Macronutrient Ratios vs Total Energy Intake

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    Macronutrient Ratios vs Total Energy Intake


    The common consensus here on AM is that a 40% protein, 40% carbohydrate, and 20% fat macro ratio is the preferred starting point for a cutting diet. However I often read posts where this ratio is also recommended to people who want a bulking diet. So is this ratio universal?

    This might be clearer with some hard numbers (say my stats, 150lbs @ ~10% = 135lbs LBM). A cutting diet of say, 15 kcal per lb of LBM, gives 2025kcal, 202.5g protein, 202.5g carbs, 45g fat. This looks quite reasonable with the quantity of protein well within the 1-2g/lb LBM school of thought.

    However plug in the numbers for a bulking diet of say, 25 kcal per lb of LBM and we get 3375 kcals, 337.5g protein, 337.5g carbs, and 75g fat. The protein ratio is now 2.5g/lb LBM. If we assume that this caloric intake provides an energy surplus and that carbs and fats are protein sparing, why would we need this much protein?

    Would it not be better to go by a system where a range of protein, and possibly carbs, is fixed and overall caloric intake is modified with calories from fats?

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    Because fats are the easiest of any nutrient to be stored as body fat.


    And no, 40/40/20 is not universal. Sometimes I have higher protein intake, less fat or more carbs less protein, etc....its different for everyone.
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    I like to keep my protein around 350 grams and my fat from 60-80 grams. I adjust the amount of carbs depending on goals and activity level for that day. So i don't really follow a macro breakdown. But i would say that during cutting it's close to 40/40/20 and during a bulk it's close to 50/35/15, but this is never set in stone. Hope this helps a little.
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    Wow, thx for the fast replies.

    Bobo - I understand the idea that molecularly it is easier for the body to keep fats as fats and glucose as glycogen but does the body always behave that way?

    Theoretically, when hypercaloric, could a higher carb lower fat intake still yield similar levels of fat storage? The raw materials of FFA's might be less but would not the increased insulin levels required for carb metabolism make fat cells more sensitive?

    I only have a rudimentary understanding of macronutrient metabolism - just looking for some advanced answers .
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    THe body always responds that way. Its simply easier for the body to form triglycerides from FFA's than to convert glucose into store triglycerides.

    Insulin just increases cell permeability. You still need the "raw material" and dietary fat will always be converted quicker.

    A higher carb, low fat diet would yield less fat gain. Fat is a wonderful thing. Its the easiest to store due to its molecular strucutre and the hardest to oxidize as fuel due to its molecular structure. Saturated and trans fatty are the toughest becuase the bonds are...."saturated"
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