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How to determine your protein, carbohydrate and dietary fat requirements

Nutrition Longevity, By Jake Biggs


WHAT ARE MACRONUTRIENTS (MACRO’S)?!

Macronutrients (macro = large) are defined as nutrients that the body requires in LARGE amounts that provide the human body with the energy it requires for daily functioning. This is compared with micronutrients (which will be explained in future post) that the body requires in SMALLER amounts, with the emphasise on the word micro (small).


WHAT ARE THE 5 DIFFERENT CLASSIFICATIONS OF MACRONUTRIENTS?

1. Protein

2. Carbohydrate

3. Dietary Fat

4. Dietary Fibre

5. Water (H20)


HOW SHOULD THE MACRONUTRIENTS BE DIVIDED INTO ONE’S DIETARY INTAKE?

The main 3 macronutrients that the general population and fitness industry will focus on are protein, carbohydrate and dietary fat. However, as a clinical nutritional medicine practitioner I want to look at all the macronutrients (This will be covered in future posts). This means that my clients macronutrient’s requirements are being attended to and more importantly optimised.


WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL MACRONUTRIENT SPLIT FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO WANT TO OPTIMISE BODY COMPOSITION?

With nutritional medicine, we endeavour to take a highly customised and individualised approach to individuals, so optimal for one person may be completely regressive for another individual. There are numerous factors that affect this that include age, gender, weight, height, stress levels, physical activity levels, sleep quality/quantity, body fat levels, digestion, blood chemistry… The list goes on! So please be careful when giving a blanket macronutrient split. Below are evidence based recommendations for optimising body composition.


3 KEY MACRONUTRIENTS – OPTIMAL MACRONUTRIENT SPLIT FOR OPTIMISING BODY COMPOSITION

Protein: 2.5 – 3.5g/kg of lean body mass (higher range when in a caloric deficit, lower range when calories and carbohydrates are higher).


Dietary Fat: 0.5 – 1g/kg: Lower end for individuals who are dieting or doing a recomposition or tend to put on body fat quite effortlessly. Higher end for individuals who struggle to put on body weight and have adequate blood glucose management. Some individuals function well on higher fat intakes, although anecdotally, lower fat intakes always lead to better body composition results. If you eat regularly, it is best to set base dietary fat intake on the lower end.


Carbohydrate: Rest of calorie intake will be from Carbohydrate.


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