Eating Higher Quality Foods When on a High Calorie or High Macronutrient Diet

It is important to keep in mind that you can achieve preferred body composition goals and do it in a healthy way while on a macronutrient based diet, even when targets are extremely high. Actually, that is when you have the most flexibility to eat a wider variety and volume of healthy foods. Note: all uses of the word diet in this blog are based on the assumption that diet is being used as a healthy and fit lifestyle strategy, not a temporary solution used to achieve a short-term goal…
Agree it is fine to eat primarily highly processed calorically dense “junk” when your only dietary goal is to meet caloric and macronutrient (macro) targets. However, the founders or science behind macro based dieting never said it was healthier or ideal to eat garbage or that you had to eat garbage to meet your targets and ultimately achieve results, but if you wanted to you could.  So there really is no advantage in eating junk in place of a healthier and more balanced diet to meet your targets aside from a personal preference to allow indulgence in your flexible dieting plan. And by the way, indulging in saturated fats, sugars, preservatives, and artificial colors is fine in moderation, but not ideal as the foundation of your eating plan. In fact, it can prove to be a disadvantage for some to eat a diet deficient in nutritional value by hindering certain physiological processes that support continued success in achieving results while on a macro based diet or any other diet for that matter.  There are several examples of how the poor nutrition route can be detrimental to weight maintenance goals as well as several other factors which can significantly (negatively) impact weight and health in general. These include the potential for a low quality diet to increase inflammation and water retention, compromise or “burden” liver function/performance, create nutrient deficiencies, raise unhealthy cholesterol levels, decrease immune function or ability to heal and recover, and/or promote gut microbiome imbalances.

So my recommendation is try not to sacrifice your hard work and health by consuming the majority of your calories from junk so that you may eat in accordance with your targets. It’s entirely possible to hit these calories and macros in a healthy and satisfying way. Here are some tips of what you can add to the mix:

Healthy fats: flax seeds, oil on salads, even flax seed crackers; natural nut butters (the kind you have to stir a little to mix in the oil – almond or peanut are great) , avocados, coconut, fish oil

Also, high fiber carbs are more calorically dense: whole grain breads, cereals, crackers , rolled oats, and pastas; yams, beans and legumes

Finally, still eat plenty of simple carbs and higher glycemic fruits: bananas, citrus, melons

And congrats on having such an awesome metabolism!

2 thoughts on “Eating Higher Quality Foods When on a High Calorie or High Macronutrient Diet

    1. Various dietary approaches (vegetarian, vegan, and “standard” diets) lack the complexity to support different nutritional goals or needs, including optimal Omega 3 intake as well as Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratios. However, with knowledge and diligence, most of these approaches can be done in a “healthy” way.

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