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Nutrition & Dieting/Need help on macronutrient intake



I have a couple questions, but first a little about me:
I'm a male, 5'11, 28yr, 235lbs and a sedentary lifestyle.  I'm currently eating 1800cal/day on average and have lost 10 lbs in the past 3-4 weeks (I started tracking my calories and weight on Dec. 10th, but was on a diet a few days prior to that).  I'm not sure of my body type, or if that matters at all, but I do have broad shoulders, long legs/arms and gain both weight and muscle fairly easy. The worst part of my body is around my belly-currently 47cm, where all fat seems to go.  I think I'm a mesomorph.

I am aware that my calories might be a bit too low for me, but due to my sedentary lifestyle and the acceptable rate in which I lost some lbs I thought It would be ok to keep eating 1800cal-I also don't feel hungry.  I will go up to 2000-2200cal once I start working out.

I do not eat any junk food or sodas.  I eat mostly lean meats, lots of fruit, eggs, nuts, yogurt etc.

I have two questions:
1. What should the ratio of protein,fat and carbs be for my situation? I came up with 160g (.7 for every lb) for protein, 82g fat and 93g carbs.  I know my protein is ok, but should I lower the carbs due to my body type? If I do, and increase the fat, will this fat go to my belly fat?

2. I have not lost any weight in the past week.  I still weigh 235lbs since last week, is there anything I should change or is this normal? I always weigh my self first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

I'll appreciate any help, thank you!

Great question! The ideal macronutrients distribution is about 50% carbs, 30% fat and 20% protein.

For 1800 calories, carbs would contribute 900 calories--at 4 calories per gram this means 225 grams carb. Your estimate was quite low, and I wonder what references you are using. (Mine are the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, The American Cancer Society and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics!)

Then 600 calories from fat divided by 9 calories per gram puts the ideal fat intake at about 65 grams.

Protein (.7 g per pound is quite high, unless you are into serious bodybuilding) contributes 360 calories in 90 grams.

Following a low calorie diet for your size after a month could signal your body, "hey, we aren't getting enough food...slow down the metabolism so we don't starve!"
The best tactic now is to get moving! You don't have to 'work out', just go for a 15 minute walk twice a day, take stairs when you can, park a little farther away. Consider getting a simple and inexpensive pedometer and track your steps. Get a baseline number over 4 or 5 days and then challenge yourself to increase by 500-1000 a day each week....adding 1000 steps is about 1/2 mile and will burn an extra 50 calories, so it's not a big step, but this alone can keep your weight down 5 pounds each year!

Good luck

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Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD


As a registered dietitian (RD)I am fully qualified to accurately answer questions regarding weight loss, including those from people with health conditions requiring dietary restrictions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc) who want to lose weight, or who have been advised to do so by their physician.


I have been a registered dietitian for over 30 years and have a certificate in Adult Weight Management through the commission on dietetic registration at Level 1 and Level 2. I am also trained in coaching through Coach U and currently work as a diet coach to help people lose weight the healthy way, through gradual habit changes.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Nutrition Entreprenuers, St.Louis International Coach Federation, Toastmasters

Publications,,,, Today's Dietitian

Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida, 1983; Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University 1985; Certificate in Adult Weight Management 2006; CoachU core essentials grad 2007; Level 2 certificate in Adult Weight Management 2010.

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