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Monday, May 3, 2010

Freedom From Choice--How to get it

FIRST OFF: Twitter and if you have any questions, I suck at answering at answering comment questions (I mean to, but then I just forget...seriously hxc ADD here) you can ask them Here. Try to tell me who you are (or leave me a comment here so I know to check). :)

It's amazing how stressful the idea of "choice" is. There are times where I'll literally wind up feeling like I can't breathe, staring at different things, trying to decide which one to eat. "Which one will satisfy me better? Which one will taste better? Am I trying to feed my craving? What should I worry about? They're the same calorie amount but will I have the urge to binge if I eat this...?" That option--that choice--can often lead me to obsessing over the food, making it stick in my mind, and then I can't stop thinking about it. It then leads to no matter which one I go with...I wind up wishing I had the other, leading far too often to a binge.

So today I sat down, and I wrote out my macronutrient profile.
I'm basing it off of a 1000 calorie diet, as that is my expected tops, and therefor, will also be the tops for the amount of that certain nutrient I am allowed to have.
I've chosen the ratios of
30% calories from Protein
20% calories from Fat
50% calories from Carbohydrates.

Protein is slower acting, and keeps you fuller longer, while carbohydrates provide an immediate burst of energy, and allow the brain to feel more alert and aware. Fat, on the other hand, will trigger the chemical in the brain (unsaturated fats--I think the chemical is leptin? There's a shorter version of it, I'll get it from my boss at the gym and tell you all later) that will signal satiety, feelings of fullness, and decrease levels of cravings. So a good amount of fat is still good to have. (It's why sometimes, having real butter on toast instead of margerine makes the toast that much more filling--it's all in the chemicals and hormones the body releases).

So this breaks down my diet to
75g protein
22.2g fat
125g carbohydrates

Every gram of carbohydrates and protein carries approximately 4 calories (1g protein=4 calories, 1g carbohydrate = 4 calories), and fat carries 9 calories (1g fat = 9 calories).

You want to have a good, balanced level of macronutrients to your diet, which are carbs, protein, and fat. Remember--unsaturated fats can actually help your heart, are needed for your cells to keep up communication and prevent dehydration, and also are required for brain function, and are harder to turn into the gross stuff on your body. By having a balanced ratio of these macronutrients, including healthy unsaturated fats (think nuts, avocado, etc.), you'll help to keep yourself feeling satisfied and full.

The process of finding out your own nutritional ratios:
Decide your calorie max. I say 1000, just because that's what I'd top out at. But if you're doing the Ana Bootcamp, you could do this for every day of the diet with the different calorie limits to have it more detailed. For this example, I'll use my own 1000 calories.
A ratio that I recommend is going to be close to what I chose.
30% of your calories from protein
15-20% from fat
50-55% from carbohydrates.

You can alter these numbers depending on what works best for you and your tastes in food.
Now, use the following equations:

(Number of Calories x Percent Protein) / 4 = g of protein
(Number of Calories x Percent Carbs) / 4 = g of carbs
(Number of Calories x Percent Fat) / 9 = g of fat

So on a 1000 calorie diet, you get the following

30%: (1000 x .30) / 4 = 75g protein
50%: (1000 x .50) / 4 = 125g carbohydrates
55%: (1000 x .55) / 4 = 137.5g carbohydrates
15%: (1000 x .15) / 9 = 16.6g fat
20%: (1000 x .20) / 9 = 22.2g fat
That's a very basic overview of a nutritional program, and obviously, I recommend from a health perspective that women should have no less than 1500 calories a day, and men no less than 2000 calories a day, and this is if you're attempting weight loss (a healthy woman seeking to maintain should be at 2000, while a man should be at 2500). But...of course, we're not exactly comfortable with going anywhere that high (for most of us...those of us who are, I'm proud of you ♥ ).

Surprisingly, while there's still more about like...the complexity of carbs and the like, this is the most important information for the time being.
The only other thing that I can recommend to people is this:
The more complex the carbs, the more dense, and the more filling, but be wary--too complex, and you'll be getting small portions for high calories, but too refined--like chocolate--and it'll go through you super quick, and you'll be hungry again quick.
There's a difference in the filling qualities of proteins, as we all know you feel fuller longer off of a steak than you do off of a glass of milk.
Stay AWAY from unsaturated and trans fats. Look for unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids) to fill those grams up.

Also, pro-tip from one of the best trainers at my gym:
Flaxseed oil. It's essentially just a capsule containing liquid complex unsaturated fats. Ten calories for one tablet, but apparently, it's one of the greatest appetite suppressants. And the reason why I'm actually recommending a supplement that has calories, and is made of fat, to suppress the appetite?
Because this is coming from a trainer who has a disorder that makes him literally unable to ever feel full. He is always, eternally, hungry, and he is the most fit person I have ever seen. And while he's not full out into the disease like some people who have it, I've seen this man go to town on a buffet, and he will put away eight plates fully stacked, plus 12 brownies, some cookies, and four glasses of milk, and then we'll go back to work, and he'll STILL wind up eating a foot long sub from Subway an hour later, and then complain that he's still hungry. So yeah...this helps to make HIM feel like he's somewhat satisfied.


Also, that guy? Makes me realize that while yes, there are genetic predisposers to things like obesity, it's still something that can be controlled. Because if anyone has a reason to be fat, it's him. Can you imagine always feeling so hungry? Never even feeling satisfied? Trying forever to fill that aching void? And then imagine still managing to keep yourself controlled, with a body fat ratio of under 15% (which is AMAZING, mind you), completely toned, no stomach pudge, and all because he literally monitors with a religious zeal the calories he eats, burns, and his weight, to make sure he doesn't let himself slip too far down that slippery slope.

He is my official inspiration for control.

Anyway, this is a long post. Yesterday, I did go up to like, 1300 calories because of said migraine. I'm calories, today. Yay! I only reached 126.2, though, which is good, considering that I sometimes can gain two pounds from migraines, so I think the "eat QUICK NOW!" as soon as I woke up did help to delay the intensity of it and destroy the typically inevitable binge.

Hope this post was helpful with some information. :3



  1. Thanks, this was really informative! ^^

  2. A small typo; I think you meant "stay away from saturated (not unsaturated)and trans fat".

    Thanks for the tip on flaxseed oil! (:

  3. Okay, I am totally buying flaxseed oil tomorrow!! Thanks a bunch!


  4. Thanks for the info! I don't know if you read my blog, but I'm low on iron:( Think it's from restricting. I just can't be strong enough to eat. Ugh.

  5. Great post there! And wow, can't imagine how it would be not to be able to feel full! I am sure I would have weighed even more then ...


  6. love flaxseed oil, but hate the taste - I've never noticed it in a capsule - I must go harass my local GNC today!

  7. Very helpful...especially about the flaxseed. I'm totally gonna try it.


  8. thankyou very much !