|Multiple wellness factors for my macros|
Great Question from our blogging friend, Ali,
RE: Macros and wellness eating higher dietary fat.
1. How did I determine my weight maintenance macros?
2. How do I maintain with fat in my diet despite mainstream recommending low fat?
Okay. Great questions. Short answers are pretty simple:
1. Short , Simple Answer Macros: I track my food intake and macros very carefully.
Action: If I trend higher on my weight, I reduce my carbohydrates, slightly.
2. Short, Simple Answer: Low level ketosis, sometimes. Along with good glucose/insulin/ghrelin control.
Eating lower carbs lends itself to a diet that has either more protein or more fat, because of the lower carbs. I started thinking of dietary fat as "energy" and good hormone signals in menopause. Also, the lack of binge urges on a low carb approach has been lifesaving, literally.
The long answers are below: I don't just choose my macros or my dietary fat "willy-nilly"
If I look at my blood markers and how I feel, then I'll get a warning sign of heart disease, stroke, bone loss, another auto-immune disease. ( I have Hashimotos from 1997).
, both measurements (think blood work, scale, food tracking) and just overall wellness, sleep, and inflammation guidelines (menopause symptoms, acne, migraines) that I use, too.
Blood work guidelines
(I'm very mindful of relatively silent blood markers).
1. hs-CRP, low 1 or below
2. fasting glucose, no spiking & return to baseline 1-2 hours post meal ( my average is 86, post meal)
3. HA1c, my average runs 5.2 or 5.3,
4. Triglycerides, I run around 42
5. HDL cholesterol, I run above 70
6. TSH under 2.5 , I feel better in the lower half of the range, always have.
7. Vitamin D, above 30.
Frequency: For all but fasting glucose, I only measure 1X per year. Fasting glucose is at home via finger stick.
1. Total weight
2. Shifts and trends over time
3. Weight distribution: visceral fat vs subcutaneous
4. % body fat
Frequency: Daily weighing and tracking at My Fitness Pal.
Carbohydrates and sometimes calories*
1. Tracking at MFP
2. Looking at my carbohydrate levels over time- Apple Health App. I sync my Fitbit with Apple Health.
3. Calories* Sometimes I'll eat too low in my total intake, so I'll increase what I'm eating if my signals are not working.
4. Calories* Sometimes I'll over eat too high in my total intake due to false hunger signals- this rarely happens anymore, but I do stay mindful over binge urges. Usually, I'm eating too little. Which I also find funny since I used to be the Queen of Binge eating.
|Low Carb, Higher Dietary Fat Summer 2015|
1. Home blood pressure cuff
2. Blood pressure taken by medical professionals.
Frequency: 1-2 X per week with a home pressure cuff. Sometimes my blood pressure runs slightly lower than normal. Sea salt on my food will help raise it. I always find it funny since I had borderline high blood pressure while obese. Typically, I'll feel bad and have a cup of chicken broth, then feel better. No measurements required.
Wellness "I feel good parameters"
1. Good energy between 3 meals. Maybe adding in 4th meal if hiking for hours
2. Correct hunger signals.
3. Natural sleepiness at night, falling asleep quickly, sleeping solidly
4. Calm and cool even under life changing pressure, low anxiety
5. Lack of puffiness and joint pain
6. Body strength, upper body especially arm strength at the gym
7. Good core strength and balance
8. Ability to lift big bags of garden soil, cat litter, and large water cooler bottles, readily and easily.
9. Very few, infrequent menopause symptoms- hot flashes, insomnia.
10. Acne = inflammation. Almost always caused by food
11. No headaches, no migraines (30 years). With a Paleo-ish food template = no migraines, if I'm nut free.
12. No GERD. Gone with the removal of grains. How easy was that? Super simple
13. Working with my regular internist MD to monitor my health and TSH levels.
Other peoples successes
1. Attending the workshop that Sarah Fragoso and Jason Seib taught in 2012. Those attendees ate dietary fat and were quite lean and muscular. Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson's success stories. Those regular people are just like me!
2. Attending Paleo Fx 2015. So many people had prior health and fat loss goals. They eat dietary fat, and the majority of them were quite lean and muscular, at all ages. Off many medications.
3. Reading the blogs of those who have been obese and are now following NSNG- no sugars, no grains and who also eat dietary fat. Those bloggers previously had type 2, now controlled largely by diet, sleep, low inflammatory exercise.
Okay, hope this helps. I used the scale at the start, but I use my menopause symptoms, blood work, and just overall wellness guidelines. It's very individual, so it pays to experiment yourself. Good luck!
What didn't work in the past
1. Moderating all foods and point counting at WW. At no other time did I eat so much junk food, but hey, it did fit my points values.
I hope that other people think twice about moderating grains and sugars if they have lean goals. There are many reasons not to moderate all foods- allergies, intolerance, food addiction, binge urges, disease management.
Just being near the "Wall of WW Snacks" and watching people line up 10 deep to by highly priced, but very low in points, highly processed foods gave me too many sads. I stopped going to weigh in at WW. I used to be on those 2 point bars like bees on honey!
Here's my opinion and 2 cents. If you are a stock holder, it is a WIN-WIN. WW makes a ton of revenue selling the packaged snacks to food addicts. That's going to be sustainable in the long run, they will always have customers. Yes, yes, stock holders will benefit. Sigh. I can only hope the Simply Filling plan where processed foods are discouraged will take a better hold. But hey, profit margins and food addictions. They've cracked the $$ diet profits pretty well.
I was convinced that because WW was US News top diet every year that I was personally defective some how. I felt so much shame and embarrassment that I could not lose weight in my 40's at WW. ( I was successful at WW points in my early 30's, dropping 60 pounds, while binge eating). I blamed myself, wrongly. And, I failed to think for myself. Not WW's problem. Mine. Steep price to pay for not thinking for myself. I still get a case of the sads when thinking about it. No woulda-coulda-shoulda... moving on...
If you did great on WW, yay you. A pat on the back (be sure to check your blood markers, though)
2. Not reversing my poor blood markers quickly. My hs-CRP got to be very, very high. I'm lucky I did not suffer more symptoms and poor health than I had. I wish everyone would pay more attention to their blood work. Things like walking a half marathon while fueling with Cliff bars and thinking I "earned a muffin or biscotti" had me muffin topped and in a lot of pain and my hs-CRP became 6.8 at the worst. Not smart on my part. Chronic cardio = high risk, for me.
3. Using medications to mask the symptoms of GERD, acne, joint pain was very expensive, time consuming, painful, and the conditions always returned. NO, you do not have to have these common symptoms as a natural part of aging in many cases. Yes, many times diet can eliminate. It's not "old age", it was inflammatory processes. In my case, reversible. I know that sometimes obesity related pain is not reversible by losing weight (think knee problems or damaged joints)
4. Moderating processed foods and having lots of hot flashes and frequent insomnia. Think protein bars, Lara Bars, Quest Bars. I know many can tolerate them, but I cannot. It would be easier traveling with them, but whole avocados or a container of coconut manna work just fine for portable travel foods.
5. Not connecting my migraines with common foods- like nuts. Whatever keeps my binge eating urges low also eliminated my migraines. Now if I have a headache, it's dehydration by accident and I can fix it by drinking water and re hydrating.
6. Not looking at my raising glucose levels. I'm a lab professional in real life. No reason other than a walk down the "denial mile" that I didn't do self testing at home. So cheap and easy compared to managing reversible type 2 diabetes. I was close to being diagnosed when I lost weight. I even bought a copy of the book "Pre-Diabetes for Dummies" thinking I would just manage the disease . I didn not accept I could prevent it and/or reverse it. I can laugh at myself now at my thought processes then.
7. Not looking and catching weight gains quickly. If I can measure it, I can manage it. Critical step in long term weight management, IMO.
Hope this helps. I extended my wellness way, way beyond the scale. It's a super simple concept- eat lower carbs from non-starchy veggies, no sugars, no grains.
But I do take a multidimensional approach. The scale is not everything. I do enjoy not eating myself to a slow, progressive end. It is way less physically painful and the freedom from obesity and binge eating is nice. I feel better! I urge you to think for yourself, check with your doctor, make changes as needed. Your results and genotype will vary, make your macros work for you for your ages and disease states.
Have you used macros to fine tune your health?
|Left, eating low fat, high processed foods May '11, Right, Eating Low Carb, higher dietary fat July '15|