Fat Protein ratios/percentages


Prior to beginning Keto/Carnivore I was consuming around 2,200 on low days up to 3,600kcals on higher activity days.

The weather is wet and cold so I am less active but since starting keto/carnivore in the 29th of oct I have been consuming 4-5000kcals/day. My protein and fat intake are around 350g each per day if not more.

With the large calorie surplus I am consuming do ratios really matter?

Secondly how do you even properly calculate percentages and ratios?

Do you go by caloric density or grams of macro?

300F - 300P …50% fat 50% protein

300F = 2,700kcal 300P = 1,200Kcal…77% fat 33% protein

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #2

As far as staying in ketosis is concerned, the only macro that matters is carbohydrate, which needs to be kept below your threshold of tolerance, so as to keep insulin low. This is especially important if you are trying to shed excess fat, because an elevated level of insulin traps fatty acids in our fat cells. If your insulin is low enough to permit you to be in ketosis, then it is low enough to allow excess fat out of your adipose tissue, so it can be metabolised.

We recommend a limit of 20 g/day of carbohydrate, because that is a level that gets virtually everyone into ketosis. Once you have become fat-adapted, which takes between six and eight weeks for the majority of people, you can experiment with raising your carb intake to see at what level you stop being in ketosis.

Macros are calculated as a percentage of total calories consumed in a day. This is a holdover from the practice of 150-170 years ago, when the caloric value of food was the only thing they could measure.

In your calculations, remember that carbohydrate and protein both contain around 4 (kilo)calories per gram, whereas fat contains 9. So if you eat 20 grams of carbohydrate, that’s 80 calories, 300 grams of protein would be 1200 calories, and 300 grams of fat would be 2700 calories. Note that if you eat an equal amount of fat and protein by weight, then you are getting 69% of your calories as fat, and 31% as protein. (Of course, if you count the 80 calories of carbohydrate in the total, that affects the arithmetic slightly.)


I understand the caloric value if 1g F = 9 vs 1g P = 4.

I believe you are saying what is ment by 60% F and 30% P is caloric value not gram measurement per macro.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #4

You can do it both ways if it makes more sense to you or helps you understand it better. Here’s the math.

Fat contains approx 9 calories per gram and protein approx 4 calories per gram. Thus, the caloric ratio will always be some multiple of 2.25, because 9/4 = 2.25.

So if you eat 1:1 fat:protein grams the caloric ratio is 2.25 calories of fat per calorie of protein. So as noted above by @PaulL if you eat 300 grams of fat that equals 2700 calories. If you eat 300 grams of protein that equals 1200 calories. 2700/1200 = 2.25

Here’s an example of eating to macros. I eat 2:1 fat:protein grams, so 2x the 1:1 ratio. Yesterday (Nov8) I ate 229 grams of fat and 114.5 grams of protein, thus: 2061 calories of fat and 458 calories of protein. 2061/458 = 4.5. Or 2 x 2.25. I also ate 16.25 grams of carbs or 65 calories. Thus for the day I ate 2584 total calories. If you want the percentages: 80% 18% 2% fat, protein, carbs.

I base my macros on protein. I use 1.8g/kg, which is within the higher end Bikman’s range of 1.5 - 2 grams of protein per kilogram of total body weight. I do so because I’m an older male and want to avoid losing lean mass as much as possible and also compensate for lowered protein assimilation. For my total body weight of 145 pounds (65.9 kg) this number is 120 grams of protein. I know from experience that I need to eat within the range of 2300-2700 calories to maintain my body weight. So I set my macros to 2:1 fat:protein grams to ensure that even if I undereat I will stay within my maintenance range. I also know from experience that I need to eat lots of fat to stay alert and active, not get cold or weak.

And by the way, I designed a spreadsheet to keep track of all this math. All I have to do is select the food and the spreadsheet does the rest. I like to stay on the macro for each meal so I don’t have either a fat or protein deficit to make up at the end of the day. I know lots of folks think doing this is a huge bother, but I don’t.

(Polly) #6

I don’t think calories matter, I think metabolism matters.

Sam Feltham’s experiment was n=1 but persuasive to me

(Allie) #7

Agreed, I quite often eat over 4000 calories a day, or more, and am still at 122lbs or thereabouts.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #8

I agree that ‘calories don’t matter’ in the simplistic CICO sense. What you eat matters as much or even more. But that doesn’t mean that energy input, energy use and storage don’t matter or can be ignored. I also agree that a healthy metabolism is controlled primarily by hormones in direct response to what you eat and not simply gross energy input/output. I think Phinney has demonstrated that someone with a healthy metabolism, which includes normal hunger and satiety signals, will not eat beyond a fairly narrow caloric range simply because they’re satieted and not hungry - so long as protein intake is adequate for building, repair and replacement.

On the other hand, we did not evolve to eat multiple times our daily energy requirement and just toss the excess. From an evolutionary perspective in the context of hunter/gatherer feast or famine that our ancestors lived for millions of years that would make zero sense and would likely have led to extinction long ago. I suspect Feltham could eat 5 Kcals per day for 3 weeks and gain muscle mass because he was eating sufficient protein and providing sufficient energy from fat to do so and no more. So 5 Kcals were his daily energy requirement, not excess. Reduce either the energy used or increase the energy input and I think he would gain fat as well.

Eating slightly above or below your maintenance window once in a while is not going to have much effect so long as you have a relatively healthy metabolism responding normally to hormonal control of energy input, output and storage. However, for folks who don’t the outcome is very different. How many folks on this forum struggle with fat loss for the very reason that their metabolisms are not healthy and don’t respond like yours and Feltham’s to energy input. Or because they take too literally the advice that ‘counting calories’ is unnecessary - and end up eating too many carbs simply because guestimating is just another word for wishful thinking?

Example was my dad. He had hyperthyroidism in his early 30s to the point where no matter what he ate or how much he ate he lost weight - both fat and lean mass. He became dangerously emaciated before the Air Force treated him by nuking is thyroid. The ‘treatment’ worked! Ever afterwards, not matter what he ate or how little he ate he gained weight for the rest of his life.


Percentages doesn’t really matter even when one has a lower energy intake…
They are probably popular because people like fixed numbers and simplicity…?

I try to eat in a way that my body likes and my percentages and grams do more or less wild things and it’s fine. My protein is always in a range where my body is happy with it, automatically, good timing and good food choices help with the rest too… Our needs are in grams, extra protein doesn’t bother most of us (unless it’s really much but I both instinctively and consciously eat fattier when I eat more and it’s not a concern for me)…

350g protein would be too much for many of us but probably not for you if you feel right, I would say.

It’s a bit odd to me that you eat that much with lower activity now, I hate overeating despite I do it a lot so my goal is eating only as much as I need (well, less than my need as I have lots of fat to lose. though I am not upset for a while more if I don’t lose fat but gain muscle :D).
BUT it’s hard to tell what is our real need at the moment. Maybe your body does something useful with all those calories, who knows? Or it’s not the calories, some other nutrients? But on a good woe, one doesn’t need overeating to get them. Oh well, I am not knowledgable enough about this. My body never wants a ton of calories unless I am very active on that day (or maybe my rare Insatiable Days are such ones too, never figured out their reason).


I have been having moments where it feels like I temporarily turn into a nuclear reactor and my body heat rises to near feverish temperatures. This has never happened in my life (over 30 years old) until I started this high fat diet.

Prior to eating this high fat diet I was eating low carb high protein moderate fat (80g/day) and I always felt cold.