How To Balance Carbs Protein And Fat

Factor : Fitness Goals

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

Your first step is to choose what’s more important to you: fat loss or lean mass gains. You may ask, “What if I want both?” However, this is one of those situations where you’re better off tackling one goal at a time. While lean mass gains can occur alongside fat loss, neither process will occur at its full potential. Why? Higher carbohydrate ratios augment lean mass gains, while lower carbohydrate ratios tend to accelerate fat loss.

There are ways you can move incrementally toward fat and build muscle simultaneously, such as carb-cycling, where you alternate muscle-building phases of higher carbs with periods of lower carbs to encourage fat burning. Some recent research also supports intermittent fasting as a means of achieving both fat loss and mass gains. However, individual results vary in both cases, and neither is an excuse to disregard your macros altogether.

Regardless of what method you choose, you’ll see more pronounced mass gains, or more rapid fat loss, if you focus primarily on one main goal at a time. Many pro fitness athletes utilize a “building” phase lasting several weeks or months, followed by a “cutting” phase to achieve a well-developed, yet lean physique. This doesn’t have to be extreme or unpleasant in order to work, as long as you stick to these typical macronutrient ranges.

Protein And Carbs Have I Got The Balance Right

While many believe high-protein, low-carb diets aid weight loss, is it as simple as that or are there other issues to consider before cutting the carbs? Nutritionist Kerry Torrens takes a look at the latest evidence.

Typically viewed with suspicion and considered unbalanced, high-protein diets are often classed as another fad. However, various high-protein eating plans claim that cutting carbs in favour of protein can not only help you to lose weight, but do so more effectively.

Lose Weight With The Right Balance Of Carbs Fat And Protein

All calories aren’t created equal. Find out where most of your calories should come from to lose weight and improve your health.

Does it really matter where the source of your calories come from? Are all calories created equal? In scientific terms, a calorie , is the amount of energy required to raise one gram of water one degree Celsius. By that definition, chemically speaking, calories from fat, protein and carbs might be considered equal. When we consider the hormonal, physiological and psychological effect of various macronutrients, however, the results change

Eat more protein to balance hormones and reduce belly fatProtein is a necessary building block for many hormones including serotonin, melatonin, growth hormone, thyroid hormone and dopamine. If we fail to get enough in our diet, we can experience mood disorders, memory loss, increased appetite and cravings, decreased metabolism, sleep disruption, muscle loss and weight gain.

Fats help to control appetite and prevent cravingsEvery single cell membrane in our body is made up of fats. Fats also help us feel full and satisfied because of their effects on our appetite-controlling friends, leptin and CCK. They prevent cravings and actually help us to lose weight when we consume them in the right forms and amounts.

Don’t Miss: What Proteins To Eat On Keto Diet

How Many Macros Should I Eat

There’s really no answer to this question: Every person is different, and as such, every person’s preferable macronutrient intake will be different. However, the federal dietary recommendations suggest this macronutrient ratio:

  • 45 to 60% carbohydrate
  • 20 to 35% fats
  • Remainder from protein

The federal suggestion is based on the fact that carbs serve as the body’s main fuel source, and are the easiest macronutrient for the body to convert from food into energy. The metabolic processes for fat and protein are much more complex and take longer, which wouldn’t serve you well when you need quick energy.

Your macro ratio depends on your health and fitness goals, as well as how your body responds to particular foods. For example, many people thrive on a low-carb diet, but the thought of a low-carb diet for myself makes me shudder. I perform at my best when I eat about 50% carbohydrates.

Similarly, you may do well on a high-protein diet, while someone else might experience digestive discomfort from consuming too much protein.

Note that some people, especially those on the keto diet, count net carbs instead of total carbs. To get net carbs, subtract the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbs. Why count net carbs? Our bodies don’t digest fiber, so it doesn’t get absorbed by the small intestine and doesn’t provide your body with any energy. In that sense, calories from fiber don’t really count.

Clean Protein + Healthy Fat + Smart Carbs Amazing Food Lean Body & Wicked Health

Quiet Corner:Proteins, Carbs and Fats

Try to get one-third of your total calories from each of these to start and see how you feel. Keep in mind that veggies are very low in calories, so they will make up the majority of your plate in volume while only taking up a 1/3 of your total calories!

So have at it!! If you want to dive into how to actually create the ideal macro balance for your body and goals, along with how to track for ultimate success, consider signing up for my Macros Made Easy Program. It’s the fastest way to get yourself up and running so you can start seeing the results you crave.

You May Like: How Much Protein In An Impossible Burger

Types Of Carbs Make All The Difference

Carbs get a bad rap, but according to Harvard Health:

Whats most important are the types of carbohydrates you choose to eat, because some sources are much healthier than others. The amount of carbohydrates in your diet high or low is far less important than the type.

Healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as whole fruits, non-starchy vegetables, promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important nutrients to our blood and central nervous systems. Whole grain products such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, steel-cut oats, muesli, barley, or wheat bran are other good choices.

Unhealthier sources contain easily digested carbohydrates that may contribute to weight gain, decrease energy levels, and promote diabetes and heart disease. These include foods like white bread, cornflakes, rice crackers, white rice, and fruit juice.

image by kristen kilpatrick

Why Combine Protein And Carbs

Combining protein and carbs on your plate not only provides you with the majority of the nutrition your body needs, but its also very filling. In combination, micronutrients from both food groups assist our bodies in utilizing the nutrients consumed.

So, these are 33 of my favorite go-to combos for balancing carbs and proteins for a meal! Bonus if you can add some veggies for extra bulk without making a big dent in your macro nutrient profile.

  • Scrambled egg and a banana
  • Ground beef with white rice
  • Chicken and sweet potato
  • Egg on toast or bagel
  • Protein powder mixed with frozen berries
  • Apple and almond butter
  • Tuna wrapped in a tortilla
  • Steak and potato
  • Read Also: How Much Does Protein Cost

    Macronutrients: Fats Carbs Protein

    When it comes to nutrition, there are macronutrients and micronutrients. The big 3 macronutrients are fats, carbohydrates and protein. When eaten in the right ratios, these three macronutrients can improve your weight, health and overall physical well-being.

    In general, most adults should target their diets to comprise of 45-65% Carbohydrates, 10-35% Protein and 20-35% Fat.

    One of the problems with traditional calorie counting is that it doesnt take into account the quality of what youre eating. While portion control alone may work for the short term, unless youre eating nutrient-rich foods that leave you satisfied, your self-control will eventually break down. Below youll find more information on how to get the most out of the macronutrients each day.

    • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates often get a bad rap, but they are critical and the most accessible sources of energy for your bodys systems. Whats most important is the type of carbohydrate you choose to eat because certain carbs are healthier than others.

    • Protein: Well known in the world of fitness, protein is associated with building muscle and primarily found in foods like meat and eggs. However, protein is needed for more than just muscle growth. Protein is made up of many different amino acids which are the building blocks of organs, bones, hair, enzymes, and pretty much all of the tissues in your body.

    What Is A Good Balance Of Fat Carbs And Protein

    Should I eat carbs, protein, or fat? A balanced meal.

    carbohydratesproteinfatcarbs

    Carbohydrates

    . Just so, what is the ideal balance of fat carbs and protein?

    The Bottom LineThe acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges are 45â65% of your daily calories from carbs, 20â35% from fats and 10â35% from protein. To lose weight, find a ratio you can stick with, focus on healthy foods and eat fewer calories than you burn.

    Subsequently, question is, should you eat more protein than carbs to lose weight? Boosts Metabolism and Increases Fat BurningHowever, not all foods are the same in this regard. In fact, protein has a much higher thermic effect than fat or carbs â 20â35% compared to 5â15% . High protein intake has been shown to significantly boost metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn.

    Similarly, it is asked, when should I eat fat carbs and protein?

    The best times of day to eat fats, carbs, and protein

  • Avoid excess protein at night.
  • Eat protein at breakfast.
  • Eat healthy fats at breakfast.
  • Avoid fatty foods at night.
  • Eat carbs before working out.
  • Eat protein & carbs after working out.
  • Eat complex carbohydrates at night.
  • Eat protein throughout the day.
  • How do you balance protein and carbs?

    Here’s how to balance these nutrients in a healthy diet.

  • Carbohydrates. Carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram. About 50 to 60 percent of your total daily calories should come from carbohydrate.
  • Proteins. Protein also has 4 calories per gram.
  • Fats. Fat has the most calories of all the nutrients: 9 calories per gram.
  • Recommended Reading: Can Toddlers Eat Protein Bars

    Do You Need Carbohydrates To Build Muscle

    Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for humans. Carbs are important for muscle building because they’re protein sparing, which means the body looks to glycogen for energy instead of breaking down muscle tissue for energy. Consuming carbs post-workout can prevent muscle loss and help repair muscles.

    How much protein do I need daily calculator? The recommended range of protein intake is between 0.8 g/kg and 1.8 g/kg of body weight, dependent on the many factors listed above. Recommended dietary allowance of protein, based on age. Protein Needed Age 9 – 13 34 Age 14 – 18 46 Age 14 – 18 52 Age 19 – 70+ 46

    The Importance Of Fat

    Fat is an incredibly efficient form of energy storage. Per gram, protein and carbohydrates have 4 calories each. Dietary fat, on the other hand, has 9 calories per gram. That makes it the best energy storage unit your body has.

    Besides providing energy, this nutrient supports the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, D and E. These micronutrients dissolve in fat, so one of the best ways to ensure their absorption into your body is to eat fatty foods.

    Animal sources of fat include meat, eggs and dairy. Plant-based sources include avocado, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. There are different types of fat: saturated, unsaturated and trans fats.

    Trans fats are mostly found in processed and fried foods. They’re particularly dangerous for your heart. Try to avoid them as much as possible.

    Saturated and unsaturated fats occur naturally in both animal- and plant-based foods. Unsaturated fat is perhaps the healthiest.

    There are two kinds of unsaturated fat: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. The latter fats may help lower your LDL cholesterol levels, which is the bad kind of cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats are typically found in nuts and unrefined oils, such as olive oil and sesame oil.

    Polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Some types of fish, such as salmon and tuna, are rich in these nutrients. Unrefined vegetable oils are a good source too.

    You May Like: What Fruit Has The Most Protein

    How Many Grams Of Protein Do I Need To Gain Muscle

    A common recommendation for gaining muscle is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, or 2.2 grams of protein per kg. Other scientists have estimated the protein needs to be a minimum of 0.7 grams per pound, or 1.6 grams per kg .

    How much carbs should a bodybuilder eat? Carbohydrate Recommendations Consume 0.8 g/kg of carbs with 0.4 g/kg of protein after workouts to increase glycogen stores . For the average 150 lb. person, this means 55 g of carbohydrates and 27 grams of protein.

    Calculate Your Fat Target

    Balanced Meals Create Balanced Hormones

    As the IOM says, fat is one of the key energy sources for our body, but its a lot more than that. Healthy or saturated fatty acids are critical for absorbing Vitamin A, D, E, and K, help with cell membranes construction and also tend to decrease appetite.

    Its important that we make a distinction between saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids, which are unsaturated and mainly generated via industrial processes. While the former one is essential for healthy living, the latter is associated with negative outcomes. Therefore, trans fatty acids should be avoided.

    Unlike protein, theres no generally accepted RDA for fat. However, the IOMs Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range for fat is 20-35%. While just like with protein, you might jump out of this range based on personal factors, here you are only recommended to go beyond, but not below.

    Fitness Goals

    As healthy fats have various benefits for your body, the recommended range is going to remain relatively the same regardless of your fitness goals. While it sounds pretty ironic that you need fat to lose fat, it is true. As weve said before, research has proven that healthy fats lower the sensation of hunger and can aid weight loss.

    Recommended fat intake/day for weight loss & muscle gain: 20-35%

    Special Diet

    Macro Recommendation for Ketogenic Diet

    Recommended fat intake/day for Keto Diet: 60-75%

    Read Also: Can Too Much Protein Cause Hair Loss

    Balanced Diet: Pairing Protein And Carbs To Regulate Blood Sugars

    In 2010 the USDA introduced MyPlate as the new guideline for proper nutrition. Since then, it has been the education tool that dietitians use to teach clients about eating a healthy diet. A balanced diet should contain protein, carbohydrate and fat. Each of these macronutrients provides us with energy along with a host of other nutrients.

    Protein is made up of amino acids, the building blocks of life. Protein helps the body repair and produce new cells, keeps us full aiding in weight control and has a moderate effect on blood sugar. Carbohydrates are the bodys main source of energy thus causing the most dramatic effect on blood sugar as the food is broken down into glucose. Whole-grain carbohydrates provide more fiber than the refined versions, and its the fiber that keeps you full longer by slowing the digestion of food. Fats have the least effect on blood sugar. Their role in the diet involves nutrient transportation and providing energy. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are required by the body for normal function.

    Sausage-and-Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

    1 cup quartered grape or cherry tomatoes

    1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram or 1 tsp dried

    4 medium zucchini

    ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

    1/8 tsp salt

    1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

    All you do:

  • Position rack in upper third of oven preheat broiler to HIGH.
  • Nutrition Facts per serving: 293 calories, 13g fat, 3g saturated fat, 58mg cholesterol, 626mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 22g protein.

    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.

    Don’t Miss: What Is In Bone Broth Protein Powder

    Balancing Protein And Carbs For Weight Loss

    High-protein, low-carb diets are often effective for weight loss because they can lead to a reduction in calories. However, consuming a diet too low in carbs is difficult to adhere to long-term. A study published in a 2012 edition of the British Journal of Nutrition reports that a reduced-calorie diet with a one-to-two protein/carb ratio was most successful for diet adherence, body-fat reduction, reduced waist circumference, a lower waist-to-hip ratio and preservation of lean body mass compared with diets with one-to-four or one-to-one protein/carb ratios. For example, an effective 1,200-calorie weight-loss diet may contain 140 grams of carbohydrates, 70 grams of protein and 40 grams of fat.

    Popular Articles

    Related Articles