How to Balance Macro-nutrients

How to Balance Macronutrients

Being able to count calories has many advantages. One of which is getting familiar with what calories are made up of, namely proteins, carbohydrates and fats (macro-nutrients). If you read my post about How to Count Calories then you will have seen that different products and ingredients have different amounts of macro-nutrients.

If you’ve previously read articles about the correct balance of macro-nutrients, you would have found that there seems to be different opinions and variations of what is ‘ideal’. These will also depend on your current goal.

The general consensus seems to be that the balance of your meals should start with the following balance: 30/50/20 (30% Proteins / 50% Carbs / 20% Fats). These percentages are referred to as “baseline” because they are only meant to be a starting point.

I myself have tried different variations to measure the effects. I personally found being at a 40/40/20 ratio (40% Protein / 40% Carbs / 20% Fats) kept me lean during my normal maintenance period. If I was trying to gain some new muscle mass I’d need more energy so I would use a ratio closer to 30/50/20 (30% Protein / 50% Carbs / 20% Fats). These figures also had to balance in calories so I remained in the correct calorie allowance for the day. The number in calories would either be a little higher than my daily allowance to start picking up some weight, or it would be a little under so I could shed some weight slowly. During these periods I normally go with a different ratio to try and maintain muscle mass whilst shedding some fat. It is a method that probably wouldn’t win any health awards but used sparingly it can still help. That ratio is 50/30/20 (50% Protein / 30% Carbs / 20% Fats) and results in ketosis.

Averages for different levels of activities:

CARBS FOR ATHLETES: (grams per kilogram of body weight)
1 Hour Training / Day 5.9 to 6.8 grams / kilogram
2 Hours Training / Day 7.9 grams / kilogram
3 Hours Training / Day 11 grams / kilogram
4 Hours Training / Day 12.1 to 13 grams / kilogram
Non-athletes need only 3.9 to 5 grams per kilogram / day.
PROTEINS FOR ATHLETES: (grams per kilogram of body weight)
Protein for endurance athletes 1.2 – 1.4 g/kg
Protein for resistance/strength training athletes 1.6 – 1.7g/kg
Non-athletes need only 0.8 to 1.0 grams per kilogram / day

Working example:

In this example we are going to use 50 kg’s of bodyweight. I’ll assume a sedentary lifestyle, so with the non-athlete’s variables we calculate it the following way:

3.9 grams x 50 kg = 195 grams carbs / day
0.8 grams x 50 kg = 40 grams proteins / day

Remember to use the correct formula that suits your level of physical activities.

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