Question about Macro Nutrient ratios

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:21 PM
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Default Question about Macro Nutrient ratios

Hello everyone!

I was hoping I could ask a few questions as a person who has been put on a reduced calorie diet (1300) and is new to managing his diet this closely. In the past when I have dieted, I did the basic less calories in than out model. But I am looking more at macro nutrient ratios now and how each type of calorie affects the body. Currently, it is very easy for me to eat a %60 carb/%20 Fat/%20 Protein diet. Funny thing is, I don't even eat a lot of grains. I have a daily slice of bread and the occasional serving of rice. Most of my carbs are coming from vegetables.

With this in mind: Am I correct in my understanding that to optimize my diet for weight loss I want to take in more protein than carbs? I have run into every possible configuration for this with everyone claiming theirs is "backed by science". My current thoughts on the idea are to have a diet of %40 Protein/%30 Carb/ %30 fat.

I find it difficult to raise my protein without also increasing my carbs. Vegetables like beans etc tend to have as much carbs as grains. Can anyone recommend a way to take in more without sitting down to a slab of cow every day? (My current understanding is also that red meat should be limited in a person's diet which is frustrating as pork is expensive and a guy can only eat so much chicken?)

Thanks for reading my post and considering the questions of a newbie!
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:30 PM
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You my friend need some tuna and some egg whites. Tilapia is also a good go to for a protein boost.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:36 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

Personally, I try for a 40/30/30 carb/fat/protein mix (which, happens to be the mix recommended on the Zone Diet). I can't say that I worry all that much if I'm off one way or the other some days--it really averages pretty close to perfect.

I don't know how fast you want to lose, but I've done this, staying around 1500 cals (average is around 1530 or so) since last May. You can have a look at my stats below and be the judge if it's been successful.

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Michael
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:18 AM
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Don't forget turkey. Lean ground turkey has been a lifesaver to me and you can spice it up however you see fit. Oh and Mecompco is living proof the zone is a solid diet and produces results. This diet does depend on your goals though as far as time frame for weight loss and your current percentage
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:33 AM
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Almeeker: Yes, I have just gotten introduced to egg whites and am loving it XD I am the worst kind of eater, favoring dairy and other produce above all others so eggs are a favorite of mine. Tuna is difficult. I have a marked distaste for the ocean and everything in it, ha! But I will give Tilapia a try,f or sure.

Mecompco: That is nothing short of astounding! Damn fine work! I will be spending some time examining the zone diet for sure! I've gotten my carbs down to about 47% daily but I'm still struggling to raise my protein to where it should be. With the advice I'm getting in this thread I'm confident next week's groceries will do the trick or closer at least. Fat is easy. I have to sort of find ways to sneak it in by adding oil otherwise it tends to be as low as 21%.

BlackdoutSS: You know, I hadn't even considered ground turkey. And I love turkey, too! I'm sure I can find all sorts of good things to do with that. I've also discovered the joy of tofu. Not my favorite thing in the world but I cannot deny it's base calories to protein content is almost too good to be true.

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful suggestions!
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinomadd View Post
Mecompco: That is nothing short of astounding! Damn fine work! I will be spending some time examining the zone diet for sure! I've gotten my carbs down to about 47% daily but I'm still struggling to raise my protein to where it should be. With the advice I'm getting in this thread I'm confident next week's groceries will do the trick or closer at least. Fat is easy. I have to sort of find ways to sneak it in by adding oil otherwise it tends to be as low as 21%.
Thank you. Now, as a disclaimer, I don't follow any particular "diet". It just so happens that the calorie mix recommended by The Zone works for me and I try to keep close to it. If I WERE following a particular "diet", I would consider The Zone and SouthBeach as compatible to my lifestyle and tastes.

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Michael
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:57 AM
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Okay. Well, the Zone diet recommends omega3 suppliments. Given what you just said I'm curious if you take these? I am very cautious of suppliments, especially ones not thoroughly regulated and coming from oceanic sources (See heavy metal toxicity XD).
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinomadd View Post
Almeeker: Yes, I have just gotten introduced to egg whites and am loving it XD I am the worst kind of eater, favoring dairy and other produce above all others so eggs are a favorite of mine. Tuna is difficult. I have a marked distaste for the ocean and everything in it, ha! But I will give Tilapia a try,f or sure.

Mecompco: That is nothing short of astounding! Damn fine work! I will be spending some time examining the zone diet for sure! I've gotten my carbs down to about 47% daily but I'm still struggling to raise my protein to where it should be. With the advice I'm getting in this thread I'm confident next week's groceries will do the trick or closer at least. Fat is easy. I have to sort of find ways to sneak it in by adding oil otherwise it tends to be as low as 21%.

BlackdoutSS: You know, I hadn't even considered ground turkey. And I love turkey, too! I'm sure I can find all sorts of good things to do with that. I've also discovered the joy of tofu. Not my favorite thing in the world but I cannot deny it's base calories to protein content is almost too good to be true.

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful suggestions!
If you like dairy, you might want to consider Greek yogurt. It comes in various percentages of fat, but has like 10-15 grams of protein per serving. I've been buying the 0% fat Dannon plain, then I add whatever I'm hungry for to it. By itself it tastes like sour cream, with a tablespoon (or 2) of low sugar jam it tastes like dessert. I like to add taco seasoning to it and dab it over a taco salad. Another really good source of protein is cottage cheese, 13 grams per 1/2 cup (80 calories for the fat free variety).

Sorry to hear you're anti ocean. I love sea food, although I can't stomach cod for some reason. Tuna like tofu is one of those foods that is really high in protein, with 0 carbs, and about 100 calories/can. I usually make it into tuna salad with mustard, low cal mayo and sweet pickle relish and make open faced sandwiches on 35 calorie/slice toast. If I have enough calories left for the meal I'll sprinkle it with a little 2% low fat cheese and zap it in the micro. Tilapia is quite bland, so it ends up tasting like whatever you throw on it for flavor. I really like it broiled with a little spray butter and some cajun seasoning or fried in a spritz of cooking spray with a little onion.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:36 PM
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I am trying to adapt to tuna because I simply cannot deny it's nutritional/cost advantage. I was sort of thinking maybe that yogurt would be a good replacement for mayo in a tuna salad with a little added lemon juice. As for cheese, I am finding the laughing cow/baby bell stuff to be really ideal. It's just enough on a sandwich or for a quick snack if I'm low on calories for the day, which has been a big problem for me. I was worried I would be hungry all the time before I started. Now I just sort of wish I didn't have to eat so much XD
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Vinomadd View Post
Okay. Well, the Zone diet recommends omega3 suppliments. Given what you just said I'm curious if you take these? I am very cautious of suppliments, especially ones not thoroughly regulated and coming from oceanic sources (See heavy metal toxicity XD).
Nope, no supplements. I take a daily multivitamin and that's it.

I do think fish is good, so I have a tuna sandwich once or twice a week. I also like anchovies, though they are pretty high in sodium. Sometimes I buy the frozen spiced salmon or tilapia and make wraps with them.

Again, the only thing I really use from The Zone is the calorie mix so I don't know all the ins and outs of the diet.

Regards,
Michael
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