As we’re winding down on topics, I thought I’d take you back to the basics when it comes to the healthy eating train (H.E.T). This week I’m talking about how to mix your diet into the basic macronutrients: protein, fat and carbs or PFC. This little ratio, worked into each meal, is one of my favorite ways to stay healthy and on track.
First of all, I follow a lot of dietitians and people who know their stuff. I got a lot of info from this site. But also I also really love Healthy Simple Life and mindbodygreen, just to name a few. I pulled a lot of info from these sites.
Ok back to the basics. What is PFC? These macronutrients are the basics you should follow for your meals – finding a balance of all three in every dish. Protein is self-explanatory. Keeps us strong and increases metabolism. Fat is key! Fat keeps us full and supports brain function and actually works well with the last little guy – carbohydrates. And I’m not talking about bread. I’m talking about complex ones – the ones that give you energy.
The big benefits of doing PFC is that it really keeps you in balance. Reduces the ‘hangry’ cravings as well as those nasty blood sugar spikes. The only meal you don’t need to do PFC is if you have a snack before bed – that one just needs to be F+C (protein isn’t needed before bed time).
I found a great cheat sheet for the amount of each you should consume at each meal, source here.
Protein: A good rule of thumb is to aim for eating a portion of protein equivalent to the thickness and circumference of the palm of your hand at meals (2-3 eggs, 4-6 oz. of chicken, beef, or fish) and about half that amount at snacks.
Fat: For most people, I encourage having a MINIMUM of 1-2 servings of fat at every meal and snack (one serving equals half an avocado, an ounce of cheese, 1 Tablespoon of butter, coconut or olive oil, 2 Tablespoons of nut butter, ¼ cup coconut milk, 2 Tablespoons heavy cream, etc.).
Carbs: For most people I recommend choosing non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and cucumbers first. These vegetables don’t affect your blood sugar levels nearly as much and they provide loads of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fill up on these first (shoot for a couple cups at each meal!) and limit the starchier veggies like potatoes, carrots, squash, corn, and fruit to about a half cup at a time to help prevent blood sugar spikes.
Do I measure my meals? I definitely don’t. I just tend to follow these guidelines which keep me on track. Am I perfect? Far from it. Is this the end all, be all? Nope. You must find what works for you.
Here are a few articles that talk more about why all these things are necessary. And they go a little more in depth into different areas…
**And before I go – I wanted to send a big ‘thank you!’ to you guys for all the birthday wishes for my dad in yesterday’s post. He said it made his day and sends his thanks :)