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Carb/Fat/Protein ratios for women: weight-loss (new to Paleo/Primal)

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 27, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Newbie here. Day 4, just getting over the hump of the first few days and starting to feel better. I'm a mid-thirties mom, 145 lbs and 5'4", trying to lose about 20 lbs if possible. And get some energy back, maybe balance my hormones, etc. Exercising 1-2 times per week, planning to increase that if/when my energy comes back.

I have been eating all "real" foods -- mostly meat or eggs with vegetables. Nuts and celery for a snack. I even made my own olive oil mayonnaise! It's still hard to imagine losing weight with so much fat and more calories than I was eating. I drink water, black coffee (more than I should), the odd herbal tea.

Anyway, I began tracking my food, and I'm eating about 90 g of carbs, 130 fat and 110 protein. Works out percentage-wise to 18-60-22, or thereabouts. Around 1800 calories. (NOTE: This is about 400 more calories than I was eating on my (ineffective) low-cal, low-fat diet, and double the fat. It is taking some getting used to, mentally, after training my brain to think about the fat and calorie content of everything for the past several years).

So, are these ratios in the normal range for a paleo/primal diet for women? Will I lose weight, or stall it with all this fat? Can this much protein hurt me in any way?

Finally, is there anything else I should be doing at this stage?

Thanks so much!

6d44bbbbc3ef506189cff3991d1b7fa3

on November 29, 2012
at 12:01 AM

Thank you! Math never was my best subject lol! I am tracking through SparkPeople, and rounded out the numbers. I did eat less fat yesterday, and same with today. Caloric intake is at about 1600 now, with about the same ratios, just a bit less fat. I will monitor carefully and hopefully see some results.

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8 Answers

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1
Medium avatar

(10663)

on November 27, 2012
at 04:07 AM

Hey Michelle, welcome to PH! You look like you're off to a great start. You asked what you should be doing at this stage; my answer? Give your new lifestyle some time before you see any changes. And another thing: fat doesn't make you fat. It'll be hard accepting this as fact when society has told you otherwise your entire life. So I'll repeat: give it some time.

First, read this: http://paleohacks.com/questions/141594/what-are-the-top-5-things-every-paleo-newbie-should-know-but-probably-doesnt

Second, here's my experience as far as macronutrient ratios are concerned: I used to do very high protein; like ridiculously high-- upwards of 200g a day when I was doing very low carb (VLC). I've done so much research on "excess protein intake" and I just read inconclusive study after inconclusive study. I never felt very good on VLC and I decreased my protein intake. Nowadays, I try to aim for about 1 to 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. I believe that unless you're trying to build muscle, anything more than that is excessive and just gets excreted. For me, I've been maintaining my weight quite effortlessly with ratios that are similar to yours. Today for example, they were spot-on with yours-- 60f/22p/18c. I'm moderate protein, low to moderate carb, and high fat. I exercise lightly and try to get a decent amount of sleep.

Experiment with yourself. Eliminate foods for a month, re-introduce them back into your diet and see how you feel. Don't be afraid to try new, Paleo-friendly things. And if you ever get lost or confused, PH is always open.

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197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on November 27, 2012
at 02:29 PM

I've never been good at counting calories, fat grams, etc. My husband and I concentrate on eliminating grains and sugar from our diet as much as possible. Over 2 months, he lost 20 lbs and 2 pant sizes without doing any exercising other than walking 3-4 days per week and I've lost 8 lbs and one pant size. He was overweight, bordering on obese. Im in the normal range and have always exercised 3-4 days per week, in addition to walking. But I eat a lot of chocolate, chips, and fruits. I should mention that my teen daughter eats Paleo at home but indulges in pizza and high carb sweets weekly at school and still lost 2pant sizes.

What I like best is that my hubby isn't so grumpy and tired on the weekends. He used to sleep or sit around and watch tv all weekend because he was too tired to do anything. (we are 40+). Now he actually wants to go hiking, camping, shopping, etc. I got my young hubby back.

So if you can eliminate grains, sugar, and limit your fruit intake, you will get results. The more you exercise, the more carbs your body can handle. Good luck!

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0
Medium avatar

(1240)

on November 27, 2012
at 03:57 PM

I think you're off to a great start. The ratios sound great and the total calorie amount sounds good, too. I suggest not making any dramatic macronutrient/caloric changes for at least 30 days, otherwise you'll never know if this has been working.

The only thing I would suggest adding is more low-intensity activity in addition to your exercise. For example, if you can walk to run any errands, walk.

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3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on November 27, 2012
at 04:47 PM

I've never been a calorie-counter, but I sporadically use cron-o-meter to get a sense of how it balances out. I set my calorie goal at 1600, I am 5'11 and generally do not go much over that, and am usually not hungry. Yesterday was a high carb day for me at 110 grams.

I think if you are aiming for weight loss, it would be wise to limit between-meal snacking and especially nut and fruit intake. Make sure you are full after meals and allow yourself to get to the 'good and hungry' point before the next meal. As in, not fake 'craving' emotional eating hunger, but actual hunger.

I'm still working on that issue some days, as I do find myself sometimes craving carbs/sweets in the evening.

I've read on this site a few times to take magnesium for cravings, and for other reasons, but have yet to pick some of that up so I can't speak from experience.

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1
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 28, 2012
at 01:54 AM

fyi, the example you gave of 90 g of carbs, 130 fat and 110 protein, actually works out at 1970 calories.

If you are not feeling excessively hungry and you are trying to lose weight (body fat), i would recommend you reduce your dietary fat intake to get yourself in to a slight calorie deficit.

Your carbs & protein look fine, totalling 800 cals from both, a healthy range recommended by Paul Jaminet is 600 to 1200 calories combined carb+protein calories per day, keeping carbs above 200 cals (50 grams). Quote "Eating less than 600 combined carb+protein calories per day raises the specter of either protein deficiency (leading to hunger) or glucose deficiency (leading to zero-carb dangers)."

If you dropped you calories from fat by say 10 %, to approx 50 % that would probably do the trick. Using your example carbs & protein, that would be around 800 cals from fat (or approx 90 grams). Making an approx daily cal intake of 1600 cals.

More info from Paul Jaminet on the weight loss subject;

"This may surprise many readers, since we???re fat-friendly, but there should be no reduction in carb or protein consumption on weight loss diets. Calorie restriction should come out of fat."

"So if a typical daily intake is 400 carb calories and 300 protein calories, there???s really not much room to cut protein or carbs."

Read more here: Perfect Health Diet: Weight Loss Version

side note on metabolic rate calculators:
resting metabolic rate (rmr) calculators tend to overestimate calories (in women).
Published Predictive Equations Overestimate Measured Resting Metabolic Rate in Young, Healthy Females

6d44bbbbc3ef506189cff3991d1b7fa3

on November 29, 2012
at 12:01 AM

Thank you! Math never was my best subject lol! I am tracking through SparkPeople, and rounded out the numbers. I did eat less fat yesterday, and same with today. Caloric intake is at about 1600 now, with about the same ratios, just a bit less fat. I will monitor carefully and hopefully see some results.

1
8f63ca8f7da5236580701d6f03f8958d

on November 27, 2012
at 04:30 AM

Hey great question, I wonder the same too. My ratios are very similar and am wondering if upping my protein and lowering my fat will allow me to lean up more? Thoughts?

0
6d44bbbbc3ef506189cff3991d1b7fa3

on November 29, 2012
at 12:10 AM

Thanks to all who answered! It is good to know I'm on track for the most part. I hope I see the results you all have seen!

I am finding it easier each day. The side effects are mostly gone, my energy is up a bit and I've only had one sugar craving in 3 days ... a record for me. After I posted, the next two days, my caloric level was much lower, in the 1500-1600 range, so maybe that 1800-1900 range was just part of the adjustment to the new diet.

I had delicious "Paleo Peppers" tonight (sweet pepper stuffed with ground beef, spinach, sundried tomatoes and zucchini, and spices) and feel great. No post-meal sugar cravings (and I was starving when I sat down for dinner).

Onward and upward!

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34d550cc4cad637e63e41cb267d76233

on November 29, 2012
at 08:57 PM

you can get more information about [reduce tummy fat][1]

EDIT: link removed, sorry douchey spammer.

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