Counting Macros

Tracking your Macros is more work, sometimes tedious, and requires more diligence on your part. BUT, if you’re extremely serious about achieving your fitness goals, or have a job that you get paid based on how you look (model, fitness professional, athlete, etc.) it can be 100% necessary.
Eating towards your Macros is a more specific way to eat and doesn’t focus on calories alone. Instead, it focuses on how much of each Macro nutrient (Protein, Fats, Carbs) you need. When you just focus on calories, you could be undereating certain Macros while overeating others. This new method makes sure you’re getting enough protein to build/repair muscles, enough carbs to keep your engine burning and fats to keep you full and hormones producing normally.
This is based off the diet style – If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). The only thing I dislike is that people find a way to fit in sodas, candy, etc. as long as it fits into their Macro requirements. I want you to avoid this as much as possible. Try to get all your Macros from fresh, minimally processed food sources (fresh meat, produce, etc.), since these have more vitamins and minerals that your body loves and needs.
A great free resource to calculate your Macros. It will ask you 6 basic questions then give you a calculation of how many Carbs, Proteins and Fats you need to intake daily.
This calculator is just an estimate. Keep track of your weight and make adjustments based on the results (or lack of) that you are seeing. Not losing weight? Try decreasing overall calories by around 200 – decrease your Carb & Fat intake but maintain Protein!
*Use your desired weight or next goal weight. This will give you a caloric deficit if you goal is weight loss, or excess calories if your goal is to gain weight/muscle.
*Be realistic here. If you currently weigh 250 but your goal weight is 180, use a weight such as 220 until you reach that milestone then reset your Macros.
Once you have your Macros, you’ll need to create a meal plan that works for your taste buds and schedule. Follow these steps accordingly:
  1. Decide how many meals (and snacks) you want to eat per day and break up your meals accordingly. (I’ll later give 2 examples) – doing it this way will allow you to work your meals into your busy schedule and allow for other dieting styles such as intermittent fasting.

  2. Protein intake should stay consistent at every meal and snack. Consuming a protein shake or meal within 1-2 hours post workout is recommended to help repair and build muscles. If your goal is to build muscle, I recommend consuming a casein protein directly before bed.

  3. Track your veggies – only to make sure you’re actually eating them! Don’t worry about the Macros in your veggies. There are very few calories and many vital nutrients, but most people don’t eat nearly enough.

    1. Losing weight eat 1 cup each meal

    2. Maintaining weight: 1.5 cups/meal

    3. Building Muscle: 2 cups/meal 

  4. Carb intake should be consistent at every meal and snack, except for doubling the amount in your post workout meal. This intake replaces your glycogen stores that were used during exercise. I recommend having a piece of fruit PRE-workout if you haven’t eaten in a while, since our bodies prefer to burn carbs during workouts. This is quickly absorbed into your blood stream and produces an insulin spike to help promote muscle growth both directly and indirectly.

  5. Fat intake should also be consistent throughout your meals, except for the final meal or snack of the night which will be doubled. Fat helps with satiety (feeling full), keeping you satisfied throughout the night. No more midnight snacking!

Once you know how much of each Macro you’re supposed to be intaking at each meal, it’s time to pick healthy foods that match up with your needs and taste buds. This is where it can get tedious. You must try to do your very best to stick within your Macros. Some days you’ll be over, some under, but do your best to hit your Macros every day. I HIGHLY recommend investing in an inexpensive food scale off. I bought this one. You need to weigh out your portions to be truly accurate. In a pinch, check out the other style of eating “Eating with your Hand.”
If you track through an app such as MyFitnessPal, you will get more specific macros to hit your goals – I’d highly recommend this if you truly need to be 100% on point.
Use the following document to set up your own personal meal plan – I also provide 2 sample days as well – Including my own!