My Macro Split
Something that I'm always curious to know when looking at "fitspo" accounts on Instagram or seeing other gym-goers with their amazing bodies is what is their macro-nutrient division? It is common belief that nutrition accounts for 70% of your body, whereas exercise is responsible for the remaining 30%; though this is disputed, it is certain that you cannot focus on one without the other. For example, if you lift weights but do not consume adequate protein, your muscles are going to respond poorly. Obviously, there is more to nutrition than your macros; your calorie intake, water intake, micro-nutrients, supplement use, and more, all play a part too. But learning what macro-split works for you can provide you with the best tools for achieving and maintaining your fitness goals.
How have I divided my macros?
When I first starting including macro-oriented nutrition, I began by installing the MyFitnessPal app. This is an extremely useful app for both beginner and advanced enthusiasts. By inputting a few simple details like your height and weight, as well as fitness goals, it can suggest the most suitable split for you. However, if you have a good idea of what you need to be consuming, you can take full control.
Currently, I have calculated an estimate for how many calories I need to maintain my body mass, before adding on an extra 100 calories (resulting at 2350 kcals). I added this extra 100 on because I am trying to gain muscle, but gradually. Unlike other weight lifters and bodybuilders, I am not cutting or bulking. The cut/bulk alternation is appealing; you can have full control of how much muscle you gain and how much fat you lose if you know how to do it properly. For me, however, I don't think I'm there yet. I am still learning and progressing with my knowledge- I don't want to jump into such an important commitment without being 100% sure that it is the right path for me. For the time being, I want to continue with current calorie intake and split and be patient before looking for results. Change takes time!
50% carbs, 25% protein, 25% fat
My split allows me to build muscle gradually but surely, while gaining minimal fat (to ensure this outcome is successful, however, it must correspond with my training). I took the screenshot on the right after my breakfast this morning. I like to keep my protein intake consistently high throughout the day (aiming to consume no more than 50g at a time), however I have already gotten achieved a third of my goal for the day because:
1. I like to have bigger breakfasts. My breakfasts are commonly around 700 kcals, giving me a good energetic start to the day.
2. It is more convenient for me to include higher protein sources into my breakfast in the form of whey protein or eggs.
Regarding carbohydrates, I would usually have a little more than 63g to start the day with. Personally, I find it difficult to hit 294g a day, simply because i have to prioritise my calorie consumption for getting my protein. Once I have gotten my protein for the day, there is limited excess calories to consume from carbohydrates. I am looking into less calorie dense protein sources, such as chicken breast, tuna, whey, tofu, etc. But I am trying to reduce my meat consumption following the climate emergency, so it will take some careful thinking!
Considering fats, I would say that I prioritise them the least. Don't get me wrong, healthy fats have lots of important roles in the body, such as hormone regulation. However, I don't find much challenge in getting the fats I need- instead, I focus on the timing of when I consume them. Just as I aim to get a large amounts of carbs earlier in the day, fats are better consumed at the end of the day. This is because fat slows down digestion. Let's say that you've just completed a workout; you would want to consume a low amount of fat in your post-workout meal to allow for the protein to be digested as quickly and efficiently as possible. In contrast, you want your digestion rate to reduce before sleeping, therefor a higher fat intake is beneficial.