Caloric Restriction and Macronutrient Percentages

A lot of dietary guidelines are framed in terms of percentages (i.e. ADA says eat 55/25/15 CHO/FAT/PRO, Zone says 40/30/30, etc.) Sometimes people say “if you eat X percent of your calories from protein, you risk straining your kidneys” or “if you eat Y percent of your calories from fat, you risk atherosclerosis”. It seems like those sorts of risks would emerge from eating too much fat or protein, not as a percentage of your diet, but in absolute terms (i.e. more than 15 grams of saturated fat a day, or something like that). If you eat fewer calories, it seems like you can stay below these thresholds more easily (in addition to reducing your need for bolus insulin) and have more flexibility in terms of percentages.

What do we think about this? There’s a lot of evidence that moderate calorie restriction promotes weight loss, reduces risk of heart disease, and is generally good for you, but this is somewhat controversial. If we can restrict calories, do we need to worry so much about macronutrient breakdowns, within reason? I ask partially because the calorie guidelines promoted by the ADA sometimes seem absurd (like I’m 6’7" and a very healthy 200 pounds, but I don’t need to eat 3200 calories a day; someone who was 5’10 and 150 pounds might need 2400, though).

Well, I think your argument is based on a false premise: that dietary fat leads to high lipids.

I would agree with you. Go with your gut. The ADA is off, as well as the guidelines for how much of a certain vitamin you need. I have read books that say the vitamin guidelines are waaay too low. I tend to agree with the zone diet. As long as your plate resembles a forest for the most part, you are doing well. Squeeze those greens in there any way shape and form. Good fats, bad fats…I use a lot of coconut oil and olive oil, and exersize my bum off and I am fine. For 6’7", see how much the basketball players eat or xbasketball players actually. Dont think of numbers so much as squeezing as much green and colors as you can on your plate. You cant lose.
Good luck

I rarely count calories. I probably get most of my calories from fat. I use a lot of coconut oil and nut flours in most of my daily meals. I do limit the carbs to 50-60 per day. My protein intake is around 60-70 grams most days. If I had to guess I eat around 2000-2300 calories per day give or take. That keeps my weight around 113-116 pounds and my bgs under 100. If I reduce calories too much my bgs actually will rise because I get liver dumps.

Actually, Gary Taubes has a new book out “Why We Get Fat.” Unfortunately, calorie restriction does not work well for long term weight loss. Both this most recent book and his classic “Good Calories, Bad Calories” destroy many of the most quoted dietary myths.



I am not aware of any research that supports long-term calorie loss as either supporting weight loss or health in humans. And remember, I am talking humans, not mce. Any studies would certainly be appreciated. And I totally dismiss the ADtA diet (formerly the ADA) diet, it is based on incompetent work and the process that led to it is just corrupt. The most popular diet being taught now is the “Plate Method,” also called “Just Eat Less.”

Actually, the plate method is an attempt to get people to eat more vegetables. An admirable goal for the average American, I think.