Yesterday I gave my opinion and an example of meal timings and how you could make a small change each day to improve the quality of the foods you eat. Today I want to talk about the combination of foods, or more appropriately the combination of Macro Nutrients.
While I would say for the majority of people going in to depths on how to use macros is largely wasted, having a basic knowledge of how them is essential.
For those who are unsure of what they are this simple breakdown will help:
Protein – 4 calories per gram – The building blocks of the body.
Fat – 9 calories per gram – The bodies main energy source for the majority of it’s activities (or at least it’s meant to be).
*Carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram – The bodies secondary energy source. Carbs are like rocket fuel for the body because of how easily they can be broken down, these become very important for highly active people.
*Remember it’s easy to overeat carbs so keep an eye on those crafty little devils.
Now those descriptions are very very basic, but that is what you need to know because it will help you understand why certain food pairing work very well and others don’t. While some meals will contain all three macronutrients you will do well to have the bulk of the calories leaning towards which ever pairing suits your personal goal.
Here are the pairing I use for myself and all of my clients:
Protein + Carbohydrates (Simple) = Muscle Building
Protein + Fat = Weight Maintenance
Protein + Carbohydrates (Complex/veg) = Fat Loss
Carbohydrates + Fat = Problems… namely potential fat gain because the body will use the carbs for energy and potentially store the fat for a rainy day if it’s not needed.
If you take this simple piece of advice you will find that you can easily achieve your goal. You can by all means workout your specific macro requirements, but I have found keeping things as simple as possible is always best.
Here is what a typical day of meals pairings might look like:
Breakfast: Eggs & Salmon (Protein + Fat)
*Snack: Small Handful of Nuts (Protein + Fat)
Lunch: Chicken, Salad and Paprika Spice (Protein + Carbs-Complex)
*Snack: Tuna & Ryvita (Protein + Carbs-Complex)
Dinner: Steak, Veg, Potato’s (Protein + Carbs-Complex/Simple)
*Snack: 1 Pint of Milk (Protein + Carbs-Simple)
*Snacks are optional, but remember they are only snacks to take the edge off your hunger. If you are eating adequately for your respective goal you may or may not need them. Just don’t gorge.
The example meals above give you the bias combo to which the meal sits on. It is worth keeping in mind that most meals will contain elements of all three macronutrients, however, it’s always good to make them bias towards one combo if you have a specific goal.
Use the numbers combos above to decide what you need.