What do you know about macronutrients?
Research shows that most people do not meet their own basic nutritional needs when it comes to MACRONUTRIENTS (high fiber carbs, healthy fats and protein).
WHAT ARE MACRONUTRIENTS? Your body needs these nutrients in larger amounts in order to function properly as macro means large. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
These macronutrients play a key component in how your body functions properly. Macronutrient intake affects:
- ability to digest and absorb food
- hormone production
- immune system health (hello Covid!)
- cells structure and function
- your body composition AND
- your metabolic function.
So, lets discuss a simple way to measure MACROS without a food scale or tracking calories in an app. This can be a short term application that helps to educate you to what an ideal portion is for you in the long term!
First things first, I want you to understand a term called nutrient density.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the definition of nutrient density is
Food that is high in nutrients but relatively low in calories. Nutrient-dense foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk products, seafood, lean meats, eggs, peas, beans, and nuts. Number 1 goal as I mentioned in past blogs is on real, whole, unprocessed foods. How can we get MORE of those?
Ok, let us get into the strategy.
POP QUIZ! What is one thing you ALWAYS have with you at your disposal no matter if you eat at your house or your in-laws or a restaurant?
What has (5) fingers but is not my hand?
ANSWER: YOUR HAND!
Your hand is portable, always with you and is individual to YOU and your body.
You only need your hand to start thinking about accurate portions for macronutrient intake.
PROTEIN = PALM
FIST = VEGGIES
CUPPED HAND = CARBS
THUMB = FAT
For an average meal, a woman might begin by eating:
1 PALM of protein dense food
1 FIST of vegetables
1 CUPPED HAND of carb-dense foods
1 THUMB of fat dense foods
That is for an average woman, but for most ACTIVE women, you will need a daily intake of:
4-6 PALMs of protein dense food
4-6 FISTS of vegetables
4-6 CUPPED HANDS of carb-dense foods
4-6 THUMBS of fat dense foods
So an ideal plate for each meal would look like the picture below.
BONUS FUN FACT (or not so fun): Researchers have found that the average size of an American dinner plate has increased 22% over the last century, from 9.62 inches to 11.75 inches.
Add to that, we eat an average of 92% of what we serve to ourselves. Larger plates mean we serve larger meals, and therefore ingest more calories. If you decreased the diameter of your plate by 2", you could eat 22% fewer calories at each meal.
Below is a portion tracking document you can print out once a week. I am not viewing this as a LONG term habit, but something that can be utilized as an educational tool to help you learn and be aware of the portions of MACROs and then being aware of how you feel as you make those purposeful changes!