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70-20-10? 50-25-25? 40-30-30? 60-15-25? I wish I had one dollar for every new diet book that was published. I can think of at least 4 diets that emphasized carbohydrate, protein, and fat ratios off the top of my head. First, I was a big fan of the Robert Haas’ Eat To Win: The Sports Nutrition Bible diet back in the 80’s when I was in College. It followed the same guidelines as the the Pritkin diet, which recommended 70% carbohydrate, 20% protein and 10% fat. After all, I was training at least 3 hours a day. Second, now Dr Haas has a new book called Eat to Win for Permanent Fat Loss: The Revolutionary Fat-Burning Diet for Peak Mental and Physical Performance and Optimum Health, where he created a Mediterr-Asian diet that combines the best and healthiest aspects of diets from the regions where people live the longest. His approach features a ratio of 50 percent carbohydrates, which includes grains, fruits, and vegetables; 25 percent protein; and 25 percent fat. A third diet, the extremely popular The Zone: A Dietary Road Map to Lose Weight Permanently : Reset Your Genetic Code : Prevent Disease : Achieve Maximum Physical Performance by Dr. Barry Sears, has the ideal ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is 40-30-30%, respectively.
And forth, there is the infamous high-protein, high-fat diet. I am afraid to know these ratios. I love meat, but I love my carbs too.
These Low Carb Diets (like Atkins, or the early phase of the South Beach Diet) are better known as the Ketogenic diet. If you want the complete book (and I mean complete!) on the Ketogenic diet, refer to Lyle McDonald’s book. At 325 pages and containing over 600 scientific references, this will be your ONLY reference for ketogenic diets.
No matter how you slice and dice these ratios, this handy calculator will help you find your ideal ratios. However, it doesn’t go into the whole picture. Carbs can be divided into two groups, simple and complex, and fats can be divided into saturated and non-saturated fats. These will be discussed in later articles.
I personally like 60-15-25. People think 15% is too little protein. However, my guideline is always eating between 1 gram of Protein for every lb. to kg of your body weight. If I have to, I will supplement it with a protein shake.
If you wish to download this handy Grams and Calorie Calculator for Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat, click here for the Excel spreadsheet.
NOTE: Due to technical difficulties, this on-line calculator is currently unavailable. It will be fixed soon!
Gender (M/F): Enter 1 for men, 0.9 for Women
Weight (lbs): Enter weight in pounds
Activity Ration: Enter 0.64 for average, 0.68 for active, and 0.73 for very fit
% Carbs: Enter your ideal percentage. 0.60 is ideal
% Protein: Enter your ideal percentage. 0.15 is ideal
% Fat: Enter your ideal percentage. 0.25 is ideal
Enter your DATA here
Total kCal = 1 kCal is 1 “Food Calorie”
Total Carbs (in kCal) = (in grams) =
Total Protein (in kCal) = (g) =
Total Fat (in kCal) = (g) =
Note the guideline of eating between 1 gram of Protein for every lb. to kg of body weight. In this example, the suggested serving of 115 grams of protein falls between the values of 85 kg and 188 lb.
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