MACROS – You may have heard this word recently when someone mentioned a new diet they were starting. But what the heck are macros and how do you “hit” or “fit” something into them?
I wanted to give you a little “cheat sheet” guide to macros and why paying attention to them may help you get better results FASTER!
What is a macro?
A macro is a macronutrient or protein, carbs and fats. It is the nutrients your body needs in large quantities.
Almost every popular diet out there manipulates the amount of each macro you consume to get results whether it is promoting low or no carbs, low fat, high protein, or some balance in between!
And all of the foods we consume have a certain amount of each macronutrient.
Animal proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs and beef all have a different amount of protein, and fat. Some are very low in fat, like chicken breast, while some can be higher in fat like say Salmon.
This doesn’t mean one food is BETTER than another.
It just means you can include a variety of protein sources based on your specific needs and goals and even “work around” different fat contents by the foods you include at other times!
For instance, if you’re doing a diet that is lower in fat and higher in protein, you may start to realize that eggs, while protein, also increase your fat intake.
So you may still include eggs, but you may eliminate a less healthy source of fat from somewhere else OR include a leaner protein source at another time.
Or if you’re doing Keto, you may start to look at which foods are higher in fat to focus on those while eliminating some foods that are higher in carbs.
Or if you’re a vegetarian looking to increase protein, you may realize that you need to not only combine certain foods for a completely protein, a complete amino acid chain, but that many of your protein sources also contain more carbs too.
The key is understanding what our food is made of so we can eat according to our goals!
To often we start a diet, dial in our diet with whole, natural foods and then wonder WHY we aren’t getting the results we want.
And it may be because while we think we are following the principles of the diet, we aren’t actually hitting the macronutrient ratios the diet suggests because we don’t actually KNOW what the macros are.
That is where this quick cheat sheet can come in handy!
And it is also important for us to realize that while the quality of our food is key for optimal functioning and better health…for some aesthetic goals…well it kind of doesn’t matter!
Quality Doesn’t Matter!?
This isn’t meant as an excuse to just go eat crap.
BUT I think it is an important fact to recognize because it is a frustration I often hear from clients trying to lose weight.
“Well I cut out all of the processed stuff and am eating one ingredient foods, but I’ve stopped losing weight and I have 10 more pounds!”
It’s because the quality of our food doesn’t fully matter to weight loss.
Because calories in vs calories out is at the heart of what matters, and how we dial in your macros CAN affect how we create a deficit, but you can still OVEREAT even eating only healthy foods.
While the quality of our food does help our body function optimally, I think often the fact that we cut out all of the foods we love to eat “cleaner,” ends up backfiring.
Often I even see clients overeating because they have a craving they aren’t satisfying.
So they hold themselves back from getting the results they want instead of striking a balance.
Instead of also including the foods they love while focusing on whole natural foods, they completely cut them out, and, all too often, end up binging on them at some point and falling off the restrictive diet they’ve created.
You CAN indulge in those foods you love while still dialing in the overall quality of your diet for results.
But realize that no matter how “clean” you eat, the bottom line is that if you want to lose or gain weight, the amount and type (aka macros) of calories that you consume matters most.
What’s Right For Me?
The most confusing part of this is where to start. What ratios or diets do you choose?
How do you create a calorie deficit without cutting out too much?
How can you get fast results without restricting yourself so much you end up binging?
Where is the balance that will work for you!?
The one key to figuring out what is right for YOU since one size doesn’t really fit all with dieting?
Learn about the different diets, experiment with different ratios and then track what you eat so you can truly see your calories, your macros and even what may be working or NOT working!
If you don’t track, you don’t know.
And tracking, while annoying yes, not only becomes easier and a HABIT, but it also helps you stop feeling like nothing will work!
What’s worse, not knowing what is or isn’t working and therefore constantly struggling to see the results you want OR taking a few minutes each day to weigh and measure and log?
Take control of your diet today! Join my Macro Hacks Challenge!
Great advices and very useful tools❣
Thank you so much!
Glad it helps Francesca!
Hi hope you are well. I just need a quick tweek. I took your advice about goal weight x 11 and went on your macro calculator ( thanks) but I am still the same weight as I was in January. Any advice would be much appreciated
Hi Andrea. So without seeing food logs I can’t really see what you’re exactly doing or even what goal you’re driving toward. You can have body recomp happening and stay the same weight as well. But I would look at weekly averages and see if that consistency is there or if the weekends are adding up. Also in my Macro Hacks I go over how to cycle ratios every 2-3 weeks and even other calorie calculations based on YOUR specific needs. The quiz and that calculation are just one option to get you started but one size doesn’t fit all so we have to find the ratios that work for us and adjust over time!
I would like to have more information about the program ( The Macro Hack). How I know if the program work for me? And the book what I’m going to see in the book?
I need to gain muscles,
Hi, i understand that food tracking is important to see what works and what doesn’t. Most of my favourite foods cannot be found in food tracking apps.
As such, how will i know its macros and calories if i were to embark on your program
Here’s all the info about that program 🙂 https://themacrohacks.com/macro-hacks
I recommend looking up recipes with macros to create your own foods to log those options 🙂
What is considered hitting? I just subscribed to Macro Hacks and I’m having a hard time hitting all percentages spot on. Wondering if “hitting” macros for 2-3 weeks before cycling to next round leaves any room for +/- a few percentages points on a daily basis? Or does it need to be perfect to count as a hit?
So if you go to the nutrient tab, it will show you your grams. I like to focus on being at or over protein to start and plus or minus about 2% in the other macros. But using the grams can help you be closer!
I don’t even know where to begin. I’m 53, no period since the end of 2019. My body still looked pretty amazing at the end of 2020. 2021-now I have gained 40 pounds. Thank God I’m 5’11 and it is spread out, but I now have 2 rolls on my mid section and my thighs are bigger and my arms are getting flabby.
Help where do I start to reverse what has happened? I was a athlete through my college years and was blessed to keep my figure. That has all changed. How do I figure my true calories to eat to lose weight? What else should I do? HELP! Please.
I’m bummed you didn’t do the consultation with Erica today but I understand you feel it wasn’t the right fit. If you do find you need any help Tiffany, don’t hesitate to reach out. I find that there are small changes to our macros that can add up as our hormones and body change. Because as we get older, we aren’t as efficient at utilizing protein and our hormone levels changing can even impact where we do store fat. But often it is embracing that our lifestyle, needs and goals are constantly evolving that allows us to tweak our diet and workouts to see fabulous results 🙂