Macronutrients are Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates that come from food and are all needed by your body on a daily basis. If you're eating the SAD, your balance of these nutrients is way out of whack. I'm not fond of tracking food intake, but I do find it helpful to do so for a week here and there to help you get and stay on track and ensure your diet is aligned with your goals. I recommend cronometer.com or fitday.com. Both tools have free versions and allow you to input your goals and targets. Use it until you dial in your food intake, then as a reset as needed. In the beginning, I had a hard time hitting my macronutrient goals and found that tracking is a great learning tool. Another great tool is the Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid. It will help you make the best food choices to attain your goals.
Protein is an important building block for every cell in your body. It builds and repairs your body, oxygenates your blood cells, aids in digestion and regulates hormones. The USDA guidelines are too low in my opinion. How much an individual needs is based on many factors including activity level and age. According to Dr. Gabrielle Lyon; "At a bare minimum, research has shown that at least 30g of protein, 3 times a day will stimulate the muscle for protein synthesis. This leads to muscle growth, which will ultimately lead to a healthier balance of muscle to fat giving the ideal body composition ratios."
Fat supports optimal function throughout your body. Don’t let anybody tell you that a low-fat diet is good for you. Your body needs fat, your brain needs fat. Good fats of course. Fat is the lever that promotes satiety and stabilizes appetite and energy levels. Your intake goal will be based on fat loss goals along with how you feel. If you're always feeling hungry, you may need to increase your intake.
Carbohydrates should be limited to 150 grams, which is easy to achieve if you're eating real, whole foods. Sadly, those eating the SAD could be getting upwards of 300g. Anyone trying to lose weight can limit intake to 100g. Anyone trying to get into ketosis can limit to 50g. All the carbs you need can be found in vegetables, there really is no need for grains. When you ditch sugars, grains, and processed foods, you'll be able to maintain a healthy carb intake. Athletes and highly active people can consume a higher amount. The Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve illustrates how various levels will impact your health and weight management.
Then there are Ketones which are a byproduct of fat. These are made by your body versus ingested and used much the same way as glucose. The ketogenic diet was originally used to help those with epilepsy but has been found to aid in fat loss, clear brain fog, boost energy, is anti-inflammatory and even helps fight against cancer. Actually, burning ketones was originally how our ancestors survived during periods that plants (carbs) weren’t available to them. The beauty in burning ketones for energy is you are using internal energy, won’t be dependent on food constantly, and can go longer between meals.
If you need help reaching your fat goal, here is a fat bomb recipe we love;
- 2 c macadamia nuts
- 1 c shredded coconut
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Blend until smooth. Feel free to add cacao powder as well. Much cheaper than buying the packets and yum. My kids love it on apple slices.
Questions, comments, and shares are welcomed.
To Your Primal Life!