Does It Fit Your Body?

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Paleo Food Wood 1 | Does It Fit Your Body?

Move over macro and calorie counting. Let’s talk about the real way to approach eating: Does it fit your body?!

When it comes to eating for your body, your health and your goals, there’s a lot of talk out there about what you should and shouldn’t do.

You should eat 1200 calories each day if you want to lose weight.

You should drink a protein shake after your workout.

You shouldn’t eat more 50 grams of carbs per day.

You shouldn’t combine fruit with any other food.

Aye aye aye!

Try as we may to put hard and fast rules around what you should and shouldn’t eat, unfortunately there is no one size fits all approach to what’s best for your body, your health and your goals.

In recent years, there’s been a big push about macros in the health and fitness world.

Move over calorie-counting…there’s a new kid in town.

Nothing too new or crazy other than “Does it fit your macros?” type of programs popping up everywhere.

You’ve got Renaissance Periodization

Working Against Gravity

Flexible Dieting

And, of course, the Zone

All of these are intended to help you find the “just right” balance of proteins, carbs and fats—with your physical goals in mind (weight loss, weight gain/mass gain, performance, leaning out, “boosting metabolism”).

And while they all have great intentions, just counting your macros (or calories) for that matter is just one piece of a larger puzzle to reaching your goals and boosting your health.

Case Study: Sarah: Fitness & Health Buff

Scott Webb 22537 | Does It Fit Your Body?

Sarah was a 28-year-old coach and fit CrossFit athlete who came to me simply looking to optimize her own performance in the gym and competition—especially with the upcoming CrossFit Open.

She felt “pretty good” for the most part—except for the occasional bloating and gas after meals, and of course, “hangry-ness” with headaches and a little bit of shakiness if she went too long without eating between meals.

Sarah put in long hours at the gym—both training and coaching clients. Most mornings for her started off around 4:30 a.m. to teach class by 5, 6 and 7 a.m., and then she would hit her first training session of the day—an hour or two spent doing mobility, lifting weights and maybe a short metabolic conditioning piece.

After training, Sarah would head home for a quick lunch, maybe a 20-minute cat nap, do a little bit of e-mail “checking” and personal to-dos and then head back to the gym to coach the 3 and 4 p.m. classes before hitting her evening training session—another hour or two of gymnastics skill work and conditioning. Then it was home for dinner around 8 p.m. and lights out by 9:30 or 10 p.m. (on a good day).

Over the past couple years, Sarah had discovered a macros-based approach to eating when it was introduced to her by a coach and she loved how it made fueling her body to support her training schedule fairly easy.

Here’s a peak at what a typical day of eating entailed:

4:30 a.m. Breakfast 1

  • 2 ounces of Leftover Meat or 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Berries
  • Coffee

8 am Breakfast 2/Pre-training

  • 3 ounces of Protein
  • 1 cup Veggies
  • 1/4 Avocado
  • Latte with Almond Milk

12 p.m. Lunch

  • 3 oz. Chicken or Ground Turkey
  • 1 Cup of roast sweet potato
  • 1/2 Avocado

4 pm Snack

  • 1/2 Protein Bar
  • Pre-Workout Powder

7:30 p.m. Post Workout

  • Protein recovery shake + carb powder

8:30 Dinner

  • 3 oz. Steak
  • 1 Cup Veggies
  • 1 cup of Frozen Berries
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

9:30 Bed Time Drink

  • Progenex Cocoon night time recovery protein
  • Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

On paper, she was following her macros to a “tee,” but as we explored how she was feeling more in our initial intake session, she realized she wasn’t necessarilyy feeling at her “peak.”

During our phone session, she reported not-so-healthy signs and symptoms including:

  • Dark circles around her eyes
  • Needing coffee to get going most mornings
  • Brittle fingernails
  • Bloated-ness after drinking her whey protein
  • Shakiness and headaches between meals
  • Cloudy urine
  • A soft fuzzy hair body hair growth on her arms and stomach—(something often seen in the case of hormonal imbalance)
  • And a history of occasional gall-bladder attacks.

—Things her “Does It Fit Your Macros” Plan never picked up.

Hmm… “I never really thought anything of those things until now,” she said.

A lab test we ran revealed extremely high stress on her body (“HPA-Axis Dysfunction”)—with an imbalance of cortisol, estrogen and progesterone levels throughout the day. While her periods were “normalish” (every 28-36 days), her body’s internal balance was not, and this impacted her ability to process and  maximize her nutrient consumption.

In addition, a SIBO test we ran (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) revealed bacterial overgrowth in her upper GI—affecting her digestion and absorption of all her “good” nutrients in the first place.

“I never really had stomach problems,” she said.

To which, I explained that, often times GI symptoms do not necessarily present as bloating, gas or constipation (in fact, did you know that 1 in 2 people with diagnosed Celiac Disease never experienced “GI symptoms” like bloating, loose stools or nausea to indicate that they had a gluten intolerance? Think about all the people walking out there undiagnosed).

Sarah agreed she was willing to try a new approach to nutrition, despite her “success” with her “Does It Fit Your Macros” approach.

DOES IT FIT YOUR BODY?

She gave it 30 days and here is what her new “Does It Fit YOUR BODY?” approach entailed:

Pre-Breakfast

  • 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of warm water
  • 1 cup Bone Broth + Grass-fed Butter (1 spoonful), warmed & blended
  • Herbal Tea with L-Glutamine (while coaching at gym)

Supplements

Breakfast

  • 2-3 Chicken Sausage Patties
  • 1/3 Avocado
  • Cold-Pressed Greens or Sautéed spinach
  • Handful Berries, Orange or other Fruit

Supplements

Lunch (Post-Session 1)

  • 1-2 Hand-sizes Chicken, Bison, Fish or Turkey
  • 2 Heaping Handfuls Greens (Sauteed in 1 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee)
  • Sweet Potato or other Starchy Veggies (about the size of a large fist)
  • 1-2 spoonfuls Coconut Butter or Butter, 1/2 Avocado, Olive Oil/Avocado Oil

Supplements

Snack

  • Handful Leftover protein
  • Small handful nuts or 1/4 Avocado

or

  • 1/2 Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bar

Post Workout Powder

  • Beef Isolate Recovery Protein Powder in Water
  • Optional: Sweet Potato Powder (drink during hard training days)

Dinner

  • 1-2 Hand-sizes Chicken, Bison, Fish or Turkey
  • 2 Heaping Handfuls Greens (sauteed in 1 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee)
  • 1 Sweet Potato or other starchy veggie
  • 1-2 spoonfuls Coconut Butter or Butter, 1/2 Avocado, Olive Oil/Avocado Oil

Supplements

Pre-Bed

  • Herbal Tea + L-Glutamine Powder
  • Magneisum supplement (topical oil)

“Snack” (optional)

  • Coconut Yogurt or Full-Fat Grass-fed Yogurt + Cinnamon + Vanilla extract

or

  • 1 cup Bone Broth

Lifestyle Prescription

  • Take 1-2 minutes to breathe before meals
  • Chew your food really well
  • Unplug from electronics at night time after gym session
  • Intentionally schedule a “you day”—outside of gym for play

As you can see—a little different than a “Does It Fit Your Macros” approach.

Four weeks later, we conducted a re-test assessment only to find significant improvements in her imbalanced cortisol levels throughout the day, as well as a decrease in SIBO presence. She also reported significant increases in her energy levels and decreased “hangry-ness” throughout the day.

A bonus: She finally broke through a 10-pound PR on her back squat she had gotten “occasionally” and added 5 more pounds to a “heavy” deadlift.

PROS AND CONS

Pro : I like to think of a “Does It Fit Your Macros” approach as a good starting place (the “1.0 approach”) for someone who is completely in the dark about “what to eat” or “how much to eat”—especially if they have been significantly under-eating (a common phenomenon believe it or not).

Pro: Macro counting can give the nutrition newbie eyeball an idea of what a portion size can look like and help you incorporate balance at all meals (proteins, fats, carbs)—granted it’s the “right” approach for you

However, macro counting can also take on a whole new life of its own.

Con: Similar to the calorie-counting approaches of the days of old, macro counting can make you overly obsessed about —and detract from the whole “food is nourishing” and “food is joy” experience.

Instead, “20 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fat” becomes the way you view food—be it dry chicken breast, crunchy raw broccoli or a tablespoon of straight up olive oil in your mouth.

Con: Macro counting also—very rarely—takes food quality into consideration.

There is a significant difference in the nutrients you get from a piece of chicken raised in a chicken factory where the chickens ate rat feces, and a pastured chicken breast grown on a humanely-raised farm; or a stick of celery every day with lunch, as opposed to dark leafy greens; or gummy bears vs. strawberries. (This, you know).

To stay the long haul on a macros approach once you’ve gotten an idea of  various “portion sizes”?

  • Or to just believe that “if you fit your macros”—regardless of whether you eat gummy bears or a sweet potato (carbs)?
  • Or to just believe that maybe, if you’re a little stricter (like you cut more carbs or fat from your macros), that then you will boost your metabolism?
  • Or to not dig deeper into really, how does your “diet” make you feel? (Are you truly optimizing your health and performance)?

Conclusion: The “macros” way will only get you so far.

SHOULD YOU TRACK YOUR MACROS?

Petradr 29558 | Does It Fit Your Body?

“Tracking your macros” and “Does it fit your macros?” approaches are not just marketed to CrossFit athletes or fitness buffs.

Whether you’re looking to gain weight, lose weight, tone it up or “just eat healthy,” macros is definitely one “way” you’ll come by.

Should YOU give it a go to start?

If you truly want to optimize your personal nutrition (and potentially save yourself some frustrating headaches as to why your macros only gets you so far), a “Does It Fit Your Body?” approach may be a better route for you to go.

The best part?

Just like a “macros” approach is marketed as “simple” and “easy”—the “Does It Fit Your Body?” approach is even simpler and easier!

No weighing, measuring or counting necessary. Your plan gives you a clear protocol of what your body needs right now, with the option for tweaking and re-assessing along the way (as goals change and your health improves).

Want to know more about getting a “Does It Fit Your Body?” Nutrition Template & Protocol?

Contact Dr. Lauryn

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