The Best Way To Lose Weight and Build Muscle

Nutrition is half of the fitness equation! How do you know you're eating correctly for YOUR goals?

Hard work IN the gym will only take you so far, incorporating dietary adjustments and fueling your body strategically will get you the fastest results in the shortest amount of time.

Macronutrients and Counting Calories

Counting calories is contingent upon having a specific number of calories to eat every day, a number that is decided by your weight, height, age, level of activity, and goals. This is a great start, but can we do even better?

Each calorie we consume is made up of macronutrients, or macros. The three macros we focus on when it comes to health and fitness are protein (4 calories per gram), carbohydrates (4 calories per gram), and fat (9 calories per gram).  Alcohol too, (7 calories per gram). I don't want you to hate me too much just yet, so we'll focus on the first 3 for now.  By keeping track of how many grams of each macro we eat, we can be more intentional about what types of calories we are consuming and have a more sustainable way of achieving our goals over the short and long term. 

Keeping track of your macros will take some effort. The amount of effort it takes may differ from one person to another. Some can achieve amazing results estimating or "eyeballing" their portion sizes and keeping a food journal. Others may need to be a bit more detailed, perhaps weighing and measuring meals in order to be more accurate and leave less room for error.

Research indicates that counting calories and macronutrients proves highly valuable, helping people lose as much as 5% of bodyweight and helping people who lose weight KEEP the weight off for much longer once their diet has ended.

Tracking calories and macronutrients is particularly beneficial in three scenarios:

  1. gathering data - after a few weeks of tracking, gauging proper meal/portion sizes becomes a breeze
  2. people with specific needs - body composition goals require more accuracy, tracking macros proves quite useful for this
  3. numbers people -  some genuinely appreciate the process of collecting data and observing changes in weight or body composition and applying modifications to their regimen. 


Losing Fat and Building Muscle

If weight loss is the goal, we recommend being in a daily calorie deficit. 1-2 lbs per week of weight loss is optimal, and will determine the best amount of deficit.

Losing weight is a process, so consistency and adherence will be your two best friends when it comes to any nutrition protocol.  A good macronutrient breakdown for weight loss might look like this , 30-40% carbohydrates, 30-40% protein and 20-30% fat (% of total calorie intake). Here is a quick way to determine your macronutrients for weight loss:

  1. Calories= 10-13 x Body Weight (lbs)
  2. Protein= 1.2 grams x Lean Body Mass (lbs)
  3. Fat= .4 x Body Weight (lbs)
  4. Carbs = Calories - (Protein calories+ Fat Calories)

When it comes to gaining muscle, a caloric surplus is what we're after. This means consuming more calories than your body requires, and can be estimated using a calorie counter that measures the same criteria mentioned earlier. Macronutrient ratios for building muscle are typically between: 45% to 60% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% to 35% from protein, and another 15% to 30% from fat. Here is a quick way to determine your macronutrients for muscle gain:

  1. Calories= 15-20 x Body Weight (lbs)
  2. Protein= 1 grams x Lean Body Mass (lbs)
  3. Fat= .3 x Body Weight (lbs)
  4. Carbs = Calories - (Protein calories+ Fat Calories)


MyFitness Pal is a dependable tool for tracking your calories and macronutrients. With the  free app, you can keep a food diary to monitor your patterns and enhance your potential to achieve any goal. MyFitness Pal can scan barcodes, save meals and recipes, and track your calorie/macro intake. The food database boasts upwards of 300,000,000 items.

Final Takeaways

Being intentional with your nutritional protocol will prove vital to achieving your fitness goals, bypassing all plateaus along the way. With the proper information and organizational resources, getting the MOST IMPORTANT part of your fitness journey right will become much easier and less daunting. We know that 80% of your results will be determined by 20% of your efforts. That effort is magnified when we focus on what happens in the kitchen as much if not MORE than what happens in the gym. It can make all the difference!


Request a free consultation with a Levo professional today and see if you are eating correctly for your goals!

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