We hear a lot about fat, carbs, and proteins. Low fat or high fat? Low carb or vegetarian? High protein for weight loss? There is so much confusing information that it’s tough to figure out what’s best for you.
At Low Fat Low Carb, we don’t recommend following any diet. We do, however, recommend that you follow the right balance of whole foods that will support your body depending on your lifestyle and goals. This means, that your “diet” will continually be evolving to meet your needs. Let’s have a look at some ways to get started so that you can calculate the right number of calories and percentages of macronutrients to suit you. What’s a macronutrient? Well, it’s the big 3! Carbs, Fats, and Proteins.
Firstly, you’ll need to figure out how many calories your body requires to function in a day. The easiest way to do this is to use our BMR calculator by clicking HERE.
From here, and depending on your goals, you’ll want to adjust your “Activity Adjusted Intake”. For weight loss, you’ll want to reduce by 500-800 calories (without going lower than 1200 calories). For weight maintenance, you’ll want to reduce by 300 calories. For weight gain or pregnancy/nursing, you’ll want to add 300-500 calories. Once you have calculated the number of calories you will need to eat in a day, you can check the list below to choose the macronutrient balance that’s right for you! Don’t forget, one gram of protein and carbs is four calories and one gram of fat is nine calories.
Example to calculate proteins: Choose percentage. Multiply your daily caloric by the percentage of proteins and then divide by 4 to get the total number of grams of protein to eat daily.
If you are eating 1800 calories daily and you want to eat 35% protein. You’ll multiply 1800 x 0.35 to = 630. This is the number of calories coming from protein. Divide this number by 4 to get a total of 157.5 grams of protein daily.
Your body functions best with an optimal balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. But how can you figure out which balance is optimal?
At LowFat LowCarb, we believe it is best to support your body depending on your life-stage and health goals. Here are some guidelines to get you started with finding what balance of macronutrients is best for you.
1 – Weight Loss
Studies are consistently confirming that for long-term weight loss and weight maintenance, a diet consisting of more protein and less carbohydrates is ideal. Many people who need to lose weight just aren’t getting enough protein and are consuming too many carbs. Focusing on protein consumption throughout the day will help curb cravings and prevent fat storage from excess carbs.
45% protein, 25% carbs, 30% fat
2 – AutoImmunity
If your immune system is under stress, a diet slanting towards Paleo foods with the following macronutrient balance can really support your body. As well, lowering body fat might be needed to start lessening inflammation and helping you feel great. Paleo foods focus on lean white meats and fish, grass-fed beef, lots of vegetables and healthy fats from coconut, avocado and olives. Healthy fat nourishes while the extra carbohydrates may provide energy to a depressed immune system.
30% protein, 30% carbs, 40% fat
3 – Fertility
If you are considering becoming pregnant, it’s important to have a healthy amount of fat in your diet and on your body. Fertility depends on optimized hormones. Fat helps to regulate hormones and enables them to properly communicate to each other. Focus on avocados, quality eggs, salmon, olives and olive oil, coconut and coconut oil.
25% protein, 30% carbs, 45% fat
4 – Menopause
Many women find that their body responds very differently after menopause. The dramatic hormonal shift can also dramatically affect body composition. Choosing a fairly balanced macronutrient ratio can provide long term support during this stage of life while helping in maintaining weight and hormonal balance. Keep in mind that macro balance will need to be adjusted depending on activity level and other factors.
35% protein, 30% carbs, 35% fat
5 – General Health
If you’re generally healthy without any particular health goals or ailments, we suggest you try a few different approaches to really discover which macronutrient balance is best for you and what makes you feel great in your body. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends the following general macronutrient ratio. Remember to always focus on whole foods and avoid refined grains and sugary carbs.
10-35% protein, 45-65% carbs, 20-35% fat
The best person to prescribe the right macronutrient balance is YOU. At LowFat LowCarb, we believe that you can become your own detective in health. Try a ratio, according to your current lifestyle and goals, and then adjust if you don’t find it feels great to eat this way. But, don’t change it up too soon! It takes at least 28 days to transition from the old way of eating to your new lifestyle. Of course, we are always here to help. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Or, when you become a free member, you can chat directly with our nutritional team!
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