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carbs, protein, fats

I've read a lot of articles, etc, that suggest a balance of 60-30-10 (%) of carbs-fat-protein per day for a healthy balanced diet. Does anyone no if this is accurate?
What should the balance be if you want to lose weight?

Thu. Feb 23, 12:12pm

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That sounds to me like way too much carbs and not enough protein. It sounds like a good regimen for someone who's training for a major sports event, like a marathon or something, but not for the average person looking to lose weight. Actually, it doesn't sound like enough protein for someone in training either...

The Zone diet tells you to eat 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fats. That's a good ratio to keep to lose weight. However, it's still important to try and make those carbs complex, from whole grains, rather than simple carbs like white bread and processed sugars. The carbs should also come from fruits/veggies. The fats should be "good fats" for the most part, rather than trans fats, cholesterol, etc.

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 12:35 PM

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I agree - 60-30-10 does not sound right. Not enough protein. All the articles I've read suggest 40-30-30, which is what I aim for.

I always struggle to get enough protein, and if I have enough calories at the end of the day but need more protein I've been eating egg whites. 4 egg whites is only around 60 calories, but has 14 grams of protein.

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 12:50 PM

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The fat is way too high

Granted on the SAD the fat content is too high, but cutting down to 20% or less fat per day is great. There is no reason to sacrifice carbs (or protein for fat). I personally aim for 65-15-20 (carbs-fat-protein), but I'm more of an athlete. If I went for 30% fat I'd be above 65g of fat a day -- and the body really doesn't need that much fat. Teh 40-30-30 is a vestige of the zone diet -- which was never proven to work. Ultimately everyone is different. Once my fat cals get above 25% and my protein below 15% I start getting flabby -- my body starts burning muscle rather than building it. Carbs are good for you (not the evil that Atkins, et al made them up to be) because they are the direct source of fuel for metabolism (and your brain). Most people would agree that elite athletes are in great shape; I promise you they aren't getting 30% of their calories a day from fat (unless they are football players).

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 1:01 PM

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There is such a stress on "getting enough protein" in this country. As a vegetarian, it is the constant question people ask.

Many links I have found recommend 0.8 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of weight.

Example: A 140 pound adult woman would need around 51 grams of protein in a day. That's 204 calories from protein - eleven percent of total calories on an 1800 calorie per day diet.

For heavier exercisers, 1.2-1.8 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of weight.

Example: 140 adult woman could need up to 115 grams of protein. That's 460 calories, or 25 percent of calories from protein on an 1800 calorie diet.

Friday, February 24, 2006, 12:12 PM

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The thing with protein is that it makes you feel full and then keeps you full longer than just carbs or just carbs and fat. There was a study (see link) that tested this. It was a six-week study following only 19 people - not difinitive, but definitely interesting...

For the first two weeks, they were told to first eat however many calories/day that would allow them to maintain their weight, with a 50/15/35 percent split in calories consumed from carbs/protein/fat.

The second two weeks, they ate the same amount of calories as the first two weeks, but broke them up into 50/30/20 percent from carbs/protein/fat.

The final two weeks, they were told to eat as many calories as they wanted, but to keep the proportions in the 50/30/20 percent from carbs/protein/fat breakdown.

In the last two weeks, people spontaneiously ate less - 440/day less! They felt full faster, and stayed feeing that way longer, so they didn't have to eat as much.

The human body is amazing - we abuse it multiple ways every single day and it keeps on going. I would guess that it is capable of putting up with a huge range of diet profiles with minimal complaining. However, the results of that study imply to me that if you are trying to decrease your intake of calories, increasing the percent of those calories that come from protein might be a relatively easy way to do so. The study authors suggest 30% of cals from protein.


Friday, February 24, 2006, 3:11 PM

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I'm temporarily on Atkins to bust a plateau, and I've done it for as long as 4 months in the past. I eat approximately 60% protein, 37% fat, 3% carbs and I'll say this -- I don't think protein fills you up. I think the combination of protein and carbohydrates creates that feeling. I'd hazard a guess that the carbs hit you first and the protein sustains it.

Atkins aside, I normally consume ~100g protein a day, which represents 20-30% of my daily calories. I'm a heavy gym user. I don't keep track of fat and carbs, but it's a safe guess that they fall into a healthy distribution most days because I like both :)

Friday, February 24, 2006, 3:38 PM

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Protein sure helps keep me feeling full for longer.

As for carbs - carbs are pure fuel for you body. If you aren't active enough, and if you don't burn off all the carbs you are eating, they will be stored on your body as fat.

Protein helps build muscle. If you aren't getting enough protein and you are working out doing weight-bearing activity, your body will borrow protein from itself (from your heart). That is why anorexics are prone to heart attacks.

I realize this information doesn't help determine how much of each your body needs. But with so many theories out there, I'm not sure anyone knows how to figure it out!

Saturday, February 25, 2006, 9:12 AM

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I am a vegan -- and I know full well the .8 g/kg recommendation I find that when I shoot for 20% protein I wind up at about 17% per the day. That gives me about 80 grams/day (I'm near 150 lbs) -- near 1.2g/kg. I feel better in this range because I am a multisport athlete. Also, if I consume a lot of fat, my workouts become rather crappy - I wear out much more quickly. Carbs are ultimately the best source for the body to function and perform at its peak. If I eat a breakdown of 15% proten/25% fat/60% carbs and go for a hard swim the next day I'll tire after about 3,000 yeards. On the other hand, if the day before I am at 15/15/70 I can go for infinitely long -- I usually will stay until when the pool closes -- and clock 4500-5000 yards. I think that it is a personal thing. People need to become more aware of their own bodies and what fits them best. My advice is to stick to a certain split for about 10 days -- then switch it up and see how you feel best. Change ratios accordingly.

Saturday, February 25, 2006, 1:53 PM

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just a little clarification: protein won't keep you full for long unless it is eaten w/ a fat or a complex carb . . . .

carbs definitely CAN keep one full for a long time . . .try a high fiber cereal if you don't believe me.

Sunday, February 26, 2006, 10:51 PM

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