Monday, February 18, 2019

Bacon or spaghetti

Since bringing life back to my Pierini Fitness blog the beginning of this year, plenty has been shared about my current fitness, health and wellness journey, currently a work in progress.  This includes nutrition and a goal of lowering my bodyweight.  It has been, for the most part, a pleasant journey and I now weight over 30 lbs. less than when I started, although, there have been a few stuck points along the way.  This is to be expected as any seasoned and successful weight-loss person knows.

When entering the fascinating world of nutrition for whatever goal you have – be in good health, muscle and strength gains, weight gain or weight loss – all the experts have their standard prescriptions of the precision eating one needs to do to accomplish their goals.  In sifting through and deciphering their “killer nutrition plans”, eventually one starts reading about macronutrients, more commonly referred to as macros.

One explanation of macros is that they’re the building blocks of nutrition and include calories (carbohydrate, protein and fat) but also vitamins and minerals.  In most nutrition chatter, however, when macros are mentioned, it’s the relative composition of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the calories eaten.

So, for example, if I eat something that has 321 calories consisting of 40 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat, its macro composition can be expressed as 50/25/25.  The 50/25/25 means that 50 percent of the calories are carbohydrates, 25 percent protein and 25 percent fat.  This is because a gram of carbohydrate or protein is 4 calories, and a gram of fat is 9 calories.  Do the math to see for yourself.

Some middle-aged men chasing their fitness, health and wellness subscribe to various “killer nutrition” approaches.  Some eat low or near zero carbohydrates following the popular keto diet.  Others eat high carbohydrates following a starch-based nutrition approach such as that advocated by Dr. John McDougall.  Some take a more balanced approach getting, for example, 50 percent of calories eaten from carbohydrates with the remaining 50 percent equally from protein and fat.

Sometimes, in the diet and nutrition chatter, advocates for each will fiercely argue why their method is superior to the others.  Sometimes this chatter becomes very intense and mean-spirited, equaling in intensity and opposition as an atheist and Christian arguing about whether God exists.  If you remain in this crossfire, it eventually can become confusing, overwhelming and unmotivating.

What does Pierini Fitness think about macros?  What macro plan does he follow in his fitness, health and wellness journey?

In past journeys, I’ve tried just about all except for the low carb – or keto – approach; it’s not for me.  My body needs carbohydrates to fuel my daily and fitness training pursuits.  I’ve tested the high carb and low-fat approaches and, of course, a balanced approach.  They all work for me and provide eating satisfaction, for a while, before shifting among them.

Currently, I don’t pay attention to macros other than an afterthought at the end of the day after my nutrition journaling is completed.  I never pay attention to macros for meal planning.  Consequently, what I’m finding is that my macros are all over the place.  Case in point are two days last week.

Here’s a macro presentation of what I ate last Wednesday, a day that included a chicken teriyaki rice bowl for lunch and a big filet mignon steak for dinner:

And, here’s a macro presentation of what I ate last Friday, a day that included five boiled potatoes and, honoring my Italian ancestors, a very large bowl of pasta:

These two extremes coexisting with my continuing weight loss best exemplify that a calorie is a calorie and eating less calories than you expend, over time, is proven weight loss, whether you’re loading up on bacon or spaghetti.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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