When you’re trying to lose weight, one of the last things you want to happen is the loss of muscle. While a proper fitness routine is important for reaching this goal, so is achieving the right macronutrient ratio to maintain muscle. Eating fats, proteins and carbohydrates in the appropriate quantities means you’ll be able to ensure that you burn fat from your body and not your muscle mass.
Finding the ideal macronutrient ratio to maintain muscle isn’t just as simple as a single solution for all dieters. While some would say that a ratio of 40:30:30 – fats, proteins and carbohydrates – is the ideal combination. However, others say that this short-changes people who don’t have a specific average body type.
Discovering your own best macronutrient ratio to maintain muscle will depend on several things, including your body type. It’s a good idea to speak with a nutritionist, dietician or doctor before guessing at your own ideal ratio.
That said, even after you decide on a ratio, it’s also important to consider the nutrient density of your foods. For instance, even if you do adhere to a careful balance in which you keep your intake from fats at 40 percent of your total daily calories, if you aren’t eating healthy fats, then you may not be giving yourself the benefits you otherwise would. Eating fats from oily fish, seeds, nuts and flaxseed will bring about better results than the same calorie load from trans fats and saturated fats.
The same can be said about the carbohydrates you eat. If you ate your carbs from all refined, bleached sources, you will not benefit in the same way as if you gain your carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The added nutrients and fiber in these foods will help to promote better overall health, fat loss and muscle maintenance.
Once you have determined that you have selected the right ratio, use a nutrient tracker such as ShareFit to help you to know that you’re applying it properly. A good quality online food diary will give you the opportunity to enter all the foods you eat into a tracker. The software then automatically provides you with feedback about those foods including your calorie intake and your ratio of macronutrients. This guidance will help to keep you on track and will allow you to better understand the foods you consume as a part of your regular diet.