Typically I let Jen, from Getting Fit With Jen, help me out with answering questions in these posts. However, this time I wanted to speak from my own experience. Rest assured, Jen and I talk about all of this quite frequently while she’s
working my tail off engaging in a long, lovely stroll with me as we work to get into shape….
I often receive questions about fat and calorie intake, so I thought it might be nice to address Crystal’s question here in case the rest of you have similar questions:
I also weight train like you do, but have just began eating this way. I was on a high protein, low fat diet, but have switched to raw milk, butter, and all the other good stuff you use. Could you share with me how you balance your calorie intake with the high fat food? I feel great, but am concerned I am taking in too many calories.
This is a bit of a tricky question, simply because everyone is different, and there is not a “one-size-fits-all” nutrition plan that will work for everyone. However, I will share with you what is working for me..
First of all, I have to say that I haven’t counted calories since I was a newly-wed, almost 18 years ago. This isn’t because I am one of those people who can just eat anything and not worry about weight gain. If only. I simply found the process of counting calories to be tedious and frustrating. I have since learned more about listening to my body. I now work to be intentional to only eat when I’m hungry, and then to stop eating when I’m full. This has been the most successful method I’ve found to help me maintain a healthy weight. If I get into a habit of over-eating (which would, of course, mean that I am consuming more calories than I need), or if I’m eating a lot of “empty calories”, I definitely start noticing my pants getting tighter. But if I am disciplined to eat only what my body is truly asking for, I find that counting calories is not necessary for me.
As a side note, now that I’m working out regularly, I find that I definitely need more calories, but I have no idea how many. I’m simply listening to my body, eating when I’m hungry, stopping when I’m full, eating protein when I crave it, eating vegetables and fruit in larger portions as I need them, etc.
But now let’s get to the fat of the matter. :) If you’ve been reading here long, you likely know that our family eats a
fairly very high fat diet. I don’t hold back on the butter, cream, whole milk, meat, or eggs. I trust our food sources, and I know that whole foods are best for us, even if they may be higher in calories. These high fat foods, when balanced with fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods, are filling, satisfying, and delicious. (Except for those times I eat more food than I should and my pants start getting tight. But let’s avoid bringing that up again, shall we?)
I believe that God made a lovely balance of foods -some which are naturally high fat/calorie foods (like cream) and some which are naturally low fat/calorie foods (like carrots). I believe that all of these foods, in their whole form, have nutrients in them that our bodies need.
I also believe that we have stripped many nutrients out of what was originally a whole food, creating “empty calories” (like white pasta) which do little to nothing to nourish our bodies. These foods may be lower in calories than some, but they provide nothing for us, making them a waste of calorie consumption. (And yes, I do still occasionally splurge and eat empty calories, knowing that the majority of the time I make better food choices.)
I believe that eating too much of anything will make you gain weight, whether it’s good for you or not. If all you eat is carrots, and you consistently over-eat them, you will gain weight, even though carrots are low in calories and fat free. (You’ll also turn orange, but that’s beside the point.) ;)
I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on the matter, but these are my thoughts based on my research and experience. I’d love for you to share your experiences with eating a whole foods, nutrient rich diet and how you work to acheive a healthy weight. (In addition, if you’d like to talk about the times your pants get tight, feel free. Stinkin’ cookies.)