My clients always ask me what they should eat. That’s a tough question to give a concise answer to. To properly inform them I’d really have to ask : “What have you eaten today?”; “How much of it?” and “What do you intend to eat?”. That is the key to Meal Planning. Knowing what you are going to eat, or at least what your options are (and how much of it you should eat), will enable you to make good decisions. As I have mentioned before, there is no one “evil Macronutrient”. Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat (aka “Macronutrients” or “Macros”) are all created equal. You need all of them. In fact, the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges for each are as follows: Carbohydrates: 40-65% Fat: 20-35% Protein: 10-35% Basically, what that means is, your diet should consist of 40-65% Carbohydrates, 20-35% Fat and 10-35% Protein. Without going into any great detail about Vitamins and Minerals (aka “Micronutrients”) that’s what your general breakdown should look like. The good news for you is you can eat pretty much whatever you want (in moderation) as long as you plan it (or let me plan it for you). Check out this sample meal plan:
This client needs on average 1700-1800 calories per day. Her meal plan includes BACON AND DESSERT and has the following Macronutrient breakdown:
This falls well within her DRI (Daily Recommended Intake) and AMDR’s. Shenanigans right? Here are the secrets: 1. Portion Awareness. Do you actually know what an ounce of cheese looks like? How about 1tbs of Salad Dressing? Be aware of these things! If you have to measure and weigh your food at first, do it! Is that such a big deal if you can enjoy your bacon without the slightest hint of guilt? 2. Moderation. NOTE: this meal plan included 2 slices of bacon, not a whole pack of bacon. 1/2 a Cup of Frozen Yogurt, not the whole pint. I know it’s tempting to fry a whole pack of bacon and eat the entire thing, but that would be tough balance out. The basic concept is this: If you know you are going to eat a meal that is higher in one Macro then balance it out, either with other items in the meal, or other meals throughout the day. If you look at the breakfast, the high fat content in the two slices of bacon is balanced out by the high protein, very low fat content of the egg whites. The low fat, high protein content of the roasted chickpeas is balanced out with the high fat content of the almonds. The low carb content throughout the day is balanced out with the high carb, low fat content of the dinner and dessert. The nice thing is, as long as you don’t let things get too out of control, you can also give yourself some wiggle room on certain days and make up for it throughout the week. Now, am I claiming that this is the perfect meal plan and that you should eat bacon daily? No. It is balanced though and it’s a concept we can work with. Sometimes it’s not about subtracting one nutrient, it’s about adding more of the others to balance things out. Similar cooking without a recipe- you tweak things a little at a time and add ingredients till it tastes just right. Simply add more of the right Macros until it looks the way you want it to. The moral of the story? You can have your bacon, and eat it too!