How Does Your Daily Macronutrient Intake Change When Banting?
For a long time, health practitioners and educators have advocated a diet with carbohydrates as the cornerstone but there is an upsurge in evidence that low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diets offer important health and performance benefits, although the long-term sustainability is still frequently questioned. Although it is not meant to be the topic of this content, for now, it suffices to offer a brief list of advantages claimed by researchers and users before continuing to illustrate how your daily macronutrient intake change when banting or on an LCHF diet. According to user reports, a Banting or LCHF diet…
- supports weight loss
- improves body composition
- lowers cholesterol
- stabilizes insulin levels
- reverses type-2 diabetes
- reduces joint pain
- clears gout
- reduces heartburn
- reduces migraines and epileptic seizures
- improves mental clarity
- reduces chronic inflammation and all blood markers associated with heart disease risk
Testimonials from customers also reflect mental health benefits that include relief in the symptoms of depression, a reduction of ADHD symptoms, and the stabilization of moods. Although many skeptics say that the range of purported benefits seems too good to be true, thousands of people have already reported their own positive experiences on social media and elsewhere online.
Daily Calorie Need
Whether you are an advocate of the Banting or low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet, if you are interested in optimal nutrition to lose weight, improve physical performance, health, and well-being, chances are likely that you are also curious about how to calculate the macronutrients that you need to consume to get the most benefit. As set out in the previous article about working out macro needs according to the “standard” (high-carb) guidelines, the principles are the same, and I apply the same basic example, namely Jason, a 24-year-old male strength athlete with a body weight of 100 kg who aims to maintain his current body weight. Same as before, based on his resting metabolic rate (RMR) and physical activity level (PAL), Jason needs 3,271 calories daily to achieve his weight goal and fulfill his energy needs (see calorie calculation here).
As such, this article illustrates how to adjust your daily macronutrient intake when banting or on an LCHF diet. Traditionally, nutritional plans for the public and athletes have relied heavily on carbohydrates to satisfy the energy requirements. Although the exact definition of low carb and the precise recommendations for carbohydrate intake vary somewhat, nutritionists regard any diet getting less than 20% energy from carbs as such. Banting guidelines limit carb intake to between 50 and 100 grams per day and exclude all refined sugars and processed foods (download the Banting green, orange, and red food lists here).
For the purpose of the following sample calculations, I use the upper measure of 100 g/day. Therefore, Jason’s carbohydrate intake delivers 400 kcal per day (one gram of carbohydrates contains 4 kcal).
As Jason is a strength athlete who requires additional protein to repair and build muscle fibers, and for practical reasons of meal planning – many fatty food sources also contain protein – I put Jason’s protein requirement at the high end of the suggested range, namely 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, or, in his case, 200 g/day. Therefore, Jason gets 800 kcal energy per day from protein sources.
As Jason consumes 100 g/day of carbohydrates and 200 g/day of protein, which delivers 400 and 800 kcal daily respectively, the remaining 2,071 kcal has to come from fat (3,271 – 400 – 800). As fat contains 9 kcal of energy per gram, this energy need equates to 230 grams of fat intake daily (2,071 divided by 9).
Therefore, according to Banting guidelines, Jason’s suggested daily macronutrient intake is:
- Carbohydrates – 100 g (12% of daily energy)
- Protein – 200 g (25% of daily energy)
- Fat – 230 g (63% of daily energy)
Finally, you probably wonder how such a meal plan would look like in practice. In the next article, I offer and discuss a sample of a day’s meals that supply these macronutrients. Please subscribe to be notified when the article is published.