When it comes to eating the right food, you should pay attention to your macronutrients. Other than alcohol, there are three key macros to consider: fat, carbohydrates and proteins.
All of these are important in supporting and developing your body, so your ideal diet should contain a mix of macro nutrients. By getting the right amounts of each, you can support your internal body composition, which will help support muscle gain, as well as weight loss.
Of course, putting this into practice is a little more challenging. To help you, let’s run down the benefits and uses of each macro. As for how to incorporate this into your diet, we’ve also included 5 easy recipes that will help lower your macros down to more desirable, beneficial amounts.
Of all the macronutrients, fats contain the most calories, at 9 per gram. It’s this dense amount of energy that makes fats taste so good (and the reason it’s hard to resist). Despite its high-energy content, fat plays an important role in your body.
The cells in your body make good use of fat, especially in the membrane - this is the cellular wall that separates external fluids and the inside of your cells. As such, fat forms a huge factor in how effective your body operates on a cellular scale. If this wasn’t enough, fats are also vital for producing various hormones that further encourage the metabolism of fat, enabling your body to use it for energy. In other words, a little fat is vital for encouraging fat loss.
Furthermore, when it comes to the food we consume, there are actually three different fat types, known as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats, all of which are vital for strong cells and the production of critical hormones.
While people instinctively consider fats to be bad, the truth is much more complex. As part of a balanced intake, fat serves a vital purpose. The key term, however, is balanced. Over indulge on fatty foods and the drawbacks (such as weight gain) overshadow the benefits.
Like fats, carbohydrates are often seen as something to avoid. They are often linked to rises in various illnesses or diseases, as well as the rise in obesity, but this isn’t strictly true.
At the core of carbohydrates are glucose molecules, which the human body breaks down to use as a form of energy. This is where we get the energy required for high intensity training, especially for longer duration, so it’s already clear that carbohydrates have a useful purpose.
This ability to maintain an intense workout greatly influences how much energy we can burn through on a daily basis. In turn, this means carbohydrates help to promote fat loss and the development of new muscle mass.
Specifically, there are two types of carbohydrates: complex and simple carbohydrates. The former is found in the likes of fruits, vegetables and whole grain sources - generally speaking, food sources that come from the ground. Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, have been processed beyond their original state and are found in highly processed foods, such as junk food, cakes and candies. Both forms, however, contain 4 calories per gram.
It is often suggested that a good diet should favor complex carbohydrates over simple versions, as this will help lose fat. While there is logic to this, you still need to regulate your intake. If you overeat on carbohydrates - even complex ones - this will encourage weight gain.
Yet it is vital that a large percentage of your carbohydrate intake comes from complex varieties, as these have various vitamins and minerals that are vital for your overall health.
So, remember, if your food is grown in the ground and has not been processed, it has the right carbohydrates!
Protein consists of amino acid molecules, which are essential to the human body. One of their most important roles is in repairing both damaged muscles and connective tissue. This is why you need plenty of protein if you’re looking to build new muscle mass, as well as ensuring an effective recovery from your workouts.
A regular intake of protein can ensure you have the optimum recovery rates, while also developing new tissue in your muscles. Protein also has 4 calories in each gram.
If this wasn’t enough, of the three major macro nutrients, protein provides the highest thermic effect of food (TEF). TEF refers to the energy used to digest food, breaking it down into useful sources. Protein is one of the more difficult nutrients to digest and, consequently, about 20% of it’s own energy content is used to digest itself!
From a dieting point of view, this means that consuming more protein can help increase your ability to lose weight without having to add additional workouts to your schedule.
5 Dishes To Help Cut Macros
As mentioned, it’s vital you eat a diet with plenty of protein. You should make sure that every meal contains protein, as this will provide the most optimal TEF, improving your weight loss, in addition to a health supply of amino acids. These acids will repair muscles after exercise, while also developing new tissue.
However, you also need to regulate your intake of fats and carbohydrates. These following dishes are designed to do exactly that. By cutting down on macros, such as fat and carbohydrates, you can give your health diet a high protein intake that offers the biggest benefits when it comes to recovery rates and losing fat.
5 Low Fat Recipes
BBQ Steak and Vegetables
200g Lean Porterhouse Steak
50g Zucchini (cut lengthwise)
100g Sweet potato (thinly sliced)
Half a Capsicum Pepper (thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon balsamic Vinegar
1/3 cup of shredded basil leaves
Who doesn’t like a BBQ steak? Fortunately, this is a great meal that’s high in protein.
First, use some high heat to preheat your grill. When this is ready, you can cook some capsicum peppers, skin side down, on the grill alongside the sweet potatoes and zucchini. Wait until these are visibly charred.
For the steak itself, season this with black pepper (freshly ground) and place on the grill for 3 minutes on each side - this will give you a nice, medium rare steak.
While this is cooking, you can mix vinegar, salt and basil in a jug to create a tasty balsamic mixture.
When the steak is done, slice it across the grain and serve it with your vegetables, applying the balsamic basil mixture over the whole plate.
Roast Chicken and Vegetables
200g Chicken Breast
50g Sweet Potatoes
Roast chicken and veg - what could be simpler?
Just coat the chicken with spices of your choice - we recommend a Moroccan style, as this seasoning is rather low in additional energy.
Next, add the vegetables and roast in an oven tray for around 45 minutes at a temperature of 360 degrees Fahrenheit. You want the chicken to be cooked all the way through, while leaving the vegetables soft and tasty.
After this, simply serve up and enjoy!
Low Carbohydrate Dishes
180g Tinned Tuna
100g Crunchy Lettuce (shredded)
2 Hard boiled Eggs
15g Spring onion (finely sliced)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
This is a very simple recipe. Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Just be sure to boil the eggs and remove the shells first!
1 teaspoon of butter (for frying)
1/3 red onion
1 tablespoon shredded cheese
Start by whisking the eggs into a bowl, adding salt and pepper for flavor. Slice the mushrooms and dice the red onion, adding these to the mix.
Next, heat up your frying pan and add the butter. Once this is melting, it’s time to add the whisked eggs. Wait until your omelet starts bubbling, getting crisp near the very edges. This is when you need to sprinkle the cheese on top, before folding the entire omelet in half.
Wait until the omelet develops a rich, golden coloring underneath then simply serve and eat!
Pan roasted Pork Chops with Asparagus
150g pork chop (seasoned with salt and pepper)
200g asparagus (seasoned with salt and lemon juice)
Start by preheating your frying pan, adding a tablespoon of butter. When this starts to bubble, add the pork chop and asparagus.
You can cook this for 4 minutes on either side, or simply wait until the asparagus develops a delicious, charred texture.
If you want to look after your body, it is essential that you get the right amount of macro nutrients. Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be a challenge. The 5 dishes shown here will help you cut back on carbohydrates and fat, while maintaining a high intake of protein. Keep this up, and you’ll experience more effective fat loss rates, as well as improved muscle growth.
So, what are you waiting for? Start enjoying some great new food and a better, healthier body!