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A lot of studies have been done to compare different types of diet such as Zone, Atkins and Weight Watchers. The Zone diet introduced the concept of 40/30/30 (Carb/Protein/Fat) and has over time been found to be effective, as well as easy to stick with. Though Zone insists you must have this ratio at every meal, it’s been shown that a daily balance of 40/30/30 can be as effective.
So in the 40/30/30 plan, this means 40% of your calories should be from carbohydrates, 30% from protein and 30% from fat. However if you’re a label reader like me, you’ll soon realize that protein, fat and carbs are noted in grams, not calories – so how do you ensure you are meeting the 40/30/30 ratio? Here’s something few understand: a parallel 4/4/9 rule.
The 4/4/9 rule gives us the math that Carbs and Protein grams are equivalent to 4 calories, whereas a fat gram is equivalent to 9 calories. Thus, to get to a balanced 40/30/30 500 calorie meal, this would mean you want 200 calories from carbs (40%), 150 from protein and fat (30% each) – HOWEVER, as you probably know carbs, protein and fat are given in GRAMS. And with the 4/4/9 rule, this means that 500 calorie meal should have 50g carbs, 38g protein, and 17g fat.
Summary of (grams to calories) 4 x 4 x 9