It seems people have forgotten what food (specific macronutrients) are actually needed for in the body.
This post will be simple but very useful for those who don’t want to delve to deeply in to the science of it all.
There are 3 main macronutrients:
Here is what/how they are used:
Protein = Building Muscle, Repairing Tissues/Systems and maintaining the body basically.
Once you’ve taken enough in any extra will be converted to sugar (gluconeogenesis) to be used as energy, if you don’t need any extra energy then it will be converted in to fat (de novo lipogenesis) for storage and use another time.
Carbohydrates = Energy Source, used to fuel your activities (daily and exercise bias) put simply, and are easily broken and utilised (think kindling on a fire).
If you have adequate carbs in your diet your body will never see the need to break down protein to be used as fuel, but that means any excess will be converted to fat (remember this), this is why overeating protein (having upwards of 1.2g per 1lb of bodyweight) isn’t necessary.
Carbs are a great source of fuel but if you have too many in comparison to your energy expenditure the excess that is not needed will be converted to fat (DNL). You only need a 1-1 or possible a 1-2 ratio of Protein to Carbs, for example 20g protein means 20-40g carbs.
Fat = Energy Source, similar to carbohydrates fats are used to fuel your daily/physical activities but unlike carbs fat are broken down and utilised more slowly (think a large log at the base of a camp fire).
Fat is essential for good health and hormones, low fat diets are detrimental to health. Nature pairs protein with fat for a reason you know (animal meant basically).
Like carbs your body will use fat for fuel throughout they day if that is what you’re feed it, however… fat is used backwards. You eat it and then your body does some magical things and converts if to a form of usable energy (glucose) and as with protein/carbs eating too much over your needs will be stored.
A good ration of Protein to Fat is 1-1 or 1-0.5, this means 10g protein 10/5g of fat.
Now those are some very basic things to remember which lead perfectly in to our next point.
Protein + Fat = Good (y) 1-1 or 1-0.5 ratio
Protein + Carbs = Good (Y) 1-1 or 1-2 ratio
Carbs + Fat = Not So Good 😦
It is true that most main meals will contain a mixture of all 3 macronutrients, the ideal ration would be something like this:
2-1-0.5 = Carbs/Protein/Fat = 40g carbs, 20g Protein, 10g Fat.
This isn’t gospel, ratios will differ depending only our goals (higher carbs, higher fat etc), but you will do well to remember that you can pair protein with both individually or all 3 together but try to avoid pairing carbs & fat (unless you have a specific reason too). This over abundance of energy, because that’s all the body sees foodstuffs as in the end will either be used of stored as fat.
Enough is enough, more isn’t better.
You can workout your individual needs by various means, if you want a really easy way then take your Lean Body Mass (LBM) in LBS and multiply that by 1.2 to get your daily protein requirement in grams, then double that number for your daily carbs and you can either half if for your fat or simply copy it.
We shall take a lean athletic person who is highly active (Trains 4-6 times per week in strength & conditioning), their calories ratio might look like this
Protein = 210g – 840 calories
*Carbs x2 = 420g – 1680 calories
Fat x0.5= 105g – 945 calories
*Fibre would be roughly 10-12.5% of total carbs and included in the total calories, not in addition. You fibre for 420g would be 42g – 50g per day.
3645 daily calories total.
This ins’t an exact science, it’s just to give you a rough guide fi you’re not one for number crunching. If you want the exact number then I suggest you hire someone to establish everything you need. Otherwise just remember what each macronutrient does, how it’s used and make sensible choices :).