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Carb, Protein, Fat confusion

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Old 05-24-2011, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default Carb, Protein, Fat confusion

Hi all,

I'm new here and new to the diet scene. Well I've attempted to eat healthy but I've never focused on the specifics of my diet, just counted my calories.

A little background, I'm 24, 5'6 and am in 190's... back and forth a few lbs. I have never struggled with my weight until I went through some very hard life circumstances and gained 90 lbs in ONE year. I have lost some of that weight but the majority is still here. (this happened when i was 19). Well now unfortunately, I have alot of cellulite...like everywhere. My body fat percentage is very high. So I'm trying to balance my carbs protein and fat in my food.

I am going to plan out my daily menu for one week at a time (i go grocery shopping then make it). Well I'm not seeming to be able to balance out my percentages of the carbs, protein, and fat. So far I have got

monday- calories 1289, carbs 189 (59%), protein 67 (20%) fat 37 (25%)

tuesday- calories 1780, carbs 213 (50%), protein 60 (14%) fat 67 (36%)

wednesday- calories 1532, carbs 231 (37%), protein 52 (8%) fat 152 (54%)

thursday- calories 1407, carbs 218 (61%) protein 57 (16%) fat 36 (22%)

But like for wednesday when my fat looks so high (54%), i am having peanut butter and guacomole at different times of the day. Is this okay? It's not bad fat I am consuming...ir confuses me.
I'm just having a hard time balancing these....is it truly that important or to just make sure what I eat is healthy?

I am also exercising of course. My goal is to lose about 50 lbs and most of all get rid of cellulite and tone my legs up, etc.

Any advice or certain plan you guys follow would be soooooo appreciated....I am on a tight budget (full time college student) so I have to keep that in mind or i would get meals delievered to me haha.
Thank you!!
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:36 PM   #2
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I have to admit, I would reverse your carb and protein numbers. For me at least, it's very important that my protein intake remains higher than my carbs every day, by at least 10g. It keeps me satisfied throughout the day, prevents sugar cravings, and means I'm not losing my lean muscle mass. My averages for a week are 50% for protein, 31% for carbs, and 19% for fat.

Granted, I'm no doctor and this is just me. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:40 PM   #3
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Ferumbras,
I don't know much about this so I'm up for any advice..you've lost 25 lbs you must be doing osmething right lol
So how do you incorporate more protein?
I'm not a seafood eater that's about it...I like all other meats.
Any suggestions as to how to lower my carbs and increase protein??
Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:46 PM   #4
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I eat lean meats, mostly chicken, as I'm not big into fish either, though I like canned tuna. I eat beef jerky and string cheese as well and drink milk. I also eat protein bars (one Think Thin bar is 2 servings of protein for me, so I make them last given the cost). Oh, and I eat a lot of eggs.

As for cutting out carbs: no bread, no rice, no potatoes, no soda, no sugar...you get the idea.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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I'll jump in with a totally different perspective.

Low carb is extremely popular right now. Some people find it very helpful, but it's not necessary at all. I'm not a big meat eater, and I have no interest in increasing my meat consumption, for a variety of reasons. My numbers look fairly similar to yours. I don't think it matters that much if you have a high fat day now and then, as long as, like you say, they're healthy fats.

I don't think it's necessary to drastically reduce carbs, but the less refined they are, the better. I still eat rice, but it's brown rice, my bread is whole grain. I still have sugar, but not much. And soda is just a bad idea
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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I agree that non-refined carbs are the best, but to jump-start weight loss and eliminate sugar cravings, I still stand by the idea of cutting it out as much as possible for the first few weeks. And of course, not all protein is meat. There's fish, edamame, milk, etc.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:41 PM   #7
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Calories trump everything else but keeping protein high is good for a variety of reasons primarily satiety and LBM retention while dieting.

I'd try to keep protein at least 80g every day.

You don't have to go low carb but fat tends to increase satiety more than carbs.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:42 PM   #8
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Everyone's body is different. For some people, eating at least 50% of their calories in protein helps keep them satisfied and full; for others, it's a recipe for "induction flu" symptoms. I am of the latter type and find that a diet too low in carbs (fewer than around 50-70g per day is my lower limit) leaves me irritable, queasy, and miserable with lower digestive issues.

If I go too far in the other direction--more than 200 grams or so of carbs--I notice that my meals don't seem to keep me full and I just want to eat-eat-EAT. That's my upper carb limit.

I firmly believe that everyone needs to find their own best balance. Experiment a little. If you're feeling hungry a lot, add more protein and decrease your carbs. If you aren't finding enough volume in your meals, lower your fat consumption a little (no, I don't think low-fat diets are a good idea, but you get a lot more volume if you cut down on the calorie-dense foods and fats are the most calorie-dense foods there are) to make room for more filling fare.

I really wouldn't sweat nutrient balance too much, though. From what you describe, it looks like you're getting a good broad spectrum of macronutrients that varies from day to day--and as long as you feel good, you're doing just fine. Just stay tuned in to how you feel and check your journal. That's how I discovered my own ideal balance and how you'll find yours as well, if you haven't already.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:33 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great advice!
I am trying to lower my carbs now but not like drastically. I'm eating all "good" carbs for the most part but I have found myself very hungry...belly always feels empty. So I'm adding some protein like suggested....i got some beef jerky and string cheese today. I've let go off all soda-even diet soda. I'm also trying to avoid artifical sugar as I heard our bodies can't tell the difference???
I know I'll find my right balance, it's just good to hear insight from others since this is so new and i've heard so many different things...
I'm just glad I'm eating this kind of stuff instead of junk food...i'm headed in the right direction.

I appreciate all the advice and support! You guys keep me going!
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:55 PM   #10
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All great ideas. Find one you like and stick to it for 6 weeks.

I currently do low carbs (no processed foods), all veggies/meat and no dairy (only Greek yogurt). This is easy for me and has been working. Not for everyone. The best suggestion is to cut out processed foods. I think that is a big problem. Best of luck!
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:28 PM   #11
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Boat girl - you're definately going to have to experiment. Veggies can be filling and are low calorie if not slathered in butter. Fruit also tends to satisfy hunger in many people.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:47 PM   #12
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This calculator breaks down carbs, fats and proteins at the end.

Women's Calorie Calculator
http://nutrition.about.com/library/b...tion_guide.htm

OR

Calorie calculator, Mayo Clinic
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cal...ulator/NU00598

----

Protein Calculator
http://www.healthcalculators.org/cal...rs/protein.asp

----

Carbohydrate Calculator
http://www.healthcalculators.org/cal...rbohydrate.asp

----

Fat Intake Calculator:
http://www.healthcalculators.org/calculators/fat.asp
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:32 AM   #13
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I would second what JohnP said, avoid precessed meats and food as these contain alot of salts and sugars. I have seen jars of pasta sauce here and they say 22% reccommended daily sugar on the label. when you look closer this is often per half or even quarter jar. Add a jar and thats 88% of your daily. I am on a protein type diet with low carbs, and I do approx 7 hours exercise a week, between soccer and gym work. I thought I would need more carbs for this but if anything I have more energy now, protein is also good for muscle, and I have been putting on muscle (Un-intentionally) by this diet. I also limit sugar and just bulk up instead on vegetables (Green and red peppers, broccoli, celery, mushrooms etc). If you require more information just ask, all I can say is this program and set up is working very well for me.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:37 AM   #14
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Go with what works for you. You need a diet that a) is comfortable to live with b) results in slow but steady weight loss. Both are essential. If you're starving hungry all the time, you need to change your diet because that way lies eating disorders rather than healthy, lasting weight loss.

You macronutrient ratio looks absolutely fine to me, with one proviso. Having one day which is unusually high in fat is fine; doing it all the time is likely to impede your weight loss programme. You may find it helpful to use some dieting software that will keep a running average for the last few weeks of your calories and macronutrients. I use FitDay (I'm sure there are many often websites/software with this function), and while it has a few flaws, it has the very handy function of an Overview page. This page can be set to anything from one day through 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, or any number of months, and it gives the average number of calories consumed/burned, macronutrient ratios, micronutrient ratios. I generally set it to show the last two weeks. So if I'm worried that I've been eating a bit too much fat lately, or not enough protein, I can see how the averages are doing. I am currently averaging 26% fat (despite a few higher-fat days recently), 54% carbs, and 18% protein, and I am very happy with that. It's within the recommended guidelines, which incidentally some high-carb diets aren't. Have a look at this page for good solid nutrition guidelines.

Peanut butter and guacamole are both reasonably healthy foods, they're just foods that it's difficult to incorporate into a healthy diet in large quantities. Since I started calorie tracking, I've realised that I should buy avocados one at a time instead of getting multi-packs. I still adore avocados, and I use small quantities of nut butters fairly often as well. You'll get used to which foods you can eat huge amounts of (most veg, for instance), and which foods it's better to eat in small amounts and/or save for occasional treats. Calorie tracking has had the unintended effect of increasing my vegetable intake: it was always fairly good, but once I twigged that I could often double the amount of veg I had on pasta or rice with minimal effect on my calorie intake, I went for it! Since you're planning your meals in advance, which many people find makes it easier to keep track of how they balance their diet, I'm sure you'll be fine.

And do remember the bottom line is calories in, calories out. Macronutrient ratios are just fine-tuning. Your calorie levels vary a bit, so unless you're deliberately doing calorie cycling, you may simply want to focus on getting your calories within the desired range for a while and then see how you're settling down with that.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:34 PM   #15
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boatgirl16,

You're way ahead of the game! I wish you best of luck!

Kit
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