Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fitness and Caloric Consumption (Part 2)

2013-04-13_1310_003Well over a year ago my wife and I had some genetic testing done to determine the best ranges for Fat/Protein/Carb consumption.  While no test will allow us to get to an exact percentage breakdown, these DNA tests will get you into 1 of the 6 major categories.  The 3 eating types are Carb Reducer, Fat Trimmer and Better Balancer.  Each group is further broken down to requiring either a High MET or Moderate MET workout plan.  As luck would have it, my wife and I both tested as the same DNA profile for weight management: Carb Reducer + High MET.

So what is a Carb Reducer’s consumption of Fat/Protein/Carb supposed to like?  For my wife and I, it looks like this:

  Type Recommendation   Our Target
  Fat 40% or less   30%
  Protein 15% or more   35%
  Carbs 30% – 45%   35%

Since we both use http://MyFitnessPal.com on both the desktop as well as our Android devices, we are only allowed to put in a singular number for our goal in each of the nutrition values (Our Target above).  We more than doubled the protein consumption to help support our work out regimen.  I also discovered something called the Thermic Effect of Food or TEF.  I found out that protein has a high TEF while fats have a low TEF.  This means that it takes more energy to digest protein than it does fats.  How much more, I don’t know, but I’ll take every calorie burned that I can.  Also, extra protein helps with muscle development.

Percentages vs. Grams (Fat/Protein/Carbs)

While proteins and carbs provide the same caloric value, fats do not.  This is something I did not know until I wanted to figure out how to calculate percentages for myself.  To calculate how many calories are in each component, here are the equations:

  Multiply by Calories
Fat (in grams) 9 calories = gm x 9
Protein (in grams) 4 calories = gm x 4
Carbs (in grams) 4 calories = gm x 4

You can then add up the 3 sets of calories, 1 each for fat, protein and carbs, to get your total calorie intake for that item you just put in your mouth.  Once you have the total for a meal, or for the day, take the total for fat and divide by the total to get your percentage fat for the day.  In an ideal world, my food intake should look something like this:

78.0 gm of fat + 204.5 gm of protein + 204.5 gm of carbs.  Doing the math comes out to 702 calories in fats + 818 calories in protein and 818 calories in carbs for a total of 2,338 calories of intake.  This gives me the almost perfect F:30% / P:35% / C:35% ratio I am looking for.

My Little World

2014-03-12_15492014-03-12_1547Now, the hardest part lies ahead of me: balancing my daily consumption of calories!  If I use a spreadsheet and then chart out my daily intake, it appears my fats are pretty near the zone most of the time but my proteins are lower and my carbs higher than my target zones for those two items.  NOTE:  On my spreadsheet to the left I color coded too high (red), too low (blue) and in the zone (green).  Also note that while I have several “in the green” items, I do not have a single day yet where the balance was all in the zone!  My monthly average is within parameters for my DNA type but I like striving for better than yesterday, every day.

Nobody ever said learning a new lifestyle would be easy.  Sometimes I feel like I am making this up as I go.  Every time I dive into more research I find more information and suddenly my uncertainty seems to evaporate.