By By Jake Boly, Staff Writer
Last week I wrote about how to calculate your daily caloric maintenance and properly gain, lose, or maintain weight. The calculator I chose to use last week was a very broad formula that consisted of: your weight x 14-16.
I had then mentioned how to properly add or lose weight. To do this, take 10-20% of your daily allowance and add or subtract that number accordingly (Example: 10-20% of a 2,000 calorie diet would be 400-500 calories).
This week, the focus is on macronutrients needs and how to use them to suit your goals. Macronutrients are your carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and alcohol. Each macronutrient has its own caloric balance; each gram is represented by a number. Every gram of protein and carbohydrate is four calories, fat is nine, and alcohol is seven.
Like your daily caloric balance, there are basic guidelines that are best to follow pertaining to your goals. Of course none of the macronutrient requirements I write are required for your diet, but if your goals are to excel with fitness and adding or losing weight you can figure a ratio that works best to suit your goals.
When calculating a protein requirement there are different ratios that work best with your activities or daily diet regime. The best ratios for those training in endurance and strength induced activities with low body fat or a very high lean body mass should be around 1-1.5g of protein per pound of lean mass. If you tend to be overweight, inactive, or consume a diet higher in calories you can consume less and drop the ratio to .8-1g per lean mass. These ratios are not set in stone and you should consume what you prefer while also fulfilling your goals.
The calculations for fats can also be adjusted to fit your goals and desires. A typical ratio that many follow to maintain a normal fat intake is generally around .4-1g of total weight. Again for those with higher body fat the ratio changes to .4-1g per lean body mass. Fats can be lowered or raised to personal preference, but an extended time on a low-fat diet can lead to health problems.
Now for the macronutrient we all love so much, carbs! Carbs are a personal preference when it comes to your daily intake. Someone who is highly active might need or enjoy eating more carbs than someone who is not. The whole concept on your carbohydrate intake is to model it around your daily protein and fat totals. If you have a set minimum for protein/fats (100g protein x 4)+(65g fat x 9) = 985 and if your total is 2,000 calories, then you can eat roughly 250g carbs and be in your caloric intake. Still wondering how you can figure out what kind of foods fit into your macros? Check out next week when I talk about the IIFYM model (If It Fits Your Macros) to learn all about it!