What Are Macros and Why Should We Count Them?
That was my gut reaction when I caught wind of the macro trend. I have never been one to count calories or to follow any kind of diet for that matter. I mean why in the heck would I workout so hard if I can’t just eat what I want afterward? That has always been my mentality and approach to my diet but little did I know that I wasn’t eating enough of the foods that my body needed to perform properly.
After an injury that set me back with my fitness goals and feeling like crap when exercising, I realized I needed to make a change. No longer could I just “wing it” when it came to my nutrition, especially when training as hard as I was. That is when I inquired about the macro craze, I did a little research on my own and then started asking questions to the friends I knew that were on a macro type diet. The things I read and heard were pretty similar, it was all about balance and making sure you hit your specific numbers (fat, carbs, and protein) and that would equal results. I wasn’t looking to lose weight but was looking to learn how to properly fuel myself and this program sounded like something that I could actually stick with. Sounds crazy but I seriously had no idea how to feed myself properly and I found that out when I started my macro journey with Leah, my nutrition coach, and our #52DayShred coach.
I am currently four months into my macro counting journey with Leah and it has been completely eye opening for me. Of course, I have had some hiccups along the way and have indulged in many beers and glasses of wine but since I have made this a lifestyle change, I am learning how to make my macros work for me. It’s something I think about when ordering food, grocery shopping, snacking and well LIVING. This is exactly why I went to Leah with the idea to create a fitness challenge where women could do this together, as a group and that’s was when the #52DayShred was born! Currently, we are 20 days into our first challenge with almost 40 women and we couldn’t be happier with the way it has been going. Having a coach to check in each week keeps you honest and the other members of the #52DayShred have been so helpful to keeping everyone motivated. The community approach to this challenge is my favorite part because YOU AREN’T ALONE. Nothing is worse than feeling like you are dieting all by yourself. This program IS NOT LIKE THAT!!
So for all of you who have heard about the #52DayShred or macro counting and are curious to learn more, we have broken it down for you right here. If you are still intrigued and want to make a life change at the end of this post, drop us an email and we can help you get started on your flexible dieting journey!
WHAT ARE MACROS?
Macros are short for “macronutrients” which are basically just calories but each macronutrient serves a very specific purpose in terms of body composition and overall health. All food is composed of 3 major macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbs. No matter if you track macros or not, if you eat food, you consume macros every day. So why not make them work for you?!
- Protein ensures you are preserving lean muscle tissue while you are cutting and helps you gain muscle mass while bulking. Regardless of your goals, protein is essential in your diet!
- Protein digests slowly, which helps keep you full longer. This is one of the reasons that protein is the most important macro in your diet.
- Your body burns approx. 30% of the calories from protein in the digestive process….so higher protein intake is a huge help in fat loss diets!
- CRUCIAL FOR OVERALL HEALTH: Regulates hormone function, produces vital hormones
- Aids in nutrient absorption.
- Bonus: Tastes delicious!
- Energy! Your body has the easiest time turning carbs into energy than any other macronutrient.
- Fiber is found in carb sources. You need to be getting 25-50g fiber to ensure proper digestion!
WHY IS MACRO COUNTING IS IMPORTANT??
Tracking your macros is important, because unlike JUST calories, macros are the determining factor in body composition and overall health. Dialing them in can help achieve almost any fitness or nutrition goal you are after! The secret is in the numbers and that is where a nutrition coach who knows how to guide you in the right direction comes into play. Together you will come up with a plan that is both doable, achievable and will produce the results you are looking for.
For example, if you are on a fat loss diet (calorie deficit), but you’re only eating calories from carbs, you will not hold on to any muscle, and your hormones are going to stop functioning properly which leads to a wide array of issues. Yes, you will lose weight up to a certain point, but it won’t be the fat loss we are after. Plus, you will be feeling pretty miserable due to your hormones being out of whack, thus would not be able to stick to the diet.
I’M NOT A BODY-BUILDER, WHY WOULD I START COUNTING MACROS??
Ok, so you aren’t looking to get stage lean for a big bikini competition but are you looking to feel confident and comfortable in your own skin? If the answer is yes, macro counting could be for you! The reason we love this program is because there are no off limit foods or meal plans you have to stick to. The freedom to choose what you eat is what makes this program so great!
There are several diets that exist in the world. The goal is to find one that works for YOU. Everybody is different, and they all digest macronutrients (protein, fats and carbs) differently. The key to losing weight or improving your body composition is finding a diet that can be a lifestyle – which means you can do a “diet” for the rest of your life. Don’t let someone talk you into a juicing or shake diet when you know you’ll have to eat real foods at the end of it.
Our goal here is NOT to make you dependent on a nutrition plan or nutrition coach the rest of your life. One of the amazing things about learning how to track your macros, is that we do it in order to help you create healthy nutrition habits that you can keep for life. We want you to learn how to properly fuel your body, based on YOUR goals and lifestyle. We also want you to see what amazing things your body is capable of when you devote a concentrated approach to your nutrition! Does this mean you can never eat cake again or you have to track your food every day of your life? Of course not, but, by tracking what you eat, you can easily see what you’re putting in your body and it will help you make better choices. The diet we ALWAYS recommend is flexible dieting because it is flexible easy to track and gives you options! Life requires flexibility, so your nutrition should too!
Feeling inspired to give macro counting a try? Send us an email to join our list for our next #52DayShred group starting June 12th!
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