Ask The Ripped Dude: Is There A Magical Macronutrient Ratio For Fat Loss?
I'm trying to lose some fat, but everywhere I go to look for helpful information, I get conflicting views on the proper macronutrient ratio. Is there a right answer?
Great question! In reality, when you're trying to lose weight, there's no ironclad macronutrient law for mapping out your diet plan. No macro mix can save you if you eat way too many calories or way too few.
Yet your macro mix is an important consideration. Your body type, metabolism and weekly physical activity level all have some bearing on your ideal percentages for that moment in time. But that doesn't mean it will be the macronutrient ratio you'll use forever. It may change if and when your body weight or body fat fluctuates, or if you run into any plateaus.
Then there's the fact that you have to continuously manipulate your ratios throughout any fat-loss plan. The macronutrient ratio I typically play with for maintenance purposes is 50% protein, 35% carbs and 15% fats. But that's for me. I need to stay lean all year round. That ratio won't necessarily work for you because you have a different body type, fitness goal and activity level.
My body type is an ecto-mesomorph, which means it has a higher tolerance for carbs than most people. Even if I increase my carbs to 40-to-50 percent, I won't suffer. Not everybody is like that. Individuals who are carb-sensitive have to monitor their carbs closely and make adjustments in their ratios.
Each body type or combination of body types will have a different reaction to various macronutrient ratios. If you're not sure which type you are—or how to even begin thinking about your macros—here are the ISSA recommendations:
Ectomorph: If you're an ectomorph, you're naturally thin with skinny limbs and a high tolerance for carbohydrates. Usually, your metabolic rate is fast. A good starting macronutrient ratio for you would be something like 25% protein, 55% carbs and 20% fat.
Mesomorph: Mesomorphs are naturally muscular and athletic. They have a moderate carbohydrate tolerance and a moderate metabolic rate. Mesomorphs can usually start at a 30% protein, 40% carb, 30% fat macronutrient ratio.
Endomorph: If you're naturally broad and thick, you're probably an endomorph. Endomorphs have a low carbohydrate tolerance and a slow metabolic rate. If you're an endomorph, try a ratio of 35% protein, 25% carbs and 40% fat.
Don't let your body type be an excuse for not reaching your goals. If you're an endomorph and have a difficult time leaning out, or are an ectomorph and can't seem to gain weight, don't give up. You can beat your biology; you just need to put some serious work into doing it. You need to want it bad enough.
Bottom Line: These ratios are a starting range for most body-types, but don't be afraid to experiment for better results. Sometimes, decreasing your carbs and increasing your good fats can show remarkable fat-loss results. Get to know your body!
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For the past month and a half I've been doing 50% protein 30% carbs and 20% fats. My body is and endo-meso kind of mix. I get mucles fast, but the fat stays. For this time i lost 8lbs and dropped from 25% to 24.3% body fat. It seems to me like this ratio is good, but I want to change it up and get more results. I think this ratio seems worhty of a try, 40% fat 35% protein and 25% carbs.....man I dislike carbs.... Any other piece of advice that might help?
I also put on muscle easy but have a more difficult time burning fat. I've been manipulating my carbs and fats for the last few months and have definitely found that higher fats and lower carbs contribute to more fat loss. Make sure your protein is no less than 1.5g/lb. some say less but in my experience you end up losing lean mass. My diets are always posted on my profile, feel free to take a look.
Good reading, but to be honest i am not sure what kind of body i have, i have no real problem on getting muscle but, i always suffer with my belly fat, specially love handles, it is kind of frustrating, so it is not really clear for me what ratio should be the best for me, i wish it could be a little more explained, anyway, i think what is most important is to work hard and eat clean yearly around.
I am not sure what type of body mine is either. I started as an ectomorph... I weighed 120 pounds but I bulked up to 185 now I look more like a mesomorph but am I still considered an ectomorph?? I too suffer from a bit of belly and love handle fat
helpful advice! I am trying to maintain my body weight while losing between 3 and 4% addl. body fat (Goal: about 8%) My body type is more on the Mesomorph side. I don't usually keep track of my daily carb to fat to protein ratio but maybe I should if I want to reach my goal
I am more of a mesomorph (somewhat endo). I always follow Obi's tips, been doing this macro breakdown myself for about a month and I have had tremendous results. Been packing more muscle and getting more ripped than I have ever imagined!
50% protein might work for fat loss, but would be a ridiculous ratio if you are trying to GAIN muscle. For my 3500 calorie diet, that would mean I would have to intake 437 grams of protein. I think 30% protein is better suited for this goal.
I'm an endomorph and I'm cutting for the summer. My maintenance is 2850 calories but I'm cutting with only 1800 calories a day. Do you think that is too big of a deficit? By the ratio you gave me my carbs would be 113g protein would be 158g and fats is 80g. Is that too low of protein? I'm 208 lbs
If you want to be low fat, you have to eat low fat. The fat you eat is the fat you wear. All of your "proteins" are loaded with fat. By CALORIES, chicken is over 50% fat. So if you can't live on high fat meats, what can you eat? High carb, low fat for the WIN! 80% CALORIES from carbs, < 10% CALORIES from protein, <10% CALORIES from fat. Rice, sweet potatoes, oats, FRUIT. Shop in the produce isles, ditch the meat and dairy and you will never have a fat problem again. Look to the people with LONG TERM results. There are no low carb athletes.
"If you want to be low fat, you have to eat low fat."
This is a commonly held misconception that has been effectively proved false. In fact, there are quite a few articles on BB that shoot this myth down.
Thank you so much for the information. I had an idea on the neighborhood where my ratios should be, but this validates them . Really appreciated. I am definitely an Endomorph (what ever that means, I look like the guy in the pic LMAO). My ratios over the last 2 month on a 2500 calories are: 45% Protein (270 gms.) , 35% Fats (100 gms.), and 20% Carbs (130 gms.) Combined with a 5x5 workout I can see the difference that was not there before.