Awesome info from @The_Mighty_Stu and @mertdawg!
For a cut, I think it’s very important to keep fats higher. On a gaining phase, maybe going a little lower wouldn’t be an issue, again these are just my thoughts. But, when getting down to low body fat, like really low body fat, for men OR women, it’s not a natural thing to do, it fights against every instinct your body has. Hormones are all over the place, women lose their menstrual cycle, so it’s important to do as much damage control as possible. While protein and carbs play a role in certain hormone regulations, so do dietary fats. The body needs dietary fats, your brain definitely does, and while I was prepping I came across some articles showing a correlation between higher dietary fats and lower rates of depression. I certainly noticed this myself, I was at a point in my prep where fats were about 20%, or 40g. Everyone reacts differently towards the end of a prep, but depression for me is certainly there, and I know others who have the same issue. When I upped fats to 60-65g, I noticed an almost immediate difference in my mood and well-being.
I haven’t prepped a ton of women, but all the ones I have lost their menstrual cycle at about 8-10 weeks out of the show. Since their hormones are already so whacked out, I prefer to keep fats at 30% to help keep things as balanced as possible, and keep carbs as high as possible also. Again not really hard data, just my method based on that reasoning.
I can certainly understand this. Again just throwing my thoughts out there, 2200 cals might be right on the money, depending on the genetics of the woman, training methods, volume, etc. My wife was 117lbs on stage, started her prep at 136lbs, at 2100-2200 cals a day at the beginning of her cut. So, @jcmcnorton, if she’s trying to gain lean mass, then 2200 might be a good place to start, 1900 sounds like maintenance to me, so a 200-300 cal surplus would be a good place to start. The best thing you could do is pick the number and macro breakdown, run it for a couple weeks, track weight and take pics, be sure to take note on strength increases, and see what happens. As I mentioned earlier, fats could certainly be lowered in a gaining phase, just my .02 I’d keep them no lower than 25%.
My wife really needed to lower carbs to get stage ready. Another female client was able to stay on about 150g daily all the way through. So, it really depends on each individual. The best thing to do is pick a plan, start it, see what happens and learn as you go!