Pumping up the Protein

Last week, and probably a few weeks running before that, I’ve been a bit slack in the protein department.  This is bad news for a couple reasons.

  1. I’ve been lifting heavy in the gym, and my body needs help repairing itself.
  2. I get hungry more often when too many of my calories come from carbs.
  3. Though I’m not trying to pack on serious muscle, I am a fan of a fit physique.
  4. I owe it to myself to have well planned meals with a good ratio of fats/carbs/protein.

 row

Being strict about a certain ratio day-in and day-out isn’t my cuppa’ tea, but I like having guidelines.  Each person’s macro ratio differs given his or her needs and the types of carbs/fats eaten.

For instance, processed sugars aren’t as good as all-natural carbs loaded with fiber.  In addition, I’m looking to have a slightly higher proportion of fats in my diet, most all of which coming from nuts, olives, fish, etc. to improve my heart health.

fish

The distinctions don’t stop there.  The “best” ratio for a person also depends on his or her goals.  For instance, vegans might have less protein, though they can still get enough to meet daily requirements.  Endurance athletes require more carbohydrates than most of us, probably somewhere around a 50-60 carbs/15-20 protein/20-25 fats.

Those looking to pack on serious muscle might portion things out more along the lines of 40 carbs/30 protein/30 fats or 40/40/20.  I haven’t done the Body for Life program, but it’s my understanding that participants are encouraged to follow a 40/40/20 plan as well.

macros
Source

If you want some basic guidelines that you can then alter to fit your needs, I recommend checking out NutritionData.com.  (Nope, I have not been paid anything for mentioning them; I just really like the site.)  Find the Daily Needs Calculator…

nutrition

Then review your recommendations.  Considering I’m not doing much endurance running right now, I am going to scale back the carbs.  Also, I’ll increase the (healthy) fats a bit too, but here’s the guideline it gave me.

ratio

Cool right?  Monday I had 36/34/30 (fat/carb/prot).  Tuesday was 31/44/25, and yesterday was 25/46/29.  Yesterday is surprising since I still had Greek yogurt, homemade protein bars, and turkey bean chili.  I know… I’m a nerd, but I find this stuff pretty interesting.

  • Have you ever tracked your macros?
  • Have you had any more or less success with more or less carbs/protein/fats?

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10 Responses to Pumping up the Protein

  1. I’ve tracked the macros before when using fitday(?) the last time I used it during training. It was nice because it definitely kept me from going nuts with the carbs…

  2. I’ve tracked macros before, but it it became way too obsessive and unhealthy for me so I had to stop. I find that my body operates the best when I eat a higher carb and moderate protein/fat diet. I tried going higher protein before on a few occasions and each time not only does my energy plummet, but my digestion gets all sorts of screwed up. Not complaining, though – I’m a girl who loves her carbs :D

  3. Kacy says:

    I know I would do better on higher protein/lower carbs but I never really track it. Some days are super high protein and others are a wash. I love the idea of more healthy fat for your heart though. I need to work on that myself.

  4. Way to go on listening to your bodies needs! I track on MyFitnessPal and have had success with both 30/30/40 and also high fat, moderate protein and very low carb.

  5. Macros aren’t something I give a TON of thought to, although I probably should! I try to go with how I’m feeling, but I know that I could probably stand to eat more protein to feel more sated. Now getting in enough fat? Pretty sure I’ve got that one under control. :)

  6. Wow for a minute there i thought u meant grams and not percentages! Ok, i try and get at least 50 grams of protien a day, thats what i track most often…

    xoxo from Trinidad

  7. I do track my macros. I eat a ton of protein daily so I make up spreadsheets planning out my food for the week so I stay near my numbers.

  8. I’ve never tracked marcos before but I do track in My Fitness Pal. If I keep up with it as I should there is a display for the breakdown of everything you eat in a day. It’s pretty fascinating stuff! :)

  9. I don’t really count macros. I just try to get a little of everything. LOL.

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