I often get asked questions like, "What amounts of carbohydrates do you recommend for bulking?" "How much protein do I need during weight loss?" and "Is there an ideal macro ratio for getting rid of unwanted fat?" If you've ever asked someone these questions, you may have also tried a ratio you saw someone touting and found that it definitely didn't work for you. The truth is that just like everyone has different goals, everyone has to take a different road to get to their ideal body. 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. 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. Once you determined your primary fitness objective, it's important to factor in your body type. Diet Recommendations: Ectomorphs should stick to the high end of the range for carbohydrates, between 30-60 percent of total calories, depending on whether the goal is mass gains, maintenance, or fat loss.
I recommend the high end for mass gains, the mid-upper end for maintenance (45-55 percent), and the low-end for fat loss.
They can handle a moderate level of carbs due to their ample capacity to store muscle glycogen.
Diet Recommendations: Mesomorphs do well in the middle range for carbohydrates, between 20-50 percent of total calories. To prioritize fat loss, increase both protein and fat while lowering carbohydrate intakes, with no more than 40 of calories coming from fat. Endomorphs can put on a lot of muscle, but they also tend to carry more adipose tissue and thus have a greater propensity to store fat. Diet Recommendations: Endomorphs should stick to the low end of the carbohydrate range, between 10-40 percent of total calories, depending on their goals. As with the other body types, protein and fat provide the remainder of your calories, with 25-50 percent of total calories from protein and 15-40 percent from fat.
Gender is usually less pronounced of a factor than goals or overall body type, and it's far more prone to individual variation. In general, women are more efficient at burning fat and less efficient at burning the glycogen stored in muscle.
Estrogen enhances epinephrine production, the primary hormone that stimulates lipolysis (fatty acid breakdown). Estrogen promotes the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which inhibits the uptake of carbohydrates and increases the mobilization of fatty acids from adipose tissue. Women have increased blood flow to adipose tissue, which could assist in fatty acid mobilization. Women have higher levels of intramuscular triglycerides (IMTG), a fat-based source of fuel that spares muscle glycogen during moderate to high intensity exercise.
According to one study, men appear to rely more on stored carbohydrate for fuel than women when doing the same exercise. Diet recommendation: Does this mean that women should always have a lower carb intake than men? On the other hand, a mesomorphic male trying to maintain weight would likely require a higher percentage of carbohydrate, perhaps in the range of 40 percent, while a woman of the same body type with the same goal may wish to start at around 30 percent.
Nevertheless, if you're a woman training at low to moderate intensity, I would suggest first referencing the above macro ranges to select a ratio that corresponds to your fitness goals and body type.
Male or female, if you feel fatigued and weak from your workouts, yet you fail to build muscle mass, you should consider increasing your carbs. After the hundredth or so time that you hear "abs are made in the kitchen," it can be tempting to spend all your time worrying about macronutrient ratios and pay less mind to other factors that are just as important to your overall results. I'm trying to lose some fat, but everywhere I go to look for helpful information, I get conflicting views on the proper macronutrient ratio. Then there's the fact that you have to continuously manipulate your ratios throughout any fat-loss plan. My body type is an ecto-mesomorph, which means it has a higher tolerance for carbs than most people. Each body type or combination of body types will have a different reaction to various macronutrient ratios. Ectomorph: If you're an ectomorph, you're naturally thin with skinny limbs and a high tolerance for carbohydrates. Bottom Line: These ratios are a starting range for most body-types, but don't be afraid to experiment for better results.
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Diets that do not provide your body with a good balance of macronutrients should be avoided.
There are three essential macronutrients and you’re probably already somewhat familiar with each, at least by name.
There are 4 calories per gram in Carbohydrates, 4 calories per gram in Protein, and 9 calories per gram in Fat. While I don’t think we should frame Carbohydrates in terms of good and bad, I do think it is important to know the difference between types of Carbohydrates. Unlike Carbohydrates and Fats, people generally understand the importance of Protein and meet their Protein needs on a daily basis.
There some sources of Fat that are considered better than others and this is generally because they provide us with unsaturated fat (which has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease).
You just need to know how to control your hormones for fat loss and stay full while losing fat rapidly, correct?
Here, we will detail what you need to know about macros and how to put them together for you. Before I step into a macronutrient strategy for fat loss, I need to clarify first that nutrition is very individualized.
Now that you see the many benefits of protein in your diet, how much should you be having and when? Protein will also give a steady flow and increase in blood sugar which will lead to more sustainable energy for the whole day.
I will speak on fats later, but the fat teaches your body to use fat as energy for the day. If you weight 150 lbs, this could be 150g of protein a day, divided by 4 meals is about 35g a meal. Some ethnic types can handles more carbs and some body types can handle more carbs and vice versa, but at the end of your day, you must trial and error the amount you deserve. I would say, calculate your protein intake first, then based on your calorie allowance, give yourself 40% of your remaining calories in carbs. You see, the fat cell membrane actually becomes thick and rigid when you have been eating crap food and bad nutrients like trans fat, high poly-unsaturated fats, sugar, grain, etc. To fix this rigid cell membrane issue, you eliminate the aforementioned foods and add healthy fats like saturated and mono-unsaturated fats. However, the rule to follow with what we have previously discussed is after protein and carbs are factored in, finish the fat amount.
We would love to do this whole process for you, hold you accountable to it, and guarantee results for you in our 28 day challenge online.
Body Transformation FitnessGiving you the information, motivation, and inspiration you need to get the body that you've always wanted. Increasing protein helps offset gluconeogenesis: When you are in a calorie deficit (especially if your carbohydrate intake is low), your body will start to convert protein into glucose in order to fuel itself through a process called gluconeogenesis. Preserving muscle helps maintain your metabolic rate: Although there is debate over how much muscle mass impacts metabolism, some sources state that one pound of muscle burns up to an extra 50 calories per day2.

Also, protein is usually very satisfying: Most people report feeling less hungry if their protein intake is higher4.
Too much protein can “crowd out” room in your diet for other macronutrients, especially carbohydrates: Even though your body can convert protein to glucose, evidence suggests that relatively little glucose is produced from the conversion of protein to glucose (gluconeogenesis)5.
As you can see, setting your protein intake is the first step in setting your dieting macronutrient ratios. As stated in the fat requirements for fat loss article, determining your optimal fat intake is critical when setting your dieting macronutrient ratios. Low fat diets can lower testosterone levels, a key hormone in body composition: Studies have shown that men who eat diets in which fat makes up less than 20% of total calories have significantly lower testosterone levels7. Low fat diets can lead to vitamin deficiencies: Vitamins A, E, D, and K are called fat soluble vitamins because they are absorbed and stored with fat. Eating much more than 30% of total calories from fat can “crowd out” room for carbohydrates and protein in your diet: Although eating fat is critical for good health, eating a diet that is more than 30% fat is not optimal because it will limit the amount of carbohydrates and protein that you can eat. The carbohydrate requirements for fat loss article states what many people already know: carbohydrate requirements are the most difficult and most controversial aspect of setting dieting macronutrient ratios. Carbohydrates will fuel muscle-preserving workouts: Maintaining the stimulus (weight on the bar and number of reps) that built your muscle is critical for maintaining it while dieting14. Including carbohydrates in your diet will lessen your body’s need to use protein for energy, allowing your body to use the protein for building and maintaining muscle: Although your body can convert protein into glucose for energy if your carbohydrate intake is very low, evidence suggests that it is a very inefficient process16. As you can see, including carbohydrates in your fat loss diet will help you maintain muscle mass because your body will not have to rely on protein for fuel.
Even though the theory is not proven, many fitness and bodybuilding experts believe that high carbohydrate intakes (because of the resulting high insulin levels) make it difficult for some people to lose weight: Although counting calories is key, some bodybuilding experts believe that keeping insulin levels low speeds up fat loss18. Because of the vague recommendations and conflicting theories, giving clear intake guidelines is difficult. Protein: Adequate protein intake is essential for maintaining metabolism-stoking muscle mass. Fat: Fat is needed for hormone production and nutrient absorption, but too much can “crowd out” room in your diet for protein and carbohydrate. Carbohydrates: Eating too few carbohydrates will cause your body to use protein for fuel instead of for maintaining muscle, but too many carbohydrates may theoretically make it difficult to lose fat. The most common query as far as weight loss is concerned—what are the best weight loss macronutrient ratios? It is suggested to take a gram of protein a day per pound of body weight to build muscle and burn fat. Carbs are always at the height of controversy but you need to find your comfortable ratio here. As you can tell, it is an individual thing and finding the perfect macronutrient ratios to fit you is like shopping for gloves. Maybe you felt groggy or exhausted all the time, or you expected gains that never showed up. Otherwise, building lean mass, shedding unwanted fat, and maintaining your goal weight would be easya€”just adjust your calories and you'd be set!
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. Some recent research also supports intermittent fasting as a means of achieving both fat loss and mass gains.
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. Since hormones are constructed from cholesterol and other fat molecules, getting any less than that can actually suppress normal hormone levels. Prioritizie healthy fat sources like monounsaturated fats like monounsaturated fats (avocados, egg yolks, olives, nuts, peanut butter, canola oil, olive oil, high-oleic sunflower oil), medium-chain triglycerides (coconut oil), and omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, and other fish, grass-fed beef, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, soybeans, tofu, edamame, beans, wild rice, and walnuts).
This will help determine how well you tolerate carbs and establish where in the above ranges you should start. Characteristically, they have delicate bone structure, small shoulders and chest, and a fast metabolism. They tend to require a greater percentage of carbohydrates to prevent muscle catabolism, as well as a higher calorie intake overall. Higher carbohydrate ratios augment lean mass gains, while lower carbohydrate ratios tend to accelerate fat loss. At least 25 percent of total calories should come from protein, with the remainder from fat.
They're often strong, athletic hard-body types with well-defined muscles, broad shoulders, and dense bone structure.
Again, I recommend the high-end for mass gains (40-50 percent), the middle for maintenance (30-40), and low-end for fat loss (20-30). They typically have a round or pear-shaped body, shorter limbs, a stocky build, and a slower metabolism. Because excess carbohydrates in the endomorph's diet end up as fat, a high carbohydrate intake will make it difficult for them to get lean or lose weight. Here, I recommend no more than 30-40 percent carbohydrates for mass gains, the middle range for maintenance (20-30), and low-end for fat loss (10-20). However, it's nevertheless important for you to keep somewhat in mind as you work to find your ideal number. This sparing of muscle glycogen may actually give women an endurance edge when performing at high intensities against men!
Even the perfect macronutrient ratio is ineffective if your calorie intake is too high or low. In reality, when you're trying to lose weight, there's no ironclad macronutrient law for mapping out your diet plan. Your body type, metabolism and weekly physical activity level all have some bearing on your ideal percentages for that moment in time.
The macronutrient ratio I typically play with for maintenance purposes is 50% protein, 35% carbs and 15% fats. If you're an endomorph and have a difficult time leaning out, or are an ectomorph and can't seem to gain weight, don't give up. Sometimes, decreasing your carbs and increasing your good fats can show remarkable fat-loss results.
It is extremely important, that in addition to monitoring your calories, you pay close attention to macronutrients (and micronutrients) to lose weight healthily. These macronutrients are Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat and they all serve different but essential purposes and you need to make sure you consume the right amount of each in your diet. Every diet has its own crazy distribution of macronutrients, especially diets that prohibit or limit intake of one macronutrient (such as the Atkins diet). While your body can do without Carbohydrates in your diet, you need them for your body to function at an optimal level and there is no need to remove them from your diet to successfully lose weight. If you look at my dieting grocery shopping list under the first essential rule of grocery shopping, you’ll see that I recommend buying foods that will satiate you. You can learn more about the glycemic index and glycemic load of 750 foods (including lists and charts). Protein helps repair and maintain body tissues that naturally break down in our daily lives. Many people incorrectly believe that eating fat will make you fat, which is simply not true. With so many conflicting theories and vague recommendations, it is difficult to determine the best combination of protein, carbohydrate, and fat for dieting.

If your body uses protein for fueling itself instead of building and repairing lean tissue, you will lose muscle. If gaining muscle raises your metabolic rate, then losing muscle while dieting will decrease your metabolic rate, making it difficult to continuing losing weight without drastically lowering your calorie intake. If you are not hungry, you are less likely to cheat on your diet and sabotage your dieting efforts. Thus, in order to maintain energy levels, it is best to balance your protein intake with carbohydrate intake. Given protein’s ability to preserve muscle and satisfy hunger, it is best to take natural pro bodybuilder, powerlifter, and post-graduate student Eric Helms, et.
Studies have also shown that low fat diets can lead to low testosterone levels in women as well8. Deficiencies of fat soluble vitamins are not common in developed countries, but diets in which fat is less than 15-20% of total calories may lead to deficiencies11.
An upper limit above which negative health effects occur has not yet been clearly defined, but bodybuilding experts recommend that the upper limit should be 30% of total calories13. Unless you are following a ketogenic diet and your body has adapted to using fat as its primary fuel source, a lack of carbohydrates is sure to make your ability to lift the same weight and do the same number of repetitions15.
Since the process of gluconeogenesis yields relatively little glucose, an extremely high protein intake is needed to offset a low carbohydrate intake if you want to avoid muscle loss.
Likewise, minimizing insulin levels if one of the key tenants of dieting protocols such as intermittent fasting that claim to target stubborn fat that is difficult to lose19. Even though low-carbohydrate diets are popular, carbohydrates are needed because they lessen your body’s need to use protein as an energy source. In addition, a higher protein intake may slightly increase your metabolic rate and make you less hungry. Since everyone’s metabolism is different and the guidelines are so general, you may have to experiment a little in order to find the combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that is best for you. For a very active person, who is working out and looking to burn calories—get your carbs from veggies and consume 200-250 grams per day.
While lean mass gains can occur alongside fat loss, neither process will occur at its full potential. However, individual results vary in both cases, and neither is an excuse to disregard your macros altogether. This doesn't have to be extreme or unpleasant in order to work, as long as you stick to these typical macronutrient ranges. This also has a negative effect on the bodily functions driven by those hormones, including growth and development, metabolism, reproduction, and mood. Ectomorphs are the classic "hardgainers." They find it hard to gain weight and put on mass. Mesomorphs generally have little trouble gaining muscle or losing fat, though they will put on fat more readily than ectomorphs.
An ectomorphic woman training at high intensity would likely need a higher carbohydrate percentage than a sedentary endomorphic man. And along the same line, you can't expect to achieve a toned, muscular physique if you are unwilling to take training seriously! Determining your ideal nutritional strategy will take time, and as your fitness goals evolve, your ideal macro ratio will too.
A good starting macronutrient ratio for you would be something like 25% protein, 55% carbs and 20% fat. Studies have shown that high-protein diets are better for fat loss and building muscle mass and help in making you feel fuller for longer.
Although previous articles discussed setting protein, fat, and carbohydrate intakes for dieting macronutrient ratios, this article summarizes the previous articles for easy reference. Studies show that increasing your protein intake while dieting helps preserve muscle mass, so there is real-world evidence to support the bodybuilding community’s recommendation1. Although normal testosterone levels are different between men and women, below normal levels in both sexes can lead to fatigue and weight gain9,10.
In fact, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating a salad with a full-fat dressing lead to far more nutrient absorption than eating a salad with a no-fat dressing, so staying above the recommended minimum is important for your long-term health12.
Since decreased gym performance will lead to muscle loss, it makes sense to keep carbohydrates in your diet so that you can maintain workout intensity.
Considering this, it becomes clear that including carbohydrates in your fat loss diet is a much easier and more efficient way of preventing muscle loss.
Although there is evidence against these insulin and weight gain theories, it is hard to deny the opinions of experts and experiences of dieters who report good results by attempting to minimize insulin levels.
Although decreasing your body’s reliance on protein for energy will help you maintain muscle mass, many experts believe that eating too many carbohydrates may have a negative impact on fat loss diet results due to the resulting high insulin levels. However, another approach is to determine your protein and fat requirements and then “fill-in” the rest of your calories with carbohydrates21. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that many experts recommend that people who seem to have difficulty losing fat should keep their carbohydrate intake on the lower end of the suggested range. It is basically, the amount you need to keep you safely sticking to a diet and not rolling off the wagon and back to a naughty-food binge. But with determination, resolve, and a willingness to change, you'll keep progressing toward great things. It may change if and when your body weight or body fat fluctuates, or if you run into any plateaus. Individuals who are carb-sensitive have to monitor their carbs closely and make adjustments in their ratios. In fact you can expect these positive side-effects of a high Protein diet even while maintaining your Carbohydrate and Fat intake – which should come as no surprise to you by now. Fat is not only essential for growth and development but Fat have been scientifically proven to help your body better absorb nutrients and vitamins from foods you eat. Although it is impossible to give direct, clear-cut recommendations because variations in individual metabolism cause everyone to respond to food differently, scientific evidence and expert opinion from the bodybuilding and fitness community reveals some general guidelines for setting your dieting macronutrient ratios.
Even as few as 15-50 grams per day can help offset your body’s need to use protein for fuel instead of for building muscle17. Since most carbohydrates cause an insulin spike, moderating your intake may help you achieve your dieting goals. Although the way that you determine your carbohydrate intake may vary, many experts believe that people who seem to have trouble losing weight should set their carbohydrate intake towards the lower end of the range22. Even worse, not getting enough essential fatty acids can increase your risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. That ratio won't necessarily work for you because you have a different body type, fitness goal and activity level. Fortunately, most adults in the United States get enough protein to meet their daily needs.
However, it is important to remember that since these are general guidelines, you may have to experiment and adjust your personal ratios to find the dieting macronutrient ratios that are best for you. You will have to experiment and keep a journal so that you are sure that for your system is getting enough food to keep you satisfied and yet keep the weight off without forcing you to go out of control. It is the only super food that we know of in nature that will have the same fatty acids you get in steak and the omega’s you get in fish.

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