How to Determine the Best Macronutrient Ratio for Your Goals

How to Determine the Best Macronutrient Ratio for Your Goals

Macronutrients are important in energy balance (calories in vs. calories out). Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the three macronutrients that are the core of nutrition and health, and the foundation of energy(calories). As it turns out, your choice of macronutrients can have a significant effect on the achievement of specific goals (fat loss, strength, endurance, weight gain, etc.).

How do you determine which ratio or range of macronutrients is right for your particular needs and goals? Recent research has helped narrow these ranges. For example, protein (1 gram = 4 calories) is important for the core population that I serve, mature adults.

Quality protein is important because it is a component of enzymes that regulate metabolism; involved in metabolic, transport and hormone systems; and used for building, repairing and maintaining body tissues. For those mature adults whose goal is to lose weight or decrease body fat, the following is suggested: 25 to 30 percent total protein (1.5 to 2 g/kg per day); a protein intake of approximately 25 to 30 percent of calories has been shown to boost metabolism by up to 80 to 100 calories per day, compared to lower-protein diets (Westerterp-Plantenga, 2008).

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