Last week, and probably a few weeks running before that, I’ve been a bit slack in the protein department. This is bad news for a couple reasons.
- I’ve been lifting heavy in the gym, and my body needs help repairing itself.
- I get hungry more often when too many of my calories come from carbs.
- Though I’m not trying to pack on serious muscle, I am a fan of a fit physique.
- I owe it to myself to have well planned meals with a good ratio of fats/carbs/protein.
Being strict about a certain ratio day-in and day-out isn’t my cuppa’ tea, but I like having guidelines. Each person’s macro ratio differs given his or her needs and the types of carbs/fats eaten.
For instance, processed sugars aren’t as good as all-natural carbs loaded with fiber. In addition, I’m looking to have a slightly higher proportion of fats in my diet, most all of which coming from nuts, olives, fish, etc. to improve my heart health.
The distinctions don’t stop there. The “best” ratio for a person also depends on his or her goals. For instance, vegans might have less protein, though they can still get enough to meet daily requirements. Endurance athletes require more carbohydrates than most of us, probably somewhere around a 50-60 carbs/15-20 protein/20-25 fats.
Those looking to pack on serious muscle might portion things out more along the lines of 40 carbs/30 protein/30 fats or 40/40/20. I haven’t done the Body for Life program, but it’s my understanding that participants are encouraged to follow a 40/40/20 plan as well.Source
If you want some basic guidelines that you can then alter to fit your needs, I recommend checking out NutritionData.com. (Nope, I have not been paid anything for mentioning them; I just really like the site.) Find the Daily Needs Calculator…
Then review your recommendations. Considering I’m not doing much endurance running right now, I am going to scale back the carbs. Also, I’ll increase the (healthy) fats a bit too, but here’s the guideline it gave me.
Cool right? Monday I had 36/34/30 (fat/carb/prot). Tuesday was 31/44/25, and yesterday was 25/46/29. Yesterday is surprising since I still had Greek yogurt, homemade protein bars, and turkey bean chili. I know… I’m a nerd, but I find this stuff pretty interesting.
- Have you ever tracked your macros?
- Have you had any more or less success with more or less carbs/protein/fats?