—> Daily Nutrition Intake <—
This article will cover:
- Macronutrients, and how to know if you are you getting enough in your daily nutrition intake.
- How to count macronutrients and not calories for better health
- The key to Losing or Maintaining a healthy weight using macronutrients.
My Experience with the “Macro Diet”
By: Erin Williams | Author: Kitchen Of Eatin’
When I was pregnant with my first… I gained a whopping 50 lbs. I was just so excited to have a baby, that I ate without abandon for the duration of my pregnancy. To put my weight gain into perspective… my pre-pregnancy weight was 105 lbs, meaning that I gained nearly half of my initial body weight. The weight gain was hard on my body, and after I had my daughter it took significant time to “bounce back”. Yes, I lost MOST of the weight by eating a healthy diet and breastfeeding post pregnancy; however, as soon as my breastfeeding days were over, I just couldn’t seem to shed the last bit of baby weight.
I tried EVERYTHING. I did the whole 30 diet, crossfit, and the paleo diet. Four times per week I would run 4-6 miles, and I even attempted to be hungry (shamefully). Weight-loss and fitness goals are unique to every individual, but for me incorporating a “macro diet” was the solution. I loved it because I was never hungry, I got to eat foods that I liked (lots of them), and I didn’t have to kill myself at the gym. Plus I learned a lot about portion sizes.
I believe that intuitive eating is a wonderful solution for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but at the time I was trying to achieve a very lean (non bulky) look. So for a season, my daily nutrition intake involved counting macronutrients… and then two months later – I became pregnant again ;).
Daily Nutrition Intake
by: Krystal Crawford (see author bio below)
Determining Required macronutrient Needs
Macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These are the three basic components of every diet. Most people get enough macronutrients; however, not everyone is making the best food selections (especially when it comes to losing or maintaining a healthy weight). In order to fill nutritional gaps and achieve health goals, it’s important to keep in mind the quantity and quality of macronutrients.
Caloric intake should include 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% fats. For example, if a woman wanted to maintain a healthy weight while consuming 2,000 calories per day, calculations for her daily nutrition intake would be as follows:
- Fat: 20%
- 2000 x 0.2=400 calories
- There are 9 calories/gram of fat, making the total amount 44 grams of fat/ day (400÷9=44)
- Carbohydrates: 40%
- 2,000 x 0.4=800 calories
- There are 4 calories/gram of carbohydrate, making the total amount 200 grams of carbohydrates/ day (800÷4=200).
- Protein: 40%
- 2,000 x 0.4=800 calories
- There are 4 calories/gram of protein, making the total amount 200 grams of protein/ day (800÷4=200).
Daily caloric intake depends on activity level, age, gender, and muscle mass. Eating more than this number will yield weight gain, while eating less than this number will yield weight loss or failure for the body function at its peak.
Quality is Important!
Protein is important for adding lean muscle mass, providing energy when carbs are insufficient, and increasing satiety. Grass-fed and organic beef and chicken, as well as wild caught fish, are excellent sources of lean protein. Great vegan sources of protein are beans, lentils, quinoa, and tofu. When trying to lose weight, it’s best to incorporate protein into every meal, which helps keep you fuller for longer.
Carbohydrates are an essential component of the diet. They are the body’s preferred source of energy, and they provide nutrients to help sustain a healthy weight. High quality sources include beans, fruits, root vegetables, and whole grains.
In the past, dietary recommendations emphasized decreasing the total amount of fat in the diet. Research now indicates that the type of fat is more important than the total amount. There are different types of fats, including monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated etc. The most important fats to pay attention to are omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3’s can be found in fatty fish, flax seeds, walnuts, and omega-3 fortified eggs. Omega 6’s are found in a variety of vegetable oils. When omega-6’s are eaten in moderation (in place of saturated fats found in dairy products and meat), omega-6 fatty acids can be good for the body.
Krystal Crawford is pursing her Naturopathic Medical License and Masters in Nutrition at The University of Bridgeport. She has four years of experience writing blog articles about nutrition, Naturopathic Medicine, TCM, Mind-Body Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, weight loss, and recipes.
Krystal has written blog articles for Dr. Axe as well as articles covering the latest topics in evidence-based natural medicine, herbal medicine, and nutrition. She is passionate about natural therapies and helping people to achieve their best health possible.
Krystal spends her leisure time keeping up with the latest herbal research, as well as reading journals on natural medicine, probiotics, vitamins, diet, and nutrition. She regularly attends industry conferences and webinars, and she has written articles on different diets. Krystal also enjoys putting together high quality, delicious, and healthy recipes.
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