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TOPIC: What's the optimal ratio of carbs, protein, and fat...?

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June 4, 2012 9:01 PM
Hello there! I was wondering what the optimal ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat was for muscle gain and fat loss. I think my default setting for carbohydrates/protein/fat is something like 55%/15%/30%, but is that enough protein? I do cardio ~6 days a week and lift 3x a week, and i don't want my muscles to break down. Does anyone know? Also, what ratio has been working for you? Thanks in advance.
June 4, 2012 9:16 PM
QUOTE:

Hello there! I was wondering what the optimal ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat was for muscle gain and fat loss. I think my default setting for carbohydrates/protein/fat is something like 55%/15%/30%, but is that enough protein? I do cardio ~6 days a week and lift 3x a week, and i don't want my muscles to break down. Does anyone know? Also, what ratio has been working for you? Thanks in advance.



Don't use ratios:

Protein: 1-1.5 g/lb of Lean Body Mass (LBM). If you don't know your LBM, use target bodyweight.

Fat: .5 g/lb of LBM (or TBW). Make sure you're getting a good amount of Omega-3

Fill in the rest however you like.
June 4, 2012 9:59 PM
bumping because I"m curious too.........it feels like that setting on MFP for carbs is high and protein is low, but I'm not exactly sure what to adjust them to.
June 4, 2012 10:05 PM
You shouldn't use ratios. Generally you should go by:
Protein = At least 1g per pound body weight (or if you're overweight/obese, 1g per pound LBM)
Fat = .4g - .45g per pound body weight
The rest is carbs, unless you're following a low carb diet. Just fill them in as you like.
Edited by strawberrie_milk On June 4, 2012 10:05 PM
June 4, 2012 11:53 PM
40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% fat....
i never reach my protein though and always overdo the fat.
  13713802
June 4, 2012 11:59 PM
look at Tom Venuto Burn the fat feed the muscle, you have to pay for it but there is loads of good info in it, and he has a chapter on eating the right ratio for your body type.
or go to this link:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/idssports3.htm
  9189633
June 5, 2012 12:02 AM
QUOTE:

40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% fat....

This has worked fine for me when I want to bulk!! I usually lower the carbs a bit when I am cutting, but I also have a calorie deficit in this time, so it works out ok.
June 5, 2012 12:04 AM
I agree with the others that posted to use grams per LBM/total body weight. The recommendations vary a little, mainly because of activity levels but from what I have read, the MINIMUMs should be:

1g protein per lb of LBM
0.35g fat per lb of total body weight.

The rest - just fall as they may. I set my macros at 40/30/30 (c/f/p) but that is because it actually fits into these minimums based on my calorie goal which is static. I never worry about going over on fats and protein as long as I stay within my calorie goal.
  18358448
June 5, 2012 12:09 AM
Fat can go down to between 20g and 30g.

Most protein levels quoted are very high for those who are not body building. 0.7g/1 lb LBM is more than enough for most people.

From wikipedia

The American and Canadian guidelines recommend a daily protein dietary allowance, measured as intake per kilogram body weight, is 0.8 g/kg.[15] However, this recommendation is based on structural requirements, but disregards use of protein for energy metabolism.[15] This requirement is for a normal sedentary person.[17]

Several studies have concluded that active people and athletes may require elevated protein intake (compared to 0.8 g/kg) due to increase in muscle mass and sweat losses, as well as need for body repair and energy source.[15][16][17] Suggested amounts vary between 1.6 g/kg and 1.8 g/kg,[16] while a proposed maximum daily protein intake would be approximately 25% of energy requirements i.e. approximately 2 to 2.5 g/kg.

Carbs can be whatever fits into your calorie allowance is. By meeting your daily requirements of fruit and veg you will take in 100g+ carbs. The 5 a day recommended in the UK is a tad on the low side and I try to get closer to 7 most days and go for a minimum of 5.
June 5, 2012 12:38 AM
QUOTE:

Fat can go down to between 20g and 30g.

Most protein levels quoted are very high for those who are not body building. 0.7g/1 lb LBM is more than enough for most people.

From wikipedia

The American and Canadian guidelines recommend a daily protein dietary allowance, measured as intake per kilogram body weight, is 0.8 g/kg.[15] However, this recommendation is based on structural requirements, but disregards use of protein for energy metabolism.[15] This requirement is for a normal sedentary person.[17]

Several studies have concluded that active people and athletes may require elevated protein intake (compared to 0.8 g/kg) due to increase in muscle mass and sweat losses, as well as need for body repair and energy source.[15][16][17] Suggested amounts vary between 1.6 g/kg and 1.8 g/kg,[16] while a proposed maximum daily protein intake would be approximately 25% of energy requirements i.e. approximately 2 to 2.5 g/kg.

Carbs can be whatever fits into your calorie allowance is. By meeting your daily requirements of fruit and veg you will take in 100g+ carbs. The 5 a day recommended in the UK is a tad on the low side and I try to get closer to 7 most days and go for a minimum of 5.


Endurance athletes actually require more than body builders and should be on the high end of the spectrum. Taking the low end 1.6g per kg of body weight = approx. 0.7g per lb of total body weight for non-sedentary people.

ETA: not sure where the low fat amounts come from.
Edited by Sarauk2sf On June 5, 2012 12:49 AM
  18358448
June 5, 2012 12:43 AM
It depends on your goals. In my experience, I find that when I lower my carb intake to anything below 20% it skyrockets my weight-loss. Of course I do exercise quite a bit these days. I was recently on a plateau and I cut carbs down to 10% and immediately started losing weight again.
  12460286
June 5, 2012 12:55 AM
Great information. Thanks
June 5, 2012 1:12 AM
QUOTE:

Hello there! I was wondering what the optimal ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat was for muscle gain and fat loss. I think my default setting for carbohydrates/protein/fat is something like 55%/15%/30%, but is that enough protein? I do cardio ~6 days a week and lift 3x a week, and i don't want my muscles to break down. Does anyone know? Also, what ratio has been working for you? Thanks in advance.


Knock your running down to 5 days and Lifting up to 4 days. Doing to much Cardio can burn muscle too. You really don't need to do more then 20-30min of Good Cardio a Day. Sometimes I will do two Cardio's a day.. but not very often.

Figure your Calorie Count to Maintain. I think MFP shoots these a little high. I'd knock off 300.

Eat your goal Body Weight in Protein

Carbs Rotate them 150g / 75g / 40g Then Repeat... You don't have to do it just like that. You can rotate how ever. Just try to have more low Carb days then high. Never do two HIgh or Low Days in a row. You can plan these ahead for events too.
Fat- If you eat clean you don't have to watch them.

To get the most from your food. Eat Clean. On your Middle and High Carb days. Eat 40g of Fiber...

Take a look at my Food Dairy... I'm not perfect all the time. But you can pick up many idea's Good tasting easy Meals.

If you eat like this. You will keep your Muscle and still burn fat off fast. This last 5 weeks. I have burnt off 5% body Fat. From 17% to 12%..
Edited by run2jeepn On June 5, 2012 1:16 AM
June 5, 2012 7:54 AM
I'm a bit confused..........and maybe I'm reading the MFP stuff wrong, but for my calorie goal (1550 a day) MFP has me at 17 for protein..........isn't that in gms?????

I weight 151, so what I'm reading here is I should be eating about 150 grams of protein, about 75 of fat, and the rest carbs?? That sounds super high for fat to me.
June 5, 2012 7:58 AM
Scour marksdailyapple.com or buy The Primal Blueprint. It's not as hard as all that. Eat real, healthful food. Meat, veg, nuts, occasional fruit, whole dairy if you like it. Anything else including grains is test tube food. Avoid it.
June 5, 2012 8:04 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Hello there! I was wondering what the optimal ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat was for muscle gain and fat loss. I think my default setting for carbohydrates/protein/fat is something like 55%/15%/30%, but is that enough protein? I do cardio ~6 days a week and lift 3x a week, and i don't want my muscles to break down. Does anyone know? Also, what ratio has been working for you? Thanks in advance.



Don't use ratios:

Protein: 1-1.5 g/lb of Lean Body Mass (LBM). If you don't know your LBM, use target bodyweight.

Fat: .5 g/lb of LBM (or TBW). Make sure you're getting a good amount of Omega-3

Fill in the rest however you like.


This is what I do as well.

ETA: So many people are probably going to try and convince you that carbs are evil and you need to eat low carb etc etc, but if that's not something you're going to do for the rest of your life, I would not recommend it. Well, actually I don't recommend it even if you did plan to do it for life, LOL.
Edited by MissFit0101 On June 5, 2012 8:05 AM
June 5, 2012 8:07 AM
QUOTE:

Scour marksdailyapple.com or buy The Primal Blueprint. It's not as hard as all that. Eat real, healthful food. Meat, veg, nuts, occasional fruit, whole dairy if you like it. Anything else including grains is test tube food. Avoid it.


How exactly did that answer the question?
  18358448
June 5, 2012 8:12 AM
QUOTE:

I'm a bit confused..........and maybe I'm reading the MFP stuff wrong, but for my calorie goal (1550 a day) MFP has me at 17 for protein..........isn't that in gms?????

I weight 151, so what I'm reading here is I should be eating about 150 grams of protein, about 75 of fat, and the rest carbs?? That sounds super high for fat to me.


What is the number at the bottom of your food log the corresponds to the 1550 target?

The 1g per lb is lean body mass - it probably works out to be more like 0.7 -0.8g of protein per lb

Fat is 0.35g per lb of total body weight (minimum) = approx. 53g Although 75g of fat is still OK.

The rest is where you want - not necessarily carbs.
  18358448
June 5, 2012 9:15 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I'm a bit confused..........and maybe I'm reading the MFP stuff wrong, but for my calorie goal (1550 a day) MFP has me at 17 for protein..........isn't that in gms?????

I weight 151, so what I'm reading here is I should be eating about 150 grams of protein, about 75 of fat, and the rest carbs?? That sounds super high for fat to me.


What is the number at the bottom of your food log the corresponds to the 1550 target?

The 1g per lb is lean body mass - it probably works out to be more like 0.7 -0.8g of protein per lb

Fat is 0.35g per lb of total body weight (minimum) = approx. 53g Although 75g of fat is still OK.

The rest is where you want - not necessarily carbs.


Oy. I can see the point of the OPs question now..........the easiest way to alter this in MFP is to plug in percentages.......it would be easier if there was some magic way to say "oh your diet should be XX% carbs, XX% protein". I changed my numbers to be around 165gms of protein, which made the protein percentage about 65%, and then it auto adjusted the rest. At that, it's about 15% fat and that is less than 10 grams of fat. At least I'm assuming the numbers at the bottom are in grams.......
June 5, 2012 9:17 AM
QUOTE:

40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% fat....
i never reach my protein though and always overdo the fat.


How would this work for a person following a 1200 cal diet and a 2400 calorie diet? Completely different.

Hit your protein and fat target. Fill the rest of your macros with carbs or a combination of carbs/fats/protein.
  2812191
June 5, 2012 9:18 AM
QUOTE:

40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% fat....
i never reach my protein though and always overdo the fat.


this!
June 5, 2012 9:21 AM
depends on what kind of workouts you are doing also.

when i do heavy heavy workouts, i usually eat higher carbs.

but normally i do a 45 carbs, 35, protein, 20 fat.
June 5, 2012 9:24 AM
Im also tracking my fibre to make sure i get enough and Im usually quite over! Is there such a thing as too much daily fibre, as long as you're not crappin yourself? LOL!
June 5, 2012 9:24 AM
bump
  8714880
July 11, 2012 4:56 AM
bump! lots of useful information and food for thought!

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