Minding your macros?

Hi friends! How’s your day going?


Is anyone participating in Indian Food Wednesday? It’s been wayyyyy too long since I’ve joined in the fun. Just need to find a favorite place in Tucson (that doesn’t have sour dosa haha).

I woke up early to make a batch of amazeballs to take to work:


I’m taking all 4 with me because everyday someone will ask what the “little meatballs” are that I’m eating. I figured I’d share the ball love 😉

Packed lunch was the easier kind: leftovers!


2 slices of brown rice toast and leftover bean stir fry creation from the other night.

lunch (2)

Looks kinda gross, tastes delicious.

I have to leave for a half hour, still have to make bfast, and have wet hair (we’ll see how this works out), but before I go, I thought it would be interesting to talk about macronutrients: carbs, fat and protein.

There has been a lot of hubbub going on about the Dukan Diet right now, as it’s pretty much the most popular diet in Europe. The reason why it has been in the spotlight is because they’re saying it’s the diet that Kate Middleton followed before her jaw-dropping-gorgeous wedding to Prince William.


When I first heard them talking about the Dukan Diet, I totally thought they were saying DUNKIN’ Diet. I rolled my eyes a little and thought it was similar to the Cookie Diet.

dunkin donuts Source

(Side note: growing up, every birthday morning my nana would bring me a pink frosted Dunkin’ donut to put a candle in and sing to me. They have a special place in my heart)

After hearing the details about the Dukan Diet, here’s what I have to say:

1. Dukan is like Atkin’s smarter brother. The diet is very Atkins-esque in the fact that it goes from 3 stages- the first being entirely protein, the second is adding more fruits and complex carbs, but the third (I like this one) eating whatever you would like, but going back to the Dukan style 1 day per week.

2. The major difference between Dukan and Atkin’s is that Dukan is very low fat. This is a more heart-healthy style of low-carb eating, because on Atkin’s they give you permission to go buck wild on fatty meats and cheeses. With Atkin’s, a double cheeseburger without the bun from McDonald’s is totally cool.

3. I DON’T advise carb restriction as a way to lose weight, which is why I’m not a big fan of Dukan (and despise Atkin’s). We need carbs for energy! I tried Atkin’s for less than a week back when I was trying to lose weight. My friends started to look like donuts and bagels, and I felt miserable. It definitely didn’t bode well with an active schedule, so I went onto the next thing pretty quickly.

4. That being said, I do prefer complex carbs over the white stuff, but believe that if you eat whole foods and have an active lifestyle, without restriction, your weight will fall where it belongs. There’s always room for some delicious homemade bread or a donut, if *most of the time* you eat the foods the earth provides us.

I do still keep a tally of carbs, fat and protein – a method I came up with that works pretty well for me. I like to make sure I have a balance of healthy fats, proteins and carbs in my diet to make sure I’m getting the nutrients I need.

Is anyone else mindful of carb/protein/fat ratios? Or do you just go with the flow? Any Atkin’s/Dukan fans out there?? It works very well for some people- I just wasn’t one of them.

I’m off to work- Hip Hop today!!!! Yay-uh.



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  1. Jessica @ brighteyesandbushytales on May 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Totally agree on the carbs! I just try to balance out my carbs & proteins throughout my daily meals. I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast, so I try to have a salad with some protein for lunch, and a mixed carb/protein dinner. If I know that I’m having something super carb-y for dinner, I will try to mimize carbs throughout the rest of the day. I just don’t think it’s possible, or healthy, to cut them out all-together.

  2. Chelsa on May 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I’d be lost without carbs

  3. Amanda Jewell on May 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Dr. Oz just did an entire episode about this “diet”. He had people who were on it at every stage & a medical panel who gave their opinions. There’s a 5-part series of the episode; here’s the link to it

    I really recommend watching it as it goes over the pros & cons from personal testimonials and doctors. Dr. Oz gives his opinion at the end too.

    • Jenn on October 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm

      Thank you so much for this link. Very late on the reply to this post but was recently researching this diet and went to the Fitnessista for some info. The post along with the Dr. Oz videos were really interesting and helpful.

  4. Christine @ Burning It Off on May 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I try to be mindful of my macros to make sure I get a nice balance of everything (although I eat more protein on days I do weights) but I don’t keep track of the actual numbers. I can’t imagine ever cutting out carbs completely!

  5. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table on May 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I try to watch my macros… I actually just posted about the recommended carb/protein intake is for runners. It is really hard to balance though!

  6. Whitney "To Live and Diet in L.A." on May 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for the post on the Dukan Diet. I’ve been wondering what all the hub bub was myself. I agree with you, and cannot live without my carbs…just don’t feel right without them!

  7. fittingbackin on May 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Very interesting to get your take on it! haha I totally thought of Dunkin doughnuts too – I was like hmmm sounds like the bomb. I have never even thought of restrictin carbs – but do watch my calorie and fat intake, and make sure i’m getting enough protein and not TOO many carbs!

  8. rebecca lustig on May 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    i love your number 4. our weights will fall where they’re supposed to if we eat balanced meals in moderation and keep a fairly active lifestyle.. no need to go all crazy with diet fads and gimics (in my opinion)

  9. Leslie on May 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    It always drives me crazy when people say they’re losing weight on Atkins! Carbs (and healthy fats) are good! I’m a little of a whole foods snob though—-I have found that just eating mostly whole foods with an emphasis on mucho vegetables does a body good! It will pretty much natually get one to the weight they want to be.

    That said, I don’t really think about my macro ratios. I probably get plenty of carbs, some healthy fats from nut butters, coconut oil, etc., and probably need to think more about protein than anything. That’s one reason I LOVE your Amazeballs! Nice little protein (and healthy fat) boost!

  10. Jenny on May 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I did atkins a few years back before a spring break once, and have to say that for 2 weeks the results were pretty noticable. Nevertheless, I was definitely eating alot of bacon, cheese and chicken salad (from what I remember). I definitely wouldn’t do the same thing again, knowing what I know now. However, I think that I keep a careful eye on carbs knowing how much of a difference eating NO carbs had on my body. Every body is different right? And they process these types of ratios differently as well in my opinion..

  11. Jess on May 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    As an RD-in training, it would probably take more effort for me to not pay attention—for better or worse, I’m always pretty aware of how many servings from each food group I’ve had over the course of the day. This helps make it easier to figure out what to eat for dinner—most nights, anyway! I don’t break it down to grams or focus too much on calories, but I know that most days, I like to have ~x servings carbs, ~y servings healthy fats, etc. etc.

  12. Erika on May 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I could not agree more. If I tried running 10+ miles with no carbs you’d find me huddled up on a curb somewhere out of gas. Lol It’s all in moderation & I 100% agree with eating what we’re made to eat, process & break down.

  13. Lauren on May 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I TOTALLY agree. I despise the atkins diet also! I get so furious when people tell me they are on it.. I go into rants lol!!!

  14. Mary on May 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    What method did you come up with to keep track of your fat/protein/carb balance? I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t really like beans & thus think about protein a lot… but I never really have any idea if I’m getting the appropriate amount & never even think about fat… I would love to hear what works for you!

  15. Veronica on May 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    When I first started trying to lose weight I did restrict carbs, I stuck to greens and the lower sugar fruits (2 a day). That lasted for 6 weeks and was very helpful in creating a more discerning palate (detox of sorts). Now I am strictly a numbers girl, calorie-wise. I strive for whole foods as much as possible but as long as I am getting the right amount of calories for my weight loss goals (1 – 2 # per week) I do not worry about protein/carbs etc. I do keep track of my intake on fatsecret.com and it gives me a handy breakdown of protein/carbs/fats which I sometimes analyze but I don’t obsess about it.

  16. Megan on May 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    To answer the “what do you watch” question: When I am eating a mostly raw diet, I don’t really track what proportion of macro nutrients I’m getting. It’s way easy to get protein in the form of amino acids when you are juicing veggies, eating lots of salads/green smoothies, nuts/seeds, etc. AND, when I eat raw my hunger guides me to those things. Fats go right along with it, if I’m not feeling full I know I need to eat nuts/seeds, avocado and other oily things. Carbs are a given, as sweet treats are fruit :). So I don’t really have to think about it, it just kinda happens. When I am only sticking to a mostly vegetarian and gluten free diet, I can get off track easily. I eat way too many bagels, sweet breads, etc and lack in the protein department. :(. I really have to watch myself. Protein is usually what I would LACK though, not OD on! LOL.

    I HATE the Adkins diet. My mother had an epileptic seizure while on the diet and went down a never ending path of illness which ended badly in Alzheimer’s at the age of 54. Can I blame it on the diet? Maybe a little, but not completely, Still gives me the shutters to think what all that saturated fat/protein/fake sugars, etc did to her body for the years she was on it before hand.

  17. Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries on May 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t really pay attention to carbs/fats/protein ratio, but I certainly do pay attention to WHAT I’m eating. I find that when I keep a real tally, it makes me more anxious and obsessive (but that’s just me being a psycho). I’m now at a place where I just eat well (which includes indulgences!) and exercise often and I’m at a great weight. My fiance is currently doing Atkin’s and I hate it! I LOVE carbs. I NEED carbs. I don’t know how he does it.

  18. Ally (oatsandspice) on May 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I agree – I don’t agree with the atkins diet (or the dukan diet for that matter)… cutting out carbs is NOT the way to go… I feel like if you cut carbs you will not be as satisfied and will turn to sugar and unhealthy ways to fill your tummy 🙂

  19. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on May 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I am definitely go with the flow. I dont really pay much attention to my macros but have realized thru trial and error I just dont have that high of a protein requirement so that’s one macro many ppl really think about, but I dont really. And I think it’s pretty easy to get carbs and fat in our diets so again, I dont really think much about it all. Plant based focus, variety, moderation on desserts, water, yoga, sunshine…and just rolling with life’s punches and not stressing about macros or other stuff…that’s what I try to do 🙂

  20. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf on May 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I usually keep some sort of tab on my protein intake, to make sure I’m getting enough (for my body type and activity level, that’s 70+ grams/day). And sometimes I note my total calorie intake, but I don’t like doing it day and and day out anymore.

    I’ve noticed with me, it’s not really the actual food that makes me gain weight, but my attitude toward it. If I’m just chillin’ throughout the day and eating when I’m hungry, being mindful and stopping when I’m satisfied, and only nibbling here or there (or indulging in an afternoon pastry or evening dessert!), I’m just fine, even if the majority of my food was carbs and fat. But when I start eating out of boredom, even healthy foods, or go to town on a loaf of bread because it’s there, I bloat big time.

    It’s really all about intuitive eating, which I’m certainly not perfect at (I’m a total boredom eater, and overeater!). I used to do Weight Watchers and calorie counting, which totally worked for me at the time, but I’m just at a different phase in my life and in my relationship with food. I like to be more relaxed these days. 🙂

  21. Elena @ GagaForGrapefruit on May 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    all these different diets make my head spin! i actually bought the south beach diet book on my kindle after reading your ‘about me’, and i’m interested to check it out! i have really been keeping an emphasis on whole, natural foods lately, and i find i feel much better, but i’d still like to lose the weight! thanks girl!

  22. Moni'sMeals on May 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    huh, I actually had not heard of the Dukan Diet. I thought I kenw it all too. 🙂 I am joking.

    I agree with your points. I am not a big fan of any diet really but especially Atkins, so unrealistic.

    I go with the flow. Make life easy as you can. 🙂

  23. Sheena on May 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    As much as I hate to admit this, keeping track of calories has been the only thing that works for me. I used to spend so much time planning out ratios and such in my meals, but after consulting with several doctors and nutritionists, I have accepted the fact that at the end of the day weight loss is primarily driven by calorie deficit. I believe the latest research indicates that weight loss is about 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. I try my best to plan meals that give me the most “bang for my buck” calorie wise (ie: eating a high-ish volume meal of lean meat, veggies, and some kind of high fiber grain). While 400 calories is 400 calories, I’m much more satisfied eating a hearty plate of REAL food as opposed to say a slice of bread slathered with 2TBSP of almond butter (as much as I do ADORE our beloved AB) or some sketchy frozen meal. I wish I could eat intuitively, but lets just say that at the stage I am currently at, things can easily get out of control without a proper accounting system. I think feeling satisfied with our meals is really important to weight loss and general healthy eating because if we don’t feel content with our food choices, like you said, we start imagining that our friends/puppies are walking donuts, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, hot & fresh Chick-Fil-A waffle fries, etc 😉

    • Fitnessista on May 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      chik fil-a waffle fries… omg that sounds delicious haha
      calorie counting works for so many people! i’m a huge fan as long as it doesn’t take over your life

  24. Dani_szikszai on May 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Im mindful of my macro nutrients. I could easily overdo the carbs and work hard to have enough protein in my diet.

  25. Maria on May 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I try and only consume complex carbs one time during the day. If I eat oatmeal in the morning, that’s it for the rest of the day.

  26. Sana on May 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I think Kate looks beautiful on her weeding day because of how she is just glowing!!!!!! I know people are impressed with her weight, but the girl is happy and no diet can add that!

    • Fitnessista on May 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      amen to that. only a truly happy person glows like she does 🙂

  27. Rebecca on May 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I tried cutting out carbs once. Worst morning of my life. Ha. No, seriously. I made it to mid-afternoon before I was like, you know what? No. Carbs make me a happier person. And I’m good with that.

    Also, I don’t understand why people favor cutting carbs. When I knew nothing about nutrition but started watching what I ate, I basically went on a low-fat diet. I would not recommend this at all, and I know much better now. BUT. I did lose weight. I lost weight because I was eating fewer calories. Some people act as if they can’t TOUCH carbs without packing on pounds. I just don’t think that’s the case at all!

  28. Nicole @ Fresh & Fit on May 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Right now I am mindful of my fat intake. Usually I don’t monitor it, but with a wedding around the corner I’m going for 40% carbs 40% protein and 20% fat.

  29. christina on May 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I keep a vague eye on my P/F/C ratios to make sure Im getting enough of it all, or not too much. Although there are definitely days where I dont bother!

    The thing that scared me about the Dukan diet is (apart form the eating nothing but protein!) all the scary side effects – like the bath breath and constipation! If Kate was on that diet for her wedding, she probably was chewing the gum like a mad woman before the royal kiss!

  30. kaila @ healthy helper! on May 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I typically just go with the flow….and the flow for me just happens to be pretty balanced so it all works out well! I think I would go crazy if I kept track of everything I ate! I remember I tried to calculate my calories for the day out of curiosity, and I couldn’t even get through breakfast with out being bored and frustrated out of my mind lol! It’s just to tedious and time consuming in my opinion. But everyones different….you just gotta do what works for you!

  31. Tessa @ Amazing Asset on May 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    My mom tried Atkin’s diet a few years ago and definitely lost weight. But she did gain it back as soon as she ate her favorite food again, bread! I believe it’s nearly impossible to stay on a diet like this for your entire life and you’re right, it’s all about moderation! I actually need to work on remembering that, because I have a great fear of indulging and “getting fat” <– work in progress 🙂

  32. Lindsay on May 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    But Gina- isn’t South Beach (which worked for you) Phase 1 all about major carb restriction? So it does work- it must, or it wouldn’t be so popular? Maybe just as a jumpstart, though it doesn’t sound terribly pleasant..

    • Fitnessista on May 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

      it’s used as a jumpstart, so that people lose weight right away and are encouraged. most of it is water weight

  33. Marie on May 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I count my calories and I also have the knowledge of which nutrients are in which foods, so I make sure to each a variety of foods to ensure I get my vitamins. I take multi-vitamin, Vitamin D, and Calcium Magnesium pills each day as well.
    I do exercises at home that I get out of magazines or on-line and I try to get at least 30 minutes of walking each day too.
    As for Atkins and such diets, I think different things work for different people. Some people don’t mind cutting carbs and others become unbearable to be around. but to cut them completely…I don’t think would be a great thing.

  34. Liz on May 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Gina! I read on your weight loss post that you did South Beach. Doesn’t the first 2 weeks restrict carbs and then slowly introduce them again in a healthier way? I’d love to year your thoughts on that a lil more in depth.

    • Fitnessista on May 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      i only lasted a few days on phase 1!!

      • Liz on May 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm

        Yeah, I could def see how that would happen! I see myself sleep-eating or something like that. I’ve been thinking about South Beach, but I really don’t think that cutting out a whole food group is healthy for you. I am thinking a motified, more jumping into phase 2 is more my ideal for me. I don’t need the discouragment of losing all that water weight only to gain some back when I start eating complex carbs again.

        • Fitnessista on May 6, 2011 at 12:57 am

          phase 2 is a great starting point! phase 1 is silly

  35. kate@hautetotsBOS on May 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    i’m sure atkins works for some people, but not for me. i think i exercise too much to completely eliminate carbs. maybe for a few days but you don’t want to be around me….lol. LOVE the new site!! amazing job!!!!! you should be so proud of yourself!

  36. Kaylene on May 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    When I lived in Tucson, my favorite Indian places were India Oven, on Campbell between Grant and Glenn and Sher-E-Punjab on Park and Grant. Kabebaque on University was also tasty (and is owned by the people who run Saffron in Oro Valley), but it’s more of a quick stop type of restaurant so there aren’t a ton of options.

  37. Alexandrina @ The Cardio Queen on May 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Definitely could not live on that diet. I love me some carbs! I swear, sometimes I feel like a carb-a-holic. 🙂

  38. Lismarie on May 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Oh LAWD, Atkins… My dad is currently “on Atkins” because 15 years ago it helped him lose weight for a wedding (I’m getting hitched next June).

    Here’s how it went: (Dad is munching on fried pork fat (chicharones) Me: Dad, I thought you were on a diet? Dad: Yes, I’m doing Atkins. Me: But, you’re eating fried pork fat. Dad: Yes, it has no carbs.

    To quote you Gina, I DIE. On top of that, my mom yelled at him when she saw him eating a TANGERINE! I’m with you, totally despise Atkins!

  39. Natalie S on May 5, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Pretty much off topic, but the other night on Wheel of Fortune one of the puzzles was “different strokes for different folks!” Absolutely thought of you! 😉

  40. Dee on May 5, 2011 at 10:03 am

    hi gina! first and foremost, i wanted to tell you that i love your blogs new look! it’s totally you. 😀

    secondly – oh my gosh! i thought she looked a lot slimmer on her wedding day! no wonder. i have never heard of the dukan diet but i’m with you on the atkins diet. the only “diet” that helped me lose weight has been south beach and weight watchers. i think mindful eating (& daily exercise) is a really big key in weight loss and maintenance. too bad i can’t get my act together right now. =/

    well anyway, those are my two cents. i’m off to do more research on the dukan diet. 😉 have a great day!

    • Fitnessista on May 6, 2011 at 1:04 am

      thanks for the feedback on the layout- i’m so glad you like it!

  41. Mallory on May 5, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Hi Gina! I have never commented on your blog before, but I used to live in Tucson. My favorite Indian place was Kababeque on University Ave. I even had some Indian friends who liked it best, too. Hope you like it!

    • Fitnessista on May 6, 2011 at 1:02 am

      ohhh good to know- i’ve walked by and it smells delicious 🙂

  42. Lexi on May 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Lordy, lordy, do I know the Atkins diet….
    I spent the entire of 2010 on a zero carb diet. And when I say zero carb, I mean just that. Meat and water, nothing else. Not even tea or salt! And guess what? I gained weight. So much for that whole “you need carbs to gain weight” bull. For the past month or so I’ve been doing more intuitive eating and have ended up with a mostly vegan, whole foods way of eating. Here’s the kicker, since I gave up zero carb I haven’t weighed myself but I’ve had random people come up and say “Oh my gosh, have you lost weight?!?!”
    I have a bit of a beef with Atkins now.
    (Pun entirely intended)

  43. Jennifer on May 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I did the calorie tracker app on my phone when I was not losing any weight even though I thought I was eating healthy, Turns out I was eating too much fat and not even getting close to my calorie intake. It makes you more mindful of serving sizes and WHAT types of thing you are eating and now I do pretty good eating the right serving sizes of things! No Atkins for me!!

  44. Jessica on July 27, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Hi Gina, I have a question:
    What proportion of macronutrients do you eat? Do you just count the grams and add them all up?
    I actually think the Dutchess lost a bit too much weight, there were pictures of her out and about the week before and she looked emaciated and a lot older than she is! Although on the day she looked gorgeous.
    Congrats on the new house and sproglet!

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