Contrary to what many nutrition experts may have you believe, there is no single macronutrient ratio that works best for everyone.
You need to consider the following factors before you settle for any single ratio of macronutrients:
You can do your best as far as predicting your macronutrients is concerned and begin with the best foot forward but your amount of physical activity cannot be estimated accurately in the beginning stages.
Due to this reason if you consume too little you will go into starvation mode, and if you are too sedentary you will accumulate all the calories and gain body fat.
Even though the body metabolism is similar in all human beings, there are certain genetic factors that cause few people to become muscular very fast. In others the fat burning enzymes may not function at an optimal level leading to a slow rate of fat burning.
Due to these reasons macronutrient ratios need to be customized according to the individual.
Defining macronutrient ratios:
There is no one method for accurately defining macronutrient ratios. Many experts have their own lists.However… we will use the most accepted and preferred description of macronutrient ratios:
Very high carb = 65- 70% +
High carb = 55-60%
Moderate carb = 40-50%
Low carb = 25-35%
Very low carb (ketogenic) = about 5-15% or 30-70 grams per day
Very high protein = 41-50%+
High protein = 31-40%
Moderate protein = 25-30%
Low protein = 15-24%
Very low protein = less than 15%
Very high fat = 40% +
High fat = 30%-39%
Moderate fat = 20-29%
Low fat = 10-19%
Very low fat = less than 10%
For muscle building and fat burning purposes a moderate to high complex carbohydrate (40-60%) , with moderate protein (25-35%) and low fat (10-19%) is generally the best approach.
Even though the list above represents a very wide range of macronutrients a good rule of thumb is to avoid either extremes of all macronutrients… unless you are competing for some major event and you want to push your body to the extreme for a limited period of time. Usually bodybuilders go on a very high protein diet just before the competition. This helps them get ripped.
Going to this extreme is usually not necessary to lose fat. But if you are at the final stages of your diet, and you want to expose your abs… it may be a good tool to get there. I will show you how to implement this “extreme” approach in a safe and effective way in another section. In the meanwhile let’s discuss the recommended baseline ratio.