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Does anyone check macros?

(12 Posts)
slowrun Fri 03-Aug-18 14:29:21

I have recently logged my food on Fitbit and apart from a small bit of tweaking here or there I wondered if anyone's meals fit a particular macronutrient ratio. And if so what are their ratios for fat, protein and carbs?

I tend to not eat very many carbs, about 20 to 30 percent. My protein is around 30 percent but that leaves 40 to 50 percent fat blush

How do other people manage this and what do they consider healthy? There is so much conflicting information about. I certainly can tweak things here or there but cook for the family so don't want meals that are too 'out there'!

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Sat 04-Aug-18 00:21:06

I don't know what they are supposed to be, but I log my food in fitbit too and generally find I fit into rations around:

Carbs / fats / protein
35-40 / 15-25 / 35-40

I do high intensity exercise every day and aim for as high protein as I can, but also recognise I need carbs to exercise. My calories are usually under 1200 since I'm trying to lose weight.

slowrun Sat 04-Aug-18 08:58:09

My main exercise is pretty low intensity slow jogging (Niko Niko) and walking. So I should be burning fat. However it is approximate as I don't have a heart rate monitor and would be loathed to get one as I can get white coat quite badly and when I get anxious my heart can race.

I often run before breakfast, I like the quietness and coolness early in the morning. This does mean the main available energy source will be fat. I'm not sure how much glycogen I will have stored in my muscles. I guess if my fat percentage starts going up I will have to tweak something as that would suggest burning muscle! 😬 I am loosing weight (9lb so far) but my fat percentage is still registering the same on my (not terribly accurate) scales.

Getting much more protein is difficult without extra fat or expense, though. I'm a bit scared of 'carb loading' as I don't exercise very intensely and I know, generally, I put weight on with extra carbs.

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slowrun Sat 04-Aug-18 08:59:28

How do you keep your fats so low and proteins so high, FATE?

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FATEdestiny Sat 04-Aug-18 14:11:19

I run before breakfast too, but mine is high intensity where I aim for at least half my run at maximum heart rate and the rest cardio rate. Plus warm up and cool down walks at fat-burning pace. I come back literally dropping with sweat.

I think I must just not eat fat-rich food. My milk is semi skimmed and my plain yoghurt is fat free. I don't eat much cheese so I guess all my diary is low fat - this wasn't conscious, it's the same as I've always bought.

I rarely fry anything so don't need oil. If I need to brown meat or soften onion (for example) I do so in a nonstick pan so no oil is needed. I dry-roast veg, so again don't need oil.

We have a couple of quorn meals a week. We're not vegetarian but quorn is a great low calorie protein source and the children like it. So that reduces fat. Aside from that we mostly have chicken or white fish, so quite lean.

I used to have very low carbs, with only the carbs from veg. But as my running increased (I now regularly run 10k at a high intensity rate) I recognised I needed dome carbs. But only have whole grain, non-starchy carbs (oats and rice). No bread, pasta, or thinks like cake, biscuits etc.

My protein is artificially high, compared to the real food I eat. Aware that I needed more energy to run and not keen to eat too many carbs, I started using protein powder. It's the lowest calorie way to increase protein that I can find. 114 calories for 25g of protein, for the brand I use (and chocolate flavoured, so even better).

I have 1 portion of protein powder mixed with my warm porriage oats after my run every morning. I also sometimes have chocolate protein powder mixed with natural yoghurt and soft fruit as a pudding 2 or 3 times a week. A healthy way to get my chocolate fix while also boosting my protein levels.

slowrun Sat 04-Aug-18 14:19:05

Thanks, useful info, Fate.

I did wonder whether there might be protein powder in there somewhere. I have used it before but I noticed when I have too much protein (for me) I develop a knobbly looking saliva gland. This disappeared completely when I started eating a bit less protein, think it might be mineral deposits, the start of saliva stones. I know you have to be careful get the correct balance of minerals with more protein and I don't think I managed it previously.

I think I might have to watch the cheese. I often don't use fats to cook or use a minimal amount. But I do eat red meat which I know can push the fats up too. I know having less carbs can send the ratios out too.

OP’s posts: |
GreenMeerkat Sat 04-Aug-18 14:23:38

I'd usually try and stick to around 40% carb, 35% protein and 25% fat.

That wasn't individual meals though it was over the course of a day so protein would be upped by having a shake after the gym.

Carbs are fine as long as you don't overdo them and you try and stick to complex, wholegrains rather than simple carbs. Best time to have your most carb intensive meal is before a workout so if you workout in the morning, breakfast, afternoon/evening lunch. I'd have the least carbs with my evening meal.

slowrun Sat 04-Aug-18 14:29:38

Thanks, Meerkat. I do, pretty much, stick to more complex carbs. (Except I allow myself a couple of dark, chocolate box, chocolates a day, 1 after lunch and 1 after dinner but they don't amount to much)

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FATEdestiny Sat 04-Aug-18 14:35:41

I've not noticed any physical symptoms of using protein power, aside from the fact that I trump a lot more! (sorry, TMI blush)

But I do wonder if it actually makes any difference. I can't say I feel any fuller on days I have protein powder in my porriage, or days I don't. It tastes nicer because it's chocolate flavoured, but I don't know if those 114 calories from the powder are just wasted calories and not benefitting me much?

I'm a bit afraid of not using the protein powder regularly in case I start carb-loading. I thought about quark, that's low fat but has higher protein levels (compared to yoghurt). But I'm not sure if that's artificial too. I'd never heard of quark until I started following dieting blogs.

I can't find any other low calorie protein heavy foods. So if you think of anything, let me know!

slowrun Sat 04-Aug-18 14:49:42

Will do FATE. It might be that I was just overdoing the protein when I added the protein powder too. I did also eat quite a bit more meat, then, but I cut my portions down recently, filling my plate with more salad and non starchy veg, in order to do a rather lazy diet.

I have no issues with hunger, probably because all that fat is pretty satiating! grinHowever had a wobble when I saw my macros. The food didn't look that bad but one stilton and walnut salad for lunch and a lowish protein dinner (sausage stew) and my ratios looked more extreme than I had expected.

I think quark is a cheese that is naturally low in fat, it's rather like smooth cottage cheese.

OP’s posts: |
slowrun Sat 04-Aug-18 15:09:28

FATE, yes, I'm a bit afraid of 'carb loading' too. My own reason is the intensity of the running I do is more in the fat burning range than high intensity glycogen burning range (unlike your own running). Although, I do know, you burn fat afterwards with high intensity. I'm just scared of pushing myself too much as I've been pretty sedentary with cancer treatment last year and before that bouts of sciatica. So like my lower intensity running. Saying that, I'd rather have glycogen to burn than break down what little existing muscle I have for energy.

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slowrun Sun 05-Aug-18 08:24:47

Well my fat percentage was down by 1 this morning. Yay! 😀

So at least my body has not been consuming too much of my own muscle mass! Still looking at the macros has made me think a bit.

OP’s posts: |

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