Interviewer: I think a lot of people have, on their smart phones now, the
calorie counting apps. Do we need to count calories? Do we need to know how
much daily is going into our bodies? Is that important?
Mark MacDonald: Yeah, so I love calories per meal, not calories per day.
You know, a lot of people say, "Oh, it makes you obsessed."
It doesn't to me, it gives me power. See, everything to me is about, "I
want to understand my food."
And all of the clients I've worked with, that's what people want. You don't
have to weigh your food for the rest of your life, but you need to know
what your portions are. A lot of people, they don't even know what four
ounces or five ounces of chicken is. So, if you've never measured it - How
do you even know what that is?
So, calories matter, they matter to the point where you're satisfied, and
then you're ready to eat. Initially, I think people should measure their
food for two to three weeks. I think they should be very clear on their
calories per meal, not per day, and then understand the protein/fat carb
ratio. Once they get that, and they can start visualizing it, now they go
to restaurant, "Okay, I know how to order."
Now they go out of the country or they travel to different state, "I know
what to do."
Now they're starting to win with their food. When they're busy and they set
up called like a mobile-readiness food kit. They know, "Okay, I can get
some turkey jerky. I can get some nuts. That's my protein, my nuts for my
fat, and then I can bring an apple as my carb."
So we're setting people up to win. Initially, you should measure. You need
to be present to calories per meal, not per day.
Interviewer: Well, building on that, you talk a lot about the ratio;
protein, carbs, fats. So many people say, "I want to start eating better, I
just don't know where to start."
What do they need to know, especially about that ratio, and just in
general, how to start eating cleaner?
Mark MacDonald: First step is, you have to learn what a protein, fat, and
carb is. That's the most important thing. I would always assume that people
knew what it was. Then I started doing a lot of elementary schools, and I'd
be teaching the kids, and I'm, "Okay, this is for the kids."
Then half the teachers would come up to me, and say, "Man I learned so much
about protein, fat, carb."
So I'm thinking, "Wait a second, I'm assuming too much."
That's our problem. I think about my elementary, my middle, my high school,
I never learned about food. Never. We don't educate anyone about food. And
then, once I got to college, you're assumed to know what a protein, fat,
carb, is, and people don't, so you've got to first learn that, then it's
important to know that, when we talk about blood sugar, each one matters.
Protein, fat, and carbs provide our body with energy. Protein affects that
hormone, glucagon, carbs affect insulin, fat slows down digestion. That's
why the three have to be in every meal. Once you know what it is, you
understand why you need to have it in every meal, which allows you to then
do it, then it's just know... I look at dividing your plate. It's not
really like a third, third, third, it's more like 35 percent protein, 35
percent carb, 30 percent fat. It's like, your proteins here, your carbs are
here, fats there. If you can just do that with your plate every three
hours, satisfied after every meal, ready to eat when it's time to eat,
you're going to win.
Interviewer: I think a lot of people get ingrained that you have your three
squares a day, and that's it. They hold off until noon, then they hold off
until six PM, but that's the wrong way of thinking you're saying.
Mark MacDonald: To me, I'm very cautious about using 'wrong ways' and
'right ways.' The reality is that I'm speaking from the physiology of the
body. The three squares a day was a thought process from a long, long time
ago. There's no legitimacy to it. The whole thing with breakfast was about
breaking the fast. And then lunch, and then dinner. And it was much more
about life style, not what the body needs. Because think about this Scott,
a kid, a baby feeds six to seven times a day, and then come that first year
like, "We have an eight year old son," come that first appointment when a
Hunter turned two, once he achieved the right amount of weight so he could
survive by eating that way, he said, "Okay, now he can just eat the way you
It makes no sense physiologically, if we're meant to be that way the first
year of life, why would we ever stop that lifestyle? It's because it's
harder to eat mid-morning and afternoon meal. I think the three squares had
nothing to do with what's best for our bodies, had much more to do with
what our day looks like. And then, now, when one person does it, the
parents then duplicate it to the kids, and that gets passed to generations.
Physiologically speaking, we know you to feed your body consistently. Every
research shows that. You must stabilize your blood sugar, and until we
start shifting our mindset, we're not going to stop the regression. To me,
people are looking for the answers and solutions. That's why I'm honored to
be able to do this with you today, is that we're really helping people find
a better way.
So many people want to start eating better, but finding out how to start is not easy. Nutritionist Mark Macdonald describes some of the important things you need to know to get on track, and more importantly, stay on track.
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