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Calorie intake and macronutrient ratios

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 03, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I'm trying to find the right macronutrient ratio. I've been eating VLC but have had ongoing headaches and less than optimal energy levels for about a week and a half now. I haven't been properly recording my carb intake (or any other nutrient intake for that matter) but have just started today.

FIrstly I'm wanting to know if calorie intake is at all relevant with the paleo diet? I'm currently averaging under 2000cals per day. I'm male, 27 182cm (6ft) and weigh about 86kg (189lb), I'm happy with my weight, but always happy to cut down on body fat, gain muscle and fitness. If calories are relevant, what is ideal?

Secondly, what ratios of macronutrients are recommended? The only info on this I can find is on carbs, 0-50g for rapid weightloss, 51-100g for moderate weightloss and 101-150 to maintain. How about fat/protein?

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on March 06, 2012
at 08:57 AM

Thanks for the article guys, I have noticed that a bit of extra potato does make a bit of difference, but I'm also still settling into a diet routine so I'll keep experimenting. I'm aiming for around the 100-150g carb bracket now. The thing is, I'm not feeling unsatisfied, I eat til I'm full and don't want anything else.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on March 06, 2012
at 08:51 AM

@paleogran, thanks for those links, I'll have a good reading session. The 'carb flu' sounds about right, though I have consciously changed my diet slightly to include a few more pieces of fruit each day and it seems to be easing the headaches. I guess it does take a little while to find good bread/grain substitutes etc as they can make up for a very large amount of carbs/calories.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on March 06, 2012
at 08:46 AM

Cheers. The thing is, even though I am feeling lethargic/headachey I'm eating to satiety, I don't actually want any more food as is.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 04, 2012
at 01:43 AM

DFH, Richard is changing his diet because he is not getting the results that he desires. He clearly states that. He also clearly states that he probably would have gotten as good, if not better results by eating more carbs. You are twisting his situation to fit in with your idea that low carb is the ultimate.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:11 AM

Also, finding out what amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrate, and in which proportions, is a completely individual thing. There is no way that someone on the internet can know what someone else ought to eat. Dr. Barry Groves' site, Second Opinions, has some good info. He gives the following ratios: 10% — 15% carbohydrate 20% — 25% protein 60% — 70% fat Here is a link to that page: http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/diabetes-6.html I follow Dr. Kwasniewski's ratios. Here is information on his plan: http://homodiet.netfirms.com/diet/optimaldiet1.htm Hope this helps a bit. :)

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Yes, here it is. The section on electrolytes might be of good use: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/saturated-fat/tips-tricks-for-starting-or-restarting-low-carb-pt-ii/

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:03 AM

Rob, if you wish to stay VLC, have you got some bone or meat broth to drink? You've got what is referred to in Atkins' circles as "induction flu". Drinking enough water, getting a tad more rest, perhaps taking magnesium and potassium. I'll see if I can find Dr. Eades' post on what to do during induction flu.

Fb677d93955eb0fac597e3d94db92980

(1115)

on March 03, 2012
at 03:14 PM

I wouldn't call it an over-reaction or a revelation. It's just an affirmation of what I'd already been thinking. I've been an avid follower of Dr. H, so it's always been out there. But when you put your head down and focus on yourself with a goal in mind (as i have for the past few months) it's easy to forget there are other macronutrients out there beside the ones that have blessed you with "easy" fat-loss.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on March 03, 2012
at 01:44 PM

You are experiencing what we call "carb flu". It will pass, if you want to stay vlc. I found that upping my Magnesium intake was helpful. That said, no need to stay vlc to eat Paleo!

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 03, 2012
at 01:32 PM

You don't need VLC if you do LC and become keto-adapted. LC is what you do to become keto-adapted, it does have to be a steady state thing. Nikoley is pleased to discover that after doing Paleo and becoming keto adapted, he can add safe carbs back. That's cool. This proves that the changes are ongoing. It's not that you pick a number and stick with it. It changes over time. I sense a bit of an over-reaction to the sudden revelation (it seems) that all of a sudden, you can have carbs again. Duh. Thats the end result of repairing what SAD did, at least in part.

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3 Answers

3
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 03, 2012
at 11:12 AM

Calories do matter. It is just that you may or may not have to track them depending on if you can meet your goals without counting calories.

Many folks consume a gram of protein per lb lean body weight. Some less and some more. Then choose your carb grams and then the rest is fat...

Using a calculator your calories look low:

http://www.caloriesperhour.com

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on March 06, 2012
at 08:46 AM

Cheers. The thing is, even though I am feeling lethargic/headachey I'm eating to satiety, I don't actually want any more food as is.

2
Fb677d93955eb0fac597e3d94db92980

(1115)

on March 03, 2012
at 01:26 PM

Go here: http://freetheanimal.com/2012/02/synthesis-low-carb-and-food-rewardpalatability-and-why-calories-count.html

I just did after finding that link on another paleohack question and I learned a lot. Calories do count. And VLC or LC isn't the only way. Carbs are important, especially for those of us who are active and close-ish to where we want our bodies to be. Surprisingly, carbs (in healthy forms - ie. starchy tubers) can be satiating. So, I'm going to start incorporating potatoes into my diet and see if it takes care of the headache/hunger issues I've been having with my own n=1 VLC experiment.

For the exact amount of calories, there are plenty of free online calculators based on different formulas, but they're all fairly similar. For the macronutrients ratios, I suggest you do your own self experimentation and play with ratios until you find one that 1) gets rid of your headaches, 2) gives you energy, 3) keeps you satiated, and 4) makes you feel good and is something you can stick with permanently. Because honestly, everyone is different. So no one will be able to tell you exactly what your body needs more than your own body will.

Good luck!

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 04, 2012
at 01:43 AM

DFH, Richard is changing his diet because he is not getting the results that he desires. He clearly states that. He also clearly states that he probably would have gotten as good, if not better results by eating more carbs. You are twisting his situation to fit in with your idea that low carb is the ultimate.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 03, 2012
at 01:32 PM

You don't need VLC if you do LC and become keto-adapted. LC is what you do to become keto-adapted, it does have to be a steady state thing. Nikoley is pleased to discover that after doing Paleo and becoming keto adapted, he can add safe carbs back. That's cool. This proves that the changes are ongoing. It's not that you pick a number and stick with it. It changes over time. I sense a bit of an over-reaction to the sudden revelation (it seems) that all of a sudden, you can have carbs again. Duh. Thats the end result of repairing what SAD did, at least in part.

Fb677d93955eb0fac597e3d94db92980

(1115)

on March 03, 2012
at 03:14 PM

I wouldn't call it an over-reaction or a revelation. It's just an affirmation of what I'd already been thinking. I've been an avid follower of Dr. H, so it's always been out there. But when you put your head down and focus on yourself with a goal in mind (as i have for the past few months) it's easy to forget there are other macronutrients out there beside the ones that have blessed you with "easy" fat-loss.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on March 06, 2012
at 08:57 AM

Thanks for the article guys, I have noticed that a bit of extra potato does make a bit of difference, but I'm also still settling into a diet routine so I'll keep experimenting. I'm aiming for around the 100-150g carb bracket now. The thing is, I'm not feeling unsatisfied, I eat til I'm full and don't want anything else.

0
E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 03, 2012
at 01:01 PM

You are doing fine. You don't need to do VLC unless you are interested in becoming a fat burner and not a sugar burner. You most likely are already there. Don't worry about that.

Fuel your body with mostly good fat. I think a good cap on carbs for people in good health is Jaminet's 20% carbs based on calorie percentages. The rest is protein.

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