The Best Macro Split For Fat Loss: Optimising Your Diet For Your Goal
You're probably here because you want to lose weight, but perhaps you're stuck at fat loss square one. You're trying to figure out what to eat and how much to eat, right? But already you've hit a stumbling block. Because the information isn't clear on the best macro split for fat loss.
Some say it's high fat, low carb. Others say it's the opposite because fat is bad for your health. And then there's those people who tell you it just doesn't matter. But where does that leave you?
You're not alone.
But you're in luck. Because this article is going to answer all your questions.
Here's what you're going to find out.
- If the best macro split for fat loss actually exists
- How to set up your diet for the right amount of protein, carbs, and fat.
- The one thing that matters way more than the best macro split.
So, let's get straight into it.
"The Best Macros Split For Fat Loss? What The Hell Are You Talking About?"
No doubt you're reading this with some idea about macros splits. But just in case this is like trying to read Chinese for the first time, here's a run down of the basics.
Macros (or Macronutrients to give them their full name) are the foods providing you energy, ie calories. There are 4 Macronutrients, these being protein, carbs, fat, and alcohol. Although, alcohol is technically a macro, you and i are going to discount it for now.
Because even though it might make you feel you're way more attractive and funny than reality, it really service no nutritional value. So for now, we concentrating on the big 3.
Across the fitness industry there's various different views as to whether or not there's an optimal protein, carb, and fat ratio. This being your macro split, or macro ratio.
So this article is going to assess the popular view and give you the REAL truth.
Let's start by looking at those popular theories.
You May Have Heard This Is The Best Macros Split For Fat Loss
Talk to someone you loves Keto and they'll tell you the best macros split for fat loss is one with a very high fat percentage. Essentially, the Keto zealot believes carbs are the fat loss devil. That they spike insulin, shutting off your body's ability to burn fat, and scuppering your progress.
Sounds plausible... Convincing if nothing else.
But then you come across another dude spouting off about high fat diets being bad for your health. So now you've been hit with two polar opposite views.
One says high fat, low carb. The other almost the complete reverse. But it doesn't end there.
Because in steps the body type diet believers. Now you're told you're an Endomorph with a low tolerance to carbs. Consequently, the best macro split for you is different to your ectomorph mate who's got no issue with carbs.
So what's the deal here? Is it about carbs being bad, fat being harmful for health, or is it all about your genetics and body type?
Here's the answer.
There Is No Best Macros Split For Fat Loss
That's right. They're all wrong. Because the truth is there's no best macro split for fat loss. Simply put, the percentage of protein, carbs, and fat will only really be valid for a specific person at a specific moment in time.
I can sense you scratching your head right now, so allow me to clear things up for you, starting with protein.
Once you have a calorie deficit in place, most likely you'll turn your attention to protein. And with good reason. Because it helps build and preserve lean muscle, as well as help you stay fuller for longer. All good things to consider when you're trying to lose weight.
But having said that, there's still no optimal percentage of protein for fat loss.
Judging the right amount of protein depends on your goal and your preference. If you're someone who is serious about weight training and building muscle, you'll want more protein than someone who just wants to lose a little bit of weight.
And that means your protein targets can range from anywhere between 1.2g/kg right up to 2.7g/kg. So when it comes to working this out as a percentage of total calories, your targets could be anything depending on your goal. Essentially, the percentage is irrelevant. Because it's the absolute number you should give a shit about.
A Practical Example
Let me give you an example.
Steve, John, and Paul are 3 dudes I've just made up. All 3 weigh 80kg, all want to lose weight, and all have a daily calorie target of 2,000 kcals.
Steve couldn't give two shits about the gym. He just wants to be a bit lighter. On the other hand John and Paul are training buddies. But Paul likes a more protein heavy diet. So here's the amount of protein they've decided on.
- Steve = 1.4g/kg, 112g protein = 22% of total calories
- John = 1.8g/kg, 144g protein = 29% of total calories
- Paul = 2.0g/kg, 160g of protein = 32% of total calories
So even with the same weight and overall calorie target their macro splits are already different. But their results will largely be the same. Already this is highlighting, a best macro split for fat loss just doesn't exist.
And one point to highlight here is this. Over the course of a fat loss phase you may logically reduce your calorie intake. But when doing so, you may choose to keep protein at the same level. Therefore, instantly changing the macro split and destroying any ratio you may have thought was optimal.
Before We Go On, Let Me Prove I'm Not Bullshitting You
So right about now, you might be a little skeptical of what I'm telling you. After all, you've had it drilled into your for so long that this matters so much. I hear you my friend. And with that said, I'm going to put your mind at ease with a few pictures.
These are some of my awesome clients who I've helped in the past make huge breakthroughs with their weight and fat loss. Trust me when I say, these people were all in the same spot you are right now. Confused, overwhelmed and lost. Feeling like they'd tried everything, but nothing would ever work.
This is Jacques. We didn't focus on macros splits and just look at the results.
Then take Emily. We didn't even focus on calorie counting, let alone macro splits. Because it's important to create an individual approach to weight loss. Calorie counting is great, but it's not for everyone and it's not always necessary.
And you can read more about these amazing transformations (and others) right here.
But for now, let's get back to talking about the mythical best macro split for fat loss.
Fat doesn't make you fat. And a high fat diet isn't unhealthy if calorie controlled. But that doesn't mean you have to go Keto or consistently target a specific amount of fat to get the optimal amount of fat loss.
Because the ratio between carbs and fat simply doesn't matter for fat loss.
However, what you do need to consider is a minimum amount of fat. Fat is essential for your existence. Remove all fat from your diet and soon you'll die. So you do want to keep at least some fat in your diet for immune and hormone health, amongst other things.
Now that minimum amount isn't definitive, but in most cases it would make sense to aim for 20-25% of your total calories to come from fat. And this is the only macronutrient you need to think of in terms of a percentage.
Of course, if you love high fat foods, then fill your fatty boots. Dive balls deep into as many avocado and egg brunches as you like. As long as the calories are in check, the higher percentage of fat in your diet matters not.
Which leads us on to carbs. So by now you know you have pretty much free reign when it comes food choices. You still need to focus on having a balanced and nutritious diet. But there's no need to fuss over a macro split all the damn time.
But maybe you've got a nagging doubt in the back of your mind. A little carb-hating voice telling you to go low carb because they make you fat.
"It's the insulin. It spikes when you eat carbs and stops you burning fat." A voice a little like that, right?
Take a look at this chart taken from a fantastic article by James Krieger.
And here's an extract from the article explaining what's going on.
"in healthy people, insulin only goes up in response to meals. This means that lipogenesis will only exceed lipolysis during the hours after a meal (known as the postprandial period). During times when you are fasting (such as extended times between meals, or when you are asleep), lipolysis will exceed lipogenesis (meaning you are burning fat). Over a 24-hour period, it will all balance out (assuming your are not consuming more calories than you are expending), meaning you do not gain weight."
Ok, that might have confused some of you, so here's the take home point. As long as you're in a calorie deficit the spikes in insulin after eating make zero difference to fat loss.
What's More Important Than The Best Macro Split?
You don't need to worry about specific protein, carb, and fat ratios to optimise fat loss. Optimising your nutrition is about setting your diet up to suit you and your goal.
A diet that enables you to adhere to a calorie deficit for a sustained period of time is way more important than some magical macro split.
Find what works for you and do that consistently.
If that means you adopt a Keto approach, great. If it means you go low fat, high carb, great. And if it means you change everything every goddamn day, well that's just great too.
The Best Macro Split For Fat Loss: The Bottom Line
The best macro split for fat loss doesn't exist. Plain and simple. Dividing your calories into specific percentages won't miraculously speed up weight loss.
Trying to find the best macros split for fat loss is the nutritional definition of not seeing the wood for the trees. You're lost in the minutia. Expecting this process to be far more complex than it ever needs to be. Often you feel this has to be more complicated, because it's so fucking difficult to achieve.
But the truth is, fat loss is simple but damn hard to make happen. And don't let anyone tell you different.
Although, now you know the real truth, you can stop tying yourself up in knots and going around in circles. Free yourself from the yo-yo dieting chains of complexity and start losing weight, getting in shape, and living the life you deserve the super simple way.
And if you want some free help getting started on that journey, just scroll down.
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But for now, all I'll say is... Keep living the Lean Life and I'll see you soon.