This morning I got thinking about diet (again!). I explained before that we have moved away from the Slimming world diet recently as it was encouraging me to use calories for naughty treats instead of healthy ‘syn’ food (like my favourite avocados). My meal plans on the website are based on healthy nutritious foods but I do not track calorie content as I mostly believe that if you put good stuff in your body, you will feel and look good.
However, both my partner and I would like to lose a little weight so the question is, how can we tweak this plan to create a calorie deficit, whilst still eating healthy nutritious foods? I was listening to a health podcast this morning talking about ‘macros’ but I asked myself, are macros just for the pro’s or is this something we need to factor in as well? We all know how hard it is to find good advice on this. Everyone is always trying to sell you advice or supplements which will ‘solve all of your problems’. So where is the science?
Apparently you can optimise your macros (macronutrients – i.e. protein, carbs and fats) based on your lifestyle. My limited research into the subject discovered that by using the following calculation, I can determine what portion of my diet should be protein, carbs and fat according to my goals. For me, I am not aiming for endurance or muscle mass right now, but just a bit of simple weight loss which according to the principles of this diet means I should aim for 30% carbs, 25% fat and 45% protein. The same ratios would apply to my partner but his calorie deficit should obviously be different to mine.
So I calculated that with my weight (145.6lb’s) and height (67.2inches), with doing light exercise, my body needs 1979.59 calories per day to maintain its status. To lose weight, I need to reduce that so if I were to reduce that by 25% according to my research on macro’s, I should be eating 1682.65 calories per day and this should be made up of 30% carbs, 25% fat and 45% protein in order to lose weight. In terms of grams, this should be 126.2g of of carbs, 189.3g of protein and 46.7g of fat. I should add that this calculation is based on me exercising 3 times per week which is my 3 times per weekly 5k run and in theory I should eat more carbs on the running days and less carbs on non-running days to ensure I have enough energy.
For my partner, his body needs 2069.58 calories, so a 25% deficit would be 1759.143 calories per day, split this to 30% carbs is 527.74 calories or 131.9g, 25% fat is 439.79 calories or 48.9g and 45% from protein is 791.61 calories or 197.9 grams.
Apparently your body doesn’t differentiate good and bad carbs, protein or fat but the incentive is (apart from making you feel good and having more of the important fibre, minerals and vitamins), you can generally eat larger quantities of the good stuff as they generally have less calories per gram than the bad stuff so in theory we should be less hungry!
In the end it seems that the meal plan is still good but for us to eat it and still lose weight, we just need to tweak the quantities and ratios – a bit more of the protein part and a bit less of the carbs. It’s not rocket science I guess.
*Please note, I am not a nutritionist or a weight loss expert so please seek guidance from a professional if you have any concerns about your own diet.