V Fit: Macronutrients Made Simple Pt. 1
By: Luis R.
A couple of questions I get asked weekly are “How do I lose weight?” or “How to I gain muscle?” My favorite one is “I need to eat healthy.” You may think, Eat Healthy? What does that even mean? Well, everyone has their own perspective of eating healthy. For example, some will tell you not to eat meat and only eat carbs, others will tell you to eat a lot of protein and no carbs or they will recommend doing the Keto diet. There are thousands of meal plan programs, diets and strategies for gaining muscle and/or losing body fat. This can be very confusing, but it’s important to keep things simple and focus on macronutrients. The best advice I can give anyone is don’t look at it as diet but as lifestyle.
What are macronutrients? Macronutrients are the intake of Proteins, Fats and Carbs. These are essential to reach your any of your fitness goals. In this article we will take a look at just one the three macronutrients.
Our muscles are made up of protein, so it should make sense that: to build more muscle, you need more protein. Protein is essential, not only for muscle growth and strength, but it also helps with losing body fat.
In a study, trained subjects were given one of two daily protein intake levels – 1 gram per pound of bodyweight or 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight – while following an 8-week training program. (Due to the higher protein intake, the 1.5-gram group also consumed around 500 calories more per day.)
The results of the study showed similar muscle gain between those consuming 1 gram of protein per pound daily and those consuming 1.5 grams of protein per pound daily. Both groups gained an average of about 3 pounds of muscle over the eight weeks.
Here are the key results from the study: The 1.5-gram group lost an average of 5 pounds of body fat during the eight weeks, in addition to gaining muscle. While the 1-gram of protein per pound daily group showed no significant fat loss. Let me repeat these facts for emphasis: The group consuming 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight (50% more protein and 500 more calories per day) lost an average of 5 pounds more body fat! This is why you need more protein, to build more muscle. If you’re just starting off, then start with 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
My goal is to gain more size; I shoot for at least 215 grams of protein every day. This consists of 2 protein shakes, 5 meals and a snack that I consume throughout the day. 215 grams of protein may seem like a lot but it’s actually not when you break it down in different meals.
This week's meal plan:
I like to start my mornings by going to the gym and getting a workout in before starting my day. I take my protein shakes around my workouts; so I take a scoop of protein with my pre-work out and I also take a second scoop of protein as my post workout shake.
Pre-workout: Protein Shake (24 grams of protein)
Post workout: Protein Shake (30 gram of protein)
1st meal: 1 serving of Turkey sausage with 4 eggs (2 whole eggs & 2 eggs whites) (52 grams of protein)
2nd meal: 1 serving of chicken breast (24 grams of protein)
3rd meal: 2 servings of Greek yogurt with a Banana. (27 grams of protein)
4th meals: 1 serving of Chicken breast (24 gram of protein)
Snack: Dark Chocolate Almonds (10 grams of protein)
5th meal: 2 servings of Greek yogurt (24 grams of protein)
I change my meals every week so I don’t get tired of eating the meals. There are many sources of protein like chicken, turkey, milk, eggs and Greek yogurt. For the vegan community, you can get your protein from tofu, nuts, non-dairy milk, beans and others. Have fun with your meal and try to hit your protein target every day.
You can shop Luis' sunnies here:
Luis is guest contributor on The Edit.