What are macros?
We receive questions regarding macros, IIFYM, clean eating, mindful eating, flexible dieting...nonstop. So here are these questions laid out and answered for you in one article.
Because tracking macros is a diet-specific approach that is scientifically backed, some people tend to get scared off. It may be 'too time consuming' or difficult to grasp. Clearing up misconceptions, and understanding this effective approach is useful not only to apply, but simply be aware of. Another myth regarding the macro approach is that you can eat as much junk food as you want and still achieve your ideal physique. While somewhat true, your wellbeing and health should always be at the forefront of your mind. There's an apparent rift between tracking macros and clean eating, where the two approaches are placed at opposite sides of the spectrum. But choosing between clean eating or tracking macros is not choosing between two extremes. There are always adaptations, details to change and your own needs to consider. Choosing food and produce that fits your macro goals AND nourishes you, is the way to go.
IIFYM is not designed to excuse bad eating, but allow for flexibility.This is so that those with goals in mind could still achieve them without eating clean 100% of the time. The Bod programs all offer the option of customising your nutritional plan according to your macros. Macros, or macronutrients, consist of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. These are the essential macronutrients required to control your body composition, body fat and ultimately your results. More importantly, these macronutrients ensure optimal nutrition for yourself. Knowing the macro breakdown of your food and daily calorie intake equips you with the tools to make informed choices. Two men or women of the same weight and height, may require very different macro ratios simply due to differing goals in mind. Your macros are calculated based off of your measurements, but also your physical activity and amount of lean muscle mass you hold. After following our protocols and determining your macros, it's then up to you to follow these macros as closely as possible. This means eating the correct amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates you've calculated without going over or under. Sounds like an arduous task but scientifically, it can't be beaten.
Tracking your macros can seem stringent and calculated, but this also comes back to you.
There are athletes who weigh their foods to the gram no matter what they eat, and there are some who take a 'mindful eating' approach with their food. This essentially means they still aim to hit their macros each day, but not necessarily exactly.
From the outside in, flexible and clean eating have some amazing, and some not so amazing reviews. Remember - whatever nutritional plan you're following, it starts and ends with YOU. It's up to you to ensure you are being nourished and contributing to your progress, regardless of the style of eating you choose.
And at the end of the day - a great nutritional plan is the kind you can maintain for life, and there are pros and cons to all kinds of eating styles.
To better understand how to track your macros..
Look at it as a series of steps, one after another.
Step 1: Calculator your daily calorie intake based off of your measurements, daily energy expenditure and goals.Step 2: Calculate the macros perfect for you.
Step 3. Ensure you hit these target macros everyday and keep it consistent over time.Step 4: Make changes accordingly, for example: increase your calories at a very small scale to allow your metabolism to adapt. Or, decrease your calories at a very small scale to trigger further fat loss or weight loss.
Don't be consumed by numbers. Tracking your own macros is effective, but can easily turn in a daily counting game. There are several ways to make tracking your macros fit easily into your lifestyle including:- Using an app such as MyFitnessPal to scan any packaged foods and obtain accurate nutritional info on ingredients.
- Setting out meal plans in advance This way, you know roughly how much to shop for, how much to prep and the amounts you need to enter into MyFitnessPal
- Eyeball food when you have to. Over time, you'll be able to tell apart a small apple (approx. 150g) from a large apple (220g) and won't feel the need to whip out a scale every time you grab for a Red Delicious.
Get THE BOD app today and learn how to:
- Calculate your daily calorie intake
- Calculate your suited macros
- Track these properly and achieve your goals
- Tweak your macros according to new goals