Leaning, Bulking, and Maintaining – What Should Macros Be?
Okay, so you’re looking to either lean out or blast away excess fat! Maybe bulk up a bit, gain some muscle mass? Or maybe you want to just find a happy place and maintain all of your hard work and effort. Whatever body place you are in, or willing to trav
el to, a goal must be set for a specific body aesthetic.
A specialized nutritional plan must be structured in order to obtain the best results. I use the word specialized because, the thing is, there is no “one size fits all.” Everyone is different. Each one of us processes foods differently and we all have specific dietary guidelines according to our lifestyles and/or those that are health related. Another factor is that all of our metabolisms run differently, and the way our bodies react to certain macronutrient breakdowns all vary as well. The trick however, is to not only find that proper macronutrient breakdown, but the proper nutrient timing.
However, here are a few things that are universal.
1. Setting the proper caloric intake is the most important thing and should be the starting place for each program, no matter what your breakdowns are. If your goal is fat loss and you are eating more than you are burning, your efforts will be futile.
2. Adequate amounts of protein and essential fatty acids. You want to consume protein with each meal. Protein takes more calories to break down, so this will result in an increased metabolic rate, thereby preventing the breakdown of lean body mass.
3. Nutrient timing is a key factor as well. Eating 5-8 small meals every day, or spacing meals about 2.5-3 hours apart. This will keep your metabolism working consistently throughout the day and help to balance blood sugar levels. Nutrient timing is also beneficial when specific macro breakdowns are placed around pre and post workout meals.
When you’re looking to burn fat or “lean out”, it is essential to find the proper caloric deficit. This means you have to burn more than you consume. Finding proper nutrient timing is also essential, particularly for a successful fat loss plan. Zap the fat and maintain the muscle! When you are looking to bulk up and gain size, caloric intake must rise, and you must consume more than you are burning. While in the maintaining phase it is important to find a healthy balance and ease within your dietary structure, consuming and burning about the same amount of calories.
Many have said that a macro breakdown standard for any program is 40/40/20 – 50/30/20 – or 30/30/40 and that these breakdowns are usually best. But again, there is no one way, it’s just not that easy! Not to mention that paring your macro percentages with the correct macronutrient, is very dependent on what your goal is and body reaction to those numbers and nutrients. And once again, overall caloric intake will determine loss, gain or maintain.
I’ve found that by incorporating continuous cycles of breakdowns is the only way for me. If you are just interested in losing a few pounds and taking a more relaxed approach to dieting, just watch your caloric intake and find what foods you react poorly to (big triggers are often: gluten, coffee, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, dairy) and stay away from them.
If you are in a serious program for a contest or event, I recommend hiring a well-qualified coach. They will give you exactly what you need and they will keep you accountable. This is an invaluable advantage to your success. More importantly, you gotta really want it. Remember, with patience and consistency success will be yours! Here are some links that you may find useful to finding your proper caloric intake for the day, and general related dietary questions and concerns.
To figure out your proper caloric intake:
Looking for a Contest Prep/Diet Coach? Look no further: http://broserbuilt.com/
How many calories burned during specific activities:
Amazing protein recipes: http://www.proteinpow.com/
Nicki JAX (Jackson)
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Basic Nutrition Counseling & Development. Bauer/Sokolik
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