Macronutrient Ratios for the Slow OxidizerA Chapter by Sara Mercury
this writing is under construction.
FOR THE SLOW OXIDIZER
There are three macronutrients necessary for nutrition, and are the sources for calories in foods that the body converts into energy. They are:
1. Fats. These include Omega 3's (found in fish oils and flax seeds) and Omega 6's (found in most nuts and coconut); monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (found in various vegetable sources, nuts and seeds), and the unhealthy saturated fats (hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated, animal and vegetable fats), and so on. Fats are necessary for the body to sustain certain brain and nervous system functions, as well as replenish glycogen in muscles and the liver for emergency energy sources.
2. Protein. Proteins are found in animal meats, soybeans, legumes, beans and pulses, seeds, nuts, and fish.
3. Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates come in two forms; simple and complex. Simple carbs are sugars like cane sugar, agave nectar, honey, corn-syrup, maple sugar. Other simple carbohydrate sources are found in fruits and vegetables. Fruits contain higher sources of simple carbs and vegetables have significantly lower amounts of simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are found in starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and sweet potatoes, and grains such as wheat, barley, oats, spelt, beans, lentils, quinoa and the like.
The human diet must contain the proper balance of these macronutrients to sustain good health and vitality.
Whilst you cannot obtain all of your amino acids solely from plants and nuts over time, it is recommended that you include animal sources once per day. Animal proteins are the sources of complete proteins. B-12 can only be obtained by eating animal meat. If you never eat meat, you will suffer a B-12, folic acid and zinc deficiency and will eventually develop serious health problems.
Despite the necessity of animal protein in the diet, animal meats should be consumed in moderation, as they contain the highest level of protein. When eating animal meats, the ones containing the least fat are the best choices. Fish is a good source of protein and should be eaten at least three times per week. Chicken is even higher in protein, so it should only be consumed once or twice per week.
You should get no more than one serving of animal protein per day. The rest of your protein can more safely be obtained more safely through nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and pulses, and soybeans, as well as whole grains. Whole, organic, unprocessed grains such as brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, whole oats, as well as whole soybeans and soy protein products contain good sources of vegetable or grain protein.
The low-carb, high-protein diets of today are dangerous. The long-term effects of such dietary practises are nothing short of life threatening. Protein cannot pass easily through the kidneys and consistent excess will cause renal insufficiency or kidney disease. Eventually this leads to electrolyte imbalances, resulting in chronic fatigue, joint swelling and pain, water retention and high-blood pressure, chronic constipation, liver damage, heart disease and other serious health problems. In short, a diet too high in protein without sufficient calories, carbohydrates and exercise will kill you.
You should consume no more than 25 to 30% of your daily calories from protein. The bad news is that if you are eating the low-carb, high-protein diet, i.e.; (25/30/45), (30/30/40) or (20/40/40), you will lose weight in the beginning, but then eventually gain weight over time due to electrolyte imbalances caused by kidneys that have been overly taxed.
Do not be fooled. Despite popular belief, more protein will not build more muscle. Proper nutrition within the correct balanced ratios for your metabolism is what will burn the fat and build the muscle. If you take in the same amount of fat and protein without increasing your carbohydrates, i.e. (30/30/40), you will put on the same amount of FAT as you put on as muscle.
The body's favourite energy source is carbohydrates. It will burn carbs before it will touch protein or fat. In fact, the last source it turns to is fat. The first thing you lose in weight is water from muscle that the body has broken down. It is inevitable that any type of exercise will break down muscle tissue. But in order to keep the body from breaking down and re-absorbing that muscle tissue is to EAT.
But you cannot eat more than your body requires in a day and expect to burn off the fat. That's where the proper ratios come into play.
If you crave carbohydrates like breads, sweets, grains and starches, you are probably a slow-oxidizer. As a slow oxidizer, a high-protein diet will do your metabolism more harm than good.
For starters, you will experience low energy levels which will cause you to want to eat more food in a bid to boost your energy levels. You may turn to coffee or caffeinated energy drinks or the high-protein, high-sugar energy bars, thinking you're doing yourself a favour, when in fact, you are only setting yourself up to crash and burn. (But the burn will not be fat burn.) You will not want to stop eating because your body is genuinely hungry for fuel that it's not getting!
HELLO! WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE BREWING IN THE POT!
If you are a slow oxidizer, the best ratio for your metabolism is 15/25/60, which means 15% of your calories should come from good fats, 25% of your calories should come from proteins, and 60% of your calories should come from simple and complex carbohydrates.
If 60% sounds like a lot … in general, it isn't if you break down all of your foods down by their proper ratios and get the real picture of what you're eating.
The caloric breakdown of macronutrients can be figured as follows:
One gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories.
One gram of protein contains 4 calories.
One gram of fat contains 9 calories.
Ideal macronutrient ratios for the slow oxidizer:
Basic formula for calculating the number of grams allowed per calorie allowance is CALORIES IN x PERCENTAGE, then divide the resulting number by the number of calories in each gram.
To calculate carbohydrates for a 1200 calorie diet plan for a particular day, you would take the number of calories you plan on consuming, multiply that number by your recommended percentage, then divide that number by the number of calories each gram contains as thus: 1200 (calories consumed) x .60 (the percentage) / 4 (number of calories in each gram of carb = 180 grams
Breakdown of macronutrients for a 1200 calorie diet
Carbs: = 180 g. (720 of actual daily calories)
Protein: = 75 g. (300 of actual daily calories)
Fat: = 20 g. (180 of actual daily calories)
Note: In order for this to work, you cannot exceed your calorie allotment, or the numbers will be off.
Learn to read all nutrition labels and do not always trust what they claim. Look at their calculations for protein grams, carbohydrate grams and fat grams and do the math. Sometimes (but not always) they are DEAD WRONG, and you could be actually eating more calories than you think you are! Be careful!
I know it's not easy to break down all your foods this way. In fact, you may have to keep a food journal and pre-plan every meal for every single day for YEARS before you memorize your favourite foods.
A good place to obtain the proper macronutrient data from common foods is from the USDA, NAL Foods List at: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/list. You can enter a particular food in the search box and write down the macronutrient data in your food journal so you can refer to it whenever you want to log in a food for your menu plan.
Make a note of each food in your menu for each meal, then at the end of the day, work out your totals and you will get a true picture of what you actually take in for your macronutrients each day. You will also be able to see where you need improvement, i.e., reduce your protein, or fat or carbohydrates.
A good way to reduce your carbohydrates is to include fibre whenever possible, which means choose high-fibre carbs, such as sprouted grain breads (not the same as whole-grain breads), whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, oats and muesli.
Simple carbs, or sugars should be consumed in very limited amounts. The best sugars are organic honey and agave nectar. Agave nectar will not spike blood glucose nearly as bad as honey, and is just as sweet with just as many calories. Avoid refined sugars like cane sugars (unless it's unprocessed sugar cane). But just because it's natural an unprocessed does not make it good for you in high amounts. Be logical. You do not need more than ONE FULL SERVING of any pure simple sugar source per day! That's only about 60 calories! The other simple carbohydrate should come from the vegetables and fruits you eat. Be sure to limit your fruits to one serving for a small body, and 3 servings for a larger body.
Simple sugars are best eaten within one hour following a workout. Light workouts that do not induce a sweat do not count. If you have lifted weights slowly and effectively and have not broken a sweat, my advise is to stick to complex carbohydrates, not simple sugars. If you break a good sweat during exercise, then by all means, eat the fruit, and a piece of sprouted grain bread (to provide about 4 grams of protein) alongside it.
As an alternative, choose some low-fat or fat-free yoghurt. Yoghurt is high in simple sugars (contained within the milk) and has a small source of complete protein (anywhere from 4 to 8 grams). This is ideal as a post-workout replenishing snack or supplement to a mini-meal.
Just as those low-carb, high-protein diets are not healthy for your body, a diet too low in fat or carbohydrates is also not healthy. You are not eating healthily if:
* You are getting less than 15% of your calories from fats in your diet.
* You are getting less than 25% or more than 30% of your calories from protein in your diet.
* You are eating less than 50% carbohydrates in your diet, because you are either sacrificing too many calories or eating too much of the other two macronutrients that will cause you to GAIN WEIGHT. For example, if you are a woman and are eating less than 1200 calories per day in the long-term, you are putting your body into fat-storage mode because it is not getting what it needs and must put on fat to survive. (If you are a man, this figure is 1500 calories per day.) In other words, if you are a woman and are eating 1200 calories per day and have a low body weight, do not expect to maintain your current weight by adhering to this restriction of calories! Your body will soon adapt to that 1200 calories and will begin to hold on to everything you eat above that amount. Very soon thereafter, you will gain weight despite what you do, since your body has adapted to such a calorie-restricted diet regime and then you can eat LESS and still GAIN WEIGHT.
No one should force their bodies into eating only the bottom figure for their current weight every single day of their lives! It's not only boring, cruel and harmful to your energy level and health, but it is NOT reasonable. Denying yourself this way only sets you up for complete failure.
This is why restricting calories in the long run does not help you. You may cut back on your calories in the short term to make up for an extra heavy meal taken in the day before, but for long-term purposes, the minimum daily calorie requirements should not be maintained indefinitely.
The body adapts to the level of food eaten just as it does with activity level. We must always keep our bodies guessing and challenged when it comes to exercise and food.
My suggestion is to eat the minimum required to operate only one or two days per week, and the rest of the time, eat 100 to 200 calories above that, along with regular exercise. This should not put you in the position to gain weight. If you find you are gaining weight doing this, you might be underestimating your daily caloric intake and it's best to re-examine that food journal for some mathematical errors.
© 2012 Sara Mercury
Added on April 11, 2012
Last Updated on April 11, 2012
From the Kitchen of Sara Mercury
Lake City, FL
AboutHello, Darlings! I am a published author, and a legal assistant, as well as the mother of a 15-year-old son. In addition to writing novels, I enjoy singing and playing piano, writing poetry and son.. more..