Ready to get into the GOOD stuff?! Last week I uploaded a post explaining how to calculate your macros (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats).
If you haven't already read it, please do that first (here's the link) because our next step is to put the numbers you calculated in part one of this series into operation!
Knowing and keeping track of your macros can be game-changing for your metabolism … not only will it help accelerate your results, but you will feel and look AMAZING!
Before we get started, here are a few tips I'd like you to follow:
TIP 1: Don't let yourself stress over getting your macro numbers 100% correct. Instead, use them as guidepost figures vs. trying to be perfect and hitting them precisely. Think of this as an experiment; a learning PROCESS of data accumulation over time. Test, assess, and adjust your approach as needed.
TIP 2: If you aren't currently using an online food journal (like the one I provide to my coaching clients), I recommend creating an account at one of the free sites (like MyFitnessPal, Cronometer, FitBit). Doing so will make the task infinitely easier since their databases are already pre-loaded with nutritional info on practically all foods.
TIP 3: Try making it easier on yourself by planning your meals/macros in advance. If not, you could end up with a weird, or lopsided configuration of macros as the day progresses, making it a challenge to determine what you can eat to hit your target numbers for proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Now that the tips are out of the way let's begin by opening your food journal to map out at least one day's worth of meals!
The first few times you try doing this, be prepared to spend a little extra time on it. However, proficiency comes with practice, and before long, you will be able to toss together an entire day's worth of meals in just a couple of minutes.
In my previous post, I used the example of someone trying to hit 2,000 calories a day to lose fat while gaining muscle. In doing so, I arrived at the following estimation of their daily macronutrient requirements:
150 grams of protein a day
55 grams of fat a day
225 grams of carbs a day
In a nutshell, you'll begin by layering in the protein-rich foods for all your meals. Follow that by entering your carbohydrate needs. Then finally add in fats (like salad dressing, butter, etc.) into the mix. Then, you'll tweak the final amounts once you've plugged in all your meals.
For instance, let's use protein: at breakfast, you would enter "eggs." For lunch, you might decide on"tuna" and then jot down "chicken breast" for dinner. Maybe you like using protein powder to make a shakes as a snack or post-workout meal. If so, enter that, too!
Look at how many protein grams add up to for the day and see if you're near the 150-gram mark – but don't worry about it if you aren't!
Next, it's time for the carbs – "starchy" carbs like legumes, quinoa, oats, potatoes, etc. get added in. You'll find some of your carbs will even bump up your protein number!
Next up its veggies & fruits. It can be helpful to shoot for at least one serving at every meal.
Once you're done with that, it's time to finetune your plan to get closer to your target macro numbers for the day!
TWEAKING YOUR PLAN:
Many people struggle with their protein numbers – they get too little – or they get too much! The fix: adjust your portion sizes or upgrade your food choices.
NOTE: You'll get the most benefit from protein you eat if you spread it out over the day in relatively equal amounts.
It's helpful to track fiber. According to the USDA, women under the age of 50 should aim for eating 25 grams a day and men, 38 grams. Women over 50 should try for 21 and men, 30 grams.
If your fiber is low, check your fruit and veggie choices, and your starchy carbs – adding a ½ cup of legumes (like black beans) can really help.
If your fat number is low, try adding some healthy oil like olive oil to a salad or your veggies or healthy fats like nuts and seeds.
What if you want to cook up a family recipe? Many food journals (like MyFitnessPal) let you create recipes within the app and break them down into portion sizes!
And there you have it — your own DIY meal plan. Now, Are you going to try tracking your own macros? Has this post been helpful to you? Would you like others like this? I NEED TO KNOW!
Please email me and let me know!
Lastly, you might already have some idea of how fit you are. But knowing the specifics can help you set realistic fitness goals, monitor your progress, and maintain your motivation. Once you know where you're starting from, you can plan where you want to go. And it's easier than you might think.
I can help you with that. All you've got to do is book a FREE "Let's Talk Strategy" session with me today. Together we can decide the best approach toward improving your health, fitness, and physique!