In case you missed it, here’s what I eat in a typical day:
Breakfast – 3 egg omelet/scramble with 1 cup veg and 1 slice prosciutto, topped with ¼ avocado and ¼ cup salsa; ¼ cup blueberries; 2 cups coffee with 10 percent cream
Lunch – Huge spinach salad with tons of veg, 5-oz chicken, 2 slices of bacon, 3 olives, topped with pine nuts and an olive oil/balsamic dressing
Snack – banana & almond butter (2 tablespoons)
Dinner – 6-oz steak, steamed veggies drizzled with butter, ½ sweet potato, 5-oz glass merlot
According to fitday.com, here’s the summary:
- Total Calories: 2250
- Protein: 120 grams
- Fat: 143 grams
- Carbs: 112 grams
That’s a lot of fat, Carolyn!
At nearly 60 percent of my total caloric intake, most people are surprised by how much fat I eat. They wonder why I don’t have heart disease, dismal cholesterol readings, or 20 pounds of extra abdominal fat.
It turns out that the ‘eating fat makes us fat and gives us heart disease’ story is woefully outdated, but the ‘fat is actually our friend’ message has been slow to make it to the mainstream.
Our brains, cell membranes, and immune systems depend on the consumption of healthy fat to function properly. So go ahead and add those healthy fats back into your diet. Mine came in the form of eggs, avocados, cream, pine nuts, olive oil, almond butter, and butter. Fat is your friend — just remember to watch the sugar.
In my fat-phobic days, I fell for all of the fat-free marketing hysteria. I routinely chose skim milk, reduced-fat yogurt, and light salad dressing, thinking I was doing the right thing. Little did I know how much extra sugar was making its way into my body to replace the fat calories, or what an impact that sugar had on my appetite hormones.
Before embracing fat as my friend, it would not have been uncommon for me to eat over 400 grams of carbohydrates (sugar) per day and still feel hangry every two to three hours! At four calories per gram, that’s over 1600 calories of sugar!
Contrast that with the 112 grams (or 448 calories) I consume in a typical day from vegetables, tubers, and fruit (and wine!). Along with the added calories from healthy fat sources, this sustains me for hours on end. Today, it would not be uncommon for me to go five to six hours without feeling hungry. And I haven’t felt hangry in years!
It’s not about the calories. It’s really not.
We’re kind of obsessed with calories. But I can tell you from personal experience that eating 2250 calories with a 22 percent protein-58 percent fat-20 percent carb breakdown feels a whole lot better than 2250 calories with a 14 percent protein-12 percent fat-74 percent carb breakdown. It’s not about the calories. It’s the composition of the calories that really matter.
I want to make it very clear that I don’t make a habit of counting and weighing my food, or plugging it into nutritional calculators. These tedious steps can zap the joy right out of meal time. I prefer to let my appetite guide me to what and how much to eat, and as long as I’m prioritizing real food, this approach never lets me down.
That said, it can be quite eye opening to plug a day’s worth of food through a nutritional calculator from time to time. You may discover that you actually eat more sugar (carbs) than you realized, or even that you’re not eating nearly enough calories or fat. Knowledge definitely can be power.
Now I want to hear from you. Have you ever embraced the idea of healthy fats? What kind of an impact did that have on your appetite hormones? What about your waistline? I love to hear from readers.
Like this post? Want free weekly inspiration to eat, move, and sleep your way to optimal health? As a bonus I’ll send you my e-book, Top 7 Mistakes (even) Health Conscious People Make.