Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
14 May

My Daily Diet

Last week in my post about Washboard Abs on a High-Fat Diet, No Ab Workouts and No Cardio I got a number of questions regarding my diet. So here it is. I’d recommend everyone visiting FitDay and giving it a try. I know when I have clients send me their FitDay records, it’s usually an eye-opener.

Daily Caloric Breakdown

As noted in the previous post I am getting well over 50% of my calories from fat and am right at 1 g protein/lb. I try to keep my carbs at 100 grams a day plus or minus a few. This keeps me in a predominantly fat-burning state without ever being ketogenic (in the strictest sense). This is an important concept. Low carb does not necessarily mean ketogenic, as some people seem to believe.

The above figures correspond with the following foods and serving sizes. Though the vegetables and meat choices often change from one day to the next it is very typical of my diet.

Daily Food

FitDay also keeps track of your micro-nutrient intake:

Vitamins Minerals

One notable thing here: Despite eating a diet largely based on nutrient rich vegetables, healthy fats and some fruit it is still possible to not meet RDA of some vitamins and minerals. In this particular case I came up short on Vitamin D and Calcium. This is precisely one of the reasons why I spend some time in the sun each day and why I choose to take a multi-vitamin supplement. Sometimes even a great diet won’t meet all of your needs.

Further Reading:

My Daily Salad

What I Eat in a Day

What is the Primal Blueprint?

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Mark,

    So I have been adapted to the grain style of eating my whole life (much like the rest of the world). I first started experimenting with low carb diets in the ways of the bodybuilding world. Now I’m starting to rely on just fruits and vegetables and along with my other macro nutrients. For my own personal reasons, I would like to be around 4-5% body fat. This may seem very low to most. I see plenty of people who can maintain this fairly easily because of their body type and fast metabolisms. I am about 195 lbs. My question is how many grams of carbs would you think would be necessary to stay out of ketosis, while maintaining that low of a body fat percentage and sparing my muscle at the same time? I have been on a pretty low carb diet taking in around 30-40g a day, but that was usually with grain. I tried one of your smoothies this morning and was very good. I want fruits and veggies to be my source of carbs now, but having a goal of around 4% body fat isn’t typically on the average person’s agenda. I am interested about your thoughts also of carbohydrate intake depending on someone’s metabolism and body type (ectomorph vs. mesomorph). I have plenty of friends that require very little effort in order to be around 4-5% bf. I’m more interested in my own body type as I’m more muscular. Also I lift 5-6 days a week and I lift heavy and hard (no other way ha). I have been doing sprint interval training often exceeding my heart rate to nearly maximal effort. This also may seem harsh for the average individual. I am an athlete myself and always push the limits. I was formerly a follower of the 65% hr fat burning zone while doing cardio. I realized this was not the right option for me, when I got down to about 5% bf by doing cardio. I went to visit my brother in la and we went to go do some hill sprints with intermittent trx suspension exercises at the top of the hill. This was certainly high intensity and I could tell that I was not in shape. I was in “cardio” shape. I was so winded and even though I looked good, being ripped and all, I felt I was in horrible shape. It was hard just running. For cardio I used to walk on incline at a moderate pace. Also I am in my last semester of school right now. I’m in biochemistry right now so I’m having more interest into that aspect. I was curious of your take on whether training at a higher heart rate, such as sprinting, would be involved with anaerobic metabolism where you build up lactic acid and burn protein instead of fat once you are out of blood glucose. Being on a lower carb diet, I would assume that glycogen stores are already pretty depleted. I’m guessing that this wouldn’t happen if you’re consuming adequate carbs, but as I asked before this is just why I’m trying to figure out the ideal amount of carbs to consume to let me perform these kinds of anaerobic activity while preventing muscle wasting. I would appreciate any feedback thanks. Sorry for all the questions, first day on here :)

    Chris wrote on April 3rd, 2011
    • Chris, you pose a complex series of questions, all somewhat dependent on the answers to each other. First, 4-5 % body fat is extremely low and not something I would advise for extended periods of time. Dont’ get me wrong, I’m not saying you’re not there, but most people who think they are 4% are somewhat higher. If you did try to keep to a legit 4-5%, then you’d need to either keep carbs on the lower limits of ketosis all the time and/or ramp up the expenditure (glycogen depletion) daily. Also, I’m not a fan of working out hard every day. When you’re young you can do it, but it’s not sustainable over your life – and has drawbacks. If you do choose to work out hard every day, then you need refill glycogen stores or you WILL tap into muscle mass. But figuring out how much carb refill you need becomes a more complex equation IF you are trying to keep 4-5% body fat. Bottom line, you can do it, but WHY???? What’s wrong with staying at 6-8% and dieting down to 4% for photoshoots, etc, if that’s your intent?

      Mark Sisson wrote on April 4th, 2011
      • I guess I should have said I don’t necessarily want to be 4-5% year round. I agree that 6-8% would probably be the best fit for year round maintenance. I guess the real question is how low of a body fat percentage can be maintained without sacrificing performance or sacrificing your body’s normal biological functions? I suppose with anything though there is a high degree of variability.

        Chris wrote on April 4th, 2011
  2. Hi Mark,

    Am I missing something? At 4 cals/gram, how does 91g of carbs add up to only 248 calories?

    Taylor wrote on May 4th, 2011
    • Taylor, there’s 29 grams of fiber. No calories in those.

      Mark Sisson wrote on May 4th, 2011
      • Hmmm, so should I be trying to keep my total carbs below 80g/day for fat loss? Or just net carbs?

        Taylor wrote on May 6th, 2011
  3. Hi Mark,
    Great post. I think we should keep in mind that the RDA is not actually based on much science, so taking supplements to reach an artificially stipulated number isn’t necessarily necessary. Right?

    Elizabeth wrote on June 6th, 2011
  4. Hi everybody, I’ve been primal for a couple of days now and yesterday I discovered this post so I started using DailyFit to track down my intake.
    So my first breakdown of macronutrients looks as follows: 2417 calories, 67% fats (187,3 g), 15% carbs (97,7 g), 15% proteins (92,3 g) and 3% Alcohol (1 OZ Single Malt). The %RDA of 95% of the nutrients is met. My question is, are these ratios ok, considered that i get enough nutriton? Or, should I eat less fats (65% seems to be quite high, also compared to the intake of Mark)? thanks in advance for your support!

    Drini wrote on June 29th, 2011
  5. I have been trying some great recipes from the web….how the heck do you calculate the carbs for,as an example, bacon muffins made with coconut flour? I’m clueless

    Cheryl wrote on June 16th, 2012

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