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Muscle Growth, Fat Loss, Muscular Adaptation

How to Manipulate Macros for Building Muscle

By Choki Valle on Apr 13, 2020 12:25:00 PM
4 Minutes Reading Time


If you’re counting macronutrients, you probably have some sort of health and fitness goal in mind. Generally speaking, there are two routes you can go when tracking your macros. People either manipulate their macronutrients for muscle building or weight loss. If you’re not going down either of those routes, you can live without tracking and just focus on eating intuitively.

 Tracking your macros can be a great tool to use if you want to put on muscle and keep the least amount of fat off. But you have to know how to manipulate your specific macro targets if you want it to be effective. I’m going to give you two major tips to put in place if you’re going to effectively manipulate your macros for muscle gain.

 You Must Be In A Calorie Surplus

If you’re going to follow anything given in this article, it should be this. If you are tracking your macros to build muscle, you have to be in a calorie surplus. If you’re not, there’s no way of knowing how many carbs, fat and protein you’re eating. You’re probably wondering whether eating a ton of food every day and working out extra hard can replace tracking to gain strength. The simple answer is no. Sure you can probably get strong doing it this way, but the chances of you putting on just as much fat as muscle is very high. Keeping track of your macros and making sure you’re hitting those targets, especially protein intake, is the best way to gain muscle. No matter what though, the important thing here is that you’re eating in a surplus. Eating in a calorie surplus means you are eating more calories in food than the calories you are burning. If you are eating in a surplus, you will gain weight. If you focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods in a surplus and staying on top of counting your macros, you have a better chance of gaining more muscle mass than fat.

 Eat A High Protein Diet

Once you start manipulating your macros and eating in a surplus, a good portion of your calories should come from the macronutrient, protein. The hosts of the popular fitness and health podcast, Mind Pump, recommend eating 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. In this case, staying on the higher end of the spectrum, around 0.8 grams/lb of protein, or even 1g/lb, would be ideal for gaining muscle. So, if you want to manipulate your macronutrients for muscle building, take a look at your protein intake first. Once you figure out how much protein you should be consuming, the rest of your calories can go to your carb and fat intake. Some people do better on a high protein, high fat diet while others gravitate towards a high protein, high carb diet. Find out what works best for you and your body. The most important thing is consuming a high protein diet first, above carb and fat.

Here are some great protein sources to include into your diet:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Beans and Legumes

To Sum It Up

  • Track your macronutrients for efficiency.
  • Eat more calories than you are burning.
  • Keep your protein intake high.
  • Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods to help naturally keep the extra body fat off.
  • Lift heavy weights.

If you follow these tips, you will learn to effectively count your macros for a specific goal...muscle building.

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Choki Valle

Choki Valle graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She also earned a Level 1 Certification from the Nutrition Coaching Institute. As a competitive swimmer and coach she developed a passion for all things health and fitness. Currently she helps people balance their mental and physical health in a way that compliments their lifestyle. She believes true health comes from the connection between your mind, body and spirit.

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