Protein Fat Carbs

Hey all! It has been a lovely week so far–I sure hope so for you too! (Anyone try the garlic herb bread for dinner??)

The holiday season has arrived (as has our fitness challenge–how’s it going??), and life couldn’t be more beautiful.

P.S. Happy Saint Nicholas Day (December 6th in Germany and Switzerland–my heritage and where I lived for almost 2 years!) This holiday is where you set your shoe out and he comes! The shoe magically gets filled with candy, oranges, nuts, and treats if you’re good, and coal if you’re bad. I still do this! And my shoe always gets filled…..with the good stuff:)


The Mix To Stay Satisfied -Protein Fat Carbs

I get questions often from people I train and teach about what the heck I eat. Well, that is quite the lengthy discourse, so I will sum up what works to keep me satisfied and humming along (and able to keep doing that crazy fitness schedule I posted).

I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains (hello bread!), chicken and fish. I also like nut butters, soy products, almond milk, nuts, beans, chocolate (duh!!), vinegars, lentils, salsa, jam, frozen yogurt, oats, some protein powders, smoothies, and eggs.

can't. get.enough.eggs and jam.

What I’ve noticed with my eating is that to stay satisfied, full, and be fueled correctly I need to eat a combo of healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates. This is KEY.

When I did not eat much back in the day I hardly ate any carbs. I thought of them as the ‘bad guys’ and would avoid them as best as possible. Of course like I mentioned before in a carbohydrate post, not all ‘carbs’ are created equal! So my inability to actually put science to the test ended up being detrimental to my health and my thought processes for years.

Luckily though, I now not only understand the science of complex carb fuel, I FEEL it. I am so much happier when I eat a balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates!

I’ve also learned recently that with lifting weights so much, I do seem to get hungry—and often.  If I make sure to include some sort of protein in my meals and snacks, the hunger tends to creep up less. (Science: protein leaves the stomach last, keeping us fuller longer!) Score.

Not stopping to have to eat every hour is awesomesauce, by the way. Eat PROTEIN!

just top everything with Greek yogurt and you'll be good to go

And finally, we need fats! We do. (Read more about the science of fats). So, in order to maintain healthy bodies, enhance the flavor of our foods, and reach satiation from foods, eating fat is definitely an essential part to that.

Of course eating it within reason, and eating the right types of fat are crucial points to that discussion.

The Power Of Three -Protein Fat Carbs

So as a review, the secret to staying satisfied is to combine a meal or snack with:

  • healthy fats (i.e. olive oil, nuts, nut butters)
  • complex carbohydrates (i.e. whole wheat bread, fruits, veggies, whole grain pancakes/waffles/pita chips/crackers)
  • protein (i.e. fish, tofu, beans, chicken, turkey, protein powders, cheese)

if I have to..... :)

{And as a segway to a soon-coming post about chocolate milk, this is WHY I refuel after lifting weights with chocolate milk……HINT: chocolate milk is the perfect ratio of all three and includes a protein that has been shown to increase muscle recovery and enhance muscle rebuilding!}

I am off to HIIT the treadmill with a vengeance–I will be sure to post the super sweaty workout in the a.m. Stay tuned :)

What is YOUR favorite combo of foods to hit all three of these key elements?? What workout are YOU going to do today?? 

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  1. Chocolate soymilk is one of my favorite post workout drinks – it tastes more decadent then skim! :)

  2. my fav combo? as of late with the cold winter months ahead of us, it’s been chili! sometimes with turkey meat, sometimes with out! but i definitely load up on the beans and veggies in it! (and sometimes a dollop of plain greek yogurt on the top for added protein!) my workout for today? i just did 34 minutes on the treadmill incline 10, speed 3.5. after school, i am meeting diana at the gym for a major cardio sess + abs work out. we did your circuit #2 and #3 the last two days, we are both feeling a need for a break from strength training because we are feeling the soreness! (#2 is my favorite of your circuits!) #kickingitupanotch 😉

    • That chili sounds awesome!

      Wahoo-glad you’re #kickingitupanotch!! I like circuit #2 a lot as well–have fun doing that major cardio tonight. What are ya going to do? speed drills?

  3. Absolutely agree with you- I need a combo of those three things in order to be satisfied and feel healthy :). Have a great workout! Can’t wait to read about it!

  4. This is always hard for me, I don’t always know what foods to combine to feel full. I think this can be why I don’t always feel full for too long.

    • I think for me it is definitely a protein thing. If I only eat bread or bread with a little fat I get hungry like an hour later. if it has protein in it, then I hold out much longer! I also think sugar does the opposite–it makes us crave more food that is not necessarily healthy for us. Just a thought :)

  5. caroline says:

    Peanut butter, banana and bread is my go to quick breakfast or snack. I look forward to reading about the chocolate milk after workout information!

  6. I have two different post-exercise snacks that I make the most:
    1. A smoothie using peanut flour, a frozen banana, ice, and almond milk (hits all 3!)
    2. Greek yogurt (2%) with fruit
    My appetite is definitely a lot more fierce the more I lift- my hubby is the same way. I won’t even tell you how much he eats M-F when he lifts…

    • Haha. I can only imagine–as I too eat like all day long when I lift :)

      I love Greek yogurt too–on and with almost anything-YUMM! Good choice.

  7. I always feel so satisfied and content after I eat a meal that is balanced with carbs, fat, and protein! It makes sense since it’s what our body NEEDS. :) My favorite combo is whole wheat toast (carb) topped with peanut butter (fat/protein) and banana (carb). I also love smoothies packed with fruits, oatmeal, some peanut butter, and protein powder. Salads are another easy way to pack all three in! (With the right toppings of course!)

  8. One of my favorite ways to get all these in are my oats with eggs! you just whisk in your egg when you’re starting to cook your oats, and then you have carbs, protein, and healthy fats! even more when I add walnuts as a topper!

  9. This is my first visit to your blog and I’m so happy I found it! Your summary of the benefits of protein/fat/carbs is great. I wish more people understood the importance of balance in one’s diet…it’s so KEY! Anyway, can’t wait to come back and check out your recipes. My sis and I are always looking for new recipes :) Happy Saint Nicholas Day!!

    • :) Glad you came by!

      SO true–balance is key. I wish I had known that all my life! hah. Thanks-I am excited to put my shoe out for Saint Nickolas Day– he is for sure coming tonight!!

  10. I love carbs–who doesn’t!? But try to get a balanced ratio of 40/40/20

  11. I love a good stir-fry over quinoa with chicken and a ridiculous amount of vegetables! YUM


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