I remember the first time I saw someone talk about macros.. it was like gibberish to me and made NO sense and I thought ‘why in the world would anyone want to do that and who in the world has the TIME?’
I’m eating my own thoughts (literally) because after a month… I GET IT! I shared why I started Madeline Moves Tighter Together challenge earlier this month and after a full month I can honest
Counting macros really isn’t as complicated as it sounds! Macros are the amount of carbs, fat, and protein that you eat in a day. Depending on your body type, weight/fitness goals, and lifestyle these numbers will vary.. so really, no one has the same exact two numbers!
To count your macros, you simply track the carb/fat/protein in each thing you eat. If your total goal for the day is 100 carb, 50 fat, and 115 protein – then you need that amount of grams of each daily.
If 1 4 oz piece of chicken is 0 carbs, 1 fat, and 25 protein, then you would have 100 carbs, 49 fat, and 90 protein left for the day.
Make sense? Tracking is easy using the My Fitness Pal app – most foods are already in there, so when I would eat a meal, I would just search ‘athena reduced fat feta’. All the nutrition ingredients are already in there + you just input how much you had (1 tbsp.) and it’ll automatically generate the macros for the 1 tablespoon.
I’m used to reading labels at the grocery store because I’m gluten free + try to stay away from any additives, added sugars, and just overall junk in the ingredient list. So for me to check the macro count on things before buying hasn’t been that difficult.
My total fat grams daily is pretty low right now because I’m trying to lean out AND because I’m pretty sedentary during the day – I sit behind a desk! So I can’t have a ton of fat otherwise my body will store it.. so I haven’t been purchasing food that are high in fats with one serving. For example, the Tessamae’s salad dressing I was using had 11g of fat in just 1 tbsp!! So I stopped using that and found other things (TJ Green Goddess is good!) that worked better for my macro count..
Anyways, just a little on macros – if you want to know how to calculate what your macros should be in the first place, there’s tons of free macro calculators online! Part of the Madeline Moves program I did was that she provided your macro count (she calculated) and sent it to me before the program started. That was so helpful!
Here’s my 30 day macro ‘diary/thoughts’ – I strived for daily improvement and worked hard to get to as close as 0 for every number daily as possible, but realize it’s not always possible + that’s okay! I ate out a few times, but did my best to eat super clean and/or look up the nutrients ahead of time – I won’t always do this but wanted to for my first month of strict tracking!
I have no idea what the heck I am doing?!
This is so confusing.
The perfectionist in me just wants to hit all 0-0-0’s
My body feels well fueled.
I also realized I was eating WAY too many fats for my body type/current fitness goals even though they were primarily healthy fats. Also, wasn’t getting enough carbs.
I’m figuring out what combos I can eat daily to hit as close to my goals as possible.
Don’t leave the house without food/snack.
Carbs are good, Maris. Good carbs – moderation!
Condiments kill you.. working on finding ones that have good macro levels for me. (I’m a sauce girl ugh!)
Feeling amazing keeping a consistent, clean eating routine + working out consistently. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this good!
Food actually feels like it ‘fuels’ me instead of just ‘filling’ me.. I don’t have that OMG I’m so full feeling basically ever.
Again, don’t leave the house without food/snack.. I’ve been grabbing peaches, a protein bar, or protein shake.
I did it! One day I hit an even 0-0-0 for carbs/fat/protein. So proud ofm yself!
Honestly haven’t felt this good in a LONG time.
I feel like I’m getting a good grasp of what I can eat now without even measuring it – still measuring because I need to track, but I can create meals pretty quickly + have my go to lunches/dinners.
My clothes are starting to fit differently and feel looser.
Measuring meals is pretty normal now. There’s really no ‘added’ time when I’m eating.
I’m really seeing changes in my body, after a few weeks of consistency. I’m not bloated and can feel the chub melting off..
My clothes fit way differently this week, even compared to next.
FAQ – from all of you!
What are your go-to meals that fit your macros? Breakfast -egg whites in the mornings with veggies. LunchesI made a lot of bowls with a carb, protein, and toppings – going to do a separate post about these next week! Also, loved using these Outer Aisle cauliflower sandwich thins to make greek turkey burgers or a turkey sandwich. I also made mini pizzas with them one day! Dinner- I did alot of roasted veggies, shrimp/chicken, and chickpea pasta on my high carb days.
Are you intermittent fasting too? No, but I do have 2 high carb days during the week that are the day before my biggest workouts.
Are you planning to track post TT? And what’s the biggest thing you learned? Yes I want to keep tracking because I have more fitness goals I want to reach, I feel amazing, and it’s become second nature to measure out my meals! The biggest thing I learned is that I was eating way too many fats (even healthy ones) for my current fitness goals, and that given the right proportions, I can really eat anything and feel great!!
Would you do Keto? No.
Recipes! Trying to share more in general here on the blog. Here is my chili recipe that is also macro friendly!
How do you meet your protein goal? I have 1 scoop of vital protein in my morning coffee, that’s 18g alone. I also bulk make this chicken weekly and eat it daily in some capacity, it is DELISH! I put it in salads, on sandwiches, tacos, in any recipe really. I also incorporated Fage Greek Yogurt + that has good macros. And then I have been drinking one protein shake a day. I found that Tone it Up has pretty decent macros + always fit in my count well. I like the cafe latte flavor!
How have you been feeling about carb cycling? I didn’t really understand it at first, but now that I do I really like it! I understand the concept and definitely need those carb push days before those big work out days. Also, I love being able to ‘splurge’ a little with my carbs + have a bowl of pasta or something!
What app do you use? My Fitness Pal to track macros. It’s super easy + basically any food is already in their system so it takes a few seconds to input. You can also save your favorite foods/meals for one click adding!
Grocery tips? Read labels, don’t just pick up things! Become aware of what has good macro counts. Ex: I never would’ve purchased reduced fat cheese, but now i do + it works so much better for my macros. Have staple items you purchase – a lot of the things I bought during September are on my instagram highlights under Fitness + also Costco.
How did you learn what your macros should be? Share resources. When I signed up for the Tighter Together challenge with Madeline Moves (that’s her app), she calculated them for me based on my body type/lifestyle and current fitness goals. It was a perk of joining the program. I am following those macros right now for at least 2-3 more months and then will adjust accordingly.
What is your goal in doing this? You can read all about that in this full blog post!
How do you determine which days and how many days to carb cycle? That was already done for me with the Madeline Moves program! So I can’t really say what/how to do that for your personal foutine.
Did you buy a scale and weigh everything until you got the hang of it? Yes! I bought this food scale + I still measure things just because I want to be precise in my amounts.
That covers it you guys – 30 days down! I’ve kept up with macro counting here in October, but not as strictly (weekends I have been loosely counting), and my workouts haven’t been every single day like September, but I’m working out 3-4 days a week and still feel great! I do want to get back to a little more strict of a schedule though, so am going to buckle down these next few weeks.
Wow this is such an informative post. I had never heard about this before. It is very interesting and great to hear your experience.