The 90/10 rule helps you lose weight and build muscle. In addition, you can calculate your macronutrients to feed you purposefully. How, you will find out in this article.
In Looking Good Naked you are not aware of any rigid macronutrient requirements. Because in reality you have much more freedom in the diet than you want to make certain nutritional models.
Since the publication of the book I still get questions from readers and dranbleibern, after which concrete macronutrient guidelines they should be the best.
And they wonder how many carbohydrates, fats and proteins they should eat exactly to look nude.
Yet there is not a diet that is perfect for everyone.
Some of us are fantastic with high-fat, low-carb. Others drive better on the high-carb, low-fat rail.
If you’re wondering which model is best for your body and your goals, just keep reading.
These are the topics:
- What are macronutrients?
- } Macronutrient Recommendations for 5 Different Fitness Goals
- How to Calculate Your Macronutrients: A 3-Step Process
What are macronutrients?
Macronutrients – carbohydrates, fat and protein – are the three main nutrients that are yours Organism needed daily in large (“macro”) amounts.
Macronutrients provide energy to your body. On the other hand, they are also building materials for the maintenance and development of internal organs, muscles, brain, skin and bones. They also make sure that your body works as intended.
Let’s take a close look at each of the three macronutrients.
. 1 Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are one of the two primary sources of energy for the human body (in addition to fat). They include sugar, starch and cellulose.
You can find carbohydrates in many healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, and starchy tubers such as (sweet) potatoes and roots, but also in legumes.
On the other hand, carbohydrates are also part of less health-giving, highly processed foods such as pasta, sweets and ready meals.
Anyone who eats sugar and processed pasta in excess not only raises their calorie intake, but also raises the risk of many chronic illnesses. Again,
The dose makes the poison.
Some sugar now and then is not an issue. Especially not in combination with healthy foods, e.g. Cocoa, as dark chocolate.
Certain carbohydrate foods are a kind of “gray zone”:
Whole grains, legumes, and dairy products are well tolerated by most people.
But not all of them. The latter is relatively easy to find.1
How do you recognize the “best” carbohydrates?
How healthy a carbohydrate-containing food is, dietitians have long been measured by its glycemic index (GI). GI indicates how the consumption of a carbohydrate source affects blood sugar levels.
“Avoid foods with a high glycemic index because they raise your blood sugar levels,” they used to say.
However, recent research indicates that the concept of the GI is outdated. Because those who only eat foods with a low glycemic index do not necessarily live healthier.
More helpful is the distinction between cellular and acellular carbohydrates.
CELLULAR Carbohydrates are plant foods such as roots, potatoes, and other tubers that store carbohydrates in living cells with fiber cell walls.
Because the cell walls remain largely intact when cooked, they have a relatively low carbohydrate density.
Our “modern” foods are mainly made from AZELLULAR carbohydrates. Here the intact cells are missing. Flour and sugar are perfect examples of carbohydrates, which were first extracted from plant cells and then processed further.
Acellular carbohydrates have a very high carbohydrate density.
And are correspondingly high-calorie, without actually saturating. In addition, they can negatively affect the composition of the intestinal flora and create a microbacterial environment that leads to inflammation, metabolic disorders and chronic diseases.2
Regardless of which carbohydrate quantity is perfect for you – as much of it as possible should come from cellular carbohydrate sources. So basically fruits and vegetables in all variants.
If you tolerate whole grains and legumes well, you can incorporate lesser amounts into your diet.
Carbohydrate Amount: What is Low-Carb and High-Carb Mean?
Now you know the difference between “healthy” and “less healthy” carbohydrate sources. You may be wondering what daily amount of healthy carbs is right for you.
You probably already heard terms like “low carb” and “high carb”. But what does that actually mean?
The daily amount of carbohydrates is usually named in one of four categories:
- Very Low Carb (“No-Carb”) – Below 10% of daily calories : For the average man who eats 2,600 calories a day, that is under 65 g. Women consume an average of 2,000 calories, less than 50 g of carbohydrates per day. For people with severe blood sugar problems and neurological disorders, a very low-carb approach may be useful.
- Low Carb – 10-20% of Daily Calories : Our average man is 65-130 g per day, our average woman 50-100 g. Those who primarily want to break down fat can often make good progress with a low carbohydrate diet.
- Moderate carbohydrate intake – 20-35% of daily calories : At 2,600 kcal a day this is 100-228 g, at 2,000 kcal 75-175 g. This level promotes overall health and helps you stay lean.
- High Carb – Over 35% of Daily Calories : Over 200g a day for our average man and over 150g a day for our average woman. People with a high metabolic rate, athletes, strength athletes who want to build muscle and pregnant or breastfeeding women usually come in this area best clear.
Those who have not lived completely offline in the last few years will probably have noticed that very low-carb diets such as the keto diet (“keto”) are currently hugely popular in the health scene.
Very low carb, however, is neither a panacea nor suitable for everyone.
Especially not for every athlete.
Most of my clients make the best progress with one of the last three approaches – depending on the objective and individual starting point. Later more.
Do you need to include non-starchy vegetables in your carbohydrate balance?
In my opinion, you only need carbohydrates from starchy vegetables, tubers, roots, fruits, cereals, legumes and dairy products.
Non-starchy vegetables do not count.
In other words, if you want to lose weight, you can eat as much broccoli, lettuce, and cauliflower as you want. Also, if you drive the “no-carb” rail.
Non-starchy vegetables will not stop you from losing weight.
Your body needs a lot of energy to digest these high-fiber and low-calorie foods. Energy that he gains from glucose, by the way.
The bottom line is that there are very few (if any) carbohydrates left that your body can absorb.
. 2 Fat
Besides carbohydrates, fat is the second primary source of energy for your body.
Fats also serve as a building material for healthy skin and hair, a strong immune system and the temperature regulation of the body. In addition, they support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
There are four types of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fats.
Let’s go through it in quick succession.
Saturated fats are found mainly in milk and meat from ruminants, but also in coconut products such as coconut oil, milk and meat.
Saturated fatty acids, such as myristic, palmitic, stearic and lauric acids, consist exclusively of single bonds.
Saturated fat has been demonized for decades.
It was bad for the heart, they said. On the advice of her doctor, my grandmother replaced butter with margarine and ate little or no eggs.
Fortunately, these theses have been scientifically refuted in recent years.
Today we know that saturated fats do not negatively affect blood levels or the risk of cardiovascular disease.3
Eggs, butter and coconut oil are thus rehabilitated. At last.
In contrast to saturated fats, the health benefits of monounsaturated fats are already longer undisputed.
Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature.
For the chemists among us: It is characteristic that their fatty acids have EXACTLY ONE chemical double bond.
Here are some foods that are high in monounsaturated fats:
- Olives and Olive Oil
- Macadamia nuts
- } Hazelnuts
- Pig lard
Monounsaturated fats reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, increase “good” HDL cholesterol and lower blood lipid levels.4
Polyunsaturated fats possess at least TWO double bonds in their fatty acids. These include the two key human essential fatty acids:
- linolenic acid (LA), an omega-6 fatty acid
- alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid
From ALA, your body can make EPA and DHA, the two essential omega-3s for your health and fitness.
Nevertheless, it is generally advisable to eat fish and seafood that is rich in EPA and DHA on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, the body’s transformation process does not work very well for most people.
Even if omega-6 fats are often branded as unhealthy, that’s not the case at all.
Omega-6 fats are very healthy if you take them over fresh, wholesome foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and poultry and also get omega-3’s from fish.
Omega-6 greases from industrially processed oils are problematic.
They were damaged during the manufacturing process, becoming rancid and promoting inflammation in the body. Not cool.
As long as you stay away from industrially manufactured vegetable oils, you can enjoy your avocados and almonds as well as the skin of the chicken.
The term trans fats covers both industrially produced and natural trans fats.
You should keep away from industrial trans fat. They are harmful.
They increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.
But natural trans fats are healthy.
CLA stands for conjugated linolenic acid. It is contained in meat and milk from grazing animals and is one of the most researched natural trans fats. CLA protects against inflammation, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.5
CLA is also available as a dietary supplement. But the synthetically produced variant does not have the same advantages as natural CLA. Paradoxically, it favors insulin resistance and oxidative stress.6
How do these contrasts come about? It may be related to the different CLA mix and the amount and duration of intake.
. 3 Protein
As an energy source, protein from all three macronutrients is the worst possible. When converting to glucose (or fat) simply too many calories are lost.
Protein is the most important building material for your body.
Amino acids, the components of the protein, play a crucial role in many biological processes.
They are – among other things – building blocks for hormones and enzymes, for the repair and development of muscles, skin, immune cells and bones.
The question of how much you need is not purely quantitative. The answer depends on the quality of your protein sources.
Full vs. incomplete proteins
Foods that make up whole proteins contain all nine essential amino acids. You must eat all of them in sufficient quantity so that your body can maintain its normal functions.
Complete sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.
Soybeans and quinoa are often counted among the whole vegan proteins. However, they have a few snags that you should know about.
First, they are less bioavailable, i. Your body can not use it so well. And second, they contain so-called “anti-nutrients” that can hinder the absorption of other nutrients. I’ll go right back.
Incomplete sources of protein lack at least one of the nine amino acids you need.
Grains and pulses are, for example, incomplete proteins. But if you eat them together, you get the full spectrum of amino acids your body needs.
However, they are less bioavailable and contain more anti-nutrients than meat, eggs, seafood and dairy products.
How much PDCAAS does your protein have?
The PDCAAS value is a measure defined by the WHO the bioavailability of protein that combines two parameters:
- How close is the amino acid profile of a food to what your body needs?
- What part of it can your body actually use?
By the way, PDCAAS stands for “Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score”. The German name “amino acid index” is slightly easier on the tongue.
Animal protein sources usually have significantly higher levels of PDCAAS and are therefore more bioavailable than vegetable proteins. The following table shows examples of different sources of protein.7891011
Note: I am often asked which protein powder I would buy. Therefore I linked the respective products in the table above.
How much protein do you need?
Who does not want to lose fat or build muscle or sport 20 percent of daily calories in the form of protein is usually well cared for.
To build muscle or lose weight, increase your protein intake to 30-40 percent of your calories.
Fear of a health-endangering protein deficiency is incidentally unfounded. The responsible mechanism in your brain is also called “protein leveraging”:
You remain hungry until you have eaten enough protein to maintain bodily functions.
If you want to break down fat, you should eat more of it. Also in muscle building is recommended.
Read more: Find out more in my article on protein-rich nutrition.
Macronutrient Recommendations for Various Fitness Aims
Before you can calculate your macronutrients, you should count on one set general direction.
Are you all about your overall health, do you also want to lose weight or build muscle? Or are you training for performance for a particular sport?
If you’re pregnant (or wanting to), the situation is different again …
1. General Health
If you are above all concerned with staying healthy and you are not pursuing any aesthetic, sporting or performance goals, we recommend I the following macronutrient distribution:
- 20 percent of calories from protein
- 15-30 percent of calories from carbohydrates
- 50-65 percent of calories from fat
Compared to the official DGE recommendations, this is a low carbohydrate diet.
But in relation to the Stone Age man’s traditional diet, it is moderate and perfect for providing you with everything you need to stay healthy.
. 2 Fat Loss
A diet rich in protein helps you in two ways to lose weight:
- Your body emits more filling signal substances. This makes it easier for you to eat less calories.
- You give your body one less reason to mine precious muscle. This helps you keep your daily calorie consumption as high as possible and avoid the yo-yo effect.
If you want to break down fat, you should aim at about 30-40 percent of your daily calories from egg white.12131415
You can experiment with the amount of protein.
How to find out how much of it will fill you up and satisfy you while you lose fat.
Reducing carbohydrate often helps a lot in losing weight.
Not always. If you work hard and do a lot of exercise or have a lot of stress in general, MORE carbohydrates may make it easier for you to lose weight. Even women could make things easier.
Also, a fat loss plateau can sometimes be broken by raising the percentage of healthy carbohydrate sources (and lowering the fat supply).
If you go on the low carb route, you should still include some carbohydrate sources such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or fruit – ideally after workouts.
. 3 Muscle building
Protein is critically important to all athletes. A protein-rich diet stimulates mTOR, an enzyme that stimulates muscle growth and muscle regeneration.
30 percent of your daily protein calories should last.
Since you eat more calories in total than in fat loss, the absolute amount of protein should be about the amount that you feed when you lose weight.
And the “Carbs”?
The ideal amount of carbohydrate for athletes is a matter of controversy.
The International Olympic Committee recommends weight training athletes 4-7 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per day.16 For a man weighing 80 kilograms, a stout 320-560 grams of carbohydrate per day would account for 50-70% only from carbohydrates.
It is not surprising that amateur athletes could risk type 2 diabetes.17
On the other hand, anecdotal reports are being heard from athletes who are low or low in weight training feed very-low-carb and build muscle. Studies do not confirm that.18
In weight training, your body relies primarily on glucose to provide energy. If there is not enough glycogen in the muscle, training intensity suffers. And it can be hard to set the necessary training incentive to build.
In muscle building I recommend a carbohydrate intake of about 35% of the daily calories.
This will give you enough glucose to replenish your depleted muscle stores without risking prediabetes.
. 4 Athletic performance
If you primarily want to perform a certain athletic performance – whether in endurance sports or in any other discipline – You do not need as much protein as in muscle building:
With 20-30 percent of your daily calories of protein you should be sufficiently well taken care of.
I recommend the same intake of carbohydrates as in muscle building:
About 30-35% of your daily calorie needs should come from carbohydrates.
If you are pursuing a sport that requires a lot of explosive movement – martial arts, football, tennis or sprinting for example – you should orientate yourself towards the higher realm.
In long-distance endurance sports, the “Train Low, Compete High” approach is popular: you train with emptied carbohydrate stores, but you’re “loaded” into the competition.
This model is also best achieved with moderate carbohydrate intake. Namely, by “fasting” your units and then replenishing the glycogen stores.1920
At first glance, this is not necessarily a fitness goal. On the other hand, I always get questions from Dranbleiberinnen about it.
In pregnancy you should not skimp on carbohydrates.
The fetus needs glucose to develop its brain optimally. Carbohydrates provide glucose.
Low-carb is not necessarily a good idea during lactation either.
Too little carbohydrate could slow down the child’s growth.21
The child has priority during pregnancy and lactation.
15-20% protein is ideal, and the amount of carbohydrates should be at least 30% of the daily calories.2223
Note: This is not medical advice. When in doubt, the doctor of your trust, who looks after you during pregnancy, has the last word.
Calculate Macronutrients: A 3-Step Process
In most cases, the following strategy works on best to calculate the ideal macronutrients for you.
. 1 Start with protein
Take the protein intake recommendation that best suits your goals:
- 20% of your daily health calories
- 30-40% of your daily calories for weight loss
- 30% of daily calories for toning
- 20-30% of daily calories for athletic performance
- 20% of the daily calories in pregnancy
Once you have set yourself, you convert the percentage into a decimal number (30%, for example, becomes 0.3).
Then you determine your daily amount of calories from protein by multiplying the decimal number by your daily calorie requirement. (If you do not know him, you can estimate it here with my calorie calculator.)
You divide the result by four (1 g of protein provides 4 kcal) and – voilá – receives the daily amount of protein in grams.
Example: You want to build muscle (30%). Suppose your daily requirement is 2,600 kcal. 2,600 kcal x 0,3 = 780 kcal from protein. Divide this by 4 to get the daily amount of protein – in this example, it is 195 g.
. 2 Determine Carbohydrate Amount
Choose the carbohydrate level that suits you based on your goals:
- Low is 10-20% of your daily calorie intake
- Moderate are 20-35% of the daily calorie intake
- High are over 35% of the daily calorie intake
Once you’ve committed yourself the rest of the calculation is the same.
One gram of carbohydrate gives you – like protein – 4 kcal.
Example: Muscle (35% carbohydrates) and a daily requirement of 2,600 kcal. 2,600 kcal x 0.35 = 910 kcal from carbohydrates. To get the carbs per day in grams, divide the result by 4 – in this example, it’s 228 g (910 ÷ 4 = 227.5).
. 3 Fat fills the gap
Once you know your ideal carbohydrate and protein intake, you fill the remaining gap with fat.
One gram of fat contains 9 kcal.
Example: Rebuilding muscle (35% carbohydrates, 30% protein → 35% fat). Also, the daily requirement we continue with 2,600 kcal. 2,600 kcal x 0,35 = 910 kcal from fat. Divide this by 9 to get the fat in grams – in this example, it’s 101g (910 ÷ 9 = 101.1).