To best attack this objective we must gain a basic understanding of each of the macronutrients and how they change body composition.
Protein: Building blocks of muscle
Whether your goal is to “tone” or just lose weight, the more muscle you have the easier your goal will be. Simply put, the more muscle you have, then the more calories your body must use up in order to maintain that tissue. Protein is also the most thermogenic of the 3, which just means you burn more calories just digesting it than the other two.
Carbohydrates: Jet fuel for explosive activity
For the everyday person, carbs serve very little benefit when trying to lose weight and some doctors will go as far as to say that they will only limit your fat loss. Keeping this number under 100-150g will be plenty for most people. If you are an explosive type athlete or bodybuilder there are benefits to eating a high number of carbs to aid with performance with lessened negative effects on body fat because of the utilization of the “jet fuel.”
Fat: Keep it or Cut it?
Fat is the second essential macronutrient. This macronutrient has been shamed in the past. It has been unfairly blamed for the obesity epidemic. Fat is responsible for hormone production, metabolism regulation, storage and transportation of vitamins and it serves to protect your body and cells. I can’t tell you the number of issues I’ve been able to help with patients just by having them increase their fat intake.
What about calories??
Touted by many as the sole factor to determine whether someone is going to lose fat or gain it, calories have gotten a lot of attention in the dieting world. From my experience counting calories will work for 99% of healthy people. The problem? We aren’t healthy. It wasn’t until I switched from writing diets for the young and healthy bodybuilding community to the sick and obese patients in clinic that I realized this.