A unique mixture of “treat yoself” and “eat clean,” counting macros is a way to lose weight and build muscle that is gaining more and more followers every day. Fitness greats like Layne Norton and Krissy Mae Cagney promote this balanced lifestyle, showing how it has worked for them and their numerous clients.
Macro counting allows flexibility in the foods you eat, but still encourages consumption of healthy foods as the main source of calories. Little treats (like that donut you simply can’t pass up) are allowed as long as they fit into your protein, carbs, and fats for the day.
Calculating your macros
Macros are the three main building blocks that make up your food: protein, carbs, and fats. The premise of this lifestyle is that the perfect balance of these three macronutrients will promote optimum fat loss and muscle gain, depending on your goals. As a general rule, you can start by calculating your total amount of calories needed. Then, you can break down the amount of each macronutrient you need. Watch the video for a full tutorial!
Once you’ve got your macros down, it’s time to start tracking. The must-haves for macro counters include a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal, and a kitchen scale. EatSmart scales are perfect for this, and I use mine daily, even when I’m not tracking macros. The reason you need a food scale is because every gram must be measured! It can seem daunting at first, but it’ll soon become second nature. Weighing your food ensures that you’re eating the right amounts, and it makes it very easy to keep track of your macros. Input the grams or ounces into your food tracking app and you’re good to go.
Hitting Your Macros
The best way to hit your macros is to plan your day in advance. While there is “flexibility” here, without an idea of what you’re going to be eating, it can be very hard to hit your macros accurately. The night before, plan out the next day of eating to see how much to eat to hit your macros. Counting macros is all based on the numbers, so eating the right quantities is key. Plug in different foods in different amounts to see what will work and what you can fit. Experiment, enjoy the process, and continually tweak the numbers to see what works best for you! For example, I do better with a lower carb, higher fat diet based on my body type. Other people do better with more carbs. Find out what works for you and provides the best results!
The great thing about counting macros is that it allows you eat consume foods you may consider “treats,” while still sticking to your diet. Of course, this isn’t free reign to eat Oreos and protein shakes all day every day. The majority of your calories should still come from clean, whole foods that provide nutrients to you body. If you are seriously craving a cookie, you can add it in, but it shouldn’t be a regular thing. The main goal is to keep your body healthy from the inside out!