How To Balance Carbs And Protein

Don’t Overcomplicate Your Nutrition

How To Balance Carbs and Fats For Weight Loss

I would guess if I had the privilege of sitting down to lunch with each of you and asked the question why do you go into the backcountry? Its doubtful any of us would reply with because I love ruminating over and worrying about getting adequate nutrition!

Instead, wed share commonalities in answers like because it gives me space to think and Im humbled by being in Gods gorgeous creation.

Ive met far too many people who spoil their experience with worry about hitting precision numbers. Keep the 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate-to-protein in mind, but dont worry if the numbers arent spot on the money. Avoid bars with too much fat, fiber, and protein and aim to hit your calculated carbohydrate goals. Take options from a variety of food sources you enjoy.

Kyle Kamp is a registered, licensed dietitian, and owner/operator of Valley 2 Peak Nutrition. Planning nutrition can be quite overwhelming and confusing, so feel free to reach Kyle via email or via his Instagram . Kyle also joined The Rich Outdoors for a deep dive into backcountry nutrition on episode 336. Check it out for a broader conversation about proper nutrition in the backcountry.

    Increased Fat And Weight Loss

    While it may seem counterintuitive to increase your fat consumption to lose weight, high-fat diets, also known as low-carb diets, are often successful in helping people lose weight. Low-carb diets and ketogenic diets don’t eliminate carbohydrates entirely but reduce them significantly.

    According to a December 2018 study in the Journal of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and a September 2018 study in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, carbohydrate intake in ketogenic diets is typically between 20 and 50 grams per day. The carbohydrates being counted are net carbs, which are carbohydrates minus the fiber or sugar alcohol content. If you have been consuming a standard diet, this means that your carbohydrate intake will be around 10 to 20 percent of what it was.

    In order to reduce carbohydrates by such a dramatic amount and not starve yourself, you have to increase your consumption of other macronutrients. Low-carb and ketogenic diets increase fat content. In ketogenic diets, fat makes up 70 percent of your diet, 20 percent of your diet is protein and the remaining 10 percent are carbohydrates.

    Certain high-protein ketogenic diets may have ratios like 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein and 5 percent carbohydrates, though. If you aren’t a fan of such a substantial carbohydrate reduction, you can also try low-carb diets that are a bit more flexible, like Atkins 100, a low-carb diet that allows people to consume 100 grams of net carbs per day.

    Calculate Your Carbs Target

    In contrast to protein and fat, carbohydrates have only one role, but its a big one. They provide your body with energy. Therefore, your carbs intake also needs attention, especially if youre a regular at the gym and need to fuel your workouts.

    The RDA for adults is 130 grams of carbs/day, which is the least amount you need for having enough energy. And if we are thinking about percentages, the usual recommendations revolve around 45-60%. But again, these are just general numbers, which might not match with your targets. Your actual ideal carbs intake can depend on your gender, age, fitness goals, diet preferences, and so on.

    Fitness Goals

    First and foremost, if youre en route to weight loss, you wont want to consume the same amount of carbs as those whore building muscles.

    Probably the most common tip you hear for weight loss is the low carbs diet. But the real question here is how low is that low. As discussed previously, carbs are your energy source, so you should still consume enough of it. Therefore, we recommend a moderate intake of 35-45% of your daily calories to be carbs. Aim for the lower end if youre not that active, and for the higher end if youre regularly hitting the gym.

    Recommended carbs intake/day for weight loss: 35-45%

    Recommended carbs intake/day for muscle gain: 50-60%

    Activity Level

    Special Diet

    Macro Recommendation for Ketogenic Diet
    Macro Recommendation for Paleolithic Diet

    Recommended carbs intake/day for Keto Diet: 5-10%

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    If It Fits Your Macros

    Macronutrient Basics

    The IFFYM diet completely revolves around three macronutrients all foods are composed of: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. As explained by the Washington State University, macronutrients are that group of nutrients that your body needs greater volumes of. The simple explanation behind this is that macros are made up of calories that fuel your body with energy.

    The calorie content of each macro is as follows

    • A gram of protein contains 4 calories
    • And a gram of fat contains 9 calories
    • A gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories

    Whats the IIFYM Diet?

    Essentially what the IIFYM diet advocates for is personalization, flexibility, and not just a smarter, but also a more human form of dieting.

    It is based on the fact that theres no ideal diet that fits all sizes. Your bodys macronutrient needs will vary based on several factors, such as personal characteristics, your everyday life, and your objectives. Even though life would be a lot easier with a typical ideal ratio of carbs, fat and protein, reality is much more complicated than that.

    This is one of the reasons why the IFFYM diet is considered to be superior over a simple calorie counting method. With the IFFYM, youll follow a macro ratio that is entirely tailored to you. Youll learn about the meaningful stuff behind calories, the nutrient value of various foods. And most importantly, what you eat will not block you from your fitness goals, but will help in reaching them.

    The Best Macronutrient Ratio Is The One You Can Stick To

    Quiet Corner Proteins Carbs And Fats Balance Them And Fix

    While the macronutrient composition of your diet may not directly influence fat loss, it can affect your ability to adhere to a reduced-calorie diet.

    This is important, as studies have shown that the single greatest predictor of weight loss is adherence to a reduced-calorie diet (

    24 ).

    However, diets that emphasize a high intake of one macronutrient and low intakes of another are not for everyone.

    Instead, you may find that you can stick to a diet that has the right balance of macronutrients, which can also be effective for weight loss .

    The acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges set forth by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommend that people get :

    • 4565% of their calories from carbs
    • 2035% of their calories from fats
    • 1035% of their calories from proteins

    In any case, choose the diet that best fits your lifestyle and preferences. This may take some trial and error.


    Diets commonly fail because people cant stick with them for long periods. Therefore, its important to follow a reduced-calorie diet that fits your preferences, lifestyle and goals.

    Macronutrients refer to carbs, fats and protein the three basic components of every diet.

    Your macronutrient ratio doesnt directly influence weight loss.

    The acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges are 4565% of your daily calories from carbs, 2035% from fats and 1035% from protein.

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    Moving Past Calorie Obsession

    Healthy eating should not be about calorie-counting. The source of our calories is extremely important to regulating blood sugar and maintaining good physical function. When we are mindful and deliberate about the balance between calories from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, we are supplying our bodies with the resources and energy they need. I want people to be consuming whole foods rather than thinking about foods in terms of calorie density. For anyone with more questions about a healthy intake of macronutrients, Im happy to sit down and help create an individualized meal plan that incorporates individual tastes and preferences with the good balance of the macronutrients your body needs.

    How Many Carbs And Calories Should People Eat To Lose Weight

    Although many studies indicate that low carb diets promote fast weight loss, often this reduction in weight is short-term.

    Recent research supports the idea that high-quality nutrition does not just involve controlling calories that come from carbs. Instead, dieters should pay attention to how many calories are ingested from all food sources, including carbohydrates, protein, and fats, and find a healthy balance.

    In a recent study, dieters were observed to compare the different weight losses that resulted from a low-fat diet and a low-carb diet . The researchers found that after 6 months of following calorie-reduction diets, weight changes were similar for both the LFD and LCD groups.

    The recommend that an adults total daily calories come from the following:

    • 4565 percent carbohydrates
    • 1030 percent protein
    • 2035 percent fat

    Some nutritionists recommend a ratio of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat as a good target for healthy weight loss.

    A 1,500 calorie diet with 40 percent carbohydrates translates to 600 calories per day from carbs. Using a ratio of 4 calories per gram of carbs, a person on this diet would need to eat 150 g of carbohydrates per day.

    This 1,500 calorie diet would also include 450 calories or 112 g of protein, and 450 calories or 50 g of fat per day.

    450 calories50 g

    The exact breakdown of carbs, proteins, and fats in grams can be calculated using the United States government website, My

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    How Is A Macro Diet Similar Toand Different Fromother Diets

    The macro diet is similar to the caveman or Paleo diet because it emphasizes the value of whole foods, rather than processed foods. Additionally, it shares some commonality with Weight Watchers and calorie counting because you do need to track your intake and stay within certain ranges.

    On the other hand, the macro diet is different from other diets because its not a one-size-fits-all approach to dieting. Everyone starts with a target macro ratio . An online calculatoror better yet, a nutritionistwill help you determine your macro ratio based on your body type, goals, activity level and medical history. As you aim for your specific macro ratio, you might adjust it based on whats happening with your body.

    With a macro diet, youre not meant to be depriving your body youre meant to be feeding it ideal nutrition that makes it more efficient.

    Are There Health Implications To Consider When Following A High

    Q & A: What’s the ideal balance between carbs, proteins, and fats in a diet?

    As with most diets, there are downsides. A prolonged intake of high amounts of protein has been associated with bone loss and kidney damage. However, in otherwise healthy individuals, there is little evidence to this effect its now thought that a high-protein diet is only a problem for those with an existing disease or kidney dysfunction. In fact, in the otherwise healthy , a higher protein intake may help prevent the loss of muscle mass and strength, which can be lifestyle-limiting for the older generation.

    For the majority of healthy adults, a high-protein diet followed for a specified period shouldnt cause a problem. That said, the implications of following a high-protein diet over a long-term period combined with carbohydrate restriction is still being researched and may vary, dependent on age and genetics.

    The composition of your diet is an important factor for example, some high-protein diets restrict carbs so severely that they may lead to nutritional inadequacies and possibly a lack of fibre. Such low-fibre diets may detrimentally impact the health of your gut and potentially increase the risk of colonic disease.

    If you have a chronic health condition such as liver or kidney disease or diabetes, or if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your GP before making any significant changes to your diet.

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    Tips To Help You Hit Your End Of The Day Macros

    Its 7:30 pm and youre staring at the fridge, starving. You check your Macrostax app and see that you have…6 grams of carbs, 40 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fat left for the day. Youre gunning for those perfect macros and green thumbs up, but WHAT to eat?

    Dont worry, weve all been there! Some weeks you plan ahead and meal prep like a champ, and others youre on the road or a holiday hits. Life happens!

    Were here to help. It is possible to hit your macros no matter what numbers youre facing. Here are five easy, real life tips for tackling those tricky end of the day macros!

    1. Know your single-macro foods

    When youre facing unbalanced macros at the end of the day, its really helpful to familiarize yourself with single-macro foods, or foods that consist mainly of just one type of macro. Heres a list to help:

    2. Fill in the largest remaining macro first, followed by the smaller macro targets

    The reason we want to start with your largest remaining macro is because even single-macro foods still may contain small amounts of other macros. Once youve taken care of your largest remaining macro, then tackle the next largest number.

    For example if you have 30 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein left, start by selecting a food from the carb list above. Next, move onto the protein list.

    3. Choose a more macro-dense food for high numbers, and a less macro-dense food for low numbers.

    4. Embrace trial and error.

    Give it a Try

    Increased Protein And Weight Loss

    High-protein diets can also help to support weight loss. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, which averages out to about 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women. Increasing protein consumption modestly can be part of a healthy diet.

    According to an April 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the ideal amount of dietary protein for weight loss. Diets with increased protein consumption can help preserve muscle mass while promoting fat loss. They also have other benefits, like reduced triglyceride levels, improved blood pressure and elevated satiety hormones.

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    Do Your Best Not To Include A Lot Of Fat Fiber And/or Protein

    WHAT?! In a world where fat and protein seem to be king why on earth would you tell us not to have these? These inhibit how fast your body gets carbohydrates into the bloodstream, which is something you should really care about because that ultimately delays your efforts in reaching your goals in the backcountry. Fiber is included in this same category.

    In a big hiking endeavor, blood is shunted from your stomach to your legs. Without that diversion to the legs, youd have a tough time making it very far. The trouble with this is it means youre not going to digest food eaten the same way you might when youre not making a big push in the backcountry.

    This explanation is largely why many folks have a tough time handling and digesting heavy bars in the backcountry. Not only is there inadequate blood flow to the gut preventing proper digestion, but when coupled with bars that are traditionally high in fat, fiber, and protein, youve created the perfect scenario to be in a world of hurt.

    Eat Protein With Carbs

    Californian blogger shares how to balance protein, carbs ...

    More specifically, there are three reasons to nosh on carbs and proteins together.

    First, protein is an essential part of the diabetes diet, and people with diabetes need about the same amount of daily protein as people without diabetes, so you need to include protein for balanced nutrition, according to the University of California at San Francisco .

    Secondly, you should include lean protein with your carbs because protein is digested more slowly than carbs, University of Wisconsin Health points out. Adding proteins slows down digestion, and that gives you a longer source of energy without the spike in blood sugar you get from carbs alone.

    And the third reason: Pairing carbs with protein may make you eat fewer carbs. “People living with diabetes have found that lean proteins combined with other nutrients at mealtimes can lead to more sustained glucose ranges. Reasons may include reduction in the quantity of carbohydrate you consume at the same meal, due to satiety, which is a feeling of fullness or satisfaction,” Ashby Cornthwaite says.

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    Dr Oz: Metabolism Types & Personality

    Whats the deal with these Metabolism Types? It all comes back to those personality changes, according to Dr Oz. He said that a mix of light and dark meats and poultry is recommended, unlike in the other types. Basically this diet means you can eat any healthy foods that you like.

    I do wish that hed conferred with Dr Fuhrman about this idea of Metabolism Types, since they spent the first half of the show talking about Food as Medicine.

    These three sisters said theyd have to get used to eating things they didnt know they were allowed to have. Type Bs can eat cereal and breads, for example, which could help break those caffeine addictions. For Type C, Emily said she would have to work on achieving a balance on her plate.

    Dont forget to check the Metabolism Types Quiz for the characteristics of your own body type.

    Protein Is King Thats Your New Mantra

    But thats not to say fats and carbs dont play a role in your new Lulu-inspired physique. Healthy fats add to satiety, keep your hair and skin looking fab and balance hormones . By having just enough fat in your diet, youre going to keep that feeling of Im still not hungry going strong for hours after your meal. Its also going to make whatever youre eating taste freaking awesome.

    Carbs are the tricky diva that you need to careful with. Not all carbs are created equal . Highly processed, starchy carbs or cheap carbs are the fast digesting, sugar forming calories that you just dont need or want. These are the wheat or grain-based carbs that have little nutritional value except wanting to express themselves on your hips and thighs for eternity.

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