Macro Ratios for Moderate Weight Lifting

(Ryan Dunnion) #1

I am fairly new to lifting. I’ve been doing it about 2 months, 5 reps by 5 sets, with 3 exercises a session, 3 days a week. What carb, fat, protein ratio should I use. What amount of carbs should I eat? I am 6’1", 263 lbs, 45 years old, and work a desk job. I should also mention I am a type 2 diabetic.


It’s not about ratios… You need enough protein and proper energy intake… I could do my workouts (a bit less than you as I need more time to regenerate, it seems. I have 2 a week, 3 reps, 5-6 exercises, I totally ignore legs because I can) with 2:1 and 1:2 fat:protein alike (though I prefer 1:1, it’s mostly taste and what I can afford). Main thing to get enough protein and energy and for me, at the right time, after exercise, not before, it’s individual.
Carbs is easy, I keep it as low as I comfortably can, it’s 1-2% on a good day… But some people say they need a little more around workouts. I don’t.

No one can guess your “ideal” energy intake just from the stats I fear. What if you just eat very low-carb food and as much as you need for a nice satiation? I almost always do that (there are times when it just doesn’t give the right amount of food, troublesome times, I usually change food choices or timing then) and my macros usually automatically are good enough except I don’t lose fat but it’s harder for me at 165lbs… I would expect some nice paced automatic fat-loss in your case if you eat the right food!

I must say I don’t know what a type 2 diabetic should do differently… But adequate protein is a good idea for everyone…? And everyone needs the right amount of energy. You have enough extra fat to provide a nice amount of energy every day but there are limits, eating too little still would be bad. But exact numbers? No idea. You probably should experiment or let your macros fall wherever they want…

But surely some others will be more concrete and helpful! Good luck!

(Old Baconian) #3

Welcome to the forums! The founders of this site both reversed their Type II diabetes, so you are definitely in the right place.

If you wish to reverse your Type II diabetes, a low-carbohydrate diet is essential for restoring insulin sensitivity. Our recommendation is to start by eating no more than 20 g/day. Once you are adapted to the diet, you can adjust up or down from there.

Be advised that if you embark on a ketogenic diet, the changeover from metabolising primarily glucose to metabolising primarily fatty acids takes some time, and during that time, your performance will be less. Once the muscles have reactivated their ability to metabolise fatty acids (for most people this takes six to eight weeks), your endurance will return. Explosive power takes somewhat longer to return after that, as glycogen storage re-normalises. In the meantime, you will need to exercise lightly, so as not to overstress your body.

Our normal recommendation for protein is 1.0-1.5 g per kg of lean body mass per day. If you are trying to build muscle, you will want to eat at the top of that range, or perhaps even go as high as 2.0 g/kg. Be sure to get foods rich in the branched-chain amino acids (leucine, iso-leucine, valine). Remember also that meats are generally about 25% protein, so if you want to get, say 100 g of protein, you will need to eat 400 g of meat (which is about 14 oz.).

The key to a ketogenic diet is to eat minimal carbohydrate to keep insulin low, eat a reasonable amount of protein, and eat enough fat to supply the energy that is no longer coming from carbohydrate. The effect of fat on insulin secretion is minimal, so you can eat enough to satisfy your hunger. A ketogenic diet is not a calorie-restricted diet.


Stronglifts I take it? Great program for core strength. Really depends on how you’re performing with what you’re doing now, are your lifts progressing each session? If so and you’re not dying you can do what you’re doing if you feel good.

I wouldn’t go by ratios, they don’t work. Go by grams for your goals. You’re going to have to figure out your macros based on you, but I’d say no less than 200-225g protein daily to keep progressing and recover. 5x5 programs build muscle hard and fast and you’ll need it. On the carbs that depends how you want to go about it, if the standard keto approach is what you want than stick with the 20-30g or so. If you think TKD may be better you’d take in ~20-30g pre workout or post workout for fuel and glycogen replenishment. I do a hybrid of TKD and CKD so I have pre/post workout carbs and once or twice a week carb up to top off the tanks, it’s made a huge difference in my lifts and physical appearance.

Also keep in mind you need to keep accurate body measurements, the scale won’t be a huge help when putting on muscle the way 5x5 programs do for a while at least. You’ll know when you need to up calories, protein or carbs by how your workouts and recovery go. I did pretty good on the 5x5 when doing standard keto for a while, as the weights went up it got a little harder, when I went to heavy bodybuilding splits the carbs needed to come back to get me through. All about your goals.