After reading that a fellow blogger had great results from eating Paleo and adjusting her macros to reduce carbs and increasing her fat intake, I was inspired to do a little digging. Read on to learn about the recommended breakdown for paleo macros, and also an update (4 years later) on my own results from eating this way!
What are Paleo Macros?
For some reason, I assumed that Paleo (otherwise referred to as primal) eating is a meat-centric diet, but Mark’s Daily Apple actually recommends a macro ratio of around 65% fat and the rest in protein and carbs.
In this Paleo 101 post, he suggests a moderately active woman should only be eating about .8 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight (which is 110lbs in my case), so that’s 88 grams of protein for me or about 350 calories.
Get started counting macros today with this easy-to-follow system for figuring out your macro numbers and measuring them for success!
Paleo Macros & Carbs
In terms of carbs, he suggests aiming for about 80 grams per day, assuming that you’re not into endurance sports (which I gave up a long time ago), so that’s about 320 calories made up of lots of veggies, fruit, and a little sweet potato here and there.
From there, the rest of your diet should be gangbusters on the good fats, so avocado, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil…. generally all the yummy things I’ve always limited in my diet. Hmm…
Adjusting my Macros & Increasing Fats
Right now, my total caloric daily intake is about 1750 cals per day. With that said, according to Mark, my diet breakdown might look something like this:
- Protein 350 cals
- Carbs 350 cals
- Fats 1050 cals
Paleo Macros Means Eating More Fat
Now, given that I’ve NEVER eaten with this sort of ratio in mind, increasing my fats has actually taken a lot of planning and forethought. Since Monday, I’ve been eating the yolks in my eggs and amping up my nut butter consumptions with no complaints to be sure. I LOVE fat, but I’m still pretty scared of it.
The idea of eating that much of my diet in fat sorta freaks me out a little, but I’m working on turning that fear around. It’s also going to require a whole new perspective on food prep, so I’m pretty stoked about that part.
I’m going to give this a whirl for a few weeks since now is the time to try new techniques in my diet, before show season starts again.
I’ll let you know how it goes!!
UPDATE: My results from eating paleo and counting macros
After writing this post in April of 2017, I dove deep into eating paleo and counting macros for several years (on and off). My goal was to maintain muscle, lose body fat and just generally feel better as I'd been battling brain fog and a ton of anxiety.
So what happened after a year of eating this way?
So how did it go? Very well! I did end up losing weight, and no, it wasn't muscle as I kept up my workout routine consistently. I also felt SO much better eating a higher fat diet. It was easier to eat clean with lots of fat, because the food is so good - salmon, eggs, nuts, coconut oil, etc.
My best advice for eating paleo
Overtime, I shifted my eating habits away from paleo. It was still mostly paleo-friendly, but I wanted to bring in some dairy and grains. I will say, I probably feel better when I'm not eating them, but I also don't want to feel restricted when I go out to eat.
My best advice for counting macros
If you are looking to lose weight, there's no better way to do it than counting macros (in my opinion). This system gives you the freedom to chose what to eat, so you never feel restricted. There is however, a learning curve to counting macros, so if you want a quick way to get up to speed, I created a program that will help you figure out how many macros to eat, and how to count them.
Do you have to count macros forever?
Oh heck no! The beauty of counting macros is that it makes you hyper aware of how much you're truly consuming. Over time, you'll get good at eyeballing portions and making the best food choices for your body. I only count macros now when I feel like I've gotten off track with my eating and need a little reboot.
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Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and ADHD Coach. As the founder of The Fit Habit, she shares ADHD-friendly self-care, food & fitness inspiration, along with practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.