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  • Writer's pictureJen Curtis

Best Macros For Fat-Loss



A few years ago, there was a popular diet trend of having exact "macro" targets.


"Macros" is short for "Macronutrients" of which there are 3: Protein, Carbs and Fat.


People following this trend would track their food, trying to hit very exact macro targets for each macronutrient, like 126g protein, 182g carbs and 63g fat.


Luckily, this trend has lost popularity - but some people still get very bogged down in paying attention to these very minute details.


What I like to call "Majoring in Minors" - obsessing over minute detail that simply doesn't matter, while consistently NOT doing what needs to be done to reach their goals.


They often want to lose fat - but spend all their brain power wondering what the "best macro split for fat loss" is, while never actually tracking or reducing their overall calorie intake.


If this is you, this blog post is for you


Here is my super simple, but definitive guide to macros


CALORIES FIRST


If you're wondering if you need 123g or 124g protein a day, but don't know how many calories you need for fat loss - you truly can't see the wood through the trees.


Calorie intake is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING for fat-loss - and no tweaking of macronutrients matter until you have figured that out.


Even if you get the "perfect split" (which doesn't exist), you will not lose fat if you're not in a calorie deficit.


If you don't know how to do that, use this calorie calculator - figure out your MAINTENANCE calories first, based on how much activity/exercise you ACTUALLY do, then figure out a 15-20% deficit from there.


PROTEIN


Protein is the most important macronutrient to establish because


  1. it's responsible for muscle building and tissue repair

  2. it's harder to get. Most people don't eat enough protein (as opposed to fat, where it's very hard to eat too little) so you need to make a concerted effort to eat it (most people naturally gravitate to fat and carbs)

  3. It also keeps you feeling full.


So how much protein? If you lift weights and are concerned with optimal recovery and building muscle, you should aim to consume 1.6g protein per kg IDEAL bodyweight (not actual weight) - so if you want/need to lose 10kg, you should use your target weight, NOT your current weight


So a woman who wants to weigh 65kg (whether she currently weighs 70kg or 100kg) would aim for 104g protein a day.

65 x 1.6 = 104


If you don't lift weights or care much about building muscle (which you should), you can get away with less - 1.2g per kg ideal bodyweight is enough.


Whether you care about muscle or not, you should aim to eat protein at every meal/snack - that ensures you hit your daily target.


Optimal protein is also a RANGE, so don't get too caught up in an exact number. Anywhere around the target number is fine, but you shouldn't eat less than 1g per kg bodyweight a day.


CARBS & FATS DON'T MATTER


Once you know how many calories and how much protein you need, the ratio of fats to carbs really don't matter that much, and you don't need to track them with any precision.


Fat also has a minimum (about 20% of calorie intake) and optimal (around 40% overall calorie intake) intake - BUT in practice, it's very easy to get, and most women need to make a concerted effort to NOT EAT TOO MUCH - fat is super fashionable, and we don't need anywhere near as much as we think


So if you have a salad with avocado, lashings of oil, nuts and seeds, you're going to be consuming HUNDREDS of calories of fat.


Most women need to reduce their intake of fats - 1 TEASPOON of oil, OR half an avocado OR a tablespoon of nuts is ENOUGH for one meal.


But you don't need to pay attention to "grams of fat per day" - just get a SMALL portion at each meal


If you tend to eat low-carb when you're trying to lose weight, you probably want to change this too - MOST people do horribly on a low-carb diet.


Rather than looking at "grams of carbs", though, you want to look at your PORTION of carbs in your meal. 100g rice/potatoes, or 50g bread is enough for most women for lunch, and 200g of rice/potatoes/grains and 100g of bread is usually good for dinner.


The main thing you might notice if you cut carbs is that you will get super hungry - and this is bad for fat-loss. People talk a lot about protein being the most filling macronutrient - but notice the difference between how full you feel eating just protein, fat and vegetables, verses a meal where you eat carbs AS WELL


Carbs add a lot of fullness to meals, fuel your workouts AND provide the energy for building muscle.


They are also delicious, so not eating them is usually totally unsustainable for most people.


SUMMARY


In a nutshell, if you want to lose weight, here's what you should do, in order of importance:

  1. Get in a calorie deficit

  2. Get enough protein

  3. Make sure you're not getting too much fat

  4. Ensure you're getting MIXED meals that include all macronutrients


It's way sexier to sell a "low carb" or "high fat" approach, but in reality these don't usually work well for most people.


Don't worry about precise macronutrient splits and keep it simple.


If you want tons meal ideas that are great for fat-loss and contain a sensible balance of protein, carbs and fat - download my FREE "Simle Meal Ideas for Fat-Loss" ebook.


Each meal provides calories and protein, as well as portion sizes.

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