What macros percentages do you use, and why?

I'm trying to decide what macros percentages I want to use. My goals are to eat better to manage PCOS (less refined sugar and refined carbs). I'm not sure what to choose since there's a lot of confusing information online about the relative health of various macro breakdowns and whether they lead to various diseases or not. PCOS is linked to insulin resistance, and diabetes runs in my family, so I especially have to worry about that. So anyway what do you guys use, and why?
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  • VegjoyP
    VegjoyP Posts: 2,120 Member
    I have mine set for 40 protein, 30 carbs 30 fat. I am not super rigid with it, but seem to naturally have a range close. I feel better with s higher fat or protein intake but eat a lot of vegetables. I have SLE Lupus and other health related challenges, 49 and relatively active. If I eat a higher carb percentage I get incredibly bad skin itching, bloated and lethargic.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,730 Member
    I never used percentages as my daily calorie goal varies massively.

    Set my goals in grams for protein and fat (as minimums, OK to exceed) and carbs used as the "filler" up to my calorie goal.

    As it happens fat naturally took care of itself so I only really had to consider my protein minimum and calorie maximum goals.

    Regarding "the relative health of various macro breakdowns and whether they lead to various diseases or not" - in my IMHO it's being overweight that is the big culprit for developing disease and normal weight people can be healthy on wildly varying macro breakdowns as long as a reasonable level of the two essential macros are hit.
  • azuki84
    azuki84 Posts: 176 Member
    I personally just use raw numbers- as a 125lb 38M 9-10%bf, I go with around 130g protein, 300g carb, 65g fats.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,380 Member
    Yeah, I think you have to play with it a bit.

    It also depends a lot on your activity and how many calories in general you eat.


    30/30/30 is an easy, safe, popular split for someone trying to lose weight and keep carbs lower.

    I used 40/40/20 (protein=20) during weight loss and now use the defaults of 50C 30F 20P...But I'm an older retired sedentary (mostly) woman.

    Reading: https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/819055/setting-your-calorie-and-macro-targets/p1

    https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/ask-the-dietitian-whats-the-best-carb-protein-and-fat-breakdown-for-weight-loss/
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,249 Member


    30/30/30 is an easy, safe, popular split

    hey... *nudge nudge*...I'm not a mathematician, but...uhmmm... ;)

  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,249 Member
    I don't go by percentages - I have a hard number for protein and a "floor" (meaning absolute minimum intake) for fats, both based on bodyweight. Everything leftover is purely according to preference.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,380 Member
    JBanx256 wrote: »


    30/30/30 is an easy, safe, popular split

    hey... *nudge nudge*...I'm not a mathematician, but...uhmmm... ;)

    C'mon, close enough is good enough.

    If you think you're logging your macros to the gram - I have a bridge to sell you. :lol:

    For those of you equally pedantic: 33.333333P 33.3333333F 33.3333333C

    FCS
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,986 Member
    I'm trying to decide what macros percentages I want to use. My goals are to eat better to manage PCOS (less refined sugar and refined carbs). I'm not sure what to choose since there's a lot of confusing information online about the relative health of various macro breakdowns and whether they lead to various diseases or not. PCOS is linked to insulin resistance, and diabetes runs in my family, so I especially have to worry about that. So anyway what do you guys use, and why?

    There isn't any kind of universally optimal macro ratio. Macro ratios are pretty individual. I don't log and haven't logged in almost 10 years so I'm only vaguely aware of my macros and don't fuss about it. I focus on eating an overall nutritious diet which to me seems pretty common sense. Plenty of veg and some fruit, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Since I actively exercise regularly, I do put some emphasis on protein and try to get anywhere from 100-120 grams per day...primarily fish, chicken, and eggs as my primary sources.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 257 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    JBanx256 wrote: »


    30/30/30 is an easy, safe, popular split

    hey... *nudge nudge*...I'm not a mathematician, but...uhmmm... ;)

    C'mon, close enough is good enough.

    If you think you're logging your macros to the gram - I have a bridge to sell you. :lol:

    For those of you equally pedantic: 33.333333P 33.3333333F 33.3333333C

    FCS

    I figured that last 10% was alcohol. :)

    I think you just came up with a new, best selling diet plan. We'll call it the 30/30/30. The key to our weight loss is hold 10% of your calories in reserve for alcohol. The alcohol helps rev your metabolism. 🤣
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,249 Member

    C'mon, close enough is good enough.

    If you think you're logging your macros to the gram - I have a bridge to sell you. :lol:

    For those of you equally pedantic: 33.333333P 33.3333333F 33.3333333C

    FCS

    Oh I know, I hope/assume you know I was just messing with ya. You are, IMO, one of the forum's reliable (there's another word I'm searching for here, but my brain isn't fully booted up yet!) posters & you always put out good information; I just thought that was kinda funny.

  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 348 Member
    25P, 45F, 30C. 25% protein falls roughly at 0.8 x my body weight (but I really have a minimum number in my head in mg). If I don't get at least (roughly) 30 g of carbs per meal my energy level tanks, and 30% is just over 40 g divided evenly. I eat mostly complex carbs. And I basically use fat as the filler after meeting those minimums, the way a lot of people use carbs.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,380 Member
    edited June 15
    @JBanx256

    I know you're messing with me! :)

    My macros are set at the default, but actually hitting them? Right!! I have the added difficulty level of tracking salt, calcium and iron (for the Tetris of it, at this point.)
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,249 Member

    My macros are set at the default, but actually hitting them? Right!! I have the added difficulty level of tracking salt, calcium and iron (for the Tetris of it, at this point.)

    When I'm cutting with a serious (at least in my opinion), concrete goal, I actually stay within +/- 10g for P and C, and +/- 5g for F. But unless I have a real reason to be that strict with it (a casual cut doesn't qualify)....naaaaaaaaaaaaah. I mean, I'm massing right now & quite literally have a jar of PB in the car with me, haha.

    I used to have to pay attention to my iron, as I'd routinely get turned away from donating blood because it would be too low. I started taking a multi (women's specific) that has iron in it and that has given me enough of a boost that it thankfully hasn't been an issue in quite awhile.

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,380 Member
    @JBanx256 I hafta ask...is that you in your AV image?
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,249 Member
    @JBanx256 I hafta ask...is that you in your AV image?

    Yes indeed; for my 40th birthday I gifted myself a fitness-y photoshoot so did a pretty significant cut leading up to it (and spray tan...can't forget the spray tan...it's like magic)
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,380 Member
    JBanx256 wrote: »
    @JBanx256 I hafta ask...is that you in your AV image?

    Yes indeed; for my 40th birthday I gifted myself a fitness-y photoshoot so did a pretty significant cut leading up to it (and spray tan...can't forget the spray tan...it's like magic)

    Wow! That's pretty awesome! For some reason I just always thought it was a Google image. I'm super impressed!
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,249 Member
    Wow! That's pretty awesome! For some reason I just always thought it was a Google image. I'm super impressed!

    Thank you! It was ~10 weeks and other than literally I think 2 days, I never had to go below 1600 cal/day. I didn't want to get "stage lean" but had the goal of looking roughly 3-ish weeks out. I was definitely happy with the results (and the owners of the Chinese buffet we attacked after the shoot was over is probably still cussing me, haha!)

  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,119 Member
    I think the way to know if you are over-eating protein is if you can't get enough carbs and fat to fuel you up, leaving you feeling weak.

    Looking at a number of papers, I found that there isn't much evidence for eating more than 1g protein per lb of lean body mass. You still can go higher than that, if you want, but for a fixed calorie diet, it steals out of fats and carbs, which fuel your every day activities and workouts. (You shouldn't go lower than about 0.5g protein per lb of lean body mass.)

    Most normal people are 20-25% fat by weight. For me at 180lbs and 25% body fat, you'd get a max of about 135g of protein per day. My TDEE is about 2000kcals, and protein is ~4kcals/gram, so this is 540kcals, or close to 25% of TDEE.

    But, @sijomial has hit the nose on the head: If I go out and do 500kcals of exercise one day (as I often do), it doesn't mean I need to eat more protein, but that I need to re-feed with more fats and carbs, so the protein percentage will go down to almost 20%. If I'm on a cut, and I drop 500kcals (as I often do) and I don't exercise that day, my protein percentage will go up to almost 30%.

    Note that no single day needs to hit an exact macro breakdown. You can use MFP to look at your macros for the trailing week and adjust accordingly by changing overall eating habits. I see that my last week hit the above numbers pretty close, and I wasn't even trying!
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,965 Member
    edited June 15
    I just aim for a protein goal and don't worry about the other two personally. 125g is my goal but I don't hit it a lot of the time.