Monday, August 19, 2013

Upcoming blog experiment: 100 of 100

Starting next Monday, my wife and I will be undertaking an experiment that I will be blogging about for a couple of weeks.  The basics of the experiment are simple, I want to devise a diet that gives me 100% of the RDA of 100% of the micronutrients deemed essential by the USDA.  If you don't know the difference between micronutrients and macronutrients, micronutrients are vitamins and minerals while macronutrients are fats, carbs and protein.  Here are the constraints I am putting on this diet:

  1. All foods must be strict Paleo(No grains, legumes, or dairy)
  2. No processed food of any type(Nut butters, flours, etc.)
  3. Coconut and olive oil are allowed
  4. Micronutrient values will be based off of a 2000 calorie diet
  5. I will get at least 120g of carbohydrate per day, hopefully more
  6. I will get at least 30g of fiber, but strive for much more
  7. Any alcohol will follow Paleo constraints and be 2 servings or less
The impetus for this experiment is simple.  I have had several discussions with people over the last few months that ultimately end in them stating that you cannot eat a Paleo diet without needing to have some sort of vitamin support.  To be honest, I do not agree with some of the RDA values, particularly the calcium requirement.  For one, the RDA values are based off of research in people who eat a Standard American Diet.  In my opinion, your micronutrient needs are probably partially determined by what you eat as well as your lifestyle.  However, if I set the experiment up to be based off of the RDA, there can be no argument as to whether the diet is nutritionally sound or not.

The reason I am not restricting or setting macronutrient levels is because it has been hypothesized that appetite is dictated not only by a need for energy but also a need for micronutrients.  In the case of obesity, while obese people tend to appear to be well nourished, oftentimes they have one or multiple nutritional deficiencies.  I generally have a very hearty appetite, it will be interesting to see what happens with that appetite when eating around 2000 calories and getting 100% of the of the RDA of all of the essential micronutrients.  I won't be a stickler for hitting that 2000 calorie number, I may eat a little more or a little less but the micronutrient numbers will be 100% based on a 2000 calorie diet.  It will be interesting to see what happens to my physique over that time.

For physical activity, I will stick to my general recommendations and get at least 10,000 steps per day and strength train for 30-45 minutes, 3 times per week.  Most of this training is glycolytic in nature which is why I will try to get at least 120g of carbohydrate per day.  I will take before and after pictures as well as follow my sleep pattern with my fitbit.  I will also post general feelings about appetite/energy levels and potentially changes in blood glucose levels.  While I am not trying to change body composition or weight, I know people care about that stuff so I will post bodyfat and change in weight along with the pictures.

I look forward to this experiment.  My intention is to do this first one for 2 weeks to see what can be accomplished in a short period of time.  If things go well, I may run it again after a short wash out period and have a blood lipid panel/particle size test done before and after a 4 week run of the diet.  While I won't be posting the meal plans, I will most likely post some of the recipes along with the micro- and macronutrient values of those meals.  This all begins in one week, it should be interesting.