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High Fat, High Carbohydrate, High Protein – Which Works Best?

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  • High Fat, High Carbohydrate, High Protein – Which Works Best?

    When I was struggling to continue my progress last year, a couple of good friends started suggesting that I figure out my “macros” and “reduce carbs.” My diet is carbohydrate-heavy and they believe that’s counterproductive. They’re both knowledgeable and skilled in their own ways. My doctor even suggested reducing carbs. It doesn’t feel right to me, though – not just restricting carbs, but the whole idea of counting macronutrients.

    On the other hand, I don’t get the results I want. I’m not that much lighter than I was a year ago – exactly 9 pounds. That’s very little for all of my efforts. My first year I lost around 50 pounds. I don’t know for sure what’s right or even to what extent it matters. Has anyone had sustained success losing weight by counting and restricting macros?
    "Those sowing seed with tears
    Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

  • After slowly putting on weight over the years despite efforts, I knew I had to do SOMETHING before my weight got out of control. At 5'3" it doesn't take long to gain too much. I joined a Macros group on FB and joined Orange Theory Fitness and committed to making a slow, healthy, consistent change. That was June 2. Today, I'm 10 lbs lighter with only about 6 to go for my "goal weight. I've lost even more inches than I have lbs.

    While part of it is certainly the 3 days a week HIIT workouts, I credit much of it to my eating. When I calculated my macros on the site, I was surprised at how high they were and thought "there is no way I'll lose weight at that level." But once I started weighing and tracking everything (literally, everything) I quickly saw that I had in fact been overeating.

    I have found that, for me, a 30%, 35%, 35% (C, P, F) or a 35%, 35%, 30% macro blend works best. It gives me the moderation I need of each thing so I'm able to stay in a caloric deficit (to lose weight) but don't feel like I'm hungry all the time.

    The bottom line is, no matter how or which way we try to finagle it if we do not lose weight we are eating more than we are expending.

    "Be what you're looking for."

    Comment


    • Ashlee T. Can you remember what your macros were before? Why would a caloric deficit work with your current macro blend and not what you had previously?

      Originally posted by Ashlee T. View Post
      The bottom line is, no matter how or which way we try to finagle it if we do not lose weight we are eating more than we are expending.
      That's a hard, cold fact. Keep up the good work!
      "Those sowing seed with tears
      Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

      Comment


      • I think a caloric deficit would've worked, period. BUT, the issue is for me, if I am eating high carb I'm only full temporarily and experience energy surges and then drops due to glucose fluctuations. So...let's say I'm eating 50% carbs or more, then I'm not getting the amount of protein and fat that I need for optimal energy and satiation. I really do believe a pretty balanced macro blend, consistently and either a calorie deficit (if trying to lose) or maintenance (if trying to maintain) is the key to long term and sustainable success.

        I don't really know what my macros were before tracking. Now that I'm tracking, I'd say that I was eating way more carbs than anything else.
        "Be what you're looking for."

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Ashlee T. View Post
          So...let's say I'm eating 50% carbs or more, then I'm not getting the amount of protein and fat that I need for optimal energy and satiation.
          Yeah, I think this may be an issue for me. I often have the weird sensation of having a full stomach and being hungry at the same time. It typically only happens when I'm at home. That tells me it's possibly a fat issue, because restaurants will use a lot of oil and we don't cook with any. I eat a ton of nuts, though, so I feel like I should get more than enough in. But maybe I'm wrong.
          "Those sowing seed with tears
          Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

          Comment


          • That feeling for me is usually the "empty carb" feeling. Since nuts are so super high in fat, I'd agree that you're probably getting enough but the only way to know that for sure it to weigh and track everything you eat for a few days and see where you end up.
            "Be what you're looking for."

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Ashlee T. View Post
              That feeling for me is usually the "empty carb" feeling. Since nuts are so super high in fat, I'd agree that you're probably getting enough but the only way to know that for sure it to weigh and track everything you eat for a few days and see where you end up.
              Weighing and tracking food sounds like something out of a nightmare. One of my buddies said he’d help me, but I just feel like it would suck the joy out of my life. I’d rather not eat at all. I’m trying to be open to different ideas though. Thanks for the suggestion.

              I don’t know what the “empty carb” feeling is. Is it like when you fill up on cake? Although my diet is heavy carbohydrate, it’s also whole food-based, so it’s nutrient dense. I’m eating beans, greens, and fruit, not cookies and candy. I feel like a lot of the times starchy plants get an undeserved bad rap because of the carbs. But steel-cut oats and skittles do very different things in the body.

              My wife’s believes that although I’m eating nuts and seeds, the fiber in them is preventing the fat from triggering the feeling of fullness like oil does. I think there may be some truth in that. I also think that I don’t get as much food as my body wants because I spend so much time fasting. If that’s all it is and there’s no nutrient deficit, I can just ignore the momentary hunger.
              "Those sowing seed with tears
              Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

              Comment


              • Yeah, I hear you. I get the sense though that you're the experimental type, like me, and enjoy learning and figuring out what is "optimal" for you. Food tracking can be looked at as a nightmare, but if you're not trying to be overly restrictive on yourself, it is really nothing more than a learning tool. I mean, heck...how could it be worse than fasting?! And it has taught me SO much about my own habits. Most importantly, it has taught me that I was WRONG. Lol. The 1500 calories a day I thought I was eating was more like 2000....which for someone my size with a sedentary job meant a scale that NEVER went down and instead, slowly increased no matter what I did. It also showed me that the macro balance is important for me. If I'm not getting enough of any one thing, my appetite, energy levels, and fitness progress reflects that.

                "I often have the weird sensation of having a full stomach and being hungry at the same time." - That IS the feeling I was describing. If you're eating a lot of fat (from nuts and seeds) and a lot of carbs (from veggies, fruits, etc) is it possible you're lacking in adequate protein for you?



                "Be what you're looking for."

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Ashlee T. View Post
                  "I often have the weird sensation of having a full stomach and being hungry at the same time." - That IS the feeling I was describing.
                  Do you know where I can find any information on this - books, articles, videos, etc.? Do you know what it's called? I googled a bunch of stuff to see anyone else describe it, but you're the only other person I've heard talk about it.

                  I don't think it's a protein issue, but I may be missing something. I've been sick for over a month and I don't know what's going on. It's not a cold and I don't think it's allergies. It's messing up my program.

                  And fasting is natural and simple. The average person is doing it 40-45% of the time without thinking about it. I'm just doing it consciously and pushing a little further. It can be stressful, but what makes it tolerable is the knowledge that I can eat whatever I please. But even then I'm only eating plants - mostly whole. The killer there is the social sacrifice, not the dietary one. To add a layer of calculating and more restriction feels like more than my mind can handle.

                  But if there's a possibility that it could improve my health, I'm open to it. These past few years, I've done things I never imagined I could - some I specifically said I wouldn't.
                  "Those sowing seed with tears
                  Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

                  Comment

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