what i mean when i say you need to eat more to get lean: boost metabolism and improve body composition

eating more macronutrient intake metabolism muscle growth nutrient-rich foods body composition metabolic rate hormones hunger-induced anger workouts lean muscle calorie intake thyroid function hormone balance insulin sensitivity cortisol levels carbohydrates exercise muscle mass energy expenditure sustainable nutrition macronutrients athletic performance goals

Emily Field (00:00:00) – Welcome to episode 25 of the Macros Made Easy podcast, where I will share exactly what I mean when I say you should consider eating more to get lean. We’re going to explore how eating more supports hormones and metabolic health, how eating more regularly prevents hangry episodes, how eating more carbohydrates fuels your workouts and protects lean muscle, and how eating more protein supports fat loss without sacrificing muscle mass. Then I’m going to put it all together for you by sharing how to set your macros with more or enough in mind. In particular, why opting for a slight calorie deficit and paying attention to the macronutrient content of your diet can yield superior results for sustainable, effective fat loss compared to drastic calorie restriction alone. Welcome to Macros Made Easy, the podcast that takes the confusion out of tracking macros. I’m your host, Emily Field, a registered dietitian that specializes in a macros approach. In each episode, I help you learn how to eat in a way that supports your health, body composition, and athletic performance goals. We’ll cover the basics of macronutrients, how to track for various goals, the role of macros in your health, and how to make sustainable changes to your habits.


Emily Field (00:01:08) – I’ve helped hundreds of people experience more food freedom and flexibility while navigating their nutrition. So whether you’ve tried macros and it just didn’t stick or you just heard the word macros yesterday, I can’t wait to help you too. Perhaps it was your trainer, your fit friend, or your partner that said something along the lines that you should eat more to support your goals to get lean. The concept of eating more sounds so completely foreign though. When you’re overweight or obese and you feel more than certain that you’re probably overconsuming your needs. Most people who claim that you need to eat more don’t have any idea about, like, the mechanism by which this could all work, how eating more could potentially lead to losing more fat. But they usually say something like your body is in starvation mode, or your body is gaining fat because your metabolism is so slow or something else, and none of that is true or accurate. However, there is a link between calorie restriction and having trouble losing weight, more specifically, having trouble losing fat.


Emily Field (00:02:09) – Now, I will admit that saying you need to eat more to get lean is definitely an attention grabber, which is part of the reason why I love saying it. It stops your scroll. It helps you pay attention to my message. And it’s not all false. It’s not false at all. Actually, most of my clients who have unwanted extra body fat are eating more in some capacity. Which is better supporting their goals to lose weight and to lose body fat. When I suggest eating more to get lean, I’m advocating for consuming a higher quantity of nutrient rich foods to achieve better body composition, increased muscle mass, and a higher metabolic rate. I’ll break it all down in this episode, so that you can feel much more warmed up to the idea that you might need to consider eating more to see the changes in your body that you want. This concept challenges the traditional notion of strict calorie restriction for weight loss, and instead focuses on optimizing the macronutrient intake. That’s your proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to support your metabolism and muscle growth.


Emily Field (00:03:11) – All right. I’m going to start gentle and talk about how eating more or eating more regularly will prevent hangry. That’s that hunger induced anger, which will in turn lead to fat loss. So you’ve likely heard the advice that you need to eat less and move more, which centers around that calories in, calories out model for weight loss. And I want you to think about it. What happens when you eat less? You get hungry? What happens when you exercise more? You get hungry. And so how long does that model last before you’re like inhaling take out over the trash can when the kids go to bed? Anyone who offers that advice fails to realize is that losing body fat to reveal strong muscles involves hormones, not just calories. And hormones are the messengers that tell our body to burn fat or store fat, remain full or feel hungry, have cravings or not enjoy balanced energy, or feel fatigued. So eating more regularly so in regular intervals across the day can effectively prevent hunger or hunger by maintaining stable blood sugar levels throughout the day.


Emily Field (00:04:17) – Having stable blood sugar prevents those intense hunger pains that can lead to overeating or bingeing on unhealthy foods. So you’re going to start by spacing meals and snacks evenly throughout the day, so that you can regulate your appetite and avoid those extreme fluctuations in hunger levels. This consistent energy supply indirectly supports fat loss goals by preventing those episodes of overeating or binging, which can absolutely derail your progress and lead to consuming excess calories. Regular eating promotes better food choices and portion control as well, because you’re less likely to make those impulsive decisions when you’re not excessively hungry, right? We all know that feeling when you just need to get something in your mouth because you are so hungry. So incorporating regular meals and snacks is probably one of the best ways that you can foster a healthier relationship with food and support sustainable fat loss efforts. I don’t think starting here is that tough for most people to understand. You have probably have some experience of skipping meals or intense fasting, or just getting too busy throughout the day and failing to eat.


Emily Field (00:05:25) – And you know the difference in choices that you make when you are in that state of mind versus if you are well fed and really taking the time to eat regular meals throughout the day. Eating more can absolutely help you get lean by way of supporting your hormones. So the next thing we’re going to talk about here today is how eating more can support your hormone balance, and therefore indirectly lead to some fat loss over time. And this concept really revolves around improving your metabolic health, ensuring that your body is not in a state of chronic calorie restriction, that calorie restriction can disrupt hormone balance. So here’s a little bit more about how that works. First, I will say that eating enough or eating more will support your thyroid function. We know that adequate calorie intake supports your thyroid function and that plays a critical role in regulating and metabolism. So you hear me say this a lot. But metabolism, it’s the culmination of hundreds of complex reactions within the body. Changing food into energy at a cellular level requires a lot of different reactions.


Emily Field (00:06:26) – Okay, that is what the summation of all those reactions is. Your metabolism. And our thyroid has a big role in that. Your thyroid gland produces hormones like T3 and T4, which help control your metabolic rate. So when you eat enough, your thyroid can function optimally, supporting overall energy expenditure. So again, indirectly relating to your goals to lose fat or get lean. I see so many people who have an underactive thyroid diagnosis, a hypothyroid diagnosis, and I really, truly wonder how many of those diagnoses would be eliminated if we encouraged eating enough specifically from a nutrient rich diet, because we know that there are some specific vitamins and minerals that can help improve the thyroid function. But overall, we need calories like we need to get those calories up to support optimal thyroid function. Another hormone link here is balancing leptin and ghrelin. You may have heard of these leptin and ghrelin, our hormones that regulate our hunger and our satiety. So leptin is produced by our fat cells and it signals to the brain to reduce appetite.


Emily Field (00:07:29) – When fat stores are sufficient and ghrelin is produced in the stomach and it signals hunger to the brain. So these are working with each other related to how much food we eat, and related to how much body fat we’re have on our frame. Eating more, especially foods that are rich in nutrients, can help maintain a balance of these hormones and prevent excess hunger and prevent overeating. Next, we’ll talk about the hormone insulin eating balanced meals. So you hear me say this pretty much every single episode, eating adequate carbs, proteins, and fats can help maintain insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that regulates our blood sugar and insulin. Sensitivity allows cells to use sugar or use glucose, effectively preventing those high blood sugar levels and therefore the storage of excess glucose or excess sugar as fat. We want to be insulin sensitive, and one of the ways that we can do that is by having a moderate protein intake in our diet and having balanced meals. Combining those proteins, fats, and carbs together at every single meal can help for balanced blood sugar and help maintain that insulin sensitivity.


Emily Field (00:08:37) – Can’t really have insulin sensitivity if you’re not minding your macros or you are significantly under eating your needs. Turns out that another hormone is impacted by your eating habits, and that is cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and we see cortisol increased when you are chronically under eating or attempting to underwrite on a long term basis. Elevated cortisol levels can lead to fat storage, particularly around the abdomen, around the waist. So you guessed it, eating enough or having adequate nutrition helps keep those cortisol levels in check, reducing the stress load on the body and its associated weight gain, particularly around that midsection. All right. So we’re in the thick of it now eating more calories. So eating enough better supports your metabolic health, which indirectly leads to fat loss or getting and staying lean. This is always such a hot topic, but we’re definitely going to go there when the body receives adequate calories. When you’re eating enough, it operates efficiently. In contrast, if you are severely restricting, it can trigger some metabolic slowdown.


Emily Field (00:09:47) – So the body is trying to conserve energy. This is an adaptation process, as is totally normal, and it reduces the rate at which you are burning calories. It reduces the rate at which you are expending calories. Your metabolism has shifted down. You have probably heard me say it before, but I will remind you your metabolism is flexible. It flexes up when you eat more, and it flexes down when you eat less. A consequence of calorie restriction or dieting is metabolic adaptation. People confuse this or they like tend to make it mean starvation mode. And that’s not what I’m talking about. That’s not a term that is recognized in the literature. But metabolic adaptation is this is again a normal adaptation that happens. Your body is trying to conserve energy by down regulating processes that are considered non-essential. However, when you come back to eating enough or around your maintenance needs, your metabolism will return to normal. The problem lies in chronic restriction, or rather chronically attempting restriction because we know if you restrict calories forever, you will lose weight.


Emily Field (00:10:54) – We see this time and time again when we study populations that have extreme scarcity of food, there’s no amount of adaptation that will prevent weight loss or even lead to weight gain in those populations. So don’t listen to the people that claim that starvation mode is a thing wherein if you under-eat your needs, your body will hold on to body fat or you’ll start gaining body fat. That’s not a thing. However, we do see when you chronically attempt to restrict, which is probably more likely what’s going on for a lot of people listening to this podcast, when you intentionally hold back and underrate your needs for a short period of time for the goal of weight loss, you can hang on to that for a while, right? You can hang on to that restriction for a while, but sooner rather than later, especially if you’re doing things in a more drastic or dramatic way, you’re going to overeat your needs eventually. Now, if you have done this for a long time, you’ve done this year after year.


Emily Field (00:11:52) – I’ve never really attempted to eat enough. No doubt your metabolism has probably shifted down so you can see where I’m going with this. Your metabolism has adjusted down, it is slower, and now it becomes harder and harder for you to lose weight, because every time you rebound from that diet, that even more strict diet that you’re attempting, it’s easier to gain weight. It’s easier to put on body fat because your metabolism has adjusted down. Now, again, the way that you fix this is by eating more. We can bring our metabolism back up. We’ll also talk about how and we have in many other podcasts, talk about how gaining muscle is a key towards keeping your metabolism high, and in making it easier for you to maintain weight so you’re no longer yo yoing up and yo yoing down. If you need. An example really illustrates the point here of, you know, metabolic adaptation and the adjustments that your body makes to accommodate less food, I highly recommend that you listen to the episode that we did about The Biggest Loser, because starting out, The Biggest Loser contestants have a high metabolism.


Emily Field (00:13:00) – They are eating a lot, their metabolism, they’re eating over what they need, and they have gained significant weight, particularly body fat. But as they lose weight, they lose mass in a dramatic way. In a very drastic calorie deficit, their metabolism adjusts down significantly. So if we’re just putting arbitrary numbers to it, let’s just say they had a metabolic rate of 3500 calories a day. Eating more than that would cause gain. Eating less than that would cause loss. Okay. And in the Biggest Loser challenge, they are trying to lose as much weight as possible, so they’re consuming 1200 calories or 1400 calories while also exercising a ton. So now they’ve lost a significant amount of weight by the end of their time with The Biggest Loser and their metabolism or their metabolic rate is adjusted down to 1200 calories, that is going to feel a lot more difficult to sustain, and it might be very easy to overeat that calorie need. Because as you know, if you’ve tracked your calories or your macros for any period of time, you know that food is calorically dense.


Emily Field (00:14:07) – We live in an environment where food is incredibly calorically dense, not necessarily nutrient dense unless we go looking for it. So in this example, that Biggest Loser contestant would have to. Maintain eating 1200 calories a day to maintain their new physique, their new weight. This is why we don’t see very many long term examples of the contestants from Biggest Loser who have kept off the weight long term. And I know this is an extreme example, but it really, really illustrates the point here that you may be struggling with as well. You have tried to diet for a long period of time, or you’ve attempted to diet multiple times in a year. Year after year after year, never really giving your body a break from that dieting experience. So no doubt your metabolism has shifted down. Your body has made adjustments to conserve energy because you’re not giving it energy through food. And so your next attempt has to be even more drastic. It has to be even more restrictive to fall below that new metabolic rate or that adjusted calorie burn, your basal metabolic rate, whatever you want to call it.


Emily Field (00:15:16) – That new adapted adjusted metabolic rate is going to be much lower than what it was before you started dieting, and so it requires even more restriction to see weight loss from that number. It feels nearly impossible for you to ever see weight loss or fat loss because your metabolism has adjusted down. You’ve never minded that experience of eating enough or eating more to support your metabolism. Adjusting up. Essentially, your attempts to lose weight will become harder and harder the longer that you underrate your maintenance needs. So this is why it feels like you have to go to even more extreme lengths to see change. And that’s not the answer. That’s not what we want. We want you to do things differently and consider eating more, because eating more is going to support your metabolic health by way of having sufficient energy intake, which prevents your body from making those adaptations to conserve energy. That was definitely a little bit of a tangent, but it’s something I feel strongly about because it’s what I see most often. But back to the task at hand.


Emily Field (00:16:21) – We’re talking about how eating more calories supports metabolic health, and that indirectly improves your chances of getting lean or losing body fat. And one of the other things that we’re talking about within this umbrella is that when you eat enough calories, especially enough protein, you’re going to support the maintenance and growth of your muscle mass. And muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories at rest compared to fat tissue. So if you have more muscle mass compared to fat tissue or fat mass, you’re going to have a higher metabolic rate. This simple fact is behind the way that having more muscle mass can indirectly lead to more fat loss. You simply have a higher metabolism, quite literally opposite of what we were talking about earlier. Eating enough and obviously strength training to build that muscle is going to indirectly lead to some fat loss. We also know that eating more increases thermogenesis. The process of heat production. And this is particularly true for protein, which has a higher thermic effect compared to fats and carbs. And it means your body uses more energy or calories to digest, absorb, and process proteins, slightly boosting metabolism.


Emily Field (00:17:35) – And I wouldn’t call this a reliable way to lose weight or to lose body fat, but it certainly contributes to your overall energy expenditure during the day. It might help you maintain a healthy body weight and healthy body composition, and we do see through the research that when somebody is consuming a high fiber diet or a higher protein diet, they can certainly see more percent of calories burned compared to someone who has a poor diet quality or lower protein diet. In case this wasn’t already obvious, a well-fed body can efficiently process and utilize nutrients, so adequate calories ensures that all body systems, including all the metabolic processes, have the necessary nutrients to function optimally. So when you’re under-eating your needs, you’re likely to miss out on nutrients that impact your digestion, your absorption, your hormone balance, and so much more. So this might make it harder to lose fat and maintain a leaner physique long term, just by way of missing out on some key nutrients. When I say you need to eat more to get lean, I’m often referring to eating more carbohydrates.


Emily Field (00:18:41) – Eating enough carbohydrates provides the body with the fuel it needs to power the workouts that will actually lead to body changes, and it also promotes muscle building. These two factors and more indirectly, lead to fat loss through several mechanisms. So let’s talk about those. Carbohydrates seem to be the macronutrient of choice to demonize right now, but rest assured it will change in the next several years. We always go in cycles, but I want you to ask yourself, you know, if you have ever cut out carbs and tried to continue to do your bootcamp workouts or your high intensity interval training, or even structured strength training, how quickly? Did you wilt? How long did you last? How strong did you feel? Because chances are you were really feeling that lack of energy. And that’s because carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy during a workout or during exercise. So glycogen is the stored form of carbohydrates. You eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose in the bloodstream. And then they are stored in the muscles and the liver and they are tapped in.


Emily Field (00:19:46) – Or we use those stored carbohydrates to fuel our higher intensity or prolonged exercise. Okay. So having adequate stored carbohydrates or glycogen allows you to perform your best and sustain higher intensities and longer durations of exercise. So if you’re trying to significantly change your body shape and size, you’re probably going to be working out. You’re probably going to be pushing yourself, and you need that energy. You need that stored energy to do that. If you’re holding back on your calories and you’re holding back on carbohydrates, so you’re going to have a really tough time engaging in the exercise in a way that is going to initiate any sort of like significant change in your body. This often stumps people, because usually when you think about muscle, you think about protein, but the two go and hand in hand. Carbohydrates and protein go hand in hand. So when you are eating enough carbohydrates, when there is sufficient carbohydrates available, the body uses them as a primary source of energy, and that spares protein from being broken down for fuel from your muscles.


Emily Field (00:20:50) – Okay, we are the human body is adapted. It’s amazing how adapted it is to different fuel sources. We can use fat for fuel, we can use protein for fuel, we can use carbs for fuel. And when we have enough carbohydrates available, we will not break down muscle for fuel. Okay. So those hit, those bootcamp style workouts, that metabolic conditioning and weightlifting that all requires carbohydrates, which is why you are totally wilting when your workouts are fueled by a low carb diet we call carbohydrates muscle sparing. Okay, that means that your body, when it has enough of them, it won’t draw as much protein or amino acids from the muscle tissue for fuel. How frustrating is that to learn? You know, at worst, you know you’re not eating enough carbohydrates and your body is looking for alternatives for fuel. It’s breaking down your hard earned muscle that you’re trying to build, but at best, maybe it’s not even building it. Okay, so one of two consequences can happen here. With the carbohydrate thing, you’re either not building the muscle because you don’t have enough fuel, enough calories, enough carbohydrates to do so, or at worst, you’re breaking down the hard earned muscle that you have tried to build.


Emily Field (00:22:01) – So you’re working really hard in the gym and you’ve got nothing to show for it. From a muscle standpoint, our conversation comes back to hormones a little bit, because when we have enough carbohydrates, we can help regulate our cortisol levels. And that hormone, again, when elevated, can lead to muscle breakdown and fat storage. It more likely leads to an environment where fat storage is more likely and muscle breakdown is more likely. So making sure we have enough carbohydrates pre and post workout, or if anything just across the whole day, is going to keep our cortisol levels regulated. I feel like we touch on this on nearly every single podcast, but we know that the more muscle mass you have on your frame, the higher your metabolism is going to be. This is why I’m so passionate about strength training, but also eating enough. Because as we’ve kind of discussed here today, eating enough or eating up to your maintenance needs, eating more is going to help support a higher metabolism. So again, when I say to people, you probably need to eat more if you want to get lean.


Emily Field (00:23:03) – And we’re really talking about carbohydrates here, we know that carbohydrates help sustain that higher metabolic rate because it’s helping to increase that lean muscle mass. In other words, by eating enough carbohydrates and strength training, you’re going to better preserve your muscle mass, which helps keep your metabolic rate high and therefore supports overall fat loss. Carbohydrates also play a crucial role in your post-workout recovery by replenishing those depleted glycogen stores and reducing muscle soreness. So if you’re able to quickly recover and allow for more frequent workouts or more intense workouts during the week, you’re going to contribute to more calorie burn, more calorie expenditure, and therefore fat loss. So let’s summarize. So far, we’ve talked about how eating more regularly is going to help prevent hangry. So there’s that binging and overeating factor is going to be less likely to happen if you are eating in regular intervals and keeping your blood sugar stable. We talked about how eating more calories, specifically calories from nutrient rich food, can better support your hormones, which indirectly impact your ability to lose fat.


Emily Field (00:24:11) – We’ve also talked about how eating more calories can support your metabolic health and indirectly lead to some. That loss. And lastly, we’ve just talked about how eating more carbohydrates better fuels your workouts and protects that lean muscle that you’re working hard to build again, leading to additional fat loss or just an easier time maintaining a healthy weight. The last mechanism I’m going to talk about here today is about eating more protein. So when I say you need to eat more in order to get lean, sometimes I’m meaning you might need to eat more protein, because eating more protein will help support your fat loss goals, make it easier for you to maintain a healthy body weight and a better body composition. When I refer to eating more to get lean, a lot of times I’m talking about eating more protein. Okay, eating more protein supports fat loss because it helps preserve muscle mass, and it happens through several mechanisms. First, we know that protein has a higher thermic effect, meaning it requires more energy to digest, which boosts metabolism and calorie expenditure.


Emily Field (00:25:18) – Again, not really something that we can really rely on for a mechanism to lose weight or lose body fat, but it certainly contributes. Just by simply eating more protein, we can boost our energy expenditure. Next, we know that protein is one of the most satiating of the macronutrients. It helps reduce our appetite, leading to probably less cravings, less snacking, less consumption, or less overconsumption of calories when you’re eating enough protein. We’ve talked about this in the previous point, but eating enough protein is going to be crucial for muscle repair and growth. That’s going to ensure that your body maintains lean muscle mass when you’re trying to lose weight. So even if you are in a calorie deficit, intentionally or unintentionally, if you’re eating enough protein, your body is going to be instructed to hold on to that muscle mass and primarily lose fat. Instead, if we are doing that in combination with strength training, that’s going to be an even bigger effect. Okay, this is really important because if we’re trying to preserve our metabolism, keep our metabolic rate fairly high, and prevent some of that metabolic adaptation that happens with dieting, we’re going to want to ensure a higher protein intake, and we’re going to want to ensure strength training as well.


Emily Field (00:26:32) – So the next logical question that you’re really pops into people’s heads after an episode like this is, well, how much, how many calories is just enough, but not too much. Or how much protein do I need to prevent these consequences but also lead to weight loss? How many carbs are we talking? So I highly recommend that you pause this podcast. You’ll go over to the show notes and download my DIY macros guide so you can set your macros and your calories with all of this in mind. Okay, so I’m going to let you do that now. And I’m going to have a couple of double checks on your math to make sure that we’re landing in a place that’s really supportive of your metabolic health, your hormones, your muscle and strength gain, as well as your energy. Okay, so after you’ve figured out your macros and your calories, let’s do a quick double check. When we talk about at the top of the guide, when we talk about creating a calorie deficit, because again, really, this episode is tailored to the person who is wanting to lose fat, wanting to get lean, but has heard the advice that they probably need to eat more.


Emily Field (00:27:36) – I am assuming that you likely took the largest calorie deficit possible instead of the smallest one possible. So in the first couple of steps, you’re creating your calorie deficit and we give you some choices ten, 15, or 20% of calories from your estimated maintenance. I highly recommend that you hang out on that 10 or 15%. That is considered a slight calorie deficit, and this will absolutely help you prevent hangry. Again, I know it sounds backwards when I say something like you need to eat more in order to lose weight, you need to eat more in order to get lean. But part of that is managing your diet long term. Sticking with it long term. You’ve got 30 pounds to lose, 50 pounds to lose or more. You’re going to be in this for a while. So we want to keep things manageable and prevent those overeating or binge eating episodes. Next, let’s do a quick double check on your calories coming from protein, fat, and carbohydrate. So that you can prevent hormone disaster. So this is where we were kind of talking about eating enough to support our hormones, because supporting our hormones indirectly leads to fat loss over time by way of thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, cortisol, all that good stuff.


Emily Field (00:28:47) – So if we’re looking at the percent of calories coming from protein, fat and carbs, we do involve some personal preference here. And in the guide we really talk about shifting, you know, a little bit more fat or shifting to a little bit more carb depending on your personal preference or your activity level. But in general, you’re looking for ranges like 20 to 30% of your calories coming from protein, 25 to 35% of your calories coming from fat, and maybe like 35 to 50% of your calories coming from carbs. That’s plenty enough in each one of those categories to keep your hormones happy. Later in the episode, we talked about eating more calories to support your metabolic health. Particularly, more nutrient rich sources of food can support your metabolic health, and having a healthy metabolism is key for fat loss. So the way to double check that you’re eating enough to fuel your metabolic health or to support your metabolic health would be to, again, look at that calorie deficit. Are we aiming for something like 10 to 15% from your maintenance needs, or are we actually higher than that? More like 25 or 30% right out the gate.


Emily Field (00:29:56) – We want to opt for a slight calorie deficit over a drastic calorie deficit in order to support our metabolic health and make it easier to lose fat and keep it off long term. Next, let’s do a double check on our carbohydrates. We want to ensure that we’re eating enough carbohydrates to support our workouts and protect that lean muscle. All the other benefits we talked about in this episode as well. So after you’ve calculated your carb targets from the DIY Macros guide, consider checking that it is not lower than about one gram per pound of body weight. So what that means is if you are 180 pounds, your carbohydrate target is not going to be less than 180g. There’s a little bit of wiggle room here, especially if you are somebody who prefers a lot of fat in their diet or does not get a lot of activity. But in general, I’d say a great rule of thumb is to hang out around that one gram per pound of body weight, or at least don’t go a lot lower than that. Lastly, let’s look at your protein.


Emily Field (00:30:57) – So here’s how we know we’re eating enough protein to support fat loss, not muscle loss. So after you’ve calculated your protein targets, let’s do a double check and make sure that your target is not lower than about 0.6, maybe even 0.8g per pound of body weight. All right. In the guide, we recommend that 30% of your calories come from protein. But we also give, you know, have the option of one gram per pound of body weight for somebody who’s significantly overweight and is holding on to a lot of excess body fat, that might be a really high number. So you’re welcome to shift as low as 0.6. This is going to be more than enough to support your goals, to gain muscle or support your goals, to lose fat while preserving muscle. So you’ll just simply take your body weight right now and multiply that by 0.6 as a double check. Make sure that your protein target is above this and if it’s feeling really, really high because you aim for that one gram per pound of body weight, maybe let’s shift that down.


Emily Field (00:32:00) – Let’s shift it down to maybe 0.8 or even 0.6g of protein per pound of body weight. So today we explored what I mean when I say you need to eat more to get lean. I know how backwards that sounds, but I’m hoping after this episode you’re feeling a bit more confident about what I mean. You know, the mechanisms by which that is true. First, eating more can support getting lean by preventing that hunger induced anger or hangry and reduce the likelihood of overeating, therefore indirectly aiding fat loss. We know that consuming adequate calories helps maintain hormone balance, which is crucial for weight management. In addition, sufficient calorie intake supports your metabolic health, which prevents metabolic slowdown or adaptation and promotes a higher calorie burn overall. Eating more carbs fuels your exercise performance and protects lean muscle, which is essential for fat loss. Increased protein intake supports muscle gain and preservation, further enhancing metabolic rate and facilitating fat loss. So overall, eating more nutrient rich foods can strategically lead to a leaner, healthier body composition. Thank you so much for listening to the Macros Made Easy podcast.


Emily Field (00:33:11) – If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of the one you’re listening to right now to share it on your Instagram Stories, and tag me at Emily Field so that more people can find this podcast and learn how to use a macros approach in a stress free way. If you love the podcast, head over to iTunes and leave me a rating and a review. Remember, you can always find more free health and nutrition content on Instagram and on my website at www.emilyfieldrd.com. Thanks for listening and I’ll catch you on the next episode.


Have you ever heard the idea that eating more will help you slim down?

It’s a concept that might make you raise an eyebrow, but I promise, by the end of today’s episode, you’ll see why it makes perfect sense. 

Join me to explore how properly fueling your body can actually rev up your metabolism, aid in muscle development, and help you say goodbye to constant hunger. But it’s not about just any calories—it’s about the right mix of proteins, fats, and carbs. So, for those of you who are tired of over-restricting your food intake and want a more fulfilling path to health, this episode is your ticket to a happier, healthier you.

Listen to learn more about:

how eating more regularly can effectively prevent extreme hunger fluctuations - AKA: "hanger"

Have you ever been so hungry that you felt angry? That’s “hanger,” and it’s a real phenomenon. Eating more frequently throughout the day can help stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing these extreme hunger fluctuations. 

By keeping “hanger” at bay, you’re more likely to make mindful food choices and maintain portion control, which is essential for fat loss.

The role of hormones in hunger and fullness, and how eating more helps regulate them

Hormones such as leptin and ghrelin are the conductors of our hunger and fullness signals. When we eat more, particularly a balanced mix of macronutrients, we help regulate these hormones, keeping our appetite in check. This hormonal harmony can lead to a more effective and sustainable fat loss journey.

The science behind metabolism and how eating more can increase metabolic rate

Metabolism is often misunderstood. It’s not just about burning calories; it’s about how your body uses energy. Eating more can actually increase your metabolic rate by fueling your body’s energy needs and supporting thyroid function. This, in turn, can enhance your body’s natural ability to burn fat.

The importance of carbohydrates for energy during exercise and sparing muscle breakdown

Carbohydrates are not the enemy—they’re a vital source of energy, especially during exercise. Consuming adequate carbs ensures that your body doesn’t resort to breaking down muscle for fuel. This is crucial because muscle mass plays a significant role in your metabolic rate and overall body composition.

How proper macronutrient balance supports muscle growth and repair

A well-balanced diet rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates is essential for muscle growth and repair. Eating more of these macronutrients supports your body’s recovery after workouts and contributes to the development of lean muscle tissue, which is key for a toned and defined physique.

Exact steps you can take to set your macros using my DIY macro guide, and how to make sure your calculated macros are ideal for your goals.

To optimize your fat loss and muscle gain, it’s important to calculate your macronutrient needs accurately. My DIY Macros Guide provides a step-by-step approach to setting your macros tailored to your individual goals. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you’re eating the right amounts of each macronutrient to support your fat loss journey.

Remember that your body is an incredible machine that thrives on the right fuel. By giving it the nutrients it needs, not only can you get leaner, but you’ll also enjoy more energy and better overall health.


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