ALL ABOUT MACROS
Macronutrients or ‘macros’ for short consist of protein, carbohydrates and fats. They are essential as they allow us to produce energy and live a healthy lifestyle. Each food that we eat consists of different amounts of macros. When trying to achieve fitness goals, the amount and the ratio of macros that you consume are a crucial factor that can help you achieve your goals more efficiently and effectively. When keeping a food diary, the amount of macros you consume can be more important than the amount of calories that you are eating. Generally when trying to lose weight or tone up, a high percentage of protein is recommended and a lower percentage of fat and carbohydrates make up the remainder of your macros. It is also important that you are eating clean, wholesome, quality foods to make up your calories and macros.
Protein is essential as it keeps you full for longer and helps to retain and gain muscle mass. Some examples of lean protein include chicken breast, lean beef steak and white fish.
Fats are necessary for healthy hormone and brain function while also being a source of energy. Some examples of healthy fats include avocado, olive oil and unsalted nuts.
Carbohydrates are our main energy source that fuel us for physical activity. Some examples of good carbohydrates include sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa and most vegetables.
Tailored caloric and macronutrient advice based on your goals and individual circumstance is available as part of certain personal training packages.
WHY SHOULD YOU BE USING A FOOD DIARY TO REACH YOUR FITNESS GOALS?
Whether you are looking to gain muscle, lose fat or maintain your current body composition it is crucial that you monitor your daily food intake. You are what you
eat after all!
As simple as it sounds, if you want to lose fat you must be in a caloric deficit and if you want to gain muscle you need to be in a caloric surplus.
A simple way to figure out your maintenance calorie level is to maintain a food diary for a week and check your weight at the end of the week. If you weigh the same
at the end of the week as you did at the start then you have been consuming a maintenance level of calories. If not, adjust the amount you consume until your
weight remains constant for a week. Once you have determined your maintenance amount try increasing or decreasing your calorie consumption depending on
Keep in mind the slower that weight is lost the more likely you are to retain muscle mass. Conversely when trying to gain muscle, be patient as only so much muscle
can be gained per week without the risk of excess fat.
Additionally, by writing down all of the food that you consume each day you are keeping yourself accountable. This should allow you to identify gaps in your diet
which you may have been ignoring. You probably weren’t aware of the amount or of the quality of food that you have been consuming. That triple choc fudge
brownie may not be so tempting anymore.
Overall, keeping a food diary will help to keep you on track and accountable to achieve the goals that you desire.
For specific advice and guidance please get in touch with me.
WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR METABOLISM
Have you ever wondered how some people can eat so much without putting on any weight? Well, the faster your metabolism, the more calories that your body burns. Having a lower metabolism can lead to your body storing more excess fat. Thankfully there are numerous ways that we can increase our metabolic rate (Yay! This means we can eat more of what we like).
At any opportunity possible, be active and move your body. Whether it be taking regular breaks from the desk to go for a walk or using the stairs instead of elevators, any simple change that increases your movement can boost your metabolic rate in the long term.
Do Some HIIT
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the most time efficient and effective ways to burn more calories in turn increasing your metabolic rate. HIIT involves intense bursts of maximal effort exercise followed by short rests. For example 10 x 30 second sprints with 60 seconds rest in between sets.
Strength training will help build muscle mass. Through creating muscle mass this will increase your metabolic rate. So get lifting!
Eat More Protein
Eating protein is essential in order to build or maintain muscle mass. High protein foods make your body work harder to digest, metabolise and use the energy, therefore making you fuller for longer. Additionally eating protein has shown to increase metabolic rate more so than eating carbs or fats.
Don’t Starve Yourself
While eating less is useful if trying to lose weight, eating too little can actually be counterproductive. In the longer term it decreases your metabolic rate and the number of calories burnt as your body will go into ‘starvation mode’.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking 2-3 litres of water a day leads to an increase in the calories that your body burns. Plus it can help fill you up more so you aren’t as hungry.
Having a black coffee or a green tea are great tools that speed up you metabolic rate. Try having a caffeinated drink before your workout for added benefit.
We all know that poor sleep can lead to poor health; in particular it can slow your metabolic rate and lead to weight gain. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night and see the difference.
WHY SHOULD YOU BE DOING RESISTANCE TRAINING FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
Resistance training is essential to any fitness program if you want to lose fat, gain toned muscle, improve strength and feel better overall. Personally I love the feeling of completing a hard weights session!
Don’t worry ladies you aren’t going to unintentionally get bulky. Resistance training helps build muscle. Having muscle mass increases your resting energy expenditure and metabolic rate. This is vital to achieving sustainable long-term weight loss and that’s what we want. Also your body will continue to burn calories for hours after a heavy lifting session if you needed any more convincing!
While crash diets with major calorie deficits may assist you to lose weight fast, your metabolism will also slow down and when you return to a normal diet, the weight lost will come straight back on just as quick. Therefore resistance training is an essential element to any weight loss plan along with the appropriate diet.
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Happy.