TOL: Macronutrients

Happy Thursday everyone! Today I decided to link-up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday for something that has been on my mind after reading blogs, seeing Instagram, etc.


Last year I would say I definitely had fallen victim to the whole “protein” phenomenon that is going on in our media. Protein Bars, Protein Shakes, Protein, Protein, Protein! I had this understanding that if you want to gain muscle you need to eat PROTEIN! So I ate Quest Bars, tried protein powders and made sure to get in ALL the protein.

Before a long run or workout I fueled with a Quest Bar and an apple. But for some reason I always felt hungry, less energized and constantly just thinking about food. I was always concerned that I wasn’t getting enough protein so I would have hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese or what not, just to always make sure I was getting in my protein. I remember during long runs I would get extremely hungry and NEED Gus to get through them.


Pre-workout fuel that I thought was fuel (well maybe the apple, but not all that protein).

Then one day while studying for my NASM test I got to the Nutrition chapter (this was probably around March/April). I had started to get a better understanding of the macronutrients that our bodies need, how much we need, and what the macronutrients do for our bodies.


Source: What a great representation of what you need! 

While studying I learned that 45-65% of your daily caloric intake should come from carbs (that includes fruits, veggies, and whole grains), 10-35% should come from protein, and 20-35% should come from fats. Now I could get into all of the details of what is recommended, etc. other criteria, but just looking at those percentages I was shocked!! I just assumed with all the protein all over social media and advertising that I needed more when really what I needed more of was carbs!

So I decided to ditch the Quest bars and try out fueling my runs and my workouts with cereal and whole grain breads like toast with peanut butter and jelly. Refueling after a workout with more of a balance of protein and carbs (like the Kashi Almond Flax bars, not loaded with fake protein powder,  just natural from almonds, etc.).


7 g of protein, 19 g of carbs and 5 g of fat- a little more balanced than a bar loaded with 20-30g of protein

As I did this I started to notice a HUGE difference in my workouts and even my feelings (if that makes sense). I stopped feeling so hungry all the time and stopped worrying if I was getting enough protein. My body started to utilize the carbohydrates that I was fueling it with for energy, rather than using the protein (something your body really doesn’t like to use as fuel but it does if it has to).


I have my whole life dealt with dieting, disordered eating patterns, etc. and it is something I will have to deal with the rest of my life. Looking back at last year with my thoughts on needing ALL of the protein, it was kind of a disordered way of thinking and I didn’t even realize it. I do not and never will count calories or macros because that is something I cannot do. I just make sure to have some protein with breakfast, lunch and dinner and I am sure that I probably am meeting my daily requirement.

My education becoming a NASM CPT has been so valuable to me both personally (and hopefully soon professionally). We are always a work in progress and we are always constantly changing and learning. Will I ever be completely balanced in my eating, exercising or life for that matter? Probably not. Maybe somedays I eat too many carbs or calories and maybe somedays I don’t. Some days I eat more “real food” some days my food comes from a restaurant or a package. The lack of balance on the day to day creates a balance in your life. One day I have the large ice cream with hot fudge and the next day I have the kale salad. Some days my brain may beat me up for eating something and some days I may not think twice about what I am eating. That imbalance makes me balanced.


So cheers to eating food that I enjoy, fueling and refueling my workouts with food that makes me feel good, ditching the chemical crap, and indulging in ice cream when I want it!

I am a work in progress and I am enjoying every minute of this ride. 🙂

***Please note I am not a Registered Dietician or a Certified Nutritionist. The numbers and information provided were found through research online and in books, I am not a professional. Please consult your physician or a professional about what works for you. I also am not here judging you if you count macros, eat more protein, or even eat protein bars or drink protein shakes.  I am sharing what works for ME, this is a no judgement zone whatsoever! 🙂 



3 thoughts on “TOL: Macronutrients

  1. YES! You have no idea how much I can relate to this. I fell victim to the protein craze too, and I could never understand why I was hungry and moody all the time since protein is supposed to be the thing that satisfies you the most. Uhm. No. My body wanted CARBS, and I feel so much better when I have a diet that’s higher in those.

  2. The infamous protein craze. I was recently at a conference with doctor and dietician, Chris Mohr, and he spoke about this. Not only are Americans on this protein craze and some people are actually getting too much protein, but they’re also getting too much protein too late in the day. Often, people don’t eat any or enough protein in the morning, and then they freakin protein load in the afternoon and especially evening at dinner.

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