Macros…Smackroes.

Lots of talk lately about macros. Maybe you feel silly because you don’t know what macros are or understand what they have to do with weight. I kept seeing IIFYM on blogs and social media and was clueless, so thankfully Goggle helped me out! (It stands for If It Fits Your Macros.) Macros is short for macro-nutrients: Carbohydrates (carbs), proteins, and fats used for fuel by the body. Many body builders count their macros to ensure that their intake of protein is sufficient to “make gains”. Athletes of all kinds have tweaked macro intake to “cut” or “bulk” or maximize performance. The reality is our bodies are complex machines that are built for survival. And just as an engine requires gasoline, oil, oxygen, and spark to purr…our bodies require different types of fuel to function properly.

There is nothing wrong with counting macros but you certainly don’t have to in order to be healthy or lose weight. The science continues to hold true that food intake – calories burned = weight lost or gained. If you eat 2500 calories everyday and only burn 1800 calories everyday, at the end of the year you are going to have added some pounds to your frame. Science.

Here’s how I keep it simple. I use My Fitness Pal to track my intake. There are many apps available that will track calories, macros, exercise, ovulation…you name it! The important thing is to track what you are taking in. Set some goals, pick your app, and get started.

My Fitness Pal allows custom goals to be entered. I work out regularly which includes strength training, so I set my daily macros at 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fats. I do not stress about these numbers. By setting these goals, I can make educated food choices that will give my body what it needs. For instance, if I’m feeling lethargic and I note that I had eggs (protein) for breakfast, and a Baby Bell mini cheese wheel (protein and fat) for a quick snack, it quickly becomes evident that some carbohydrates would be an excellent choice for a snack to perk myself up. My body is lethargic because it needs quick fuel. Carbohydrates are our body’s #1 choice for fuel. Cue an apple, banana, carrot sticks, or hummus with red peppers. This logical approach to eating helps me to think of my body as a machine needing fuel instead of a hot mess of emotions that just wants chocolate all day, all the time. It doesn’t always work, but I keep moving forward.

I also enter my weight and my desired weight into my customized goals. The app spits out an approximate daily calorie count for me to aim towards. This is not a detailed nutritional analysis like I would receive from a dietitian, but it is certainly a helpful guide and place to begin (and free)! Once I track my intake for a couple of weeks, if I’m not getting the results I want, I can look back and figure out where I need to make changes in my plan. Maybe I didn’t stick to my calorie count or eat many vegetables. If I look back over the previous weeks and see that most days I only logged breakfast…that is a clue, right? Weight management and living a healthy lifestyle are not going to just happen…we gotta commit and work at it every day.

Key Points:

Eat regularly. Remember your body is a machine built for survival. If many hours pass without fuel, it defaults into storage mode. This is why breakfast is important. You have fasted all night, it is time to tell your body that food is abundant and it can burn it, not store it. Shoot to eat every 3-4 hours while awake. This keeps your metabolism humming.

Track your intake. Eating a large meal every 3-4 hours will not result in too much of a good thing! Portion control is critical. Variety is so important as well. By tracking intake you can see if you are getting all the nutrients that you need. A balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is the goal.

Move! Walk, crawl, roll, jump…whatever works for you, but get your body moving. Strength training (lift those weights) is important for building muscle which keeps metabolism revved up and strengthens bones and joints. If you don’t own weights or belong to a gym, that’s alright! Get creative. Full water bottles work great as weights.

Plan for Success. Failure to plan = planning to fail, right? Plan your meals, take snacks when you run errands so that you aren’t tempted by those clever marketing tactics. One evening while the family watches TV, cut up veggies and wash fruit so that you have quick grabs that fit into your desired lifestyle. You have time, you just need to make healthy eating a priority for yourself (and your family).

AuntJodiIt is so great for me to write about all of this! It reminds me why I do what I do and encourages me to keep doing it! I don’t do what I want to every day. I don’t always eat nutritious foods or log my intake. But I’m trying. Blogging helps me to re-focus; I hope you are encouraged to create the life you really want too. Take good care of yourself, you are the only one that can be you!

 

 

 

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One Response

  1. Well explained. Thank you, Jode!

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