Have you been trying to ‘eat clean’ but still you’re not losing weight, or perhaps you’re failing to reach your training goals? This could be because you’re not eating for your Metabolic Type. Research is now showing that different body types correspond with different hormonal and sympathetic nervous system characteristics, which can be directly linked to metabolic differences between people. These metabolic differences affect how you metabolise different macronutrients. For example, one person might do very well on a higher carb diet, while for another person, a higher carb diet could make them very sick and fat. On the other hand, a higher fat/protein diet might work really well for one person, while for another person, it could make them feel very sluggish and fatigued.
In this blog post, we teach you more about macronutrients, and how you can learn to eat right for your metabolic type, activity level and health and body composition goals.
All food is made up of three different type of macronutrients:
* Carbohydrates – 4 calories of energy per gram. ENERGY NUTRIENT. Essential for brain & nervous system.
* Fat – 9 cals energy per gram. ENERGY NUTRIENT. Essential for hormones, cell membranes, brains, nervous system, transporting fat soluble vitamins.
* Protein – 4 cals energy per gram. TISSUE NUTRIENT. Essential for muscle repair/growth, connective tissue, brain.
WHY BOTHER WITH MACROS?
* Manipulation of macros can enhance your fat-loss progression.
* It can also enhance weight/muscle gain progression, as well as strength progression.
* When you eat a balanced meal of macronutrients, it can help to avoids under-eating & overeating.
* Eating the right ratio of macronutrients for your body type can re-set/re-balance your metabolism – when you eat too little, your body goes into survival (starvation) mode – metabolism & fat-burning slows down, and muscle-tissue breaks down.
* You can achieve optimal health by following macros based on your genetic biochemistry & metabolic type.
WORKING OUT YOUR MACROS
Our Clinical Nutritionist, Filipa Bellette, can very quickly and accurately work out your macronutrient needs with a Bio-Impedance Analysis (Body-Comp) scan. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to book in for a scan and a report of your body-composition and ideal macronutrient breakdown. A 15min BIA Scan & Report is $25 (or $50 for a 30min BIA Scan, Report & Nutrition Consult).
If you’d prefer to work out your own needs, you can follow this guide:
1. First, you need to work out your daily CALORIE needs by following this graph:
2. Next, work out your PROTEIN needs by multiplying 1.4- 2.9g per kg of your body weight.
3. Next, you want to work out your METABOLIC TYPE. As mentioned above, metabolic type identifies your biochemistry and how well you function on different macronutrients – i.e. a Protein Type would not function well on a Vegetarian Diet, and do not tolerate starchy carbs well; a Carbo Type would not function well on a Keto Diet, and may find fats make them sluggish. Your Metabolic Type can change overtime. You should feel satisfied after eating, and feel that your energy levels increase when eating according to your metabolic type.
To determine what your metabolic type is, go here to complete The Metabolic Type Questionnaire.
4. In addition to the questionnaire, you can also work out your BODY TYPE using this image:
*Ectomorfo are your classic string-bean type body shapes. They have smaller bone structures and typically thinner limbs. They tend to be thyroid and sympathetic nervous system dominant with either higher output or higher sensitivity to catecholamines – like epinephrine and norepinephrine. They have a very fast metabolism, and can eat lots of food (even foods high in carbs) without putting on weight. Ectomorfo’s thrive better on a higher-carb diet, with a macronutrient breakdown such as this: 55% Carb, 20% Fats, 25% Protein.
*Mesomorfo are more athletically built, with medium bone structure, and can put on muscle more easily. They tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominant, leading to a propensity for muscle gain and the maintainance of a low body fat. Mesomorfo’s thrive best on a mixed macro diet – i.e. 40% Carb, 30% Fats, 30% Protein.
*Endomorfo have a slower metabolism, and are more likely to put on weight easily. They have a larger bone structure, and tend to be parasympathetic nervous system dominant. They are generally less active, and are not as efficient at burning off excess calories. This profile leads to a greater propensity to store energy – both in lean as well as fat compartments. It also leads to a lower carbohydrate tolerance (and needs). Endomorfo’s do better on a higher protein-fat diet – i.e. – 25% Carb, 40% Fats, 35% Protein.
5. Next, work out your goals:
*Muscle Gain: Start with Ectomorphic / Carbo recommendations: 55% Carb, 20% Fats, 25% Protein.
*Fat Loss: Start with Endomorphic / Protein recommendations: 25% carb, 40% fat, 35% protein.
*Endurance Performance: Start with Ectomorphic / Carbo recommendations: 55% Carb, 20% Fats, 25% Protein.
*Strength/Power Performance: Start with Mesomorphic / Mixed recommendations: 40% Carb, 30% Fats, 30% Protein.
6. If your body type, metabolic type and goals all align, use this to determine your initial macro breakdown.
7. If the above factors are different, use your goal as a starting point for macro breakdown.
TWEAKING YOUR TARGETS
*Adjust targets according to body-comp & performance progression – i.e. fat-loss plateau’s after 3-4 weeks, either increase exercise or slightly decrease calories, or change up macros.
*Too many carbs? Headache, anxiety, crave fat/protein, tired but wired, nervous energy, depression, pimples, constipation, toxicity, insulin resistance, neck/shoulder/back pain, adrenal stress, immune suppression.
*Too many fats/proteins? Lethargic/sleepy/depressed mood, mentally sluggish, heavy gut, feel full but hungry, may crave sweets/coffee/tea, foul body odour, low energy, poor response to exercise, hormonal dysregulation, abnormal blood pressure.
*Not losing/gaining fat/muscle, or have persistent health issues? Consider getting your hormones, adrenals, digestive system and detoxification system tested with our Functional Medicine Practitioner.
WHAT FOODS TO EAT
Continue to adhere to our whole foods Move Strong Level 1 Nutrition Principles, however, you may include some gluten-free grains if macros are higher in carbs.
*Carbs: Vegetables, fruit, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, gluten-free bread (with no nasty additives).
*Protein: Meat, fish, eggs, legumes, protein powder, collagen supplements.
*Fats: olive oil, flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, fish oil, nuts, seeds, butter, ghee, coconut oil, avocado.
HOW TO TRACK MACROS
The easiest way to track your macronutrients is using My Fitness Pal. In this app/website, you can set your calorie and macronutrient daily targets. As you enter your meals/snacks, the app tallies up your macronutrient targets. You can also save meals and recipes in the app.
There are also other apps available which create meal plans for you based on your macronutrient goals. We like using Meal Prep Pro.
Our Clinical Nutritionist, Filipa Bellette, has also developed macro meal templates which are available in our Online Nutrition Program. Filipa can also help you out with meal templates during a Nutrition Consultation. If you’d like more help implementing an individualised nutritional plan that will help you with your health, performance and body-comp goals, feel free to contact us to book in for a Nutrition Consultation.