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TOPIC: What's the perfect balance of protein, carbs and fats for ma

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February 3, 2011 8:34 PM
So I am confused and I need your help. I have been reading all sorts of diet/health books - biggest loser, 4 hour body, Paleo Diet, etc... They all happen to clash with one another.


I am female, weigh 160 pounds, 5'6", eat 1200-1400 calories per day on average (besides my cheat day once a week)... I do long bouts of cardio 3x a week (90-120 minutes) and high-intensity circuit training with weights 2x a week (it was all cardio, now I've added weights in). I want to drop more body fat, and lose weight.

The past two days I decided to follow components of the 4 hour body diet/Atkins and eat lower in carbs and have a slab of steak for dinner, a slab of chicken with greens for lunch, and eggs for breakfast (among other things). After reading the 4 hour body I felt GUILTY for consuming almonds and skim milk! I am so confused, what is the "perfect" balance of fats/carbs/proteins for maximum weight loss? All these diets, nutritionists, personal trainers, and authors say things that clash! Please help!

What have you found to be the most effective for weight loss and dropping body fat? I'm feeling like just counting calories isn't cutting it anymore and I need to focus more...
February 3, 2011 8:37 PM
I don't know what's best, I simply follow what MFP says with the exception of calcium and fibre.
February 3, 2011 8:38 PM
The fact that all these semi-reputable sources disagree with each other (and that their founders all have success on the diet) indicates to me that none of them really know the answer. Probably, the answer is that certain diets work better for some people, and other diets work better for others. You'll have to work experimentally to figure out what works best for you.

MFP seems to assume that the best blend is roughly 2g carbs for every 1g fat and 1g of protein (2-1-1). In actuality, I tend to eat something more like 1-1-1, and that seems to work fine for me. But I also build bulky muscle very quickly, so I probably need a bit more protein than somebody who doesn't do that.
February 3, 2011 8:41 PM
That said, I just gulped down 40g of protein in the form of a vanilla protein shake, because I needed more protein in my diet but not a lot of fat, so eggs were out...
February 3, 2011 8:44 PM
I agree with drosenbauer about the different ratios being thrown all over the place. I tend toward higher fat and protein than MFP likes to suggest, because I've found it keeps me satisfied. At the end of the day, if you're eating mindfully and eating real food almost all of the time, it comes down to calories in calories out, and the ratio is just what makes you feel the best. Experiment, and good luck to you!
February 3, 2011 8:57 PM

At the end of the day, if you're eating mindfully and eating real food almost all of the time, it comes down to calories in calories out, and the ratio is just what makes you feel the best.

This is, of course, the opposite of what the Paleo Diet folks would tell you... :)
February 3, 2011 9:08 PM
I would recommend doing high protein, healthy fats, and low carbs (with carbs being natural fruits and vegetables -- not processed).

*Here is a great tool that you might be interested in . . . .

*Here is an article on types of fats from Mayo Clinic . . .

Everyone has different opinions as far as percentages . . . some people do 50% protein, 30% fats, 20% carbs, others 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fats, and some are more towards 40% protein, 30% fats, 30% carbs.

The most important thing -- in my opinion -- is to eat many raw fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and some healthy fats. AND drink tons of clean water!

For example:

2-3 eggs (scrambled or omelette)
Add in vegetables - bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, etc.

Raw Almonds

Tuna fish on celery sticks instead of bread (You can add Mayo and pickles to your tuna -- I like the Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil)
Apple slices with peanut butter

Carrots dipped in hummus

Gigantic Salad (family size)
-Use different colored greens: spinach, romaine, "wild" greens
- Add in many colors: different colored bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, zuchinni, red onions, radishes, cucumbers, etc.
- Throw a protein on top: chicken/fish/lean meat
- For fat: Add avocado or olives or a more fatty dressing (Ranch)
*If using an avocado, you might want to use salsa for a dressing so you don't go overboard

Grapes, strawberries, or blueberries with Greek yogurt

I didn't add up the calories from the day above but I just wanted to give you an idea of what a typical day might look like for you. I am not a dietician, medical professional, or anything like that. I am just speaking from experience of what has helped me in the past.

BTW . . . I am 33 yrs. old and 5'6'. I was down to 140 lbs. when I followed this religiously -- paired with high cardio/ kettlebell/crossfit training. Unfortunately, recently I lost track due to holidays and other personal and family issues so I am back up to 163. I am in the process of recommitting to these goals but I currently have my diet diary set to "private." I hope to soon change it back once I can get back on track LOL

Feel free to add me as a MFP friend. I tend to be better at helping others than doing the right thing for myself. HAHAHA
Edited by tigertchr23 On February 3, 2011 9:12 PM
February 3, 2011 9:12 PM
Thanks so much Tiger! That is very similar to what I have been aiming for & doing a decent job of doing, but then I read things like the 4 hour body where it says to avoid nuts, greek yogurt and fruit - all things I enjoy.... then I feel guilty! My issue is vegetables and diversity. I'll have eggs for breakfast with nothing else, chicken for lunch with nothing else and steak for dinner with nothing else and then nuts, yogurt and fruit as snacks... Definitely gotta mix it up! And 140 is my goal too, so it's nice to know that you were able to attain it! Good luck to you too!


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