Alright – here’s a scenario that may be familiar to you: You’re pressing play and crushing your Body Beast, Insanity Max 30, 21 Day Fix, or any other Beachbody workout. Despite all this amazing effort in the ‘gym’, you just aren’t seeing the payoff for your hard work. What gives? Beachbody Program Macronutrient Ratios are your keys to success. Are you using the correct one? No?! Then read on…
Beachbody Program Macronutrient Ratios
More often than not, a lack of desired results comes down to poor nutrition. We’ve all heard the adage ‘abs are made in the kitchen’. It’s no secret that if you truly want the results of your hard work to give visible payoffs, you need to get your nutrition right. Many will say that nutrition accounts for 70-80% of the equation, but I would say it’s higher than this. In fact, nutrition accounts for 100% of the equation – so does exercise, and so does staying accountable. Like any ‘relationship’, 100% is required from each ‘part’ (or party) if we want a result that is truly amazing.
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Here’s the thing: very few things in life occur in isolation. If we want success in anything, there are typically several action-steps that need to be incorporated. If we want to drive a car, there’s more to it than stepping on the gas. We need to fill the tank with the proper fuel, assess the surroundings, establish a destination, insure we and our passengers are safe, employ knowledge that we have learned, be assertive while en route – you get the picture.
Exercise + Nutrition + Support = SUCCESS
When it comes to our training, I consider our success (and that may be ripped abs, or simply dropping a few pounds) to be a ‘3-legged stool’. Our three legs are: exercise, nutrition and support. Each leg accounts for, and plays an equal role in supporting the end result – a stable and solid ‘stool’ or in our case, a great physique. Weaken any of the legs, and what happens? You got it – the stool falls over, no matter how strong the remaining legs are.
As coaches, we see it ALL the time – great dedication in the gym, consistency, but nutrition is sub-par. OR (and less often the case), one has a great nutrition plan, but is inconsistent in the gym. In this article, I’m going to break down the importance of your macronutrients (amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats) required for your specific Beachbody programs, or for any fitness routine. Get this part dialled in, couple that with a consistent exercise routine and a support system or support group, and you have a recipe for success and the very best return on investment (ROI) from your time and efforts. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about maximizing my time and getting the best results possible!
It’s Not Always ‘Just’ Calories
Yes, calories are important. Your overall calorie target is the key factor in determining whether you lose weight, gain weight or maintain your weight. However, there’s more to it than that, especially when our fitness goals are more specific. The macronutrient ratios (or in other words, the specific proportions of proteins, carbs and fats) you consume within a specific calorie range for your Beachbody program are going to give you that ‘edge’ when considering very specific results.
For example, a marathon runner will carb load before a race to supply enough energy for the run. A bodybuilder will restrict carbs and up protein weeks before getting on stage to reduce muscle glycogen and improve the appearance of muscle. Similarly, when our goals are specific and our training programs unique, we need to incorporate specific macronutrient ratios to fuel our needs and get the best results. Whether those goals are for weight loss, weight gain, cutting body fat or adding muscle, you will need to fine-tune what you eat. Don’t worry – I’m going to get into this so read on…
Based on a typical, 2000 calorie diet, the USDA recommends a person eats 91 grams of protein, 271 grams of carbohydrates, and 65 grams of fat. This works out to 18% protein, 53% carbohydrates, and 29% fat (20-50-30). However, with protein demands being higher for an athlete, and / or trainee, such as yourself, we would want to deviate from these recommendations.
A recommended starting point for the average trainee could look like a ratio such as 30-50-20. (Protein – Carbs – Fats). An increase in protein will support lean muscle gains and burn more body fat, which is important because we don’t want to lose muscle while losing fat as this can lower your metabolism – not the goal!
What is the Best Macronutrient Ratio to Lose Body Fat?
First off, each individual is unique based on their unique physiology and metabolic rate. Let me preface this by saying that there is no “one size fits all” ratio that will allow everyone to get rid of extra body fat. However, I can provide some solid start points – from here, you’ll want to pay attention to how your body responds, and you individual needs. This happens through tracking your physical progress week-to-week, i.e. take your measurements, measure body fat, and weigh in, weekly. You’ll want to do this in a fasted state for consistency; Sunday morning is when I check-in.
This all said, there ARE some general rules that can be applied, and work very well for most of our clients who want to get rid of extra fat, have long-term fat loss, and expedite their results.
Macronutrient Ratios for Beachbody Programs
- Body Beast Macronutrient Ratios
Phase 1 25-50-25 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
Phase 2 25-50-25 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
Phase 3 40-30-30 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
- P90X Macronutrient Ratios
Phase 1 50-30-20 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
Phase 2 40-40-20 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
Phase 3 50-30-20 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
- P90X2 Macronutrient Ratios
Phase 1 50-25-25 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
Phase 2 30-40-30 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
Phase 3 25-50-25 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
- P90X3 Macronutrient Ratios
30-40-30 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
- 21 Day Fix Macronutrient Ratios
30-40-30 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
- 21 Day Fix Extreme Macronutrient Ratios
30-40-30 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
- Insanity Macronutrient Ratios
40-40-20 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
- Insanity Max 30 Macronutrient Ratios
30-40-30 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
- Piyo Macronutrient Ratios
35-40-25 (Protein – Carbs – Fat)
Converting Macronutrient Percentages into Grams
Once you have calculated the macronutrient ratios required for your specific training needs and fitness goals, you can easily calculate how many grams of each macronutrients you’ll require. First things first, you have to calculate your daily calorie requirements. I have put together blog post here, titled ‘How Many Calories Do I Need to Lose Weight?‘. Also, you can use the “Caloric Needs Calculator” with your Free Team Beachbody account here.
Daily Calories x percent protein / 4 calories per gram = grams protein
Daily Calories x percent carbs / 4 calories per gram = grams carbs
Daily Calories x percent fat / 9 calories per gram = grams fat
For example, if your daily calorie needs are 2000 calories and you choose proportions of 30% protein, 50% carbohydrates and 20% fat, your breakdown would look as follows:
2000 x .30 / 4 = 150 grams protein
2000 x .50 / 4 = 250 grams carbs
2000 x .20 / 9 = 44 grams fat
Specific Macronutrient Ratios to Add Muscle, Add Weight, or Lose Body Fat
- To add muscle, consider a ratio such as: 40-40-20. (Protein-Carbs-Fats)
- To add weight, consider a ratio such as: 30-55-15. (Protein-Carbs–Fats)
- To cut, consider a ration such as: 35-45-20. (Protein-Carbs–Fats)
Additionally there are different classifications for each of the macronutrient percentages as follows:
Very high carb = 65- 70% +
High carb = 55-60%
Moderate carb = 40-50%
Low carb = 25-35%
Very low carb (ketogenic) = about 5-15% or 30-70 grams per day
Very high protein = 41-50%+
High protein = 31-40%
Moderate protein = 25-30%
Low protein = 15-24%
Very low protein = less than 15%
Very high fat = 40% +
High fat = 30%-39%
Moderate fat = 20-29%
Low fat = 10-19%
Very low fat = less than 10%
Tracking Macronutrient Ratios and Calories
I use a free, online service (and accompanying app), called: My Fitness Pal. This program allows you to enter your customized calorie target, as well as your over macronutrient ratios while drawing from a HUGE database of virtually any food you can think of. To help you out, I’ve put together a video to walk you through setting up your goals and entering foods into your ‘My Fitness Pal’ account. You can watch the video here:
TIP: If it’s measurable, it’s manageable. Configure your settings, and map out what you’re going to eat, the night before. Failing to plan, is planning to fail – there is no middle-ground when it comes to real results.
Trying to get your food log to balance ‘on the fly’ by entering foods as you go, or entering them at the end of the day is a recipe for failure. In fact, very few people can do this UNLESS they have done the leg work ahead of time, and are simply eating the same foods every day. Enter your goals, then enter your foods the night before – this way, you just wake up and you follow what’s on your plan.
Closing Comments on Macronutrients and Calorie Tracking
This may seem like a lot of work. It is. Do it anyway. Do you know what separates those who get amazing results from those who get mediocre results? It’s consistency to the seemingly mundane tasks – the tasks that most people don’t want to do (thats why very few people achieve amazing results!).
The thing is, successful people, regardless of what facet of life, are not necessarily gifted, genetically superior or born into special circumstances. Successful people have realized that to achieve a desired outcome, certain things must be done each day, even if the ‘mood’ has left them. The wave of mediocrity sweeps up most people – it’s the easy route. The wave of excellence takes some determination and fortitude. Similar to compound interest, the compound effect of the seemingly small tasks will yield HUGE dividends over time. Decide what kind of results you want, then make the action-steps non-negotiable. That’s how a champion’s mindset is made!
Feeling inspired? Awesome… before you go, don’t forget to grab these amazing Weekday dinner recipes, ready in no time!