This past year I was inspired by my awesome husband (who lost 50 pounds in a few months) and I wanted to get stronger and more healthy. You may think that I wouldn’t need to lose weight necessarily but I know that my eating wasn’t healthy, I was tired… and strong is the new skinny, right? Plus, I get really ornery when I don’t eat, the saying, “Sorry for what I said when I was hungry.” Might as well be tattooed on my forehead. The thing with being a busy mom, that I’m sure some of you can relate, is that sometimes I don’t make time to eat. Or I grab something that’s not good for me. I heard about counting macros and I wanted to know more about it this past summer. I started exercising cause I needed more energy and I can definitely link my mood and mental healthy to exercising. I had been working out at boxing/crossfit gym 4-5 times a week. I thought I was eating heathy but I didn’t really know what I was really putting into my body until I started tracking my macros. It’s crazy how much of getting in shape is eating. I’ve heard people say it’s 90% eating and 10% working out.
So what are Macros? Macros or Macronutrients are what makes up the caloric content of food. It’s better than just counting calories because you could eat candy and stay in your 2000 calorie diet but that would be mostly carbs. This helps you balance your calories and make sure you get protein and even some fat too.
Use the app, Fitness Pal, and it will take the calories you want to eat in a day, say you want to stick to a 2000 calorie diet, then an online calculator or dietitian will break down your macros which is different for everyone, but it could look like this: 40% protein 35% carbohydrates and 25% fat. As you are eating through out the day you will enter the food for each meal into the app and you can track everything to make sure the food you eat stays in those percentages. If you eat all candy, breads, pastas then it will be higher percentage for carbs. And if you eat a bag of cocoa almonds like I like to do haha it will sway my percentage to mostly fat. I love that it helps me balance it all. I’m seriously happier because I try to eat every 2-3 hours and I don’t get to the starving phase like I used to which leads to grabbing a handful of Goldfish crackers or crappy food. No no.
I called on an expert to explain this. Her name is Bree Carver and she’s a certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor. She creates customized meal plans as well as online training programs to help you reach your fitness goals. Check out her website Body By Bree and if you’d like fitness and nutrition tips her Instagram is @bodybybree2! So here we go…
“IIFYM stands for “If It Fits My Macros.” The IIFYM diet focuses on the three most important energy sources needed for our bodies to function properly. I’m talking about protein, carbohydrates and fat. How it works: I will calculate your daily caloric needs, then split those calories into certain percentages according to your height, age, weight, body type and activity level. You give me your food preferences and I will create a 7 day meal plan according to your prescribed macros. The beauty of macros is you have the flexibility to eat whatever you want as long as it fits your target macro numbers. This is the most effective for muscle growth, fat burning and consistent energy levels without feeling restricted to eating boring, bland foods all the time. You can have your treat and fit it into your macro count without feeling guilty! It’s a very balanced, healthy approach to “dieting” and reaching your fitness goals.”
Thanks Bree! I was so excited she introduced me to the app Fitness Pal and also created a custom 7 day meal plan! It’s weird because I know some food are bad for you but I didn’t realize just how crappy and unbalanced some of the food I put in my body was.
Like take Swedish fish candy. You can eat 7 sweedish fish that have 38 carbs and 150 calories. SEVEN. Which is the same as a piece of Good Seed bread + turkey, tomato, lettuce, honey mustard! Crazy. I’d much rather fill my body with the healthy stuff. The thing that I love with counting macros is IIFYM (if it fits your macros) you just count your carbs and I’ll fit in a cookie if I want. I try to stick to the plan but I do sneak in and reward myself with some treats or a cheat meal every week! It’s especially tricky this time of year so this would be great to think about for the new year and new goals!
I’m sharing this because I love it! It’s truly been more of a lifestyle change for me and not a fad diet that I will get sick of in a few days or weeks. I am adding more and more healthy options snacks, meals etc all the time. Sheesh, I eat protein pancakes everyday. Pancakes. (Chocolate protein powder, egg whites, cottage cheese and oats + sugar free syrup.) I used to never eat breakfast I’d skip it which is so not good. But protein pancakes are both-good for you and delicious. My friend Jenna also came out with Macros Made Easy that I want to check out!
Love finding healthy alternatives! I’ll share more of that if anyone is interested.
1 scoop of Protein Powder (I use Frosted Chocolate Cupcake or Snickerdoodle)
1/3 c Quick Oats | 1/3 c 1% Cottage Cheese | 3/4 c Egg Whites | A little water if needed | When I use Snickerdoodle add a little vanilla and cinnamon | Cook on griddle or pan | 1/4 c sugar free low calorie syrup
Let me know if you have any questions! xoxo Lizzy