Finale of MACROs series where you’ll get all the answers in a summarized form along with recommendations. Don’t skip on the preceding parts 1,
2,&3, though. They are choke full of rare insights and solid science.
I’m going to divide this article in three possible scenarios of nutritional and metabolic states. First, is Maintenance/Homeostasis/Zero-deficit, the second one is the Overfeeding/Bulk/Beefing up/Calorie surplus and the last “Starvation/cut/calorie deficit/underfeeding/dieting”…
Maintenance Macros Setup.
When your Calorie Intake is approximately balanced out over a long run with the DEE, Homeostasis is established and your weight is maintained over a period of time. Reason I’m emphasizing over a period of time because you do lose or gain weight daily on maintenance calories in infinitesimally amounts. Even with a mad scientist level obsession you can’t balance out completely your Calories intake and the DEE in day to day life. In a Laboratory setting, sure you can; although for all practical intent and purposes calorie intakes within +-5% of your DEE should be considered as maintenance level.
Some gurus advise to calculate calories deficit or surplus over period of weeks. Say, if your DEE is 2500 calories, then you can easily go two days with 1000 cals and pig out on weekends with 4000 cals (1500extra on top of the 2500 DEE coming from the two low cal days). This will work too, hope you get the gist. Plus as I established in the BMR-DEE series, calculating both sides of the equation is not an exact science, there is always a +-5% margin of error, don’t kill yourself over getting it right the first time. Weigh yourself weekly. Say, on Monday mornings. As long as your weight remains within +- 1 lbs of your desired/maintenance weight you’re in homeostasis and you’re eating maintenance calories.
Bare minimum Protein Requirements for Maintenance: 0.5 Gram/Kg of LBW(lean-body-weight). WHY SO LOW!!!!! Well, if you’re eating at maintenance your body doesn’t need to tap into stored energy resources. Both Fat and Muscle mass are spared that way. Is it even lower that RDA value?? Not really, RDA is 0.8 Gram / Kg of body weight(BW). We are talking LBW here.
If your weight training as well at maintenance calories, then 1 Gram / KG (LBW) would be ideal. Animal protein is your best bet.
The only thing you need to remember here is Fulfill your Protein requirements with whole animal proteins and don’t avoid/discard the Fat that comes with it. You’re better off with saturated and monounsaturated fat from animal protein sources than refined simple Carbohydrates. After that fill the rest of the Calorie Quota with Carbohydrates with no less than 150 grams of it.
One example will clear things out. A 230 Lbs guy with 18% body fat wants to set his MACROs for maintenance. He lift weights 3 times a week (low volume strength training). First step is to calculate the LBW.
230 x (1- 0.18) = 188.6 Lbs. in kilograms = 188.6/2.2 = 85.72 Kgs of LBW. So he needs to eat 85.72 grams of protein, say we round it up to an even 90 grams. He likes to eat Goat meat and it’s cheap where he lives. It’s all hypothetical, guys. No ISIS connection. A quick Google search will reveal that 100 grams of Goat meat has 27 grams of Protein and 3 grams of Fat. Considering he also like Egg omelet in the morning, one egg has 6 grams of Protein, 3 in the yolk (yellow part also has 5 grams of fat) and 3 in the albumen (white part has zero fat). 250 grams of meat and 4 eggs would fulfill his quota. 27 x 2.5 + 6 x 4 = 91 grams of Protein. Easy enough.
Now let’s calculate the Tag-along Fat: 3 x 2.5(from meat) + 4 x 5(from eggs) = 27.5 Grams. Assuming 3 tablespoons of Oil used in cooking. 1 tablespoon = 15 grams, so additional 45 grams of fat.
Total Protein = 91 Grams. Total Fat = 73 Grams. Total Calorie Intake = 91 x 3 + 72 x 9 = 921 calories. His DEE would be something like 2,500 calories leaving out 2500 - 920 = 1580 calories to be filled otherwise. 150 grams of carbohydrates are the minimum and a lifting fella should add 100 grams more. Eating 250 Grams of Carbs will provide 250x4=1000 calories. 1580 - 1000 = 580 extra calories are needed after filling the protein and carbs quota to be at maintenance. Fill the quota of remaining 580 calories any way you like. Gorge down whipped cream if you want.
Bulk Macros Setup.
When you overfeed purposely for long periods of time a chronic Anabolic state is established. Tissue synthesis is the name of the game here requiring large amounts of raw material and Energy. (Read Protein and Calories). All the “lean-bulkers” and “Shredded-year-around” fellas are missing on some serious muscle mass. Short Intense Bulk periods where you eat and lift and lift and eat are the way to go. I’m not advocating pigging out here, just 750-100 Extra calories on top of your DEE. The whole Biochemistry and Hormonal adaptations during a Calorie Surplus will be addressed in another series of articles.
Protein requirements during a bulk: 2 Gram/ Kg LBW All the comments about not avoiding/discarding tag along animal fat sources applies here as well.
Carb Requirement during a Bulk: 5 Gram/ Kg LBW. Sources do matter here, add as much complex carbs as possible. For the in-depth analysis and explanation check out the 2nd part of this series.
Fill the rest of the calorie quota however you want.
Extending the same example given above, If the guys goes on a Bulk his Calorie intake would be DEE + 1000 = 3500 Calories. During a bulk, 100% Isolated whey Protein Shake mixed with Glucose after a workout is recommended (more on this later). His protein requirement would be 86x2=172 grams of Protein. Let’s say he eats 200 grams of Chicken meat and 200 grams of Goat meat in two meals along with two protein shakes and 3 eggs. Total Protein: 4 x 27 (both chicken & goat meat have same 27g/100g value) + 25x2 (most protein powder scoops have 25 grams of it) + 3x6 = 176 Grams.
The tag along fat = 3x2 + 14x2 + 5x3 = 50 grams. Plus 5 spoon full of Oil from cooking = 75 grams. Total Fat = 125 Grams. Calories consumed until now = 176x3 + 125x9 = 1653 Calories. Adding the carbs: 5 (gram/LBW) x 86 (lbw) x 4 (calories/gram) = 1720 Calories from Carbohydrates. Total : 1653 (from fat and protein) + 1720 (from carbs) = 3373. Wow. Close enough with the 3500 Quota.
MACROS during a cut are too complicated to be dealt with such hard and fast guidelines. Check out the Fat Loss Section for it. It was quite a task writing and explaining the principles and then setting up descriptive examples. Hope it served you well, for any questions and queries, leave a comment or inbox me on the official Facebook page.
Check out Part 1 , Part 2 & Part 3 of this Series!
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