How the Macronutrients can Affect how You Feel

From my Nutritional Therapy certification to discovering the metabolism in practice, one thing’s been repeatedly confirmed: the body gives feedback about what it wants. Your ideal balance can change according to where you’re at in life; your stress level, your current metabolic health, etc. Rigidly adhering to a number only due to an arbitrary guideline or goal without being receptive to the feedback of the body can have unforeseen consequences that fly under the radar.

Recently it’s come to light that my protein consumption at the beginning of the day, at a ratio of less than 1:2 protein: carbs, contributed to anxiety and overwhelm. A lot of current health advice, especially for anyone trying gain muscle or lose fat, centers around maximizing protein. While protein can build muscle and increase the rate at which calories are burned, what’s neglected is the important nuance related to holistic health.

Protein actually increases insulin more than carbs. What this means is that if you’re eating protein and not adequate carbs with it (normally a minimum of that 1:2 ratio previously mentioned) your body will be forced to liberate glucose in one way or another. This turns on stress hormone cortisol, which many know to be counterproductive for weight loss long term.

When it comes to metabolic health, the goal is to always provide signals to the body that it’s safe, not in a famine, and support mental health for long- term, sustainable results that support an optimal quality of life all around. I have benefited increasing my protein consistently, without a doubt. But I’ve learned the importance of balance, not just in total by the end of the day, but on average throughout the day. This can potentially be especially important first thing in the morning when cortisol is naturally highest. I felt much better by reducing protein initially and having more a little later on when I’m actually hungry enough to eat enough carbs to “balance it out”. In practical terms, this meant reducing my scoop of whey protein to 1/3 of the scoop I was formerly using.

Leave a Reply