Health & Food

Percentages vs. Gram Macronutrient Recommendations

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Thanks so much for all of your comments on my last post. As an RD I am always prepared to have people dispute what I write on my blog. In fact, I encourage my readers to share their opinions, whether or not it coincides with my own, and I’m always more than happy to comment with my own detailed thoughts and explanations. I also encourage you all to dispute anything I say if infact you believe I am wrong. I’ve actually had readers teach me stuff I did not know (when I did the MyPyramid post I said 1/2 cup cooked vegetables = 1 cup uncooked. WRONG! Apparently that’s not the case with the new MyPyramid.gov. Now I know!).

I received another comment from a reader named Lara, to which I would like to respond. Again, her comment is in black writing, and my responses are in red.

In my previous post I wrote that my personal trainer at Urban Active had suggested that if I want to gain more muscle I should consider a 40% protein diet. In my blog post I wrote that I didn’t think this was accurate, as I would likely lose weight if I chose such a diet. Lara said:

Why would you lose weight if you ate 40% protein. That makes no sense. Weight loss is primarily about calories. Yes, this is true. When my PT at Urban Active told me that I should consume 40% of my calories from protein, I was considering my own personal diet. I am aware that I consume an average of 2000 calories per day, and about 80-110 grams of protein. This equals about 16-22% calories from protein (there are 4 calories per gram of protein). When the PT said this to me I was considering what this would do for me personally, not the general public. If I started increasing my protein intake, I would likely decrease my carbohydrate and fat intake. I would also likely eat less calories, as higher protein diets have been proven to decrease a person’s appetite, and I know that is the case for me.

And as an RD you should know that percentages are meaningless. 40% of 1500 calories is a lot different than 40% of 2500 calories. It is grams of the macronutrients that are what is important. Of course I know this. I don’t feel that I need to explain every single thing I say, 100%, on my blog. If I did, my posts would be a mile long. I know that 40% protein for me would be about 400 grams, which equals about 4.2 grams per kg body weight. This is simply too much for me (and really too much for anyone if you ask me….).

Macronutrient intake is very personal of course, some do better with more of this or that but the comment that 40% would make the rest of your diet be unbalanced is totally unfounded. In my personal case, this is not totally unfounded. For others, you are correct. I was discussing my own diet, not the diet of someone else. That being said, perhaps I sounded like I was making a general statement, and I apologize for the confusion. I have seen people live happy and healthy lives on a high protein diet, and I really have no problem with these diets. If your kidneys are healthy and you compensate for the possible risk of dehydration, high protein diets are perfectly safe.

Any more comments out there? Bring them on! I’m happy to answer any questions, concerns, and/or complaints you may have. And please, don’t ever hesitate to share your feelings.

This weekend I finally bought a new pair of shoes, thanks to Joanna’s suggestion to do so on her post “Spring for Some New Shoes”. I sprung!

The green inserts are for my high arches. I was told I have high arches, which is what causes my to get shin splints and stress fractures so easily. I started using these Dr. Scholl’s inserts about 4 years ago and have not had any problems since. Of course, I also don’t run outside as often anymore, and I think that makes a huge difference too.Percentages vs. Gram Macronutrient Recommendations 1

Some of you asked me if I was sore after my session with the personal trainer on Thursday. The answer is YES. I was VERY SORE. I am now convinced that I need to do more resistance training. Nothing major, but more than my typical 10-15 minutes, 3 times a week. I actually enjoy it more than cardio anyway.

Coming Up

Did everyone watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Friday?? I finally had a chance to sit down and watch it last night, and I plan on actually doing a post about it tomorrow. Stay tuned!

If you’re interested in how I would eat if I were a vegetarian athlete, check out my post on our workplace wellness blog. I’ve been really into tempeh lately and I think tempeh would be a major staple in my diet if I were to become a vegetarian (heck, it already is!).

Thanks for reading. And have a great day!

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