Protein and Carbohydrates – Getting the balance right!

  • Date: 04 November 2013
  • Category: News
Fruit and Vegetables

High Protein and Low Carbohydrate ‘dieting’ has been a buzz in the fitness and nutrition space for some time now. However, it is important that we realize the implications of such eating patterns and most preferably, get ourselves back on track towards a healthy, balanced diet.


Overconsumption of Protein:

As a general rule, your body needs 1 gram of protein per day, per Kg of bodyweight. For fitness enthusiasts and more active people, this number might be closer to 1.5 grams. For those looking for muscle gain or interested in body building, the number would peak at 2 grams.  Excess consumption of protein is wasted. It also puts unnecessary stress on the liver and digestive processes, inhibits fat loss and may lead to dehydration. It is important to get this one right – protein supplementation should only be used when there is a deficiency in the recommended daily intake for the individual and their objective.

Carbohydrate Balance:

A high protein and low carbohydrate diet may in some cases lead to a reduction in scale weight (unfortunately what some people like to see) but this comes at a cost.  Carbohydrates are the bodies preferred source of energy and are a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. When you limit this energy source, the body will turn to its next best source of fuel, your muscles, potentially resulting in a loss of lean muscle which is counterproductive. Your digestive processing may also become more complicated, and you miss out on all the benefits and health requirements associated with a proper balance of Vitamin and mineral intake. The best advice on Carbohydrate consumption is to limit the portion sizes of starchy carbohydrates like pasta, rice and bread, as well as limit the intake of simple sugars.   

What is ‘A healthy lifestyle’:

A healthy lifestyle by loose definition exists where there is a solid balance of work, rest, personal and family time, exercise, sleep and proper nutritional intake. Knowledge is important, but success comes from the application of and transfer of knowledge into action. Action needs to be consistent, and learning should be lifelong whatever your interest or goals.






About the Author – Andrew Ward is the Manager of YMCA Docklands, teaches Group Fitness and Yoga, and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nutrition. Andrew also represents Docklands workers on the Docklands Community Forum and has a passion for improving Corporate Health and Wellness.