SparkPoints

### Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I am made some adjustments to my nutrition tracker. I feel like Sparkpeople was telling me to eat a lot more than I really should be and was slowing my progress. Of course, some of my progress has been slowed because I have lost focus and haven't been as consistent as I should be, but I think some of that distraction is out of frustration with the process. So, I'm hoping by making some changes I can start doing better.

What I've noticed is that, although Sparkpeople recommends you eat 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein, the ranges don't really match the recommendation. The low end is too low, and the high end is WAY too high. So, I wanted to share with others the way I figure this, it takes a little math, but I will try to keep it basic.

One gram of Carbs = 4 Calories
One gram of Fat = 9 Calories
One gram of Protein = 4 Calories

My current calorie range is 1,700-2,100.

Carbs:
1700 calories * .50 = 850 calories / 4 calories/g = 212.5g of carbs
2100 calories * .50 = 1050 calories / 4 calories/g = 262.5g of carbs

Carb range should be 212-262 g carbs per day.

Fat:
1700 calories * .30 = 510 calories / 9 calories/g = 56.6 g of fat
2100 calories * .30 = 630 calories / 9 calories/g = 70 g of fat

Fat range should be 56-70 g of fat per day

Protein:
1700 calories * .20 = 340 calories / 4 calories/g = 85 g of protein
2100 calories * .20 = 420 calories / 4 calories/g = 105 g of protein

Protein range should be 85-105 g of protein per day

So, now I've narrowed my ranges down to actually meet the goals I have placed. Hopefully, this encourages me to keep my meals more balanced. As I adjust my calories down, I will have to adjust the carb/fat/protein ranges, since SP does not do it automatically.

I hope this all makes sense, if someone wants to do this also and needs help, just let me know, I can help!
• MOBYCARP
The ranges the tracker spits out aren't spot on the 20/30/50 target. I found an article a while back that explained how they were set, and calculated it out that the low number was the low end of the calorie range times the low end of the percentage range, while the high number was the high end of the calorie range times the high end of the percentage range.

I didn't pay a lot of attention to fat or carbs, because those ranges were working for me. But I needed more protein than the bottom end of the tracker to feel full and satisfied. I think the low end of protein was 9% of the bottom end of calories, while the high end was 35% of the high end of calories. I never hit that high number, but I have to watch what I'm doing to hit something reasonable for me, which would be protein in the 19-25% of calories range.

I tend to have fat squeezed down toward the bottom end of the Spark range, which comes out around 20% of calories for me; but I don't worry if it's over.

Anything left is carbs, which can range from the low 50s to 60% of my calories, with the higher percentage coming on running days.

Of course, my numbers probably aren't right for you; but I think you're on the right track, figuring out what *you* need and adjusting the tracker to give yourself a proper range to meet your own individual needs.
1973 days ago
• BANANAMAG
Wow, that is very math-y of you =). I know that having number goals when it came to food really helped me, so I think it's a great idea to figure out your range for where you want to be. I think it's good to know those numbers, too, because then if you're high on carbs for one meal, for example, you know that you can keep them low for another meal and balance it out. I've been learning that more a bit, too, since I've been tracking entire days at a time instead of meals. I hope this really helps you a lot!
1973 days ago