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Ideal Macronutrient Ratios for Weight Loss

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  • Ideal Macronutrient Ratios for Weight Loss

    I am curious what people have found to be the macronutrient ratios that work best for them for weight loss?

    I am 5'5" female 265 lbs pretty sedentary at my job but work out about 3-4 times a week. I am starting to track my food and trying to keep my calories at around 1880 and set up my ratios to be 15% carbs, 20% protein, and 65% fat. I seem to go over the protein, so I am wondering if that means I am setting it too low.

    What works for you?

  • #2
    If your new to this don't get over complicated with things. I have never calculated the % of anything. Just cutting out the crap stuff worked for me, the quantity of things just seemes to be self regulating.
    Caution! My replies may contain traces of nuts!. My posts are just my opinion based on my experience with the primal way of life, there is no assurance it will work with others in the same way.

    Started Primal 15th October 2012
    Height 5'9"
    Start weight 200lb
    Loss so far 33.8lbs, now 166.2lb
    Goal was 168lb's

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    • #3
      I'm not new to this really and have cut the crap out for quite a bit. I hit a plateau and so that is why I am looking more at calories and ratios.

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      • #4
        No need to worry about protein being too high. If your not sated then eating more meat is exactly what you need to do.

        My ratios are about the same as yours with maybe a bit higher protein.
        Last edited by Neckhammer; 03-14-2013, 08:31 AM.

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        • #5
          Counting calories and ratios made me CRAZY!!!
          I agree with Richard, cut out the crap and get as close to the source for your foods as possible and don't allow yourself to go hungry.

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          • #6
            I have at times entered my intake on one of those diet sites that does all the calculations for you. But for successful weight loss, what you need to do is make sure you get enough protein, then distribute the remaining energy calories between fat and carbs as you see fit.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Salina13 View Post
              Counting calories and ratios made me CRAZY!!!
              I agree with Richard, cut out the crap and get as close to the source for your foods as possible and don't allow yourself to go hungry.
              Well this is what I was doing before and it was not working, I plateaued with no measurement change either on my body for a month and a half. Im only a few months in eating very strict paleo and I think something needed to change. I realized I was eating pretty large portions and adding tons of butter and oil on things. The advice I got was that I needed to change this up and cut calories some.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lunalotus View Post
                Well this is what I was doing before and it was not working, I plateaued with no measurement change either on my body for a month and a half. Im only a few months in eating very strict paleo and I think something needed to change. I realized I was eating pretty large portions and adding tons of butter and oil on things. The advice I got was that I needed to change this up and cut calories some.
                I'm sorry if my comment seemed a bit flippant. You did say "what works for you"

                Look at this as a long term plan and don't be affraid to experiment. It can take weeks for things to change.

                If you have to measure anything keep your cals under 1500 for a few weeks and see how it goes. Hunger is a strange thing to measure, often it can be misleading and often be a craving for something.
                Caution! My replies may contain traces of nuts!. My posts are just my opinion based on my experience with the primal way of life, there is no assurance it will work with others in the same way.

                Started Primal 15th October 2012
                Height 5'9"
                Start weight 200lb
                Loss so far 33.8lbs, now 166.2lb
                Goal was 168lb's

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lunalotus View Post
                  I realized I was eating pretty large portions and adding tons of butter and oil on things. The advice I got was that I needed to change this up...
                  Then do exactly that, if you haven't already, and give it some time. I agree with the others, that getting into tracking macros and trying to sort out what ratios work best might be complicating matters more than needed at this point. Not only that, what works best for anyone else isn't going to be a sure shot for you. Just take a look around the forum - there are those for whom very high fat works best, and others that are upping the carbs to see what affect it has.

                  A plateau for a month and a half isn't a terrible thing - with all the changes going on in your body, it'll need time to recalibrate itself now and then. Frustrating, I know, but at the end of the day, the body knows what it needs best.

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                  • #10
                    Give the plateau time. Continue to focus on eating pastured meats and vegetables, while keeping a loose eye on ratios. With plateaus, it's also critical to look at other aspects of your path to personal wellness. How are your sleep patterns? Are you doing HIIT? How much time are you spending in nature on a weekly basis?

                    It sounds like you've got the nutritional aspect down, so it may be time to move into phase 2 and focus on supplementary items like HIIT and stress levels.
                    Travel, eat well, and learn about life - three things I love to do

                    Curious about what YOU should pack next time you're on the road? Check out my Definitive Guide to Backpacking Nutrition

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                    • #11
                      A plateau for that length of time means that you're eating to maintenance, and there's no weight loss without a caloric deficit. I would suggest 1500 cal for a couple of weeks, and if that doesn't start weight loss, you might try 1400.

                      If you're basing your caloric level on one of those online calculators, that's always a mistake. We're all different and have to find our own caloric levels.

                      Keep in mind that often after you've lost a significant amount of weight, you need to lower calories for your 'smaller' body. I stalled big time after I lost my first 80 lbs because I didn't realize that I needed fewer calories. Once I lowered them, I began losing well.

                      (I lost almost 200 lbs total and have been maintaining my loss for 2 years.)

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                      • #12
                        Some good advice here. Counting calories can be very effective and for many the only way we can learn how much is enough. I would suggest something myfitnessspal.com. I used it for ~6 months but probably could have stopped after a couple of months. It has a really good database of food and is easy to use. I would be careful of all that fat. Not that it is bad for you but it might be more difficult to calorie track.

                        There is no "perfect" macro distribution. Whatever makes you feel good is perfect for you. Our bodies are very adaptive but like any organism prefers things to be stable.
                        Some of you may die, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.

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                        • #13
                          this is what i use IF Calculator

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