T Nation

How Does the Body Know...

I realize that it’s better to eat more protein than carbs, and also better to get a surplus of calories from protein. My two questions to expand on this are:

1)Everyone’s bodies has a different cut-off period for surplus right? Ex/Prof X can consume five times what I eat just to maintain.

2)That being said, is there any way to figure out how many grams of carbs, protein, and fat my body needs so I can realize if I’m getting to little, or eating way to much?

Does this make sense?

There are about 5 million nutrition articles on this site. Have you not read any of them? Start with John Berardi and Lonnie Lowery.

yes technically, but not in any easy way.

[quote]dreads989 wrote:
I realize that it’s better to eat more protein than carbs, and also better to get a surplus of calories from protein. My two questions to expand on this are:

1)Everyone’s bodies has a different cut-off period for surplus right? Ex/Prof X can consume five times what I eat just to maintain.

2)That being said, is there any way to figure out how many grams of carbs, protein, and fat my body needs so I can realize if I’m getting to little, or eating way to much?

Does this make sense?[/quote]

Yes. Everyone needs a certain amount of calories to maintain their muscle mass/weight.
Why?

For example: I, a 245 pound man,will need about 5,000 calories daily to maintain my current weight-I am cutting right now because I finished a bulk a few months ago. So,I will need to eat 500 calories below my maintenance level in order to lose a pound a day.

I’m doing the AD right now,so I’m not only just losing weight,but my body composition is also shifting.

It depends on your goals and overall genetics. Are you lean,or do you need to lose some weight? If you’re trying to gain weight, start out by eating a well-balanced diet with enough protein,carbs, fat,and calories in order to gain one pound per week.

Then adjust accordingly,so you can meet your needs.
On the other hand,If you’re trying to lose some fat, experiment with certain things such as carb cycling,or a controlled carb diet,or just a overall lower calorie diet.
Not every diet will work for everyone.

Hey, there, dreads989!

The real challenge is probably YOUR learning what your body needs to achieve whatever your goals might be. The body just takes whatever you provide it and burns it or stores it, depending on its needs and capacities.

You’re right that for a given weight everyone needs a different number of calories to maintain their weight. There are all sorts of calculators, but they only provide you with a starting point. Your caloric intake and the number of calories you’re consuming would still need to be adjusted from there.

What are your goals currently? Are you wanting to bulk or cut?

Either way, what you would do is calculate your protein and fat requirements (P = 1g x TBW and F = 0.4g x TBW). What you would raise and lower and play around with is your carbohydrate intake. If you’re cutting, you would lean more heavily towards fibrous green veggies, beans and fruit. If you were bulking, you would eat all of the above, but you would also eat a greater number of starchier carbs to get your caloric intake UP.

Put a little structure into what you’re doing and track your progress. If you are slowly making progress towards your goals, keep doing what you’re doing. If you aren’t making progress, then you need to make some slight adjustments. That’s what John Berardi calls outcome based decision making.

Bulking or cutting, though, make sure you’ve optimized PWO nutrition.

Does that help?

Thanks guys. I tried not to come off as a complete newb to this site, Ive posted and read numerous things on this site, and was just trying to get a physiological answer. Im not trying to bulk or cut right now, I was just curious to see if anyone knew the phsyiology behind the body recognizing how much carbs, protein, and fat is enough, and when it starts to store when of those macronutrients in excess.

I suppose a better example would be if I were to ingest 200g of Carbs, 130g of Protein, and 50g of Fat, and I end up with an excess of 300 calories, how do I know which macronutrient contributed those calories? After perusing through hundreds of JBs articles, its easily said that a calorie isnt a calorie. I was just seeing if there was a general or definitive answer. Thanks for the inof. though!

[quote]dreads989 wrote:
Thanks guys. I tried not to come off as a complete newb to this site, Ive posted and read numerous things on this site, and was just trying to get a physiological answer. Im not trying to bulk or cut right now, I was just curious to see if anyone knew the phsyiology behind the body recognizing how much carbs, protein, and fat is enough, and when it starts to store when of those macronutrients in excess.

I suppose a better example would be if I were to ingest 200g of Carbs, 130g of Protein, and 50g of Fat, and I end up with an excess of 300 calories, how do I know which macronutrient contributed those calories? After perusing through hundreds of JBs articles, its easily said that a calorie isnt a calorie. I was just seeing if there was a general or definitive answer. Thanks for the inof. though![/quote]

Carbs,protein,or fat,it doesn’t really matter. Neither are stored as fat-other than maybe glucose being stored in fat cells,but thats a different story. Only calories FROM one of those macronutrients will be stored as fat.
But you’d probably have to eat more than 300 calories,if you’re lifting weights. To gain just one pound per week you would have to eat 500 calories over your maintenance level. I highly doubt if,for some reason,you do eat 300 calories over your maintenance level you’re going to become obese. It’s just not going to happen. However,if you’re literally pouring tons of sugar down your throat,there is a good chance that it will spike your insulin and some glucose will be stored in your fat cells,but that depends on how your body works and your overall genetics.

As for protein,it is the HARDEST macronutrient to be stored as fat.
Not only that,but your body burns the most calories digesting protein.
For every 400 calories from protein that you consume,your body buns 100 digesting it.
As for your answer of consuming an excess of 300 calories from all 3 macronutrients?
Once again,it takes 500 calories to gain one pound per week. If you are consuming 300 over maintenance every day,you will probably slowly bulk up and build more muscle than,if any,fat.

Thanks for the info Cthulhu. I only used 300 as an example, just to try and explain my question. Your response was exactly what I was looking for! Take care.

[quote]Cthulhu wrote:
dreads989 wrote:
Thanks guys. I tried not to come off as a complete newb to this site, Ive posted and read numerous things on this site, and was just trying to get a physiological answer. Im not trying to bulk or cut right now, I was just curious to see if anyone knew the phsyiology behind the body recognizing how much carbs, protein, and fat is enough, and when it starts to store when of those macronutrients in excess.

I suppose a better example would be if I were to ingest 200g of Carbs, 130g of Protein, and 50g of Fat, and I end up with an excess of 300 calories, how do I know which macronutrient contributed those calories? After perusing through hundreds of JBs articles, its easily said that a calorie isnt a calorie. I was just seeing if there was a general or definitive answer. Thanks for the inof. though!

Carbs,protein,or fat,it doesn’t really matter. Neither are stored as fat-other than maybe glucose being stored in fat cells,but thats a different story. Only calories FROM one of those macronutrients will be stored as fat.
But you’d probably have to eat more than 300 calories,if you’re lifting weights. To gain just one pound per week you would have to eat 500 calories over your maintenance level. I highly doubt if,for some reason,you do eat 300 calories over your maintenance level you’re going to become obese. It’s just not going to happen. However,if you’re literally pouring tons of sugar down your throat,there is a good chance that it will spike your insulin and some glucose will be stored in your fat cells,but that depends on how your body works and your overall genetics.

As for protein,it is the HARDEST macronutrient to be stored as fat.
Not only that,but your body burns the most calories digesting protein.
For every 400 calories from protein that you consume,your body buns 100 digesting it.
As for your answer of consuming an excess of 300 calories from all 3 macronutrients?
Once again,it takes 500 calories to gain one pound per week. If you are consuming 300 over maintenance every day,you will probably slowly bulk up and build more muscle than,if any,fat.[/quote]