This is a very debatable topic because everyone has a different theory. Another important part is to understand that everyone is different and responds differently to different things.
Also, your body will adapt to whatever you put it through, so what works today won’t necessarily work next month. I am going to explain my general recommendations and why the theory is sound. These are only for example purposes and should not be followed before consulting a qualified health care professional.
After determining your BMR, Activity Level, and Goal, I would break down your calories as follows: 50% of total calories come from Protein; 25% from Fats; and 25% from Carbohydrates. This would be followed for about 12 weeks, or as progress allowed, with a cheat meal each Wednesday and Saturday.
The reason for these ratios is simple: Blood Sugar Balance. Another ratio that I might use would be: 40% Protein/ 35% Carbs/ 25% Fats. Again, blood sugar balance.
The average American is a carb-aholic. We are constantly putting carbs into our body: breads, pastas, sodas, candy, fruit, fries, burgers, pizza, juices, etc…
Because this is the way we eat, we are constantly burning sugar for energy. The problem is this; if we are always burning sugar, then how do we burn body fat?
The answer is that we must clear all of the sugar out of our body so that we can switch from burning sugar to burning body fat.
How do we do this? By flushing as much glucose and glycogen (glucose is sugar stored in your blood and glycogen is sugar stored in your muscle) out of our body as we can, but at the same time have enough calories coming in from Protein and Fat to fuel our energy levels and replace the muscle that is broken down by our workouts.
Using the 50/25/25 ratio, by having only 25% of your calories come from Carbs, you can reduce the amount of stored sugar in your body, but at the same time, have enough energy to get you through your day and enough Carbs to keep your meals exciting.
Also, you can have the majority of your Carbs early in the day to fuel energy levels, and then cut back to none (except fibrous vegetables) at night so you don’t store when you sleep. Fats have 9 calories per gram, as opposed to Proteins and Carbs, which only have 4 calories per gram. That means that Fats are a great source of energy and can offset the lack of carbs in your nutrition plan. This will help keep your energy levels up.
Of course, there are good fats and bad fats, so as a good rule of thumb, stay away from saturated fats (except meat and nut sources) and stick to unsaturated fats.
Absolutely stay away from “trans-fatty acids” and anything that is “hydrogenated”! These are killer fats that will cause high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, not to mention fat storage and other health problems.
Protein is the most important part of your nutrition plan because it makes up your whole body and is needed to keep and gain muscle, as well as hair, skin, nails, internal organs and your brain!
For a detailed, easy-to-understand explanation of Protein, read “The Importance of Protein in Your Diet” article.
For example, let’s assume that you have a BMR of 1600 calories per day, you’re a female who wants to tighten and tone, or you even want to lose 20 lbs. Following the 50-25-25 ratio, you would consume about 200 grams of Protein, 100 grams of Carbs, and 45 grams of Fat.
Broken down into 6 meals per day, that would equal 33 grams of Protein, 16.5 grams of Carbs, and 7.5 grams of Fats per meal.
Since you don’t want to have Carbs at night, you would simply move the last two servings of Carbs to your first two meals.
That means that you would have 33 grams of Carbs with breakfast and 33 Carbs with your midmorning snack/meal, 16.5 Carbs with lunch and midafternoon meals, and none with dinner or before bed shake.
Obviously, you will have to learn what proteins, fats, and carbs are, and how to read food labels.
Since you probably know that you should change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles, keep the tires at the right pressure, and fill the tank up with gasoline to keep it running, I’m sure that you can put the same dedication and time into figuring out how to keep the only body that you have in top running condition.
I mean, you wouldn’t put sugar in your gas tank, would you? Of course not. So don’t do the same thing with your body. You will get out of it what you put in it.