For weight loss and healthy lifestyle (the goal of the majority of my clients) a general rule is don’t try to walk before you can run. Sometimes my clients see a product I’m using on social media and ask if they should do the same, my question back is usually “have you made 3 gym sessions this week, have you reached your calorie goals so far and have you reached your water intake goal I set you? If not, you are no-where near the stage of thinking about taking a supplement!”
This may sound harsh but I would never encourage a client to spend money where they don’t need to, or put anything into their body that won’t benefit them. Focus firstly on working out calories you need to eat which will put you into a deficit, then your protein intake goal which is most important macro, couple this with training, water and essential vitamin intake and repeat this until you see changes!
For example, a female weighing 10 stone who wants to lose weight and was previously eating 2,300 calories per day, I would advise to eat 2,100 calories per day (roughly) and around 30g protein per meal across 5 meals (140g total per day or 1g per lb body weight) and to eat carbs and fats as per their PREFERENCE to make up the remaining 1,700 calories per day. This will keep her within calorie goals whilst allowing her a lot of leeway so she can enjoy her food and mix fat and carb sources on her plate.
Another way to look at the split is how you function on high fats, high carbs and/or equal amounts. I have friends who LOVE high fat dieting (you know who you are) and they are lean, healthy and happy and have the energy to run a business, basically proving the argument wrong that carbs are essential every day for energy. On the other hand I know people who love carbs as a source of energy and must have porridge or bread in the morning to make it through to lunch. Personally, I like to eat carbs around my training sessions so my body makes the best use of them, however I won’t turn down a bowl of porridge or a piece of toast on a rest day – because I’ll still always eat to my calorie and protein goal. If I eat in a deficit, exercise, hit my protein goal, drink water and sleep, I will lose fat! Worrying about eating too many carbs at 9pm etc. is silly – your body can’t tell the time and working until 9pm every week night I am proof that oats at 10pm doesn’t affect your ability to stay lean!