The Carb to Protein Ratio Diet

November 18th, 2009 Posted in Diet, Nutrition Tip 3 Comments »
Dr. John Berardi
John Berardi

Since the late 1990′s Dr. John Berardi has published 8 scientific abstracts; 15 scientific papers and textbook chapters; presented at nearly 50 scientific, exercise, and nutrition related conferences; and published countless articles online.

His first articles at Testosterone Magazine so many years ago, provided me with the basis for everything I know about nutrition today. Now I will turn some of that knowledge over to you in the form of Nutrition Tips written by Dr. Berardi himself.

Today’s Topic – The Carb to Protein Ratio Diet

I have written, on numerous occasions, about reducing your carbohydrate intake and increasing your protein intake to lose fat and maintain muscle mass when dieting. I have suggested how many carbs to eat in a day, how much protein to eat in a day, and how much fat to eat in a day. I have even provided 10 tips for getting shredded.

Despite these suggestions, time and again I am still asked how much protein, carbs, and fat people should be eating each day. Then when I give my answers, people still question me:

“Shouldn’t I be eating more carbs?”
“Isn’t that too much protein?”
“How many calories should I aim for?”

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Now I have a specific macronutrient layout for you to follow based on your bodyweight. The protein is a little lower than I usually recommend and the carbs are definitely higher than I recommend for most fat loss diets.

That being understood, this diet plan is based on a study at the University of Illinois and aims only at maintaining the proper ratio of carbs to protein for ideal fat loss and muscle retention.

For maintaining muscle mass, you can use the bodyweight column based on your current weight. For gaining muscle or losing fat you can use the bodyweight column based on your desired bodyweight.

I suggest if you have a really slow metabolism that you opt for a lower calorie total and if you have a really fast metabolism you opt for a slightly higher calorie total.

Check out this chart for some calories and macronutrient options:

Your Bodyweight kcal/day Fat grams* Carbohydrate grams Protein grams
330-375 lbs 4500 kcal 150g 450g 338g
290-330 lbs 4000 kcal 133g 400g 300g
250-290 lbs 3500 kcal 117g 350g 263g
210-250 lbs 3000 kcal 100g 300g 225g
170-210 lbs 2500 kcal 83g 250g 188g
135-170 lbs 2000 kcal 66g 200g 150g
100-135 lbs 1500 kcal 50g 150g 113g

*These numbers assume a diet that contains 30% fat.

To customize this chart for your own needs and to get more accurate numbers:

  • to gain muscle with a fast metabolism, start with your desired bodyweight and multiply by 14 to get total daily calories
  • to gain muscle with a slow metabolism, start with your current bodyweight and multiply by 13 to get total daily calories
  • to lose fat with a fast metabolism, start with your current bodyweight and multiply by 13 to get total daily calories
  • to lose fat with a slow metabolism, start with your desired bodyweight and multiply by 12 to get total daily calories
  • multiply total daily calories by .3 to get total fat calories, divide by 9 to get total fat grams
  • multiply total daily calories by .0751 to get total protein grams, multiply by 4 to get total protein calories
  • multiply total protein grams by 1.4 to get total carbohydrate grams, multiply by 4 to get total carbohydrate calories

None of the numbers from the chart or from the above calculations will be 100% exact. You will need to adjust calories and macronutrients based on your own bodily needs. For example, you may need to increase protein for gaining muscle or decrease carbs for losing fat, but those adjustments should be based on your results after the first couple weeks of dieting.

Be sure to exercise at least 3 times a week for 30-45 minutes per session to see optimum results.

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Increasing your protein intake and decreasing your carbohydrate intake will help you to maintain (or even gain) muscle while losing fat on a weight loss diet. Don’t make the mistakes of the high carb dieters before you. Take advantage of our currently knowledge of macronutrient nutrition to burn fat faster than ever!

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s see what JB has to say about it:

Tip: The Ratio Diet

“Want to improve body composition, increase the ratio of fat lost to muscle lost during a diet, improve blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), prevent wild fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin, and improve satiety when on a diet? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, Dr Layman and colleagues at the University of Illinois are also interested in helping you accomplish these goals.

In their recent studies, they have demonstrated a myriad of benefits associated with reducing the ratio of carbohydrate to protein in the diet from 3.5g of carbohydrate to every 1g of protein to 1.4g of carbohydrate to every 1g of protein.”

See Also

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