The Perfect Macro Ratio: Is There A Superior Macro Split? - IIFYM - IIFYM

The Perfect Macro Ratio: Is There A Superior Macro Split?


 

If you are on a mission to shed the excess body fat you’ve gained over the last few years, one question you might be asking yourself is what macro split you should be using.

You already may know quite well that you plan to use the IIFYM approach (if not, start with their IIFYM calculator to get your macros) as part of your diet set-up, but beyond that, you are wondering how much of a difference it’s going to make how many grams of proteins, carbs, and fats you eat.

The fact is, your macro split can make a difference. While it’s not the main determining factor that goes into whether or not you’ll lose weight on your IIFYM approach – calorie intake is – it does come in secondary.

Let’s take a look at a few of the key reasons why your macro split matters and then talk about whether there is a perfect macro split to use while following your IIFYM plan.

Muscle Retention

The first reason you must pay attention to your macro split ratio is because this factor can determine the level of lean muscle mass retention you have while on your IIFYM diet plan.

Note that any time you move into a state of being in a calorie deficit, you are going to be at risk for lean muscle mass loss. This is because since you are taking in less energy than your body needs to sustain itself, there is always that chance that it will turn to lean tissues as a fuel source.

While in a perfect world, we would have all the necessary energy come from body fat stores, the world is rarely ever perfect so we don’t often see this happening entirely.

What we see with our clients that aren’t eating the right macro split – more importantly, the right amount of protein – their chances of experiencing lean muscle mass go up considerably.

If your protein is too low, your body may start to utilizing some of the incoming protein as an energy source, which now means there’s not enough left over for supporting your lean muscle mass tissue.

 

muscle retention

 

The Strategy to Ensure Preservation

By raising your protein intake however and using a macro split that tends to favor protein over carbs and fats, you ensure that even if some of that protein is utilized for energy, you’ll still have more than enough left over to help maintain lean muscle mass tissue.

Figuring out a proper caloric intake and ideal protein consumption takes some guesswork, have one of our coaches calculate it for you and provide you with a complete approach with a Custom Macro Blueprint

We see that the end result is losing overall body fat weight, rather than muscle mass tissue. If you use an IIFYM approach that takes protein too low, you may lose weight but you may end up looking like a smaller, but a thicker version of your current self. It’s not a pleasing picture and not one you want to find yourself in.

When you get a custom designed program by us, we’ll ensure you get the perfect amount of protein to preserve your hard-earned muscle tissue.

Energy Level

The second reason you’ll want to be considering your macro split when on an IIFYM fat loss plan is because it will also influence your energy level. If you aren’t getting the proper level of carbohydrates in on your diet plan, you may find that you struggle to put in an optimal performance at the gym. Your workouts will suffer, your strength will go down, and you’ll find yourself getting more and more frustrated with the program.

Carbohydrates are essential for an intense workout and the more intense workouts you do, the more carbs you’re going to need.

Protein has what’s referred to as a higher ‘thermic effect of food’ meaning your body will expend more energy breaking down protein than it would if you had eaten carbohydrates or dietary fats[1].

In this regard, that goes to show you that there is no perfect macro split for weight loss for everyone. Rather, there is a perfect macro split for you. You need to take a look at your entire lifestyle and what you plan to do while on the IIFYM approach, and determine how you will divide your macros from there.

We’ve noticed that some people tend to run better off dietary fats as a fuel source and may find that when they aren’t as active, they actually feel better having a higher fat, lower carb intake. The opposite can also be true. It all boils down to learning your body and how the various macros impact it and then using that information to create you own perfect macro split.

 

balanced macros

 

Health Promotion

The third reason to consider a macro split and figure out a perfect ratio to use is for health consideration benefits. For example, if you cut out most of the carbohydrates out of your diet plan, you’ll have a hard time meeting your intake needs for dietary fiber as well as key antioxidants that can help with disease prevention.

Getting enough dietary fiber in your IIFYM approach is critical for stabilizing your blood glucose levels, keeping your hunger in check, and maintaining regular bowel movements. Those who go on low-carb, high-fat fat diet plans often find this really messes with their digestive systems and they end up experiencing constipation.

breastfeeding calories

By thinking about your macro split and making sure that you get it right for you, you can avoid this.

Likewise, low-fat diets also have their issues too. Fat is an essential nutrient that you must be taking in as you go about your approach and if you cut it too low, your hormone levels can suffer and you may find that your appetite levels get out of control.

Those who use a high-carb, low-fat approach when following an IIFYM diet may struggle to stick to their desired calorie intake because of this hunger issue. We take into account that fat is a satisfying nutrient so by getting enough into your meal plan, you can put the breaks on hunger.

Our coaches ensure that everyone gets enough fat in their program’s, so that hunger is a non-issue most of the time. Check out our nutritional coaching for more info.

TEF Considerations

Finally, the last reason why you need to consider your macro split on your IIFYM diet plan is because certain macros do tend to give you a slight advantage when it comes to fat loss. Primarily, protein.

Protein has what’s referred to as a higher ‘thermic effect of food’ meaning your body will expend more energy breaking down protein than it would if you had eaten carbohydrates or dietary fats[1]. This means you net fewer calories overall, thus it could help tilt the scales in terms of weight loss in your favor.

The leaner you get, the less likely your body is willing to give up those fat stores, as now it views that fat as essential for survival.

Those who consume an IIFYM diet plan with a higher protein macro ratio will typically find that they can eat a few more calories because of it. Or, if they keep their calorie level constant, they’ll lose weight a little faster thanks to the extra metabolic boost they are getting from consuming that protein.

So for all of these reasons, as you can see, you do need to find the right macro split for your weight loss program. It is something that cannot go overlooked as you set up your program design but at the same time, there is definitely not one approach that is perfect for everyone.

Let’s now talk about what the perfect macro split for weight loss is for you.

 

 

Finding Your Perfect Macro Split Ratio

When it comes to figuring out your ideal macro split ratio, there are a few factors that you need to take into account. By doing so, you can best structure your IIFYM plan. If you still are struggling with these and need help, you’ll want to consult one of our coaches who can take all of this into account for you.

Let’s look at the main points of consideration.

How Much Weight You Have To Lose

The first question you’ll want to consider is how much weight you have to lose. If you’re someone who is exceptionally lean, to begin with, and only has 10-12% body fat if you are a male or 15-20% body fat if you are a female, you are going to be getting down into stubborn body fat stores here. This means that you are about to attempt and push your body to the limits as far as getting fibrous is concerned and are going to face a great fight along the way.

Find out your ideal caloric intake and macro breakdown, let us build your Custom Macro Blueprint

The leaner you get, the less likely your body is willing to give up those fat stores, as now it views that fat as essential for survival.

The lower your body fat is while dieting, the higher your risk of losing lean muscle mass will be because of this so for you, a higher protein macro split may be preferable.

If on the other hand, you have 50+ pounds to lose, chances are, your body isn’t going to be that concerned about losing some fat and won’t be experiencing nearly the same threat to losing lean muscle mass.

We’ve noticed those who are already quite lean thrive on their protein intake being around the 1-1.15 grams/lb. of their desired weight range.

 

insulin sensitivity

 

Your Insulin Sensitivity Levels

The next point to take into account is your insulin sensitivity levels. This is something that you, unfortunately, can’t measure, but you can get a notable guess as to where you stand.

Ask yourself, if you were to indulge in a carb-heavy meal – say a plate of pasta with some garlic bread, how would you feel after? Would you feel energized and ready to tackle an intense workout or would you feel more like it’s time for a nap on the couch?

 Have us create a diet approach that is sustainable and allows you to balance your nutrition with your  Custom Macro Blueprint

If you were the former, chances are you have sufficient insulin sensitivity and your body knows how to handle carbohydrates exceptionally well. On the flip side, if you were the latter, you may have reduced insulin sensitivity and may not do so well eating a high carb diet.

Another thing to look at is your current body weight. Those who are leaner tend to have better insulin sensitivity rates while those who have quite a bit of weight to lose tend to have lower insulin sensitivity levels.

Best Method For This Obstacle

Once you have better determined where you stand, you can then use this information to figure out your best macro split for weight loss on your If IIFYM approach.

If you are someone with normal insulin sensitivity, you can put a few more calories towards carbohydrates, while if you are someone who has poor insulin sensitivity, you’ll be better off keeping your carbohydrate intake lower and putting more calories towards dietary fat.

For you, you’ll want to ensure that you keep your insulin levels as stable as possible while using the IIFYM approach, so any carbohydrates you do consume should be the higher fiber, complex carbohydrate variety. Focus on vegetables as your primary source.

 

Exercise program

 

Your Planned Exercise Program

The next factor that will go into helping you figure out your perfect macro split is the exercise program you plan to do. As we noted above, the more intense exercise you are going to perform, the more carbohydrates you are going to need to support those workout sessions.

As such, your macro split for your IIFYM needs to be considerably higher in carbs, lending more energy to that workout period.

If you are someone who is engaging in intense weight lifting as well, chances are you will be depleting your muscle glycogen levels quite readily also, which in turn means you’ll need to be restoring them through the carbohydrates you eat.

It’s not unusual for someone who exercises hard 4-5 times per week to have double the carbohydrate intake as someone who doesn’t exercise at all while following the IIFYM approach, so this is one good example of how the right macro split is never a one-size-fits-all phenomenon.

This is also a good reason to consider hiring one of our coaches to help you figure out the right macro split for you. In doing so, you’ll take the guesswork out of the equation.

Your Natural Food Cravings

Finally, the last factor that will come into play when figuring out your perfect macro split on your IIFYM diet plan is your natural food cravings and preferences. If you are someone who loves to eat your carbs and can’t go a day on a low-carb diet without breaking it, don’t force your carb intake too low on your split set-up.

No matter how ‘beneficial’ it may be to do so, if you don’t stick with the diet plan, you won’t see results – period. You do need to assess your natural preferences and try and stay as close to those as possible.

One of the key benefits of the IIFYM approach is that you can enjoy the foods you want to eat in moderation and still reach your goals. But, if you’ve used a macro split that excludes those foods by default, you aren’t going to be reaping this benefit.

So there you have the answer to the question, ‘is there a perfect macro split for weight loss?’ The answer is yes, but it’s highly individual and this is why hiring one of our coaches to help get you started is the best approach if you want to see maximum results.

+ REFERENCES
  • 1. Belko, A. Z., T. F. Barbieri, and E. C. Wong. "Effect of energy and protein intake and exercise intensity on the thermic effect of food." The American journal of clinical nutrition 43.6 (1986): 863-869.

about the author

Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 12 years now. She is a regular contributor to Bodybuilding.com and has also contributed well over 400 articles to a variety of different websites dedicated towards muscle building and athletic performance. Shannon has spent the better part of her adult years researching and studying the top methods to build lean muscle as well as achieve maximum states of leanness. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, experimenting with new recipes, weight lifting, and reading.


Ready To Get Started?

DISCOVER HOW TO FORCE YOUR BODY TO

TRIGGER IMMEDIATE FAT LOSS

WITHOUT GIVING UP THE FOODS YOU LOVE!

Blueprint Starter Kit

Your Custom
Macro Blueprint Starter Kit

What makes IIFYM different is that we don't force you to eat foods you hate in order to lose weight.

We actually prefer if you continue to eat the foods you love but just in the right amounts. Don't be nervous, our Custom Macro Blueprint Starter Pack shows you EXACTLY how to do it from A to Z.

OVER 25,000 CLIENTS PER YEAR

CHANGE THEIR LIVES WITH THE CUSTOM MACRO BLUEPRINT STARTER PACK

Bonus Items

As an added value, we will also include our Macro Friendly Recipe book & Ultimate IIFYM Starter Guide. That’s $34 of extra value!

$17

Free

Regular Price: $99

Sale Price: $67

$17

Free

ISN'T IT TIME YOU TRY SOMETHING

THAT'S GUARANTEED TO WORK?

Get your customized macro
blueprint starter pack now

100% Guaranteed Results or your money back! You have nothing to lose!

  • God

    Way to confuse people. No wonder people are fat. waaaaaaaayyy to much information, and none of it is useful.

    • Tartine chef

      Agree

    • Erich Belan

      I disagree. The article illustrates that not all people react the same to different macro adjustments, and goes into some detail to explain why. Otherwise, it would come accross just telling you information and you should assume it’s correct without any explanation as to why. Summary: high protein is generally important for anyone’s macro split who is working out, and the remainder of calorie goal will need to be adjusted based on your insulin sensitivity and what kind/intensity of workouts you’re doing. Beyond that, if you want help taking the guesswork out, their professional advisers can help further.

      • God

        Erich, what you have said is more accurate and succinct than the entire article, which illustrates my point. Your first sentence is rubbish but your summary is correct.

        Protein is the only macro that matters, if you stick to 1 gram of protein per pound of weight, that is all you need to do to “track” your macros. These so called fitness experts and dietitians make money by making things SEEM difficult, when in fact they are quite simple. And why would they do that? 1. to feel like they know more than they do, to feel important, and 2. to make money from people who dont know any better.

        We humans arent that different, the same things will work for everyone, insulin sensitivity in most people who arent diabetic is irrelevant, once you start eating healthier that will take care of itself. You wont need to worry about spikes.

        It would be more helpful to simply list foods that you should eat alot of, and list the foods that you should avoid and say get between 20-30 grams of protein every 3-4 hours whilst you are awake, drink 3 liters of water every day, avoid sugar and wheat.

  • Angel Trevino

    Great Article with lots of tips I have learned along the way! Even if you don’t decide to pay for a personal macro breakdown you have a great start on where to begin. This is information I wish I knew years ago.

  • Pingback: Do you need to Transition Your Diet Plan to Start Cutting Fat or Bulking? - IIFYM()

  • Pingback: 5 Rules For A Powerful Upper Body Workout: With A Finely Tuned Routine - IIFYM()

  • Pingback: The Keto Diet: What are the Benefits and Drawbacks? - IIFYM - IIFYM()

Get our FREE IIFYM Weight Loss Starter Guide