Macronutrients for Macro-goals

November 12, 2015 4 Comments

This is a guest post from Austin Thomas, MS, RDN, LDN.  Austin is the owner of Keystone Nutrition, LLC. She is a fellow athlete, cancer survivor, advocate of healthy living and living life to its fullest. You can follow Austin on Keystone Nutrition, LLC and Instagram. 

Last month I posted a challenge for you all to commit to 14 days of following the basic guidelines of eating CLEAN. SIMPLE. BALANCED. As mentioned previously, these are the pillars to not only good nutrition, but improved quality of life! Hopefully those who completed this challenge were able to experience improved energy, less sugar cravings, and maybe even some weight loss. But is nutrition really this easy?  If you are eating for general health, it really can be that easy (if you can avoid some of the obstacles that we will touch upon). However, most people that come into my office are eating for a specific goal such as weight loss or athletic performance.

Weight Loss:
Just look at the side advertisements when you are browsing the Internet. The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry bombarding us every day with all of the latest magic pills or supplements. Now, that’s not to say that supplementation when needed for a deficiency or to treat an underlying issue is a bad thing, but there are a plethora of false claims out there. The best way to start your weight loss journey is to not only follow the CLEAN. SIMPLE. BALANCED routine, but to also adjust your macronutrient distribution. This includes your carbohydrates, fats and protein. I have seen the most success with clients when carbohydrates (which would include starches, fruits and starchy vegetables) making up 30%-35% of the diet. It is important to choose a variety of 9-11 servings of vegetables (mostly vegetables) and fruits, using whole grain, in its natural form, sparingly throughout the day. High quality proteins should make up about 30% of your diet, with no less than 0.8g/kg body weight and no more  than 1.3g/kg body weight (unless an athlete).
Weight loss plate example: Caulifower rice, tempeh, broccoli, with Asian spices and olive oil. 

 This is where working with a registered dietitian and nutritionist can come in handy. He or she will teach you how to do this without having to count anything throughout the day and how to just know by seeing what your plate will look like. Healthy fats should be used not only during snacks, providing high satiety, but also throughout meals in your cooking. Focusing on polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats will provide numerous health benefits – from the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 essential fatty acids (a polyunsaturated fatty acid) to the  cholesterol lowering and insulin regulating effects of monounsaturated fatty acids. As healthy as these fats - which include olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, almonds, cashews, nut butters – are to the diet, even at 35-40% of daily caloric intake, portion sizes need to be taken into consideration. So while I don’t encourage calorie counting, it can not be discounted that 1 gram of fat is 9 calories compared to protein and carbohydrate, which are only 4 calories per gram.

Athlete sample plate: Salmon, roasted vegetables, quiona with cilantro and olive oil.

 Athletic Performance: It is difficult to provide general recommendations for “athletic performance” since there are so many different types of athletes with a wide variety of specific goals! However, it is important for all athletes, from endurance runners to wrestlers to weight lifters to have a higher amount of protein in their diet. This can range from 1.2g/kg to 2.0g/kg. Again, a registered dietitian and nutritionist can assess your goals and help you determine what will be best for your individual goals. This increase in protein is essential to athletes. Training takes a toll on an athlete’s body and it is important to refuel the body with enough protein to repair and build muscle, provide the body with energy and help maintain a healthy immune system.

So THINK, quality carbohydrates! Even if following a lower carb diet, is an important energy source to athletes as well. Most athletes will require about 40-45% of their diet coming from carbohydrates, again all depending on goals, and the remainder of the day's calories should come from the same healthy fats which were previously recommended for those who want to lose weight. Although the basic nutrition are all the same, for optimal results you should focus in on your specific needs.  

I want to hear from you guys, what do you struggle with the most when figuring out your next meal?  What do you want to know more about?

Yours in health, 
Austin

www.keystonenutritionllc.com
IG: keystone_nutrition_llc

By Austin Thomas, MS, RDN, LDN.  Austin is the owner of Keystone Nutrition, LLC. She is a fellow athlete, cancer survivor, advocate of healthy living and living life to its fullest.





4 Responses

Austin MS, RDN, LDN
Austin MS, RDN, LDN

November 20, 2015

Hi Rebecca!

Great question! Below are some bullet points that I encourage my clients to do when first starting out on what can seem like a daunting task of balancing macros – especially when it comes to carbohydrates.

- Try to limit your meals away from home. You have control over what is in your kitchen, which means when you are at the grocery store don’t buy any tempting foods that don’t fall within the framework of your meal plan.
- Allot yourself 1-2 servings of healthy carbohydrates at each meal. Serving sizes of carbohydrate choices that I recommend are as follows: 1/4 cup uncooked or 1/2 cup cooked oats, quinoa, or brown rice. 1 slice Ezekiel bread. 1 brown rice cake. 1 small sweet potato or purple potato. 15g carbohydrate when looking at dried fruit serving size. 1/2 Tbs local honey. 1/4 c chickpeas or lentils. 1/2 c pumpkin or butternut squash.
- For snacks, focus on high fiber veggies and fruit.
- Avoid sugar (including honey) until you no longer have cravings.
- 90/10 rule. Don’t deprive yourself on special occasions, but DO watch your portion sizes!! Oh, and “special occasions” aren’t a weekly basis type thing;)

Yours in health,
Austin

Austin MS, RDN, LDN
Austin MS, RDN, LDN

November 20, 2015

Kim,
Your husband sounds like he is a sweet guy and just wants to make you smile:) Is there anything else that he can get for you when he stops to get the “cookie” on his way home. Maybe flowers? Or a soy milk latte (still a treat, but much better alternative)? Alternatively, would he be willing to embark on this healthy lifestyle change with you? Set goals for each other and encourage each other once you meet your goals (whether it be eating clean for 2 weeks straight or hitting a PR) your reward yourself with that 10% of the 90/10 rule! Hope this helps:)

In health,
Austin

Kim
Kim

November 16, 2015

My biggest challenge is surviving my family. Today I resolved to start eating better (hundredth time) and my husband just showed me the “cookie” he brought home for me which is about the size of a small pizza. I know eventually I’ll be tired or cranky and I’ll eat it. How do I not hurt his feelings? Don’t tell me to talk with him we’ve had this discussion 2 million times.

Rebecca
Rebecca

November 13, 2015

I struggle with carbohydrate intake and keeping my macros balanced. Any tips?

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