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Level Up: The Macros

LevelUpLast week, I talked a bit about “macros” which is short for “macronutrients”.  While we all talk about “nutrients”, we’re usually discussing vitamins and minerals.  Those are micronutrients, and they’re important too, but macronutrients consist of three things: Protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

The human body needs all three to survive, but the problems spring up when you’re trying to figure out how much you actually need for what.

Carbohydrates are something I’ve talked about over at my blog, and so I won’t really get into it again here.

Proteins, which are generally found in meat but also in beans such as soy, are the building blocks for muscle.  This means if you want to put on muscle — and you do want to put on at least some muscle — then you need to give your body enough protein.  How much?  The recommended amount is .8 grams per pound of body weight, but that is just to maintain your lean muscle mass.  If you want to put on more muscle, you’ll need more than that.

Now, I’m shooting for 1 gram per pound, but that’s because 240 grams of protein is a lot.  It’s hard enough to get that in, so the 1.5 grams per pound is out of the question.  Personally, I don’t plan on taking on more than that.  Taking on too much protein has been linked to kidney disease, so it’s best to avoid that.  If you’re concerned about that, or already have kidney problems, talk with your doctor.

However, if you’re healthy and ready, and depending on your weight, it may be difficult to consume that much with just regular food.  It can be done, but it’s tough.  I have to use protein powder to get to that 240 grams, and it’s the only way I could do it.  Supplementation is a wonderful thing, so long as you don’t go overboard.

Finally, that brings up fats.  Contrary to what many people seem to think, your body needs fat.  It’s vital to hormone production and your body uses it for energy.  Plus, and possibly most importantly, fats in your food also make you feel satisfied quicker.

Interestingly, when everyone started panicking about fat in the 1980’s, many companies removed a lot of teh fat in their products.  However, they tasted like rat turds, so they decided to put something in them to make them taste good.  They went with sugar, which is a carbohydrate.  See the the earlier link for the problems that caused.

Now, the question to ask is, “How much of what do I need.”  Yeah, I mentioned protein, but what about the rest?

There’s a website that helps.  It’s part of a program called “If It Fits Your Macros”.  The basic idea is that you can eat whatever you want, so long as it fits your macro profile, and there’s a calculator that helps you work that out.  There’s also options for what kind of macro balance you want such as low carb, ketogenic, and their own  formula.  Play around and see what works best for you.

Now, as for me, it’s confession time.  Whoops.

Despite my best efforts, crap happened.  That lead to some less than clean eating on my part.  A couple of pizzas, some Chinese food, none of which was on the agenda.  Oops.

I’ll be honest, I thought about not saying anything.  After all, it’s just a momentary setback that I’ve already shrugged off.  However, I realized that just because I shrugged it off doesn’t mean everyone out there would.  For some, a week like this would be all the grounds they need to jump off the wagon and binge like there was no tomorrow.

The truth is, stuff happens.  Sometimes, you just have to go off plan.  Sometimes it happens more than you’d like.  No shame in it.

When that happens, you need to understand that it’s just one meal, or just two meals, or whatever.  It’s not your life.  It’s not the end of the world, or the end of your journey.  Don’t believe me?  Go on YouTube and look at some of the weight loss channels.  Some of those guys have lost a lot of weight, and they all had moments like that.

So what do you do?

Simple.  You take a step back, acknowledge that it just happened, and go back to where you were.  Don’t let a setback dictate your life.  They happen.  They happen to everyone.

I’m serious.  Take a look at the best aspects of your life.  Look at the thing you do best in the whole world.  Now, are you perfect in that aspect?  Are you a perfect father, or author, or singer?  Of course not.  No one is.  You’re a human being, and all that implies.  That means that by definition, you’re imperfect.

When you have those setbacks, put them in perspective and drive on.  They’ll make the eventual success that much sweeter.

 

BTW, if you’re interested, you can keep an eye on my by checking me out on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tlknighton/

Check it out, follow, and see some of what *I* am eating, see proof that I’m lifting, all that jazz.

You can also fine more Level Up at our new, dedicated blog.  Stop by and see what we’ve got cooking!

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