What you eat matters. Whether you want to build muscle, lose fat or just be healthy, you need to pay attention to what you eat. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you do need to put some thought into it. By tracking your macros, sometimes known as flexible dieting, you can achieve your goals and not feel like you are on a restrictive diet. Instead of simply tracking calories, you will track your macronutrients, which will lead you into the right number of calories.
Your macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The amount you need will vary depending on your size and goals, but they all play an important role in your health.
Protein is needed to build and repair muscle. If you don’t eat enough, you won’t build muscle or recover as well. If you eat too much, it’s taxing on your body to digest and uses up calories that could be allotted elsewhere.
Fat is needed to regulate hormones, absorb certain vitamins and also helps you feel full. If you don’t eat enough, your hormones can get out of whack, and if you eat too much it will be stored as fat.
Carbs are needed for energy and recovery. Especially if you are active, they are not the enemy! If you don’t eat enough, you won’t perform or recover as well and will have low energy. However, if you eat more carbohydrates than you need, they too will be stored as fat.
There are so many ways to calculate your macros that it can be overwhelming. If this is new to you, use MyFitness Pal. Plug in your weight, height, etc. and it will give you your recommended protein, carbs, fats and calories. Track your food on the app (and this does mean weighing and measuring so that you’re accurate! ) and be diligent about hitting those numbers for a few weeks to see if they are right for you. If you have any questions, please ask! We can get into things like carb cycling once you are used to tracking and hitting your numbers.
MyFitness Pal will also tell you your micronutrients- vitamins and minerals. These are essential for your health. If you are hitting your macros, but not your micros, and/or you are over on your calories, you may need to adjust what you’re eating.
Your meals and snacks should be balanced to contain protein, carbs and fat. Try to eat vegetables with each meal and consume the higher carb foods before and after your workouts. Mix up the flavors with different spices and herbs.
The majority of what you eat should be high quality food- organic when possible, lean meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, oats, rice, etc and limit/avoid processed food. Regardless if you want to lose, gain or maintain your weight, you want to be healthy!
One great thing about tracking your macros is that you can be flexible in how you hit them. So if you eat spinach and broccoli as your carbs and lean chicken as your protein and limit your fat all day long, you can make room for cookies and ice cream. By doing this, you can enjoy special occasions, not feel deprived and still stay on track. With that being said, do not go overboard with treats. Just because you can fit them in your macros doesn’t mean you should do it all the time.
To give you an idea, a sample day for me looks something like this:
Meal one- pre workout
One cup spinach
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup blueberries
359 cal, 20 G protein, 42 g carbs, 14 g fat
Meal two- post workout
Isalean Pro shake
Two rice cakes
440 calories, 38 G protein, 57 g carbs, 7 g fat
3 ounces ground turkey
1/2 cup sweet potatoes
1 cup kale
314 cal, 20 G protein, 29 g carbs, 16 g fat
1/2 cup strawberries
240 cal, 24 G protein, 24 g carbs, 6 g fat
4 ounces chicken
6 asparagus spears
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white rice
425 cal, 39 G protein, 26 g carbs, 17 g fat
Total 1803 cal, 142 g protein, 183 g carbs, 56 g fat
I don’t love meat, so I have one to two meal replacement shakes a day. Whey protein is great for after a workout, and the Isalean shakes also contain a ton of vitamins and minerals. When you are eating five or six times a day, high quality shakes and bars can make a huge difference to your success.
If I wanted to make room for a dessert, I could swap out the sweet potatoes and rice for another green veggie and cut down on the olive oil. I would miss out on the nutrients of the sweet potato, but I could enjoy my Oreo’s and still hit my numbers.
To vary your meals, simply swap the chicken for fish, the kale for lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes to make a salad, the asparagus and olive oil for zucchini, carrots and coconut milk to make a curry, etc. There are so many options that it doesn’t have to be boring!
It can seem like a lot of work at first, but you will get used to it and it’s worth it! I feel very passionate about eating so I am here to support you. Reach out at any time to get started.
For more additional information, check out
FD (Flexible Dieting) 2.0 by Krissy Mae Cagney
Renaissance Woman by Dr. Jennifer Case, Dr. Melissa Davis and Dr. Mike Israetel