HELP! Please! would like advice (need a ratio of carbs fats and protein)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Hello, my name is Emily. I'm 25yrs old female 5'0 and 108lbs. I am unsure of my body fat % and I have yet to get measurements, but I am on the athletic side. I am currently running 3-5 miles a day and I am on my feet at my job (public safety officer).

I have just started paleo and am beginning crossfit on June 3rd, however I am trying to get a good estimation on how many grams of pro,carbs, and fats I should take in daily in order to lean out and possibly lose the small amount of body fat I have.

If anybody can please direct me to a good starting proportion so that I may obtain my goals it would be greatly appreciated.

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3 Answers


on May 27, 2013
at 08:37 PM

Emily you are asking for the holy grail, there's not a 100% clear consensus on what are the best macro ratios for a 25yr old girl that does crossfit and running, I guess you will get very different responses from people as many support the idea that carbs are needed for a strenuous lifestyle while some other will think that low carb is always better and that carbs should be avoided like plague no matter what, it depends a lot on which school you get advice from.

I don't want to enter the debate because, honestly, I still have not a clear answer to this. I used also to run almost in a daily basis training for 10K to marathon distances, done strength training and been doing it for many years while trying to lean down for a ripped look, and experimented with so many approaches (even vegetarianism) and still don't know for sure which has been working the best from an unbiased stance.

Aiming to 1.5gr of protein per kg of your body weight daily seems a good compromise, I'd split it between meals but putting special focus on post-workouts. Then the rest... you decide if you go with carb refeeds or stay plain fat until the end... if you will have carbs, I guess that some fruit pre-workout and some starchy carbs post workout will help the most for recovery. This windows is the best for having you carbs, then I'd focus more on protein plus fats on rest days or meals that fall apart from the training window.

That does not mean that I'm pro carbs, from a 'healthy' point of view I do currently think that carbs may shorten lifespan and the less the better and that VLC diets works the best for longevity, based on the principles of Don Rosedale, Jack Kruse and others. But there's a lot of evidence also that if you do strenuous exercise, carbs help a lot in lowering cortisol and serve as a better fuel if you train in the glycolitic pathway (and crossfit does, running it depends...) but they have a trade, they might promote a lot of glycation end products that can make aging faster... so then the question it might become if you do really want to do this kind of exercise. What do you prefer, health or performance? A compromise is feasible, being on both sides, I suspect it is not.

I'm sorry I cannot work any magic numbers for you, you should try, log your results and then try to tweak. With time you'll know what works the best for you, just focus on feeling well and if you do feel exhausted at any point, please eat and sleep, whatever your macro ratios are :)

Just some random thoughts, I hope I did not confuse you too much hehe. Some others will come into help I hope then you pick whataver strategy seems the most logical to you :)


on May 28, 2013
at 10:29 AM

It really varies a lot depending on the individual. Some people find that going VLC (30g/day) allows them to lose the final weight, but others find that it makes them go hypothyroid - especially women!

I personally would start on about 50% fat, 30% protein, 20% carbs and see how you go. I'd guess, with the exercise, that you need about 2000 cals/day

For myself, tweaking my macros doesn't make me lose weight - only calorie restriction does that. To allow myself to restrict without feeling hungry and empty all the time I wind up eating a lot of vegetables and protein to fill the stomach without adding too many calories.


on May 28, 2013
at 09:14 AM

It is very individual. For me personally, I went 6 weeks on 20-30g of carbs just for a trail and it felt like torture. My body never adapted to using ketones or fat for anything, my body and brain were literally starved of glucose and it affected my personal life. The only positives I experienced was the acne clearance and significant weight loss but neither were worth my terrible experience. For those responding to this answer, I DID eat enough calories and fat and applied every single suggestion. It just can't and doesn't work for some.

Try between 70-100g of carbs. Some people take some time to adapt to the lower carbohydrate level so this might affect your performance at your job depending on how long you'll take to adapt. Again, it's very individual, you might feel great. You need to experiment. If you feel terrible at under 100g, go higher. Mark Sisson created the 'carbohydrate curve' theory and recommends any where below 150g for weight loss, but I believe this is more individual, again. For someone your height it would probably be harder but you're young but you're also a female.

Try 70g carbs, 120g fat and 90g protein. Fat intake should always be higher than carbs, however, the higher the carbs the lower fat intake to balance out calories, but your protein should always remain at the same level.

Don't forget it's also about what you eat. Try avoiding fruits and starches, see how you feel. If your energy drops and remains low for some time, incorporate starches or fruits. It requires patience.

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