About the episode:

The topic of today’s show is one I’ve been passionate about for years now. It’s taken me a year to finally put this information out there because I built it up so much in my head, and it feels really good to teach you how you can reduce your environmental impact through food without it being an inconvenience.

I figure, what better time than two weeks before earth day to release this podcast series!

And to celebrate it I am offering a 50% discount on our performance and fat loss macros & meal planning programs for the next two weeks IF you elect to have your meal planning program customized for reducing environmental impact. Our macros & meal planning products were quietly released at the beginning of the year, and already we have clients like Kristi who just posted on Instagram that she’s already lost 12lbs and hit a 305lb Deadlift PR today! You can find her inspiring post on our Instagram @beyondmacros.

This show is brought to you by us, Beyond Macros, a nutrition coaching company that helps you make a sustainable transformation through realistic habit changes rather than restrictive dieting.

Make sure you are subscribed to the show on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, if you enjoy the show, please leave a rating on iTunes, and if you want to get leaner, stronger, and perform better by learning how to count macros go to beyondmacros.com/worksheet

In This Episode:

[02:42] About today’s episode.
[02:00] How to reduce your negative impact on the environment
[03:17] The absolute best way you can increase the locality of your food.
[06:23] How to calculate your calories.
[07:37] A theoretical breakdown of protein sources.
[08:23] Why not all meat is bad.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome back to the Beyond Macros Podcast, we are the sustainable transformation nutrition coaches, and our show will help you get leaner and perform better in a way that lasts with episodes about nutrition, recovery, and the all important art of inner work.

The topic of today’s show is one I’ve been passionate about for years now. It’s taken me a year to finally put this information out there because I built it up so much in my head, and it feels really good to teach you how you can reduce your environmental impact through food without it being an inconvenience.

I figure, what better time than two weeks before earth day to release this podcast series!

And to celebrate it I am offering a 50% discount on our performance and fat loss macros & meal planning programs for the next two weeks IF you elect to have your meal planning program customized for reducing environmental impact. Our macros & meal planning products were quietly released at the beginning of the year, and already we have clients like Kristi who just posted on Instagram that she’s already lost 12lbs and hit a 305lb Deadlift PR today! You can find her inspiting post on our instagram @beyondmacros.

The macros & meal planning programs not only teach you exactly how much to eat, of what, and when, but you will also get tons of convenient meal ideas based on your goals, a 3-month Dumbbell program coach Jackie used to gain 2.5lbs muscle while losing 8lbs of fat, and a number of bonuses to help you navigate eating at restaurants or traveling.

All you have to do to get that massive discount is enter the code EARTH50 at checkout. This will drop the price from $147 to $74. To make it easy on you, you can just go to beyondmacros.com/earth to find those products as well as the article I wrote to accompany this show!

Now for the show.

Shout out to Amanda Ravenhill of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and all the researchers from Drawdown for opening my eyes to the SOLUTIONS to global warming this time last year.

And it turns out some of the most impactful solutions are FULLY within our control as individuals. Which is scary because we can’t blame corporations and just go about our daily lives, but it’s also empowering to know that by following a few simple concepts, you can have a MAJOR positive impact on your health, performance, and the environment.

There are a few important things to understand about how to reduce your negative impact on the environment:
⅓ of food worldwide is wasted.
A plant-rich diet is THE most impactful change an individual can make to reduce their impact….
...but “Silvopasture” and “Managed Grazing” are also solutions to global warming that involve raising grazing animals.

This is good news because this points to an inclusive solution to a problem that affects us all. Not everybody is willing to give up meat, and you don’t have to! The team of researchers for the book “Drawdown” defined a plant-rich diet as “the individual’s choice
to:
Maintain a 2500 calorie per day nutritional regime;
Meet daily protein requirements while decreasing meat consumption in favor of plant-based food items
Purchase locally produced food when available.

If 50% of the world’s population made this choice, the effect would be MASSIVE. The cumulative impact would be the fourth most impactful way to reverse global warming, and is the single most effective thing every individual has 100% control over.

According to the researchers on the Drawdown team, if 50% of the world’s population adopted a plant-rich diet as I just defined it, we could expect to see a cumulative emissions reduction of “66.11 gigatons of carbon dioxide-equivalent gases.”

Now I think it’s important to find a way to bring 1 gigaton, which is literally 2.2 TRILLION POUNDS, into human scale.

If all 7.6 billion humans on the planet took a deep breath at the same time, we would only suck in about 8.36 MILLION pounds of air. It would take 12 days worth of every human on earth blowing every breath they take into an impossibly large bag to create one gigaton of air.

And if just 50% of humans adhere to the simple conditions of a plant rich diet, we could reduce our emissions by 66.11 times that amount.

But if it’s so simple, why haven’t we done it?

Because changing eating habits is rarely straightforward! If it were, there would be no such thing as obesity, or nutrition coaches.

To break down the actions you can start taking, and the habits you can start forming without disrupting your life, let’s start with the first tenet of the plant-rich diet solution: eating 2500 calories (or less) per day.

I will assume that this audience is at least moderately active SOME of the time.

You can maintain your weight and improve performance at a calorie intake equivalent to between 14-16 times your bodyweight in pounds. That means EVERYBODY who is moderately active and under 178.6lbs could THRIVE under the conditions of a plant-rich diet.

But here’s the caveat. From what I’ve seen, the bodyweight coefficient method of calculating calories is not effective if you are overweight or obese because it overestimates calories. A reasonable estimate of your maintenance calorie needs if you’re lightly active, and currently overweight is about 14 times your ideal wieight instead of total bodyweight.

This means that for any lightly active or sedentary people whose ideal weight is 178.6lbs or less could also maintain weight at under 2500 calories. And I know this might blow your mind, but I’ve rarely ever seen any non-competitive weight lifting athletes with over 180lbs of lean muscle. Almost everybody on earth could thrive at under 2500 calories.

It is a very small minority of the population that needs more than 2500 calories per day to thrive.

So again, why is it so hard to convince 50% of the world to eat under 2500 calories?

Same reason diets are hard.

We live in a world with an abundance of hyper-palatable, calorie dense foods. As my friend Dr. Ben House put it “if you’re not overweight in our current system, you’re not normal. The people who are overweight are normal”

Your biology is wired to eat NOW while the gettings are good to protect against a time (like winter) when food is scarce. If you can fight against your biology…you’re weird.

We live in a world where you can nosh over 2500 calories in a single meal. As you might remember from last week’s show about the 10,000 calorie challenge- I did this with ease.

But since you’re listening this, it’s obvious you want to get weird with us. So let’s start taking action on this plant-rich diet at the calorie level.

I’ll break down how to calculate your calories, and you can also find these instructions at beyondmacros.com/earth

The way to do it is to first determine your maintenance level of calories. If you’re listening to this show I’m assuming you regularly move, so these numbers will be LOWER if you’re sedentary or higher if you’re training competitively.

If you’re relatively sedentary outside of your movement practice, multiply your ideal bodyweight in pounds by 14 to get your maintenance calories. If you’re active or have an active job outside of your movement practice, multiply your bodyweight by 16 to get your maintenance calories. If you fall somewhere between, multiply your bodyweight by 15 to get your maintenance calories.

If you want to lose weight, multiply your maintenance calories by 0.8.

Boom, I guarantee 90% or more of the people listening to this calculated under 2500 calories.

Commit to eating exactly this much food in a day, and you become a major part of the solution to our environmental crisis without making any other change or sacrifice. Plus, you fuel your performance and reach your body composition goals.

That’s a win-win situation.

But let’s take it to another level 🙂

The next facet of a plant-rich diet is to meet your daily protein requirements while decreasing meat consumption in favor of plant-based food items

This might seem scary to you if you’ve eaten a meat-centric meal every meal, every day of your life!

But believe me, I once had the nickname “the Venice Meat Man” and was slanging’ home-cured bacon to friends at the gym. I had a collection of exotic meats in my freezer for years. And I still salivate over a good novelty steak, like a yak filet.

I even have a tattoo of bacon in my lip which you can see at beyondmacros.com/earth

But I drastically reduced my reliance on meat for protein, and even did so while training for CrossFit regionals in 2017. So, I think I’m as qualified as anybody to teach you how to do the same without affecting your performance gains, or enjoyment of food.

The Drawdown researchers pointed to a study that assumes that 57g of protein or less per day comes from meat in a Plant-rich diet. That’s more than what the USDA recommended daily intake for men is!

But your no average person. You’re active!

If you lift and want to maximize muscle protein synthesis you should aim to eat more protein at about 0.82 grams per pound of body weight.

And for endurance athletes you could get away with about 0.68g per pound of bodyweight per day in total to maintain your muscle.

Let’s take someone at a lean 175lbs person who would thrive on 2500 calories per day. Their protein needs are about 145g per day if they lift weights, or 120g if they are an endurance athlete.

If 57g of this person’s protein total can come from meat, how much meat can they have?

[insert non-cheesy drumroll] They can have the equivalent of 1/2lb of steak per day!
So where does the remaining 63-88g of protein come from?!

Here is a theoretical breakdown of protein sources in addition to the 1/2lb of meat to reach a 175lb person’s protein targets:
40g of a plant-based protein powder administered before or after a workout.
1 Cup of lentils for some post workout carbs that also come with 19g Protein.
3 eggs (which don’t have the negative impact of meat).

Boom, no soy or franken-foods necessary! This is easily achieved with whole foods and the comforts of daily meat.

And not all meat is bad. In fact, managed grazing and silvopasture are two ways of raising grazing animals like cows in a way that positively impacts the environment!

If you can find local meat raised using these methods…you are winning the game.

And if you want to really show mother earth that you love her, we’ll move on to the third tenet of a plant-rich diet: Purchase locally produced food when available

The drawdown team says “A 5% localization factor is applied globally” without much explanation on this one. Let’s just assume it means 5% of your calories come from local sources.

For our 2500 calorie eater, this is 125 calories of locally grown food per day. If you get your daily meat locally, and nothing else, that’s roughly 400-600 of your calories coming from a local source.

Winning.

For everybody, including my 100% plant-based friends, the absolute best way you can increase the locality of your food is by visiting your local farmer’s market, farm stand, or co-op and buy what is in season.

I recognize the challenges of this:
It assumes you cook for yourself, and I realize most people are eating multiple meals outside the home per day. If this is you, find a place like SweetGreens that is both healthy, offers good plant options AND sources produce locally where possible.
It assumes you have the cooking chops to understand how to cook with unfamiliar food items. Luckily, there’s the internet to help you figure out what the hell to do with kohlrabi.
The farmer’s market is rarely a one-stop shop and takes a bit extra time, since you’ll likely have to go to the grocery store in addition to the market. Consider a grocery delivery service and go to the farmer’s market yourself. This will help you form a relationship with the local farmers and learn where most of your food is coming from. Plus, you can avoid going to the hectic as grocery store on a Sunday where everyone is battling for parking spots and blocking your way down the aisle with their obnoxiously placed grocery carts.

I think farmer’s markets are the best place to source meats because you can ask the farmer how the meat was raised. And since you’ll be eating less total meat, you can afford to pay a bit more per pound for the good stuff!

Another easy thing to do is to start paying attention to the little stickers and labels on your produce- where is the food coming from? And does your local grocery chain have a local produce section?

Just buy a little bit more food from nearby, even if it’s a little uglier than the stuff that got shipped from far away 😉

And with those small changes, you will not only improve your health, but the health of our planet.

Unlike other environmentally friendly initiatives that might feel like a major inconvenience with unclear benefits, making these three changes are THE MOST IMPACTFUL ways you as an individual can help reverse global warming.

As noble as it is to make these changes for the environment, I know how to change a habit and you need to dangle a short term reward in front of yourself to make a change. The seemingly disconnected and far off environmental impact may not be enough to help you stay true!

So to tune in to the selfish motivators, I want to remind you that these changes will improve your health, body composition, and performance NOW.

Head on over to BeyondMacros.com/earth now to get all of the resources from this show, and to claim your 50% discount on our environmentally friendly macros & meal planning program when you use code EARTH50 in the next two weeks.

I hope you enjoyed this epsidoes, and if you love the topic, make sure you’re subscribed so you get upcoming episodes about other realistic tips to reduce your environmental while you improve your health!

If you’re still listening, you’re a super fan and maybe this itunes review came from you. So thanks for taking the time to write these kind words David Robinson, former guest and host of the GS Nation podcast says:

Absolutely love this podcast! It is SO well produced, and Matt does an incredible job of taking an hour+ long interview and paring it down to a 15-20 minute show full of gems. He and his guests are knowledgeable and committed to bettering the lives of those around them. Please give it a listen!

Thanks David, much love to you, and everybody listening and I look forward to seeing you again next week!

Resources Mentioned

beyondmacros.com/earth

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