Researchers say Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most productive days of the week. Monday tends to be “recovery” day from the weekend, and the rest of the week, well, we’re often coasting along waiting for the weekend to arrive, aren’t we? (Ah, the lure of the weekend: the free time, the social activities, special occasions, the chance to kick back…) But is our cherished refuge also our health’s downfall?
A study from the Washington University School of Medicine suggests that the tendency toward weekend backslide on health goals is a common problem. The researchers assembled daily weight, caloric intake, and physical activity data from participants both before and during assigned intervention programs. The participants included a total of 48 men and women, aged 50-60, whose BMI scores ranged from normal to obese.
In the modern world it’s hard to get more “primal” than dried meat. Consider it one of Grok’s many talents and culinary achievements. Jerky is essentially strips of lean meat that have marinated and dried. The result? Tasty, rich, salty and pumped with about twice the protein gram per gram of regular “hydrated” meat. To boot, you’ve got a snack that travels well under circumstances as varied as weekend camping trips to NASA missions. Awesome, huh?
But when we say jerky we mean something so much better and healthier than the processed strips and sticks (e.g. “Slim Jims”) you find at the gas station checkout. The best jerky is made from whole-muscle meat, homemade or in small batch varieties. We’ll agree that there’s some great small label jerky out there. Meat shares from small farms often include it. To try out a few varieties, farmers’ markets are a great place to pick up some of the real deal especially if you’re new to the world of genuine jerky.
Yesterday marked the end of the 30-Day Primal Health Challenge. Don’t fret! You don’t have to fall back in to your old ways. Take a moment to reflect on all that you accomplished (weight lost, resolve strengthened, muscle gained) as well as the difficulties faced (the midnight cravings and peer pressure from co-workers you gave into). At the very least we hope you have learned something about the yourself and the Primal way of life.
If you’d like to share you experience please send in your story by the end of today. We will be publishing all results tomorrow morning.
Do the Math
In my recent Context of Calories post, I explained how the different macronutrients we eat at each meal (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) have different effects in the body. I suggested that, despite their raw calorie values, it’s far more important to get a lasting intuitive sense of how much of each macronutrient you need and when you need it (or not).
But how do you do that? How do you figure out the proper number of calories – and breakdown of fats, protein and carbs – to accomplish your fitness and health goals? To lose weight? Lose fat? Gain muscle? Maintain status quo? Run marathons?
In fact, most popular daily diets look at overall calories as the main factor in weight loss and weight gain. The age-old conservation of energy Conventional Wisdom says that “a calorie is a calorie.” From there most diet gurus generally prescribe some formulaic one-size-fits-all breakdown of fats, protein and carbs. A classically trained Registered Dietician will tell you that protein should be around 10-15% of calories, carbs should be 60% (and mostly from whole grains) and fat under 30%. This macronutrient breakdown stays the same regardless of how much weight you need to lose or what other goals you might have. Barry Sears has his 40/30/30 “Zone” diet. The USDA bases everything on a choice of between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day. But, as I said earlier, it’s not that simple. Calories do have context.
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