Last week I published the nutrition habits - 10 habits stretched over 10 weeks to build long term permanent health and body composition changes.
A nutrition beginner needs a beginner nutrition protocol, not an intermediate or advanced one. It just isn’t appropriate.
Once the 10 habits have been ticked off / locked in then: “With your new found understanding of diet and nutrition you can MAYBE start to dabble with [or maybe just completely ignore] intermediate / advanced nutrition protocols - one of which I will publish next week. Don’t even look at it if you haven’t worked your way through these habits first!"
Anyway… Here we are at next week, and as promised, here is an intermediate nutrition protocol…
Because you’re intermediate, there’s going to be far less hand holding… You see this picture and you know what to do… But just to be on the safe side, here’s some examples...
180lb male looking to gain weight… 198g protein / 360g carbs / 90g fat daily… [Approx 3042 calories]
135lb female looking to reduce fat and increase muscle…[recomp] 149g protein / 162g carbs / 51g fat daily… [Approx 1703 calories]
It’s fairly straight forward to arrive at these numbers.
For a 180 lb male to find his protein requirements, he takes his weight in lbs and multiplies it by 1.1 180lbs BW x 1.1 = 198g of protein
If he wants fat loss, he takes his weight in lbs and multiplies it by 1.25 180lbs BW x 1.25 = 231g of protein
A 135lb female on body recomposition looking to find her carb requirements will take her weight in lbs and multiply it by 1.2 135lbs BW x 1.2 = 162g of carbs
As for the calorie count: Protein has 4 kcal per gram Carbs have 4 kcal per gram Fat has 9 kcal per gram
180lb male looking to gain weight... Protein: 198 x 4 kcal = 792 Carbs: 360 x 4 kcal = 1440 Fat: 90 x 9 kcal = 810
3042 calories total.
Not only is this a significantly higher caloric intake than a 180lb male looking for recomposition [2295 kcal] or fat / weight loss [2057 kcal], the macro ratios are different… And they are different for a reason…
A: 250g protein [1000 kcal], 250g carbohydrate [1000 kcal], 55g fat [495 kcal] B: 100g protein [400 kcal], 350g carbohydrate [1400 kcal], 78g of fat [700 kcal]
Both options A & B arrive at 2500 calories [give or take 5kcal...], however, because of the differing macro ratios the diets are far from equal…
In brief, the body burns different amounts of calories to derive energy from different macros. This is known as the thermic effect of food. Protein and fiber tend to be more thermogenic, meaning they are more calorically expensive to turn into energy than simple carbs or fats. So while calories are important, I’d argue that macro ratios are actually more important, especially since macros determine total calorie intake whereas working off a specific calorie level does not specify a particular macronutrient level - a very well known variable in total caloric expenditure… [Different macro levels influence satiety, food reward, muscle protein synthesis, so on and so forth... ]
It’s for this reason that the protein is higher for fat loss than muscle gain - weird though it may sound - and carbs are higher for muscle gain than fat loss.
Now you’ve read all this, I have a couple of points I’d like to close with…
1. All this stuff adds an extra layer of complexity / difficulty to your daily life… While it will help you optimize what you do in the gym, it may not be necessary or practical to do so… You do you, player…
2. These numbers do not take into account your age, training volume, dietary history / preferences, occupation, etc… They are a starting point for a CFBB athlete during the autumn and winter programming, nothing more.
3. If you gain 10lbs of muscle, you are now [likely] heavier… If you lose 10lbs of fat you are now [likely] lighter… Adjust your macros and calories as you go…
4. There are plenty of other approaches. Do one of those if you want.
5. Nutrition can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be… I would avoid majoring in the minor.