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I was planning my diet and something just didn't make sense to me. Most of the articles I've read said carbs are the enemies when trying to lose fat while much more articles also said carbs help to lose fat. So which is true exactly and what is the science behind it?

Another thing is this. I'm not sure how to calculate how much calories I need per day. I'm going with intermittent fasting. I'm on a one week break now but my job requires me to stand throughout while bending at intervals. It's an assembly job. I also workout 3-4 times per week (weight lifting and less than 30 mins cardio). How do I calculate it?

Also, I'm trying to lose body fat and not lose weight but most articles say "take 250-500 MORE calories if you want to gain weight and take 250-500 LESS calories if you want to lose weight and take the needed amount if you're trying to maintain weight". I'm not trying to gain weight or lose weight. I'm okay with my weight but I'm not okay with the amount of fat. Would someone explain this a bit more for me?

I'm 5'6, 155lbs, 17.5% body fat. I look skinny in cloth but skinny fat when I'm without clothes. I plan on going for a 40% fat 40% protein and 20% carbs and adjust every 2 weeks based on how my body changes.

Anything will be appreciated

  • fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/40168/… - See if that answers most of your questions. Carbs are the body’s primary source of fuel, there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. – JustSnilloc May 26 at 20:28
  • @justsnilloc thanks. I got a few things from there. Do you think 40%protein, 40% fat and 20% carbs is okay if I'm trying to lose fat? – AngelFromHell May 27 at 1:00
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    I think that percentage based macros don't make sense. Maybe they're easy to consider at a glance, but that's it. Based on my calculations you might need anywhere from 2400-3100 calories to maintain weight. Going off of percentages will stray from good nutrition, stick with the guidelines I outlined there. They aren't hard and fast rules, just guidelines. If you want to do low carb, that's fine but a caloric deficit is the only way to lose weight. By all means though, if low carb is more in line with how you prefer to eat then go for it. – JustSnilloc May 27 at 1:32
  • I was actually going for something wayyyy lower. Like 1900. Thanks – AngelFromHell May 27 at 3:28
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    Keep in mind that you yourself said that "I'm trying to lose body fat and not lose weight". If your caloric deficit is too large, you'll be losing a lot of lean mass in addition to fat mass. If you lose lean mass at the same rate that you lose fat mass (entirely possible with larger deficits) then your BF% will drop very slowly. – JustSnilloc May 27 at 13:15
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Well carbs are only the enemies if you are not burning them off. Carbs actually are what provide your cells with the energy required to workout. So for the people involved in very high intensity workouts, carbs are quite beneficial to their diet as they are providing the necessary energy to complete the workout. But if you are not going to be burning off those carbs, then they translate to fat. In terms of maintaining the same weight but losing body fat, this is extremely hard to do. When you apply different fitness approaches to your body, your body weight fluctuates in response to new training principals. Instead of aiming for this goal, I would recommend firstly focusing on losing body fat through a caloric deficit, then once you reach your desired percentage, aim to increase your weight back to before but this time, through building muscle.

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