Feeling Low And Overwhelmed
A lack of protein can leave you feeling low, and even depressed. Amino acids are required to produce two neurotransmitters in your brain that affect mood levels: dopamine and serotonin. The lack of these two amino acids means the synthesis of these neurotransmitters wont occur, and commonly results in low mood and aggression.
Getting The Right Ratio Of Macros
According to the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the macros of protein, fat, and carbs should, in general, be eaten by adults in the following ratios:
- Carbohydrates: 45% to 65%.
- Protein: 10% to 35%.
- Fat: 20% to 35%.
However, if you are actively trying to lose weight, you can adjust those ratios as follows:
- Carbohydrates: 10% to 30%.
- Fat: 30% to 40%.
Are There Health Implications To Consider When Following A High
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 it’s 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 shouldn’t 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.
How To Calculate Your Macros
Now you know what macros are and how many calories they have. Next, you’ll need to do some math. That’s because your intake ratio is written in percentages but nutrition information is provided in grams. I’ll use my macro intake as an example.
1. First, you need to know how many calories you eat each day. I eat roughly 2,300 calories per day.
2. Next, determine your ideal ratio. I like to eat about 50% carbs, 25% fat and 25% protein.
3. Then, multiply your total daily calories by your percentages.
4. Finally, divide your calorie amounts by its calorie-per-gram number.
Here’s how I would calculate my calories for each macronutrient:
- Carbs: 2,300 x 0.50 equals 1,150. I eat 1,150 calories worth of carbs each day .
- Protein: 2,300 x 0.25 equals 575, so I get 575 calories worth of protein.
- Fats: 2,300 x 0.25 equals 575. I also get 575 calories comprised of dietary fat.
To calculate the actual gram amounts:
- Carbs : 1,150 divided by 4 equals 287.5 grams of carbs.
- Protein : 575 divided by 4 equals 143.75 grams of protein
- Fat : 575 divided by 9 equals 63.8 grams of fat.
If you don’t like math, don’t fret. The internet is home to a range of macronutrient calculators that will do the math for you.
What Should Your Macronutrient Balance Look Like
The message of our study is moderation, says Dehghan.
Think about it: When you go on an extreme kind of dietsay, a super low-fat onethe rest your calories have to come from somewhere, right?
When you reduce one component of your diet, you replace it with something else, says Dehghan. When you reduce your total fat, by default, you replace it with refined carbohydrates. The result? Loading up on processed foodslike breakfast cereals, soda, and white pastacan easily lead to weight gain, which spikes your risk for serious health issues, such as heart disease.
The reverse is possible when you go super high-fat and low-carb too, popularized by the ketogenic diet. When you don’t eat enough carbs, your energy levels might crash, since they’re your body’s main source of fuel.
We are not supporting very low carb or very high fat diets,” says Dehghan. We are saying that reducing your carbs is likely beneficial when is already high.
She adds that the purpose of their study is to present new evidence to add to the ongoing discussion of what a healthy diet should look like. Based on their specific findings, people should aim to eat 50 to 55 percent of their calories from carbs and roughly 35 percent from fat to reduce their risk of premature death, says Dehghan.
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Want To Know How Much Protein Carbs And Fat To Eat Heres How To Calculate Your Macros
Over the years, youve no doubt heard different percentages for how much protein, carbs, and fat to eat to lose weight, but what are the right percentages and how do you figure them out?
Ive got the step-by-step scoop.
Set your daily target calorie intake amount since all your calculations will depend on it.
FitWatch has a really great Total Daily Calorie Needs calculator to help you get that going.
Calculate how much of each MACRONUTRIENT you want to consume.
Protein: This macronutrient helps you build, repair, and maintain your muscle mass. Not only that, but it also helps rev your metabolism AND its known as the most satiating macro, keeping you feeling full for hours after eating it. Shoot for 10% to 35% of your calories from protein.
Tip: People who work out more generally need more protein to help with recovery.
Fat: Your body needs fat to be healthy. Among other things, fat helps your body convert and use several vitamins and minerals. Experts recommend getting between 20% and 35% of your daily calories from fat.
Carbohydrates: The remaining percentage should come from carbs. Major health organizations recommend you get between 45% and 65% of your total calories a day.
Fiber: This is another number you will want to keep in mind. Its recommended you get between 25 to 30 grams of fiber from food sources each day.
30% x 2000 = 600 calories from protein
25% x 2000 = 500 calories from fat
45% x 2000 = 900 calories from carbohydrates
How Much Protein Do You Need In A Day
Even if youre not exactly sure what protein is technicallyor how much protein you needodds are that you do know how good it makes you feel. Whether you like to start your day with a filling egg scramble, chug the nutrient in shake form after a workout, or cook up a nice steak for dinner, youre likely familiar with the lasting satisfaction that you get from protein in its many delicious variations. And, as well talk about, protein certainly does enough to earn its reliably good reputation.
While you know protein is a great thing to have, you might also have a few questions. Like, why exactly does your body need it? How much protein do you need to eat, and when should you eat it? And how does your activity level factor into that? Heres a rundown of what protein does and how much of the nutrient your body needs.
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How Do You Know How Much Protein You Are Eating
Do you get confused over how much protein you are eating, or whether you are eating enough? Find out the answer to this question along with several others. For example, do you wake up in the morning with a flat stomach, but experience belly bloat as the day progresses? Youre not alone, and you might have a food intolerance. Read on to find out our recommendations to this issue and more.
Why Does Your Keto Calculator Only Calculate Net Carbs
Total carbs is not a precise indicator of the carb content of a food. When you see total carbs on a food label, the number beside it represents the cumulative total of grams of dietary fiber, sugar, and sugar alcohol that are in that food item or beverage. Net carb content, on the other hand, relates to the carb content of the food that is digested at four calories per gram and impacts your ketones levels.
For example, if we told you to eat 50 total carbs rather than 20-30 grams of net carbs, you could be eating anywhere between 0 and 50 grams of net carbs. At 0 grams of net carbs, most people will get into ketosis within the first week and experience deeper levels of ketosis as the weeks progress. On the other hand, while eating 50 grams of net carbs per day, many people will struggle to get into ketosis and sustain higher ketone levels.
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How Do I Meet My Macros With A Ketogenic Diet
The simplest way to meet your macros is by cutting out non-keto foods and eating keto-friendly foods. Heres a brief food list for you to start with:
Do Not Eat
- Grains wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
- Sugar honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
- Fruit apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Tubers potato, yams, etc.
- Sweeteners stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners >
- Other fats coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
To see more specific advice on how to meet your macros on keto, for a comprehensive keto food list. Or, if you want a different idea of how to get to these macro calculations, you can also see our 14 Day Keto Diet Plan for ideas.
If you are looking for more specific suggestions on how to meet your protein and/or fat needs on keto, we will explore that in greater detail in the next two questions.
What Is The Best Macro Ratio For Fat Loss And Muscle Gain
There’s no simple answer to this one: your ideal macros will take some tweaking and experimenting to get right.
However, as protein is the key to building and repairing muscle, most experts agree that a higher protein intake is the key to muscle gain and preventing loss of muscle mass while in a calorie deficit. Pairing a protein-focused macro diet with resistance training is a great way to ensure you’re losing fat and building muscle.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day if increasing muscle mass is a goal.
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Is All That Protein Necessary
Many people with moderately active lifestyles simply dont need all the protein in very high protein, low carb diets, such as those that recommend above 0.9 grams per pound of body weight per day.
For most physically active people, a daily protein intake of 0.540.9 grams per pound of body weight is likely optimal .
Protein needs depend on your sex, body weight, age, health, activity levels, and body composition goals, so you should consult your healthcare provider if youre unsure how much you should eat.
Moreover, high protein, low carb diets arent necessary to promote overall health.
Eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, staying within your calorie needs, exercising, and reducing your intake of processed foods and added sugar are much more important to your well-being than your macronutrient ratios.
High protein, low carb diets are linked to a few downsides, including an increased risk of some cancers. Plus, most people have no need for all the protein that this eating pattern encourages.
When following a high protein, low carb diet, its important to reduce your intake of carb-rich foods. You should limit the following:
- Grains and starches: breads, rice, pasta, baked goods, cereals, etc.
- Sweeteners: sugar, agave, maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, etc.
- Sugary drinks: juice, sweetened coffee and tea, soda, sports drinks, sweetened alcoholic beverages, beer, etc.
- Processed, high carb foods: french fries, fried chicken, pizza, chips, etc.
Carbs Vs Fat For Building Muscle
The next question, then, is why? Low-carb and keto diets are trendy among people who are trying to lose weight, and they can indeed be effective. But why do higher-carb diets work better for bulking?
Carbs have a few muscle-building benefits:
- Improved workout performance: when we eat a diet thats higher in carbohydrates, our muscles store extra glycogen, giving our muscles more energy, and improving our workout performance, and allowing us to stimulate more muscle growth .
- Greater protein efficiency: eating more carbs reduces protein breakdown, allowing us to use more of the protein were eating to build muscle.
- More insulin: eating more carbs causes us to produce more insulin, which helps us shuttle the calories were eating towards muscle growth 90097-2/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> study).
- Improved hormones: Carbs increase testosterone and reduce cortisol when compared to fats.
- Lower incidence of getting sick: carbs strengthen our immune systems and reduce our chances of getting sick while lifting weights
- Faster muscle growth: theres also some research showing that the more glycogen we have in our muscles, the faster our muscles will grow.
- Fuller, harder muscles: glycogen is stored inside our muscles. Its a type of lean mass. So when our muscles are packed full of glycogen, theyre bigger and fuller.
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How Much Protein Your Body Needs
Okay, so how much protein are we talking about here? The amount of protein your body actually requires for the purpose of tissue growth and repair is determined by factors like sex, age, height, weight, health, activity level, and overall calorie need, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. So its going to vary a lot from person to person.
A good starting point for roughly estimating minimum protein needs is the recommended daily allowance for protein, or the average minimum daily intake thats sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements for most healthy individuals . The RDA for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or about 0.36 grams per pound. For instance, the average 200-pound person needs at least 72 grams of protein per day to meet the RDA.
People with a higher activity level will likely need more. Individuals who work out and want to maintain and/or build muscle mass through diet and exercise definitely benefit from getting more protein than the RDA, Adam M. Gonzalez, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., assistant professor in the Department of Health Professions at Hofstra University, has told SELF.
Based on those recommendations, for instance, a 200-pound person would want to get between 100 and 180 grams of protein a day. Generally, the more active you arethe more frequent, strenuous, and long your workouts arethe higher in that range youll be, Dr. Gonzalez says.
Do Macros Really Work For Weight Loss
Short answer: yes, with one caveat you must be in a calorie deficit.
While there are a plethora of factors that come into play in losing weight , experts tend to agree that on the surface, a calorie deficit is one of the simplest and most effective strategies for weight loss.
What is a calorie deficit, you ask? It simply means expending more energy than you consume, or burning more calories than you eat. More often than not, most macro calculators for weight loss will have a calorie deficit built-in to their recommendations.
As mentioned previously, counting your macros rather than counting calories may be a more effective weight loss solution for some, as it shifts the focus to a balanced diet, rather than just the overall calorie number. This means you’re more likely to be meeting your body’s nutritional and satiety needs.
If you’re on the hunt for macros for weight loss, read on to calculate yours yourself.
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The Importance Of Eating Enough Calories
To gain weight, we need to eat more calories than we burn. There are many different ways to estimate exactly how many calories we should eat to gain weight, with most of them working out to around 1822 times your bodyweight in pounds per day. So for a guy who weighs 150 pounds, thats 27003300 calories per day. Thats a wide range, and thats okay.
When bulking, the important thing is to add around 500 extra calories to our diets, weigh ourselves every week, and adjust accordingly. That means that we dont ever need to actually count our calories, we just need to add or remove food from our diets depending on how fast were gaining weight.
Are you gaining 0.51 pound of weight on the scale each week?
- If yes, keep doing what youre doing. Thats perfect.
- If youre gaining less weight than that, try adding another 200300 daily calories into your diet.
- If youre gaining more weight than that, thats not necessarily a problem, especially during your first 13 weeks of bulking. But if youre worried about gaining fat, try removing 200300 daily calories from your diet to slow it down.
If you want to bulk more leanly, start by adding fewer calories into your diet and try to maintain a slower rate of weight gainaround 0.5 pounds per week is great. If you want to build muscle faster, feel free to start by adding more calories into your diet. Aiming to gain a pound per week is perfect for that.
Decide Your Activity Level
Then, to find out your exact ratios based on your daily activity you multiply your BMR by your average activity level based on the following categories:
- Little or no exercise: 1.2
- Light exercise a few times a week: exercise a few times a week: 1.375
- Moderate exercise 3-5 times a week: 1.55
- Heavy exercise 6-7 times per week: 1.725
So, if the same woman above cycled to work three times a week and attended two yoga classes, she’d be classed as a moderate exercise so would multiply 1348.1 x 1.55 = 2089.5.
The number she’s then left with is how many calories she would eat in a day.
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