What and When to Eat for Fat Loss: Macronutients Breakdown

What and when to eat for weight loss, fat loss - primalbreedfit

This whole fat loss business may sometimes seem overly complicated and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

In this article I break down the role nutrition plays (macronutrients and total calories) in weight loss, with the goal of simplifying the process.


What and when to eat for weight loss - primalbreedfit toronto


A protein is made out of 20 different amino acids and is the primary building block of muscle tissue in the body.

There are 3 different types of protein:

Complete Protein: Contains all of the essential amino acids in adequate amounts. Complete proteins are mostly found in animal and dairy products as well as soy.

Incomplete Protein: Missing or containing inadequate amounts of the essential amino acids. Majority of plant foods (beans, grains, vegetables, peas, nuts) are a source of incomplete protein.

Complementary Protein: Two or more foods that when combined with one another (eaten together) create a complete protein. E.g. Rice with beans and bread with peanut butter

BCAAs(branched chain amino acids) are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, which comprise a big sum of the body’s muscle protein.

Leucine is the most notable out of the three, being the driving force of muscle protein synthesis.

Protein synthesis is the fancy name for the process in which new muscle protein cells are made. In other words, it’s the process in which you build new muscle tissue.

If the rate of protein synthesis is less than the rate of protein degradation then you lose muscle.

This is especially important to note when in a fat loss phase (calorie deficit), making sure you consume an adequate amount of protein (containing enough leucine) to prevent muscle loss.



Consuming 2.5 to 5g of leucine (the equivalent of a whey protein shake or a serving of lean meat) per meal is an adequate amount to signal protein synthesis into action. Doing so will keep you in an anabolic state preventing muscle loss, while in a fat loss phase.

This would translate to having at least 30-40g of total protein from animal sources or 45g or more of plant based protein per meal to initiate protein synthesis. Every meal should contain an adequate amount of protein to stimulate protein synthesis to maintain your muscle mass which is vital for overall health.

Note* The older we get, the more our hormone levels decrease requiring more protein per meal to stimulate protein synthesis. A 60 year old will require more protein than a 20 year old to have the same response in the body.


Are carbs bad for weight loss - primalbreedfit


While all carbs have 4 calories per gram, that’s pretty much where the similarities end, at least in regard to how our body breaks them down and digests them.

There are two categories of carbohydrates.


High-glycemic carbs are fast digesting, meaning they get broken down rather quickly by your body.

This creates a rapid surge of glucose into your blood followed by a spike in insulin levels. Fast digesting carbs can often make you feel pretty sluggish soon after eating them.

The most optimal time to consume fast digesting carbs is immediately post-workout when your body needs to be refueled in order to start the repair and recovery process.

Examples of these include all sugary foods (cookies, sweets, pastries, etc.), russet potatoes, banana, white bread, white pasta, white rice and jam to name a few.



Low-glycemic carbs are slow digesting, producing a slower, more steady release of glucose into your blood.

This means less of an instant insulin spike translating into a more steady release of energy as opposed to a quick surge and sudden drop you would experience from eating fast-digesting carbs.

Examples of these include brown rice, brown rice pasta, beans, quinoa and sweet potatoes with the skin.

Slow digesting carbs are to be avoided post-workout and can be had at any other time of the day.



Because of the vast difference in the way the body breaks down different types of carbohydrates, carb timing plays an important role in fat loss.

A simple method to follow is to eat the fast digesting carbohydrates for post-workout meals only, while if needed having low-glycemic carbs for other meals throughout the day.

A low-carb breakfast is recommended to maintain an even energy curve throughout the day as well as keeping your insulin sensitive.

Note* Since carbohydrates are primarily utilized for energy, eat them as you use them. The more active you are, the more your body will be using them. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or have a slow-pace day, limit your carbohydrate intake since you’ll most likely not need them.

Is eating fat bad for losing weight - primalbreedfit toronto


While both protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, fat contains 9 calories per gram. Fat is an essential macronutrient for a healthy and optimally functioning body. It plays a key role in:

  • Regulating hormone levels
  • Is an energy source
  • Absorption of certain micronutrients
  • Satiety

A moderate amount must be present in every diet to maintain a healthy heart, brain and body.

Some healthy fat sources are avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, fatty fish and nuts.



A great time to have a large portion of your daily fat intake is as your first meal.

When you wake, your insulin sensitivity is low and the body is in a fat burning state.

Going against the grain and avoiding carbs for breakfast has numerous benefits. Eating a breakfast high in fats (25g-40g) and a moderate amount of protein will

  • keep your blood sugar levels stable 
  • teach your body to utilize fats for fuel instead of carbohydrates
  • provide an even energy curve
  • help to promote weight loss 


Making sense of it all

In order to start losing body fat, you must be eating in a caloric deficit.

In other words; your total daily calories must be lower than what your body burns in order to facilitate fat loss.

From the knowledge we have acquired above, we can then organize our daily macronutrients (fats,carbs and protein) intake to achieve weight loss in the following way:

  • Majority of calorie percentage will come from protein. Protein plays a key role in creating an anabolic environment for our body in order to preserve lean muscle tissue and promote fat loss. Protein will account for 45%-55% of total caloric intake.
  • Carbohydrates will be used mainly around the workout time in order to increase performance and intensity in the gym. Having the ability to train hard will burn a ton of calories, stimulate muscle tissue and promote fat loss. Depending on your current body composition (the higher the bodyfat percentage the less carbohydrates you should use), carbs will account for 15-25% of total calories.
  • Fats will be used for optimal hormone function, overall health and to teach the body to favor fats for fuel rather than carbohydrates. Fats will account for 20%-35% of your total daily calories.

Pro Tip: Avoid consuming high fat combined with high carb meals. Combining the two in high amounts will take quite long to digest and most probably some of it will be stored as fat. Keep the meals mostly protein with carbs or protein with fats for optimal fat loss.


Wrapping it up

In summary, to promote weight loss you must be eating less total daily calories than what your body requires to meet your daily demands.

Organize your nutrition plan so that every meal contains a good amount of protein with either fats or some carbohydrates.

Consume a large portion of your fats as your first meal and the majority of your carbs around workout time, especially post-workout.


Still confused?

If you need help with all this stuff and have it all designed for you to follow and see awesome fat loss (or muscle building) results, the Primal Breed Online coaching program makes it easy and straight forward to get started.

Simply fill out the questionnaire and you will receive a custom-designed nutrition & workout program to reach your goals. More info here.


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