protein macronutrient ratios are optimal for building muscle;
- High (healthy) fat and protein macronutrient ratios are optimal for maintaining muscle while losing fat;
- And high (healthy) fat macronutrient ratios are optimal for losing fat.
DIET PRINCIPLE 2: BASAL METABOLIC RATE
Now let’s discuss BMR.
WHAT IS BASAL METABOLIC RATE (BMR)?
Wikipedia accurately describes basal metabolic rate as the amount of energy per unit time that a person needs to keep the body functioning at rest.
Essentially, basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you’d need if you stayed in bed all day. It’s also referred to as resting metabolic rate.
Why is Basal Metabolic Rate So Important for Health and Fitness?
You need to know what your BMR is so you can calculate your daily caloric intake in relation to your total daily energy expenditure.
Why do you need to do this? Because you want to effectively map out weight gain or weight loss.
Think about your basal metabolic rate like fuel in a car.
If your journey to work is 10 miles, you need 10 miles worth of fuel in your car.
What happens if you don’t have enough fuel in your car? It’ll run on fumes and eventually break down.
What happens if you have excess fuel in your car? You’ll have excess fuel to use for another journey.
Your body works in a similar way and you need to plan your calorie intake according to your daily energy expenditure and ultimate goal.
How to Use Your Basal Metabolic Rate to Build Muscle
You need to be at a calorie surplus of roughly 200 per day to gain up to 0.44lb of muscle per week – a realistic goal (join the The FREE 5 Day Elite Body Bootcamp to learn why).
But how can you be at a calorie surplus of 200 per day?
This is where you basal metabolic rate comes into play.
Before you plan your calorie intake, calculate your BMR here.
Let’s proceed with the assumption that your BMR is 2200 calories.
You could start by adding 200 + 2200 for a total calorie intake of 2400… but it’s not quite that simple!
You need to account for any excess calories you burn throughout the day.
Let’s say you burn 500 calories at the gym and 200 calories during your office job.
You will need to consume an extra 700 calories to avoid being in a calorie deficit.
- 2200 (your BMR) +
- 700 (excess calories) +
- 200 (your calorie surplus) =
Your total calorie intake should be 3100 for that day for you to be at a surplus of 200.
Calculate the excess calories that you generally burn so you can predict what your daily calorie surplus needs be.
How to Use Your Basal Metabolic Rate to Lose Fat
3500 calories equates to roughly 1lb of fat.
This means that in order to lose 1lb of fat per week you simply need to be calorie deficient by 3500 calories (500 per day).
Similar to muscle building, we’re going to base your calorie intake calculation from your BMR.
Let’s again assume that your BMR is 2200 calories.
In order to lose 1lb of fat per week, your calorie intake should be 1700 calories.
In order to lose 2lbs of fat per week, your calorie intake should be 1200 calories.
But you, of course, need to account for the excess calories that you burn.
If you burn 500 calories at the gym and 200 calories in your office job, your daily calorie intake should be:
• 2400 calories to lose 1lb of fat per week;
• 1900 calories to lose 2lbs of fat per week.
Important: do not aim to lose more than 2lbs of fat per week as you will burn yourself out very quickly.
Be Prepared to Adjust Your Calorie Intake
Calculate your basal metabolic rate but be prepared to monitor and adjust your calorie intake each week.
You might miss your 1lb fat loss target for the week even though you adhered 100% to your diet.
Does this mean your basal metabolic rate is wrong? No! It means that you might’ve burned 300 calories from one of your workouts instead of 500.
What can you do in that scenario? You could increase your workout time or decrease your calorie intake by 200 on workout days. Or you could even decrease your calorie intake further on non-training days.
Just be prepared to play around until you find your perfect fit.
BASAL METABOLIC RATE CALCULATOR (BMR Calculator)
It’s remarkably quite straightforward to calculate your BMR. Head over to my BMR calculator page here.
- BMR is the number of calories you need per day to function at a resting level;
- Account for the excess calories you burn during daily tasks and workouts;
- You need to be at a daily calorie surplus of 200 to gain up to 0.44lb of muscle per week;
- You need to be a daily calorie deficit of 500 to lose 1lb of fat per week / daily deficit of 1000 to lose 2lbs of fat per week;
- Be prepared to monitor and adjust your calorie intake each week to find your biting point.
DIET PRINCIPLE 3: KILL SUGAR CRAVINGS
What’s your biggest reason for struggling to stick to a diet?
Is it lack of motivation? Lack of knowledge? Or is it sugar cravings?
I’m no seer and I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m fairly confident in predicting that most of you struggle with dieting due to sugar cravings.
I’m talking primarily to those of you who want to lose fat and struggle to stick to calorie deficient diets.
Let’s face it, the world isn’t our friend here! In most countries, you can’t walk down a street without seeing a shop selling delicious sugary goods!
Let’s start by discussing addiction and how it relates to sugar.
What is Addiction?
Your first thoughts might be addictions like smoking or drugs. The scope is bigger than that though.
Some of you are addicted to playing games, watching football, cooking, singing, going to the gym, or Game of Thrones.
There’s a whole host of things that you can become addicted to.
We humans, by nature, operate in patterns and become easily addicted to things.
Is this necessarily a bad thing? Of course not! Being addicted to something PRODUCTIVE can be extremely positive.
Are you addicted to raising a happy family? Are you addicted to your career? Or are you addicted to helping those in need?
All of those examples are positive and productive.
You are by nature addicted to certain patterns. It’s your responsibility to ensure that those patterns are positive and productive.
Why do you think we have an obesity problem in the 21st century?
There’re two main reasons.
The first reason is that we just have so much food available. Everywhere we go there’s easy access to unhealthy processed foods.
Most of the time, you’ll buy something from a shop or restaurant and won’t give too much thought into what’s actually in the food.
You might think sugar is mainly cakes and chocolate but it’s in lots of processed foods.
Take sauce for example. Most sauces contain high amounts of sugar, and most of us use sauce freely on our meals.
The second reason we have an obesity problem is sugar addiction.
Millions of people are addicted to sugar and it’s just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than alcohol and drug addiction. Certainly, there are more people affected by sugar addiction.
Political correctness has led us to the point where don’t want to be honest and risk offending people. But we need to be honest with ourselves and tackle the problem head on.
I was shocked when I first learned that sugar is more addictive than cocaine (source).
This is a clear indication that a sugar rush is powerfully addictive.
It should also serve to do away with some negative stigmas attached to obese people.
Being obese isn’t necessarily due to mental weakness, it can be due to the powerful physical addiction that sugar causes.
Let’s bring this back to what I said earlier about human beings and habitual patterns.
It’s very easy for sugar to become a mental addiction as well as physical. Once you start following the yellow brick sugar road, it can be very hard physically and mentally to turn back.
Not everyone is obese and not everyone is anorexic. But most of you probably struggle with sugar and carry more body fat than you’d like to. (I said most, not all!)
Let me ask you, where do you fall on the sugar spectrum?
I escaped obesity for many years because I regularly went to the gym. But sugar greatly impacted my progress until I conquered it.
Are you in a similar boat? Do you train hard at the gym but see your progress in continual purgatory because you can’t curb your sugar cravings?
Consuming too much sugar doesn’t just damage your physical aesthetics, it also affects your overall lifestyle and career.
Compare how you feel after eating healthy fats, vegetables, and fruit vs after eating cakes and chocolate.
After eating cakes and chocolate you feel physically and mentally lethargic.
After eating healthy fats, fruit and vegetables you feel energetic and clear-minded.
Do you want to look great and feel great? If yes, you need to conquer sugar.
HOW TO CONQUER YOUR SUGAR ADDICTION
There are two solutions (ideally done together):
• The ketogenic diet, and;
• Apple cider vinegar.
The Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is the perfect solution to sugar addiction because it switches your body’s attention to healthy fats instead of sugars.
Your sugar cravings pretty much vanish after a few days of eating nuts, coconut oil, fish, avocado, and other healthy fat foods.
All you have to do is get past the first few days and then you’re in the clear!
You can learn about the keto diet extensively in The FREE 5 Day Elite Body Bootcamp.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is simply a fantastic weight loss supplement.
In large part because it suppresses your appetite, especially sugar cravings.
I’ve covered Apple Cider Vinegar extensively HERE if you want to learn more about it.
Thanks for reading! Have a great day!