January 2nd, 2008, 07:57 AM
Fat, Protein, Carb Ratio: What is best for weight loss?
Ok, I have been struggling with this (see my journal for my ramblings). I use Fitday for my food journal. It is great because it gives me a breakdown of the nutritional value of all the food I eat. It also gives me a breakdown of my daily percentage of fat vs protein vs carbs.
So my question is what, for weight loss, is the best ratio? I tried to reseach on the net a bit and found a bunch of conflicting info. I know carb watchers are going to say a lower carb amount. But, I don't want that, I want a healthy balance that will allow for weight loss. For example: do you not want your daily fat intake to go over a certain percentage (what is high what is low??)
Currently, I am trying to keep my calorie intake between 1200 and 1400. I target eating 5-6 servings of veggies a day. I drink 64 oz of h2o daily. I plan to start a regular exercise regime (cardio 4-5 times a week, body sculpt class 2x a week, daily push ups & crunches, one day of complete rest). My weight is 165. My height is 5'2". I am 31 yrs old. My goal weight is 130.
On Sunday my fat percent was 17%, my carbs were: 56% and my protein was 26%.
Monday: fat was 12% carbs were 52% and protein was 36%.
Today: fat was 46%, carbs were 27% and protein was 27%.
Big change in fat intake.
I guess I'm sort of at a loss as to what to target (for healthy weight loss). Is it good to mix it up a bit?
I know this is all debatable-- but I would love to hear different input so I can create a framework in my head for how I want my numbers to look.
January 2nd, 2008, 08:07 AM
A little additional question. What is good for daily fiber intake? How many grams??? I know fiber gets things moving and helps aid losing weight.
January 2nd, 2008, 08:28 AM
Fiber: Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health says 14g of fiber for every 1,000 calories of food. They don't address people who are losing weight specifically, so I don't know if that's meant to be calories at maintenance or calories at weight loss.
I personally aim for 25g a day.
As long as calories in are less than calories burned, you'll lose weight. Any benefit you get from eating more or less of any macronutrient is unlikely to matter much in the long run, or to matter as much as a few bites more or less of food or a few minutes more or less of exercise.
I personally aim for about 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. But as long as I get my protein, I don't stress too much about the carb-to-fat ratio. Looking back at the last week or so, my fat's been between 24% and 39% of calories, and carbs between 22 and 29%, but this has been a particularly high-protein week. (The prior week, we were still on vacation, which for me is a hard time to get my protein in. This week, I'm still craving protein and indifferent to carbs. Over the long run, I've found it tends to even out.)
January 2nd, 2008, 08:49 AM
I try to keep my calories around the 1200 calorie mark, get 100g of protein (studies show between 100-125g intake helps to build and retain muscle), 25g of fiber and 7 servings of fruits and veggies.
January 2nd, 2008, 10:49 AM
What you need to ask yourself is what kind of metabolism do you have? Do you find that when you eat a higher amount of whole food carbs that your energy, your "perkieness" is greater? Or do you find yourself getting sluggish?
What ratio of macronutrients is best for you is a very individual thing. What works for you isn't necessarily going to work best for me. I played around with my ratios for a while, increasing my protein and dropping my fat - but keeping my calories about the same. I found that I didn't have enough energy, I felt dull and sluggish and generally queasy AND I stalled out and didn't loose any weight at all. Plus, I had awful cravings for bread and pasta. I was hiking up and down my hills daily (350 feet high - burning 1500 calories in a couple of hours hiking) here at the time, and eating between 1500 and 1900 calories a day.
When I returned to a higher carb allotment(50-55%) and balanced my fat and protein to roughly a 1:1 ratio, I felt MUCH better and I started to see a slow decrease in weight again. My exerciseing since early October has been nil - so that's why the slow weight loss recently.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Some people are very sensitive to carbohydrates and have to really limit what they take in or they feel awful. Others need a high amount of very high quality, whole food, fresh carbs for their metabolism to run at it's peak. Adjust your ratios within your calorie limits until you feel the best and you are seeing the results you want.
January 2nd, 2008, 06:19 PM
January 2nd, 2008, 06:42 PM
A lot of good advice in this thread so far.
I tend to agree with much of what has been stated.... once enough protein and essential fats are accounted for, it's fair game in my book. And it's going to vary from person to person what works best.
January 2nd, 2008, 10:22 PM
Thanks for all the advice... this is what I wanted.. different thoughts & experiences
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