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FitDay's Best of Series: Macronutrients (Carbs/Protein/Fats)


FitDay's Best of Series: Macronutrients (Carbs/Protein/Fats)

Old 07-12-2010, 09:39 AM
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Default 50/30/20

I do 50-30-20, but that's just because I know that its carbs that give you energy. Though I've also seen people who say that its the healthy fats that keep you full longer. I think the most important thing is that you keep your calories healthy ones, exercise consistently, and make sure calorie deficit is great enough to reach your weekly weight loss goal.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-02-2012 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:55 PM
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Default Food Pyramid Recommendation: 55-60/20-25/15-20

Despite the different things out there, I follow the food pyramid recommendation 55-60% carbs, 20-25% protein, 15-20% fat...this is because you utilize carbs a lot more than you would think.

For me, I can't do Atkins or any of those low carb diets...I mean my brain shuts off and I walk around like a zombie...so that's one of things I need carbs for to energize my brain, but also because I'm fairly active I need carbs for energy, when I don't take in adequate carb to support my activity I'm sluggish and don't have enough energy to perform my routine. For example, the other day we had a 16 mile hike and I didn't plan well (didn't take adequate amounts of food)...I had one item all carbs..not complex, that help me refuel, but that was like 2.5 hours into the 5 hours and by the end I was dragging.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-02-2012 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:35 AM
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Default Try different percentages, see how your body responds

Originally Posted by mkgbts
Thank you both!

How many grams of carbs/protein/fat should I be getting a day?
I will aim for 1500 calories on work out days and 1300 on off days - but I want to make sure I am getting the correct percentages. Thanks!

Different ratios work for different people. What I tell people is figure out a menu for each ratio type (carb-protein-fat 40-40-20, 50-30-20, 20-30-50, or whatever else you might want to try), then take 2 weeks for each ratio to see how your body responds. Pay attention to things like bloat, GI regularity, sleep quality, productivity, and mood in addition to scale weight. You'll know when you've got a winner.

In general, on workout days you'll want to get more protein and eat the bulk of your carbs after you've done your workout. This will make sure that your body uses these resources to recover from the workout rather than to just burn at your base rate and store the rest.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-07-2012 at 11:46 AM. Reason: added quote, title
tandoorichicken is offline  
Old 08-07-2010, 08:55 AM
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Default Check out this calculator

Just for fun, try this online metabolic type test to see what they recommend for ratios.

Metabolic Typing: Self Test from Natural Health Yellow Pages

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-02-2012 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:52 AM
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Default Eating "Clean" within your macronutrients

OK, so this isn't a tip from a FitDay member. But it was posted by a FitDay member and is excellent advice. If anyone objects, I'll consider removing this post, but then again I probably won't.

Clean Eating - By the Rock

Caloric Requirements
Before we talk about “clean eating”, let’s discuss caloric requirement.
One way to calculate your caloric requirement is with the Harris-Benedict Formula:
I use the following formula(for males):

66 + (6.3 x body weight in lbs.) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

This gives you your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Now that you know your BMR, multiply your BMR by your activity multiplier from below:

Activity Multiplier
Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extr. active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job

Your BMR X Activity Level = Calories Needed for maintenance : what you need to sustain your body at status quo. If you want to lose weight, subtract 500 calories a day to lose 1 pound per week. Subtract 1000 to lose 2 pounds per week. It is not recommended to go below a 1000 calorie deficit. It is also not recommended to go below 2000 calories a day if you are trying to maintain / build muscle mass. I recommend you start out a fat loss program at a 500 calorie deficit, try that for a couple of weeks, then, if you aren’t getting the results you want, cut 250 off, try that for a couple of weeks, and repeat until you find the level that works for your body. After a few months, change it; your body will become accustomed to a caloric level and needs it to be altered once in a while.

To set up your macronutrient ratios:
Protein is 4 calories per gram.
Carbohydrates are 4 calories per gram.
Fat is 9 calories per gram.
Alcohol is 7 calories per gram.

First, set your protein requirement. A good protein requirement for most people is 0.9 grams per pound of body weight. After getting your protein intake in grams by this formula, multiply it by 4 to get your daily protein requirement in calories.

Subtract that number from the daily calorie target you’ve calculated.
The remaining number divide by two to get your carb calories and fat calories. Divide that by 4 and 9 respectively to get grams per day.

You can play with the ratios if you want. Many people losing weight go for 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat. Some go for 33 / 33 / 33. You can experiment to find what works for you.

Eating clean

“Eating clean” means, basically, eating the **right kinds** of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are an important energy source for your body and your brain. Some are better than others. The Glycemic Index describes how quickly your body metabolizes foods into sugars. High G.I. foods turn into sugars quickly, causing an insulin spike. Low GI foods metabolize slowly. Try to keep your carbs lower than 75 GI. You can find the GI ratings here: Diabetes - Diabetes Management - Signs of Diabetes - Symptoms of Diabetes, or The Glycemic Index, or various other sources.

Examples of Low GI Carbs:
-Vegetables, Mixed Beans, Oatmeal, Bran, Whole Grain Breads, Whole Grains, Barley, Brown Rice, Low GI Fruits
-Lowfat Milk, Lowfat Yogurt (note: while these dairy products have a low GI, they have a high Insulin Index (the reaction your body produces to the metabolizing of these products), so use in moderation).
-White Rice (note: while having a higher GI, these have a low Insulin Index, so again, use in moderation)

High GI Carbs to Avoid:
-White Bread (includes “wheat bread” – must say “whole wheat” or “whole grain”) this means bagels, tortillas, pitas, and all other forms of bread.
-Potatoes (the worst – very high GI) (sweet potatoes are OK)
-High GI fruits (watermelon, dates, raisins, ) and fruit juice – eat raw fruits instead (one glass of orange juice has over three oranges in it, without the benefits of the fiber in the raw orange.
-Sugar and processed food with sugar or its many forms (high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, molasses, etc)
Pastas (use in moderation, and never with saturated fats, e.g. fettucine alfredo)

Most breakfast cereals (stick to whole grain / bran cereals if you must eat cereals)

Note: There is a whole other subject, called “glycemic loads”, describing the value of the entire item you are eating, that can be taken into consideration, but it is simply too extensive and undeveloped to go into at this time. Look into it yourself at David Mendosa: A Writer About Diabetes (now Diabetes - Diabetes Management - Signs of Diabetes - Symptoms of Diabetes) if you’re interested.

Proteins: Eat lean proteins, low in saturated fats.
Examples of Good Protein Sources:
-Lean Beef (90% lean ground beef, lean steak)
-Chicken (particularly white meat)
-Turkey (particularly white meat)
-Lean pork (tenderloin, lean ham)
-Lowfat dairy products, in moderation
-Cottage cheese (highly recommended form of casein protein)
-Whey protein
-Fish, particularly tuna, salmon, and cod
-Eggs, particularly egg whites (yolks in moderation)
-Soy and soy products, while very good sources of protein, have also been shown in some studies to have potential for causing high estrogen levels and sexual dysfunction. I suggest using these in moderation until testing is completed and a conclusion has been reached. Caveat Emptor.

Proteins to avoid:
-Fatty meats (non-extra lean ground beef, fatty pork (bacon, ribs, etc)
-Fatty dairy (whole milk, most cheese, ice cream)

Fats: Fats, which have been vilified, are an essential ingredient in our diet. Poly and monounsaturated fats must be included in your daily plan. A small amount of saturated fats are also needed. Minimize saturated fats, maximize monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Try to get good Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 3 and Omega 6’s. No more than 1/3 of your fat calories should be saturated fats (if you are on a 40/30/30 plan, 10% of your calories may come from sat fats).

Examples of good fats
-Fish and fish oils – polyunsaturated, best source of Omega 3’s – cold water fish – tuna, salmon, cod
-Flaxseed oil – some Omega 3, good Omega 6
-Olive Oil - monounsaturated fat
-Avocados – monounsaturated fat
-Nuts – mono, poly, and omega 6s – best are walnuts and almonds

Bad fats
-Saturated fats – from animal products (fatty beef, pork, milk, etc)
-Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats (trans fatty acids) – Wicked Bad Stuff. (margarine and Crisco are trans fatty acids)

Most vegetable oil and corn oil – use Canola oil if you must use oil, and use in moderation – try not to cook in oil if you can avoid it. If you cook with oil, use an oil with the appropriate smoke point.

Water is a compound we can’t do without for more than only a few days. The human body is about 60 to 75 percent water, and the brain is said to be about 85 percent water. Even bones are about 20 percent water. The body needs water. Nothing substitutes for water; coffee, tea, alcohol, are not the same as water. Drink at least 10 glasses of water a day. Note: The more caffeine you drink, the more water you must drink. Caffeine is a diuretic and flushes water out of your system.

Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and Minerals play a vital role in maintaining the proper biological functioning of everything from muscles to memory. Nutritionists will tell you that they are unnecessary if we consume a properly balanced diet, but few of us consume a “properly balanced diet”. It is highly recommended to consume a good quality multivitamin/mineral supplement daily. It is very difficult to obtain protective levels of some nutrients solely from diet.

Special notes:
1) Avoid mixing high GI carbs with fats
2) Avoid all processed / prepackaged foods
3) Read labels! Be on the lookout for bad stuff!
4) Eat your veggies!
5) Do not eat too little. Your metabolism will slow to a crawl and you will stop burning fat.
6) Do not eat too much. You will store excess as fat.
7) Alcohol, if required, must be kept to a minimum. When you drink alcohol, your body uses the alcohol as an energy source instead of burning your fat stores.

“Clean Eating”:
1) Keep your caloric intake around your computed requirement – not too low, not too high
2) Keep your macronutrient ratios per your computed requirement, say within 10% - track them on FitDay - Free Weight Loss and Diet Journal if possible
3) Eat low GI carbs, lean proteins, mono & polyunsaturated fats
4) Eat your veggies! Eat your veggies! Eat your veggies!

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-07-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:56 AM
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Default No special diet? Then balance-->> 55-60/20-25/15-20

If you're not on any special diet then the answer is a balance. I follow the USDA Food Pyramid of 55-60 carbs, 20-25% protein, 15-20% fats ...I'm interested in seeing what others say is working for them.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-08-2012 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:19 PM
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Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 80
Default Thyroid removed: 20/40/40

I have very low metabolism (had thyroid removed). My doctor has put me on a high protein diet. So I try hard for a 20% carbs/40% protein/ 40% fats.

I seem to get more fat though. I have lost 15lbs in two months. I also work out 3-4 times a week. Hope this helps.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-02-2012 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:40 PM
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Posts: 82
Default Low carb 5/30/65

Now I am really going to throw a wrench in your question. I aim for 5% carbohydrate, 30% protein, 65% fat.

You probably won't get a straight answer for you to follow unless you post this question under the specific diet you are trying to stick to!

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-02-2012 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:09 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6
Default An equation for Macronutrients I found on the O2 forum

Hope this helps

Total Daily Calories = Bodyweight or Lean body mass x 12

• This may need to be dropped to x11 or x10 if no progress after a few weeks
• Obese people can use LBM (lean body mass) instead of BW (body weight). If you want to figure out your LBM, take a look at your BMI. BMI is basically the % of your weight that is fat. Figure out how many pounds that is and subtract it from your BW.
• For a more accurate result, get a fat calliper test, offered at almost any gym.

Macronutrients for a day:
• Protein = 1g per lb LBM/day (4 calories/ gram)

• Protein is important while dieting, especially if you are exercising. You want to maintain your muscle while loosing the fat. If you don’t get enough protein your body will take what it needs from your muscle, reducing your lean body mass, which will lower your metabolism, which in turn will make it even harder to loose weight . . .
• Good choices: chicken & turkey breast, lean cuts of beef, Extra lean ground beef & turkey, tuna, salmon, prawns, egg whites . . . protein bars & powder (but they are expensive)
• Fat = .4-.5g per lb LBM/day (9 calories/ gram)
• yes, you read that right, healthy fats are important for fat loss
• Good choices: fish oil supplements (omega 3), olive oil, natural almonds, avocado . . .
• Carbs = whatever remains to meet your calorie total (4 calories/grams) don’t go much below 100g/day because your brain runs exclusively on carbs, if you go too low you'll get fuzzy, headaches, grumpy, etc.
• Good choices: Whole grains and fresh fruit & veggies. Read labels, and avoid foods containing weird chemicals, added sugars (high fructose corn syrup), and a lot of sodium. High fibre is good
• Highly processes Carbohydrates, the stuff that comes in boxes or bags that have a million unreadable ingredients on the label, should be avoided for the simple fact that they are unhealthy and if you eat them they tend to create cravings for more of the same. They are addictive and nibbles usually turn into bites which turn into eating the whole stinking bag . . . makes it hard to stay on track.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:32 AM
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Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 576
Default When in doubt, experiment with your macros

Originally Posted by splosh313
I'm very confused. I have absolutely no idea how to work out my daily limits for carbs, protein, fats, cals etc. Is it entirely down to personal preference? Any suggestions would be most welcome.

You might want to take a couple weeks with each ratio of c/p/f and see how you feel mentally, physically, GI regularity, etc. You have to find a plan that works for you in the long-term, and no cookie-cutter plan is going to necessarily work for you.

Just to illustrate that no two people's plans are alike, my ideal ratio is 45% fat and 20% or more protein, with the remainder carbs. However, I'm also a strength athlete and burn off a lot of fat naturally, so that's why it can work for me. You'll have to find something that fits your lifestyle and activity level without getting in the way of your daily life.

Good luck!

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-15-2012 at 10:07 AM. Reason: added quote, title
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