Follow

Nutrition | Macronutrients and Different Plan Types

Carbohydrates are the main and preferred energy source for our bodies. They can be separated into simple carbs and complex carbs depending on the number of sugar molecules they contain and the speed your body is able to absorb them. Simple carbs, which can also be referred to as sugars, are absorbed very quickly. Sources of simple carbs include table sugar, honey, maple syrup, candy, soft drinks, fruit juices, etc. Complex carbs contain more than two sugar molecules and are absorbed slower. Sources of complex carbs include whole grains and products made from them (e.g. whole grain bread or pasta), green vegetables, starchy vegetables (e.g. potatoes) as well as beans and legumes. Carbohydrates are very important and it is not wise to avoid them completely. Complex carbohydrates should be chosen instead of simple carbohydrates, however, as they provide our bodies with fiber and essential nutrients.

Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids and are the building blocks of our bodies. Proteins are highly essential for many complex processes, as they include enzymes, hormones and antibodies. Overall, there are 20 amino acids, eight of which need to be obtained through diet as our bodies cannot synthesize them. With a healthy and balanced diet, it is easy to meet protein requirements. Sources of protein include meat, dairy products, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. It used to be thought that proteins from animal sources have more nutritional value, however, current research proves that plant-based protein is equally good if eaten in variety.

Fats are essential for normal body function and act as an energy reserve. They are very calorie-dense, which means a small amount contains a lot more kcal compared to other macronutrients. There are different types of fat and even though all have the same calorie-density, some provide us with essential fatty acids. Sources of good, unsaturated fat include nuts, seeds, avocado and olives. Some fats, on the other hand, can promote inflammation. These include saturated and trans fats. Saturated (e.g. butter or lard) and trans fats (from processed foods) are not needed in our diet and should be avoided as their consumption can also increase cholesterol levels.

Example of macronutrient calculation:

Durable plan (see table below for other plan types) consists of 55% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 30% fat. As an example, 1500 kcal should contain:

1500 x 55% = 825 kcal carbohydrates
1500 x 15% = 225 kcal protein
1500 x 30% = 450 kcal fats

Total = 1500 kcal total in one day

It can also be converted into grams. For this it is important to know that:

1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 kcal
1 gram of protein = 4 kcal
1 gram of fat = 9 kcal

This means that:

825 kcal of carbohydrates = 206 grams (825: 4)
225 kcal of protein = 56 grams (225: 4),
450 kcal of fat = 50 grams (450: 9)

Plans offered by Virtuagym:

Weight loss

Weight maintenance

Weight gain

Durable (55/15/30)

Balance (60/10/30)

High Energy (55/10/35)

High Protein (50/25/25)

After Weight-loss (50/20/30)

Athlete (55/20/25)

Low Carb (35/25/40)

Maintain Muscles (50/25/25)

Build Muscle (50/25/25)

Athlete (55/20/25)

Cardio (60/20/20)

Cardio (60/20/20)

Cardio Training (60/20/20)

Athlete (55/20/25)

Custom (chosen by you)

Custom (chosen by you)

Custom (chosen by you)

 

 

As you can see above, these plans differ in proportions between macronutrients. The standard (and recommended) ratio is 55% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 30% fat. Nevertheless, if your lifestyle and way of exercising differ from the norm, e.g. you are a cardio athlete or you perform a lot of strength training, these proportions change. If you are at the beginning of your journey and your aim is to become healthier, our recommendation is the durable plan. It offers a standard recommended proportion of carbohydrates, protein and fats which increases the likelihood of sticking to the guidelines for a long time even after the weight loss. We also allow for a custom plan, where you can choose the proportions by yourself. We recommend using this option if you have macronutrient guidance from your doctor or dietician.

It is important to remember that macronutrient proportions set in your plan are just guidelines and what is more important is that you eat a variety of healthy, whole foods. Vitamins and minerals are essential for your energy, health and well-being. Therefore, focusing all attention on counting macronutrients will not necessarily bring you good health. Always listen to your body and if you are not feeling well, it may mean the plan you selected is not for you.

Below you can find more detailed information about plans offered by Virtuagym:


LOSE WEIGHT:

(55/15/30) Durable:

This plan is recommended by Virtuagym as it allows you to lose weight gradually and ensure long-term results. The proportion of macronutrients in this plan is standard, nevertheless, combined with decreased energy (kcal) intake will guarantee weight loss.

(50/25/25) High Protein:

This plan differs from recommended standards as the protein intake is highly increased. Protein will help you feel fuller for longer and for some people, it makes it easier to get used to the lower calorie intake in the first weeks of dieting. However, such change in macronutrient proportion will not be suitable for everyone. If you have any medical conditions, especially problems with your kidneys, please choose a different plan. This plan is not recommended for longer periods of time, please use it wisely and return to standard macronutrient ratio regularly to ensure your body stays healthy and you are full of energy. If you are feeling unwell, please consider changing the plan.

(35/25/40) Low Carb:

Low carb diets, as the name suggests, are based on decreased intake of carbohydrates. Although such plans usually guarantee quick and easy results, it is not recommended for longer periods of time (maximum 6 weeks). Carbohydrates are the main and preferred source of energy for our body and even though we can survive on limited intake, we cannot thrive and feel our best. Please keep that in mind while choosing your plan. If you have any medical conditions, please speak to your doctor before selecting this option. If you are feeling unwell following this plan, please consider changing the plan.

(55/20/25) Athlete:

This plan is based on a slightly increased protein intake to help you build extra muscle mass. Proportions of carbohydrates and fat are in a healthy balance, to ensure you get all required energy to increase your performance. Please choose this plan if you exercise on regular basis. If you are just starting out, we recommend the durable plan. Keep in mind that you can change your plan at any time.

(60/20/20) Cardio Training:

This plan has been designed for cardio athletes, such as runners, who have higher carbohydrate requirements and still have weight to lose. Increased carbohydrate intake ensures your performance is improved and your diet is still healthy and balanced. This plan does not significantly cut down protein intake what helps to maintain lean muscle mass.

Custom:

This plan is intended to be used if your macronutrient proportions have been set up specifically for you by your doctor or nutritionist. If you are just starting a healthy lifestyle and do not have sufficient knowledge in nutrition, please choose one of the other plans created by us to ensure your safety and well-being.

 

MAINTAIN WEIGHT:

 (60/10/30) Balance:

If your goal is to maintain your current weight, Virtuagym suggests this plan. It is based on the recommended ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fats. Combined with the suggested daily calorie intake, this plan will give your body all it needs to stay in balance. Please choose this plan if you do not exercise vigorously as we offer slightly different plans for strength and cardio athletes.

(50/20/30) After Weight-Loss

If you have recently been on a weight-loss diet and achieved your desired results, this plan is recommended by Virtuagym to ensure your current weight is maintained. The protein intake in this plan is slightly increased to prevent the yo-yo effect that often happens after weight loss. If you previously lost weight and have successfully maintained your weight since we recommend the ‘Balance’ plan instead. Please keep in mind that you can change your plan at any time.

(50/25/25) Maintain Muscles:

This plan should be followed after a diet that was aimed at increasing your muscle mass. This is a high protein plan, therefore it might not be suitable for everyone, and is not recommended for long periods of time. Please use it wisely and return to standard macronutrient ratios regularly to ensure your body stays healthy and you are full of energy. If you are feeling unwell, please consider changing the plan.

(60/20/20) Cardio Training:

This plan has been designed for cardio athletes, such as runners, who have higher carbohydrate requirements due to their training. Cardio exercises burn a lot of kcal it is easy to unintentionally lose weight, therefore, it is important to ensure enough kcal is consumed and the correct macronutrient ratio is kept. Increased carbohydrate intake ensures your performance is improved and your diet is healthy and balanced. This plan does not significantly cut down protein intake, what helps to maintain lean muscle mass.

(55/20/25) Athlete:

This plan is based on a slightly increased protein intake to help you build extra muscle mass while maintaining your current weight. Proportions of carbohydrates and fat are in a healthy balance, to ensure you get all the energy required to increase your performance. Please choose this plan if you exercise on a regular basis. Otherwise, if you are just starting, we recommend the ‘Balance’ plan. Keep in mind that you can change your plan at any time.

Custom:

This plan is intended to be used if your macronutrient proportions have been set up specifically for you by your doctor or nutritionist. If you are just starting a healthy lifestyle and do not have sufficient knowledge in nutrition, please choose one of the other plans created by us to ensure your safety and well-being.

 

GAIN WEIGHT:

 (55/10/35) High Energy:

If your goal is to gain weight and you want to do it in a healthy way, this plan is recommended for you. In this plan, the carbohydrate and fat intake are slightly increased to help you achieve your goal. The macronutrient ratio is still kept in balance and is not far from standard recommendations, which makes this plan suitable for long-term use. It is intended for someone who does not do vigorous exercise. Therefore, if you are a strength or cardio athlete who wants to gain weight, Virtuagym offers special plans depending on the type of your training. Please keep in mind that you can always change the plan and adapt it to your lifestyle.

(55/20/25) Athlete:

This plan is based on a slightly increased protein intake to help you build extra muscle mass and increase your weight in a healthy way. Proportions of carbohydrates and fat are balanced to ensure you get all the required energy needed to increase your performance. Please choose this plan if you exercise on a regular basis. Otherwise, if you are just starting, we recommend choosing a different plan, such as ‘High Energy.’  Keep in mind that you can change your plan at any time to adapt it to your exercise routine.

(50/25/25) Build Muscle:

This plan is intended for strength athletes that aim to gain weight by increasing the muscle mass. This plan, because of high protein intake, should not be followed if you do not exercise. If that is the case, we recommend our other plans, such as ‘High Energy.’ The Build Muscle plan is also not recommended for long periods of time and can only be followed by healthy individuals. Please use this option wisely and return to standard macronutrient ratios regularly to ensure your body stays healthy and you are full of energy. If you are feeling unwell, please consider changing the plan.

(60/20/20) Cardio Training:

This plan has been designed for cardio athletes, such as runners, who have higher carbohydrate requirements due to their training. Because cardio exercises burn a lot of kcal it might be difficult to gain weight. Therefore, it is important to ensure enough food is consumed and the correct macronutrient ratio is maintained. Increased carbohydrate intake ensures your performance is improved and your diet is healthy and balanced. This plan does not significantly cut down protein intake, what helps to maintain or slightly increase lean muscle mass. 

Custom:

This plan is intended to be used if your macronutrient proportions have been set up specifically for you by your doctor or nutritionist. If you are just starting a healthy lifestyle and do not have sufficient knowledge about nutrition, please choose one of the other plans created by our nutritionists to ensure your safety and well-being.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments