Okay, so first off your’e probably wondering “What the heck are macros?” Macros is an abbreviation for macronutrients.
a substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms, in particular.
a type of food (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the human diet.
a chemical element (e.g., potassium, magnesium, calcium) required in large amounts for plant growth and development.
Why did I decide to count macros?
I always knew how to count calories, but when I realized I could count what is coming from those calories I hopped on that. I am 100% glad I did. It has helped me know exactly what the majority of foods are made up of, and has taught me how to balance my diet. It’s customizable to everyone, you can arrange your macros for different goals, and it’s not some fad diet that isn’t sustainable. In fact it’s 100% sustainable and gives you so much knowledge about food
What are my macros set at?
I am eating 1400-1500 calories per day (when I workout out I will add a couple hundred calories), and my macros are set to 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat. I have it set at a higher protein because protein helps you keep and build lean muscle mass, speed up your metabolism, and help you feel full longer while running at a calorie deficit.
How do you figure out your specific macros?
I figured my macros out with My Fitness Pal. When you start the app it will ask you your height, weight, gender, how much you want to lose or gain, how active you are, and will adjust your calories and macros based on that. It will then tell you how many grams in each category you should aim for. You will have to go into your goals to customize your macro percentages when you start, otherwise it will set them at 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein.
I will put a link below for a macro calculator and explanations of what you should be aware of when figuring out your macros! Also, be aware you do NOT want to be in more than a 500 calorie deficit. If you are in too high of a deficit, you risk crashing your metabolism and ending up in a plateau.
( even though I work out 5 days a week, I put in the Macro Calculator that I work out “lightly”- you can put whatever you feel is best, but on the days I don’t workout I want to know my true calorie deficit when trying to lose weight. I’ll then just add in calories depending how many I burn duty a workout)
Why are some influencers against counting macros?
You may or may not have seen fitness bloggers say to NOT count macros, because macros can lead to obsessing over numbers instead of what food can do for your body. You focus on macronutrients instead of micronutrients (potassium, calcium, Vitamins, etc ). It controlled their life and they ended up having an unhealthy relationship with food. I’m going to be honest… these are all valid points. I can’t disagree with them, but I can tell you that almost every single one of these people saying this (who now intuitive eat), have at one point counted macros, and know what’s going into their body because they have counted macros. They understand what’s healthy and what’s not. They understand macros and mircos. This came from gaining knowledge about food… how did they do that? By research and counting macronutrients.
Counting macros has changed my life for the better. I am forever grateful for my knowledge of food and treating my body the way it deserves to be treated. From my experience with counting macros, I have written some tips if you are wanting to start!
TIPS FOR COUNTING MACROS:
- When you are first starting out it’s best to plan out your food the night before. This is easier then just guessing and will allow you to hit your goals more efficiently. #mealprep 😉
- Figure out your Net Carbs. When counting your carbohydrates make sure you are counting them correctly. Meaning if there is dietary fiber in an item, you actually subtract the fiber from the carbohydrate to get the Net Carbs. For example, if oatmeal has 24g of carbohydates but has 5g of fiber; your Net Carbs would be 19g. Most apps will not calculate this for you, so just be aware you may be getting less carbohydrates then you think.
- Get as close to your calorie goal as possible when you are in a calorie deficit. If your’e working out make sure you are eating more calories depending on how much you are burn during your workout. You don’t want your metabolism to crash and store fat because you aren’t getting enough calories.
- Do NOT obsess. I rarely ever hit a perfect 40-30-30. Realize that the percentages you have your macros set to are your goal. Although you want to be as close to it as possible, understand it is not life or death if you don’t hit them right on.
- If you are one of those people that need a sweet treat everyday you can work it into your macros. I tell people to add in their treat first and build your macros around it. Just make sure you are controlling your portion size and not overeating on chocolate or cookies.. unless it’s that time of the month haha!
- Have a CHEAT MEAL. My husband and I make it a point to go out and have something we’ve wanted all week for date night. It keeps us going to have something unhealthy and will keep you sane. Treat yo self 😉
If you want to start counting macros with My Fitness Pal I have link below another post on a guide to counting macros with the app.