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Episode 66: Protein Intake And Adrenal Fatigue – How Much Is Too Much?

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Thanks for joining us for episode 66 of The Ancestral RDs podcast. If you want to keep up with our podcasts, subscribe in iTunes and never miss an episode! Remember, please send us your question if you’d like us to answer it on the show!

Today we are answering the following question from a listener:

“I was recently diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and have been recently trying to increase my carb intake by eating more fruit and starchy vegetables. For over a year I have been having insomnia and have been on a lower carb, moderate fat, high protein diet. My carbs came from non-starchy vegetables, which I eat a ton of throughout the day. Since I started listening to your podcast, I’ve realized that my active lifestyle and adrenals warrant an increase in carbs via fruit, potatoes, and squash.

My question is in regards to protein. I’ve been eating way too much and I’m trying to reduce my intake. Should I be counting protein from vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts which I eat every day in my total macros or daily grams allotment? Or should I calculate protein intake from meat and eggs sources only?”

Eating to support nutrient needs when dealing with adrenal fatigue can be a balancing act.  Assessing protein and carbohydrate intake in particular can be key in rebuilding health.  Especially when following a lower carb and higher protein diet, an important question to consider is how much protein is too much?

Listen today as we share guidelines to help you determine adequate protein intake for your body while we discuss how reducing excessive protein and increasing carbs can be of significant benefit those with adrenal fatigue.

Here’s what Laura and Kelsey will be discussing in this episode:

  • Why it’s not necessary to count vegetables when tracking protein
  • Reasons why balancing your diet by increasing carbohydrates can affect your body’s appetite for protein preventing excessive intake
  • Effects of excessive non-starchy vegetable intake
  • The satiating effects of carbohydrates
  • How those with adrenal fatigue may not experience typical hunger signals
  • Why reducing excessive protein and increasing carbohydrates can provide stable energy and benefit those with adrenal fatigue
  • General guidelines to determine adequate protein intake
  • Benefits of eating higher protein meals earlier day especially if you have HPA axis dysfunction
  • Why over-consumption of protein is common on diets that avoid an entire macronutrient group
  • How re-balancing your diet by increasing carbohydrates allows excessive protein intake to reduce on its own

Links Discussed:

TRANSCRIPT:

Kelsey: Hi everyone and welcome to episode 66 of The Ancestral RDs. I’m Kelsey Marksteiner and with me as always is Laura Schoenfeld.

Laura: Hello everybody.

Kelsey: Hey, Laura. How’s it going?

Laura: Oh I just feel like this is the most crazy summer in my whole life, in a good way. It’s just I feel like I haven’t traveled this much in a really long time.

Kelsey: Yeah, travel can get exhausting when it’s constant.

Laura: Mm hmm. Gosh, I feel like I’ve been to Michigan, I’ve been to Tennessee, I had my boyfriend down here for two weeks, I’m about to leave for Ohio next week. Or no, not next week. Why am I saying next week? In two days.

Kelsey: Oh wow.

Laura: Or actually no, I should say tomorrow. I’m starting my drive tomorrow. It’s just a lot of moving around the world, the country I should say. I mean it’s great and I’m having a great time. I’m just getting to the point where I’m like oh my gosh, at some point I’m going to have to get back to a normal way of life because I feel like my body is just like what in the world is going on?

Kelsey: Right. Yeah, I know. Well speaking of that, one thing I’ve been planning, or it’s not a full plan yet, but my family and I are trying to figure out when we can do a camping trip because I’ve been thinking recently…we talked about a couple episodes ago that I was in Canada, and staying up late, and not sleeping very well, and just kind of all over the place, and feeling not centered I guess is the best way to put it.

Camping seemed like a wonderful way to kind of re-set in a lot of ways. Reset the circadian rhythm, and just be surrounded by nature, getting sun exposure, and just kind of like getting back to my roots, and feeling settled I guess, and calm. That really has been sounding very appealing. So that’s in the works for me and I’m hoping that will help me kind of get back on track with like okay, I need to be centered for moving forward, and thinking about the things I want to do, and getting those things done rather than I feel like I’ve been kind of the same way this summer, just traveling a lot and very unfocused I guess.

Laura: Yeah. Well I mean you had a pretty big summer so far. I mean you got married, you moved to a new apartment, have gone on several trips I know. There’s a lot of different things that could be disturbing your normal routine.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: At this point, is there anything major on the horizon that you have to kind of keep in mind? Or are you just kind of getting back to normal at this point?

Kelsey: Well, first I’m starting to work on a program, like an online program about the gut microbiome. That’s something that I really want to focus on and kind of get very into and schedule time in my life to really put that out into the world. I feel like I’ve been so scatterbrained recently that it’s just kind of been pushed off to the side. I have the whole outline, but nothing further has happened with that, so I really want to do that. Then my husband and I, we kind of did our wedding sort of weird. We’re already married, but we’re having a big reception in October, so we’re also planning that.

Laura: Mm hmm.

Kelsey: So kind of just mitigating the stress of big party planning, which can be significant actually.

Laura: Yeah. I mean I don’t think I’ve planned a big event like that ever, probably.

Kelsey: Yeah.

Laura: I’ve had a lot of friends, and my sister, I helped her a little bit, but I don’t think I helped her as much as some maid of honors would have because she tends to be a little bit of a control freak. She doesn’t listen to this podcast so she won’t be hearing this. I think helping her was probably not even going to be useful.

Then I’ve had some other friends, like I have a friend that’s getting married in September. I guess it’s actually like two months from now. I know that even though she’s a very laid back person, she’s had so much stuff she’s had to do even just trying to coordinate things because of the different families, differently people coming from different locations, then the bridal party. Even though I know that the whole wedding itself can be a lot of work, even I feel like just planning a big party without all the ceremony parts can be really challenging especially if you haven’t done it before.

Kelsey: Yeah, we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully this camping trip will help me destress a bit from that.

Laura: Yeah.

Kelsey: It’s crazy, you don’t think about all the things that go into a big event like that. But all a sudden you’re like, oh my gosh, we need to coordinate transportation and talk to caterers. I don’t know, what am I doing?

Laura: Right. It’s funny because it’s I feel like I’m the kind of person that I’ll just be like, oh my gosh! Can somebody just made the decisions for me? I literally don’t even care.

Kelsey: I know.

Laura: There’s like a handful of things if I was going to be married any time soon, I have a couple of things that I know that I would want including an ice cream truck on the premises.

Kelsey: Nice.

Laura: But other than that, I’m like I don’t really care that much.  Bride’s Maids can choose their own dresses, choose their own adventure, whatever. I know certain things you say oh it doesn’t matter and then they start asking you all these questions like do you want this? Do you want that? You’re like I don’t really know what I want and I didn’t even know that was something I had to choose.

I can only imagine how stressful it can get. Hopefully that goes smoothly and I feel like ultimately just keeping in mind that the whole point is just enjoy yourself and bring people together for a celebration, and that a lot of the smaller details nobody’s even going to notice.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: Try not to put too much importance on those kind of decisions, which hopefully your family and whoever else is helping with the planning, if there is anyone else…

Kelsey: Yeah, I’m lucky because my step mom is party planner extraordinaire and she does all these decorations and things.

Laura: Oh cool.

Kelsey: I’m just like, okay, you go do that. Just put it in front of me and I’ll be like cool, that looks good.

Laura: Yeah.

Kelsey: Luckily for decorations because I’m the worst with that kind of stuff, that’s sort of all taken care of which is really nice. It takes a huge thing off of my plate that I have no idea what I care about or not.

Laura: Yeah.

Kelsey: That’s great.

Laura: That’s kind of where you want to be where you have people helping that are able to take the stress off your hands and not adding more stress by making you worried about stuff that you wouldn’t have normally worried about.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: I feel like I hear a lot stories of people whose either future in-laws, or their own parents, or whoever is either helping to fund the event, or even just have an opinion, they can get a little intense sometimes about wanting things to be a certain way. So hopefully that’s not an issue for you…

Kelsey: It’s not.

Laura: …and it’s just a matter of planning something more intense than a typical party.

Kelsey: Yeah. We’ll see how it goes. I’m sure it’ll be really lovely.  I have to say I’m not stressing too much about it, but as it’s creeping closer you sort of get that feeling like okay, it’s time really make sure things are nailed down.

Laura: Right.

Kelsey: Okay, it’s coming very soon.

Laura: Yeah.

Kelsey: This camping trip will be at a good time to just take away from that.

Laura: Yeah and just get a little escape for a couple days.

Kelsey: Exactly. Cool. Well let’s jump into our question for today. But before we do that, here’s a word from our sponsor.

Okay. Our question for today is from Rebecca and she says:

“I was recently diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and have been recently trying to increase my carb intake by eating more fruit and starchy vegetables. For over a year I have been having insomnia and have been on a lower carb, moderate fat, high protein diet. My carbs came from non-starchy vegetables, which I eat a ton of throughout the day. Since I started listening to your podcast, I’ve realized that my active lifestyle and adrenals warrant an increase in carbs via fruit, potatoes, and squash.

My question is in regards to protein. I’ve been eating way too much and I’m trying to reduce my intake. Should I be counting protein from vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts which I eat every day in my total macros or daily grams allotment? Or should I calculate protein intake from meat and eggs sources only?”

Laura: Alright. Well this is a very interesting question because on one hand I feel like it’s fairly simple to answer.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Laura: On the other hand, there is a little bit of nuance to it. The take home, if you just want to turn the podcast off now, then the main answer that I would say is that no, you don’t need to track protein from vegetables if you’re worried about overdoing the protein. Generally protein from vegetables is not going to be stimulating when it comes to things like insomnia and most vegetables like broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, they’re not going to provide that much protein from the amount that you’d normally be eating.

Now, this person does say that she eats a ton, which what does a ton look like? Is that like 2 cups at every meal? Is that 4 cups at every meal? Is that 1 cup at every meal? I don’t know what a ton means to her.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: But she may just be concerned that the excess protein that she’s been eating through animal protein was causing some of that insomnia. That’s definitely a thing to keep in mind if you do have insomnia and you’re on a low carb, high protein diet. Sometimes that high protein intake can affect your sleep, and so if that’s the concern, I would mostly look at reducing the amount of animal protein that she’s eating.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Laura: Long story short, no, you don’t need to track it from vegetables unless you want to.

Now one thing that I think she needs to keep in mind is that if you’re going to be tracking in an app like My Fitness Pal or something like that that looks at what you’re eating in terms of calories, macronutrients, micronutrients, all that, My Fitness Pal is going to count all your protein sources as long as you’re entering in every food that you eat.

If you’re putting in all the plant and animal foods that you’re eating, you’re going to get a total protein consumption for the day. That’s going to be mostly animal protein because just the nature of animal foods being much higher in protein than plants, but it will also include any protein that you’re getting from vegetables or even starches, things like potatoes, fruit.

Most plant foods do have a least a little bit of protein in it, even if it’s just random amino acids that is just contributing to the total protein intake. If you are tracking it and adding in all the food that you’re eating, you’re going to get a total protein intake anyway.

It’s a little bit of a tricky question because if you’re thinking about just aiming for a certain amount of animal food protein sources…so a lot times when I work with clients I’ll say oh, aim for like 4 ounces per meal of some kind of animal protein.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: That’s not all the protein that they’re getting, but that’s kind of the goal that they’re going to shoot for in terms for a portion size.

If that’s the approach that Rebecca’s taking, then she may just want to look at reducing the total volume that she’s eating at meal. If she’s eating 6 or 8 ounces at every meal, maybe she drops to 4 ounces at every meal. But if she’s actually tracking on an app, unless she just does not put in any of her vegetable intake, then she’s going to get some of that in the total macros, the total protein grams allotment that she set for herself.

Kelsey: Yeah, and it usually doesn’t add up to a whole lot unless you’re eating things like legumes or something that tend to have more protein. Or other grains like quinoa can have more protein than other things. When just coming from vegetables and things like that, it does add up, but it doesn’t add up as significantly as you might think.

Laura: Mm hmm.

Kelsey: Really you just need to worry mostly about things like meats, and eggs, and protein coming from those types of sources. But like Laura said, when you are tracking it in an app, it’s going to be pulling from everything you’re eating.

Laura: Yeah.

Kelsey: But for the most part, you don’t need to worry about that.

Laura: Right. With protein, that’s one of the few macronutrients that I think people tend to be much better at self-regulating the amount that they’re eating. Even if this person thinks she’s eating too much protein, which she very well could be, once she starts eating more carbs in general I think her protein appetite will probably decrease for two reasons. For one, just total volume. I mean if you’re eating a lot of carbs you’re just not going to have the same volume in your stomach for more protein than you would have if you weren’t eating those carbs.

The second possible reason is because when you’re getting the glucose that you need though dietary carbohydrate intake, your body doesn’t need as much protein to create the glucose it needs. When you’re on a low carb diet, your body is going to use whatever protein you eat to create new glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. In that situation because your body doesn’t have the carbs to get the glucose it needs, it’s going want more protein to make up for that lack of carbs.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Laura: Generally I find that people who are on low carb diets have a higher appetite for protein and once they start eating carbs again, like starches, and fruit, and that kind of stuff, their ability or even their desire to eat a very high protein diet will drop.

Kelsey: Yeah. I’ve definitely seen the same thing and what I have also noticed is that when people have been on a low carb diet and they start to eat carbs again, the satiation factor of carbohydrates is very intense. They will say that carbs are very, very filling and now when they try to take carbs out or they have a meal that’s a little bit lower in carbs, they notice that really helps to keep them full. That is something that you may notice as well that carbs tend to be very filling after you haven’t eaten them for a long time.

While we normally think of protein as very satiating macronutrient, and it is for sure, like Laura mentioned, it’s kind of just like when you add this extra volume of carbohydrate, and for a lot of people that have been on low carb, it’s very filling and very satiating. Your natural desire for protein tends to go down just because you’re body is getting satiation elsewhere now as well.

Laura: Mm hmm. Now one thing I want to add about this concern about protein from vegetables, again like I said before, I don’t know if Rebecca is eating a cup of non-starchy at every meal or 3 cups at every meal. I mean I would be surprised if that’s how much she was eating, but I’ve seen weirder stuff.

Kelsey: Yeah.

Laura: If she’s eating so many non-starchy veggies that she thinks that’s contributing significantly to her protein intake, I would actually suggest reducing the total non-starchy vegetable intake. The reason for that is because first of all, if you’re in that mindset that that’s where you’re getting your carbs from, they’re not really helpful for providing carbs or even calories in general. If you’re super active, and you’re worried that you’re under eating carbs, and you’re eating tons and tons of non-starchy vegetables, then you may have to reduce those to be able tolerate more carb from intake the other plant foods or even some grains.

It’s not a typical recommendation from a Dietitian to say reduce your vegetable intake, but sometimes people are actually eating way too many. I actually see a lot of people that in my opinion eat way too many vegetables.

Kelsey: I do too.

Laura: The main problems from this, other than the fact that it’s easy to under eat calories and carbs if you’re just stuffing yourself on non-starchy vegetables, is I see a lot of people getting disturbances in their GI function or their microbiome from that. I’m assuming that’s a big thing you see as well.

Kelsey: Yes, for sure.

Laura: Then the other possible issue with eating that many vegetables is that you’re getting an excess intake of certain plant toxins, things like oxalates which can be high in certain greens, goitrogens which are going to affect your thyroid function. This person says that she’s eating a lot of broccoli and Brussels sprouts, which in moderation are fine. But if she’s eating plates and plates of them every day, that could affect her thyroid function

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Laura: I feel like being reasonable in your vegetable intake is really important and if you are used to just eating tons of them at every meal, then consider dropping that a little bit and focusing more the starchy plant foods that are going to help give you energy, calories, and carbohydrates in general.

Kelsey: Yeah, I think that’s really important especially if you’re someone who is eating just a straight three meals a day because just thinking about overall volume, obviously vegetables tend to have a lot of volume and they tend to be lower in calories. You will notice that most people who are eating tons and tons vegetables like this, they get full really quickly, but then they notice later on that they’re maybe a little bit hungry, but they don’t want to eat until their next meal, and they’re still eating just three meals a day. That’s pretty much a recipe for under eating.

Laura: Mm hmm.

Kelsey: Especially for someone who is pretty active, or is dealing with adrenal fatigue, or both like this person, it’s probably a really good idea depending on what this person means by ton of vegetables to decrease that and see if that changes anything.

I have a feeling she’ll notice that she’s not getting hungry in between meals or not feeling poorly as much in between meals because a lot of times especially with adrenal fatigue, people don’t necessarily get the right hunger signals. You don’t feel that growling in your stomach necessarily, but start you’ll feeling kind of tired, you may be a little bit dizzy, just kind of not fully with it, brain fog, maybe you get a headache. There are these other signals that your body is trying to give you saying we need fuel, we need something to keep going, and we need energy. It can be hard at first if you don’t realize that those are signals for you to eat when you’re not getting regular hunger signals.

I think Rebecca will notice that if she cuts down a bit on the non-starchy vegetable intake, starts eating some carbs, maybe goes down on her protein a bit depending on what she’s thinking is too much protein, she’ll notice that her energy is a little bit more stable throughout the day as well.

Laura: Definitely, and like we were saying since she’s active, she’s going to have a much higher need for calories and carbs. This is a really common thing that when people are on a low carb diet because they can’t eat carbs, they just go crazy with the protein and veggies.

It can be short term helpful for certain things like weight loss, I mean really weight loss is probably the one thing that it’s helpful for. Most…well I don’t want to say successful because successful indicates a long term success, but most short term successful weight loss plans are going to be pretty high protein, and low fat, and low carb. Those are the ways that most people are going to lose lots of weight very quickly. I’m not saying that’s the optimal way. I’m just saying that that’s the most effective way to lose weight very fast in the beginning. A lot of people just continue that way of eating for way too long and then it becomes a problem that they’re just not getting the nutrition that they need to function normally.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: We had mentioned that she says that she’s eating a ton of vegetables and she also says she’s eating way too much protein. Another question I would have for Rebecca is what does she consider to be way too much protein? Just to give people some general guidelines for a woman, I’d say about 10 to 12 ounces a day from animal sources is generally enough for most people…not people, I should say women.

Kelsey: Yeah.

Laura: Men tend to have a little bit more higher needs, maybe 12 to 16 ounces from animal sources would be more than enough. Would you agree with that amount?

Kelsey: Yeah, for sure.

Laura: Okay, because I find that for most people more than 16 ounces per day is unnecessary unless somebody is trying to put on a ton of muscle, and working out really hard, and generally they’re a man.

Kelsey: Yes, right.

Laura: There’s not a lot of women that need than a pound of meat per day. If she’s finding that she’s eating more than a pound per day of animal protein, then yeah, definitely cutting that back is going to be important. But if it’s around 10 or 12 ounces, it’s really not that big of a deal. That’s kind of a more normal amount of meat intake for a healthy Paleo approach that also includes starch.

Now, just general guidelines, if Rebecca’s tracking on My Fitness Pal, I usually suggest that people don’t go higher than 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of either their current or their ideal body weight. Just to give myself as an example because I’m pretty close to what my “ideal body weight” is. When I say ideal body weight, I’m talking about what the…I forget which organization put these numbers together.

Kelsey: Yeah.

Laura: But for women its 100 pounds for 5 feet of height, and then every inch above 5 feet is 5 pounds. Now again, totally arbitrary. It’s just a calculation that we use. For me being about 5’8” my ideal body weight would be calculated at 140 and my current weight is around 150. For me, I’m pretty close to my ideal body weight so I don’t have to worry necessarily about having this really off calculation. For me, aiming for between 112 to 150 grams of protein per day would be plenty. Actually 150 grams per day would be around 25 to 30% of my daily calorie needs, which that’s actually considered a pretty high protein percentage. I don’t think I eat anywhere near that much. I probably don’t right now especially I haven’t really been focusing….

Kelsey: Yeah, I was going to say you probably have to focus pretty intently to get that amount.

Laura: Yeah, 150 for me really requires protein powder.

Kelsey: Yeah.

Laura: I can’t get that high without eating protein powder. My thought at that point is okay, if I can’t eat enough physical protein sources to get that high, then is that really a good goal? Maybe not.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: I like to try to focus on real food as much as possible, real protein that you have to chew as much as possible. But I’m not saying 150 dangerous, I just don’t know if it’s necessary to get the benefits that a higher protein diet would give to somebody.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: Now if you’re significantly overweight or obese, if you’re more than 30 pounds over your ideal bodyweight, or if your BMI is 30 or above, then going for your ideal bodyweight is going to give you a better target to aim for when it comes to protein.

For example, like I said my ideal bodyweight is 140, but if I weighted 180-190 or something like that, I wouldn’t want to do a gram per pound of bodyweight because that would be way too many grams of protein. Using my ideal body weight, again, is going to keep that closer to that 120-140 range and that’ll prevent me from getting a target that’s just like outrageously high.

That’s kind of a little bit nuanced and that’s when working with someone can help you figure out what’s appropriate because if you’re 20 pounds overweight, then going for the 1 gram per pound of current bodyweight might not be that big of a deal. But it’s hard to tell, especially if you’re 5 feet tall versus 6 feet tall, your weight is going to be a lot different.

That’s my general estimate that I use for a lot of people and then I’ll use their other lifestyle information to figure out if that’s a good amount. Because for example, if you’re aiming for 150 grams a day but your calories are only 1800 per day, then that’ll take you to 33% of your calories from protein, which I really don’t think anyone should be going over 30% of their intake from protein.

Kelsey: Iagree.

Laura: If you’re on a lower calorie diet or say you’re not super active and you’re trying to go for 1 gram per pound of current bodyweight, not really a good combination. Same goes for if I was really, really active and I was only getting 112 grams of protein per day and let’s say my calorie goal was 2800 or something, then that’s only 16%, which actually 15-16%, still okay.

Kelsey: But certainly down at the lower side of things.

Laura: Yeah, definitely. That might not support my goal super well if my goal was to put on muscle, or I don’t know. I mean I still think if you’re eating enough carbs and you’re getting 15% of your calories from protein, you should be fine.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Laura: But some people find that the higher protein intake helps them put more muscle on. I don’t have a goal of putting a ton of muscle on right now. I can’t say that’s what I’m actually doing, but this is just to give Rebecca some ideas about numbers to look at because if she’s putting in 30% of her calories as protein versus 20%, that’s going to give her a different goal and maybe she’s still over eating, or maybe she’s eating a normal amount of protein.

Kelsey: Yeah.

Laura: So just to give her some general guidelines.

Kelsey: Perfect, yeah. Another point to mention here too, especially because she has a diagnosis of adrenal fatigue, is that when you start to increase protein or if you’re getting a lot of protein at night…if she’s been eating a lot of protein recently, and again we don’t know entirely what she means by that. But let’s say she’s eating towards the higher end of this and to do that, to make that amount of protein within her calorie goals and what she’s eating over the course of the day, she ends up eating a fairly high protein dinner, or having some protein later at night as a bedtime snack, or something like that, that can interfere with sleep for a lot of people because protein tends to be fairly stimulating. In someone with HPA axis dysregulation, we do tend to recommend a kind of lower protein as you go toward evening time to make sure that your sleep is good, and that you’re falling asleep easily, and you’re staying asleep well.

That’s something to consider also with your protein needs, Rebecca, as you’re figuring this out is if you’re lowering your protein, which it sounds like you probably will need to, of course that’s going to help kind of keep protein lower at night. But you may want to focus more of your protein in the morning like at breakfast time. That tends to be very, very helpful for people with adrenal fatigue and less protein at night. You’ll find that you sleep better and that you’re blood sugar and cortisol levels tend to be more regular throughout the day.

Laura: Mm hmm. Definitely. Let’s see, I’m wondering if there’s anything else we wanted to talk about. I mean, really with protein intake, again like we said before, people are pretty good at knowing when to stop eating protein. However, I find that if somebody’s on a super extreme only two macronutrient diet, so if they’re either super low carb, or super low fat…now I feel like super low carb is really where this happens.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Laura: I don’t really see this being an issue on super low fat, but there’s always the potential if somebody is really avoiding a macronutrient class in its entirety. You will crave more protein and you will probably end up eating more simply because of the fact that you just don’t have a third of the macronutrient option to eat.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: If somebody is eating a balanced diet, I don’t normally see over protein consumption to be an issue just because our bodies are pretty good at self-regulating that appetite. So Rebecca, as you’re adding carbs in and reducing your total non-starchy veggie intake, you may find that your protein appetite is doing a pretty good job of regulating itself and you don’t have to worry about it, and you don’t have to track how much protein you’re eating.

But if you’re trying to get into a new strategy of macronutrient distribution…that’s kind of a very specific technological term…but yeah, if you’re trying to go from a low carb, high protein diet to a more of a moderate to even maybe higher carb moderate protein diet, or even lower protein diet depending on what your aiming for, I would really focus on getting those carbs as a percentage of your calories up and just see what happens as that starts to develop. You may find that the protein is just going to drop on its own, you don’t really have to worry about it.

Kelsey: Yeah, and honestly, the more balanced you go, the more likely that’s going to happen.

Laura: Yeah.

Kelsey: I think Laura and I are on the same page that it’s likely that you may not necessarily need to track, but maybe tracking in the beginning could potentially be helpful just to kind of give you a sense of what you’re actually getting. Especially when you’re coming from a more extreme dietary approach, it can be difficult to sort of estimate what you’re getting and just determine if that’s a normal or balanced sort of approach. That’s where tracking can be useful.

But for the most part, this will all kind of happen naturally as you increase your carbohydrate intake. As we always say on this show I feel like, don’t worry too much about it. Chances are it will kind of work itself out as you start to add in the carbs.

Laura: Mm hmm. Definitely.

Kelsey: That should be our motto.

Laura: Yeah, just don’t worry about anything.

Kelsey: Don’t worry about it.

Laura: Well, hopefully that’s helpful, Rebecca. Feel free to make some comments at the bottom of this podcast episode on our website TheAncestralRDs.com. Also if you guys have any similar questions, or expansion questions, or completely unrelated questions, you can submit those through the contact tab at our site as well.

We’re hoping to get some more interviews on in the next couple episodes. Maybe not the next one, but in the future we’re trying to get some more, so hoping to get a little bit of a bigger mix of opinions on here.

But in the meantime with the Q&A episodes, we’re happy to answer your guys’ questions. Please feel free to send any questions you have and we will look forward to seeing you guys here next week.

Kelsey: Alright. Take care, Laura.

Laura: You too, Kelsey.

 

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