Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats–What ratio?!

by Paleo Rob on 24/08/2010

The amount of time I have asked this question and had this question asked of me, is crazy. It’s a great question, balancing these ratios, I believe is the easiest way to manage fat loss or muscle gain. Hopefully by now everyone knows that the old “Calories In and Out” mind set is absolute bull crap. So these ratios I speak of, what are they?


Read that last sentence again. Then again. There is no perfect ratio! There is however optimal ratios for different scenarios I,e fat loss or mass gain. But these are all rough figures. I don’t want to be counting every gram of protein or carbs I have per day. I want to live life and not be worrying. I just want some basic ranges to work by. Here are the ones that worked for me!


The Macronutrients


The Harvest 4

Carbohydrates should take the lowest portion of your diet. 
Whether you are looking for fat loss or mass gain. The general rule is as follows;

0-50g Serious Fat Loss, Ketosis, Etc.
50-100g Fat Loss
100-150g Maintenance/Mass Gain
150g+ Too much really.


1g of Carbohydrates = 4 Calories



Protein is the building block of muscle. Without it, we would waste away into nothing. The general rules for taking protein, for both mass gain or fat loss is between 1.54g/kg – 2.2g/kg (0.7-1g/lbs) of bodyweight. Again not going for exacts because we want to live life not be counting.

1g of Protein = 4 Calories



CoconutFat. Juicy, juicy, juicy fat. Fat helps us feel full, tastes great, and good fat is full of nutrients that we require to live happy and healthy. The rest of your calories to make up your caloric intake should come from fat.

1g of Fat = 9 Calories.



The Ratios


First calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR). A good standard is the Harris-Benedict formula. Google it for information. I have created a handy online calculator you can use HERE. For our example, a 22 year old, 90kg, 191cm young man who is Moderately active, the BMR is 3262 Calories.

Macronutrient Ratios for Fat Loss

So we need to eat 3262/day calories to stay the current weight. But, I’m feeling a bit pudgy, so I want to lose some fat. The optimal amount of calorie restriction I find is about 500 calories. Any more and I begin starving myself and fat loss stops. So my new figure is 2762 Calories per day.

Starting with carbohydrates, if we want rapid fat loss we go with 50g of carbs per day.

50g x 4 Calories/carb = 200 calories

Protein is next, I am going with 2g/kg

2g/kg x 90kg = 200g

200g x 4 Calories/protein = 800 Calories protein

So we have 1000 Calories accounted for, we need 1762 Calories to make up and that all comes from tasty fats!

(1762 Calories) / (9 Calories/g) = 196g of Fat

So there we have it.

Nutrient Amount Calories Percentage  
Carbohydrates 50g 200 Cal 200/2762*100 =~7%
Protein 200g 800 Cal 800/2762*100 =~29%
Fat 196g 1762 Cal 1500/2762*100  =~64%


Our food should therefore come from about 10% Carbs / 30% Protein / %60 Fat and have a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day!

Extra Note:

If some day you eat more than 2762 calories don’t worry! Just subtract a little more the next day. For a given week of this caloric restriction I need, 2762×7=19,334 Calories per week. On the weekends I often eat more than during the week, so I often restrict weekday calories a little more so I can eat more on the weekend. This way I still get my 19,334 calories per week.

Macronutrient Ratios for Mass Gain

Calculate your BMR, up the carbohydrates to about 100g/day, up the Protein to 2.2g/kg and then do the calculation again. Also instead of decreasing your caloric intake by 500calories, increase it by 500calories to 3762.

Again these are only guys, something for you to consider with every meal. Looking at your plate, before you sit down you should be seeing these percentages. Don’t stress if you go over one day, make it up on another day. Also please note, these numbers worked well for me, (and people I know), modify them to suit your results.

Hope you enjoyed all that! Now to have some nice big steak!



Calories in Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates

Harris Benedict Formula

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

emt training August 31, 2010 at 12:37 am

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!


paleo_rob August 31, 2010 at 9:20 am

Thanks! And will do!


Desmond December 18, 2011 at 4:00 pm

hi, is doing weight training, combined with cardio alone on 3 separate days considered 6 days training all together or just 3?



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