When I was serial dieting, the only focus on any of those diets was the calorie deficit and making sure I didn’t over-eat. As long as it was low-calorie, fat-free or diet it fit my plan. I gave up ‘regular’ foods and suffered for weeks or months in an extreme calorie deficit while eating foods I didn’t like nor would I want to eat long-term. Maybe you can relate to this. Maybe you are experiencing this right now, if you are dieting and trying to lose weight.
Now don’t get me wrong, a calorie deficit matters – it’s essential if you want to lose weight – but what I have come to realize is that the types of foods I eat are just as important to helping me achieve my goals. In fact, by tracking my macros – not just my calorie intake – I was far more likely to get the lean, toned body I really wanted. For me, it was that AHA moment which literally changed my whole approach to losing weight and getting fit.
Macros are the building blocks of every food we eat, namely your proteins, carbohydrates and fats. I recommend watching this video on macros by fitness trainer, Mike Vacanti, who explains the basics of counting your macros and how they are important to a healthy lifestyle.
Paying attention to them and actually tracking them was a game changer for me because it forced me to make sure that my body was getting not just adequate amounts of food everyday but also that I was selecting the right balance of high quality foods which would help me reach my goals. In previous diets I would just focus on hitting a calorie goal with no thought as to what made up those calories. I also didn’t pay attention to the fact that my foods were largely filled with chemicals or fillers – I was just hitting a calorie goal, not really focusing on the nutritional aspects of my eating habits. Not only wasn’t I fueling my body adequately for day-to-day activities but I definitely wasn’t providing enough of the right foods to help my body get through intense workouts and build lean muscle. Its probably why I would lose weight but my body was still flabby – I was losing a combination of muscle mass, water and fat on those diets instead of building lean muscle and losing fat specifically.
I can tell you that once I learned how I had been doing it all wrong before, it made perfect sense why I was so hungry on those other diets and why they ended up being unsustainable.
Tracking macros is an essential component to reaching specific goals. And it’s science – not a fad diet. When you pay attention to your macros it becomes not just about losing weight – but about getting goal-specific like losing fat, or building muscle or maintaining your current conditioning. You still eat within that set daily calorie goal but by adjusting your macros you can literally change your body composition so that you become healthier & stronger.
So all of a sudden, I am not on a diet anymore. That’s right – I am NOT on a diet. I am just eating to meet my goals. This was a huge mental game-changer for me because all of the bad food associations began to lose their grip on me. I wasn’t haunted by food choices because I stopped thinking I was ‘bad’ for eating a certain food. It was freeing.
Additionally, by paying attention to my macros, I was making healthier food choices that included way more lean protein than I had ever eaten before. Today this keeps me full & satisfied, keeps my blood sugar levels balanced and ensures I have the energy to workout multiple times a week. Additionally, because I am paying attention to my macros, my body is able to shed fat and build lean muscle mass which is the goal, right?
So, just as an example so you can see how I track my macros, I have outlined how I have my macros set up currently. Obviously you would tailor it to fit yourself & your lifestyle but this gives you an idea of how my balanced lifestyle works for me.
Macros Reference: Protein = 4 cal/gram, Carbs = 4 cal/gram, Fats = 9 cal/gram
I weigh 180 lbs and I work out 4 x a week. Of those 4 workouts usually 2 are specifically strength training focused and 2 are a mix of HIIT cardio and strength training (kickboxing).
My daily calorie goal is 1820 calories and my macros break down as follows:
Protein: 40% (182g) = 728 of my calories come from a lean protein source
Carbs: 25% (114g) = 455 of my calories are complex carbohydrates
Fats: 35% (71g) = 638 of my calories come from good fats
My goal is to lower my body fat and increase my lean muscle mass – not to hit a particular scale weight. If I am off by a few grams on my macros – it’s not a huge worry. Like with anything, it’s consistency – not perfection – that matters.
My results could be YOUR results . Isn’t it time you ditched the yo-yo diets and committed to following a healthy lifestyle that nourishes your body and makes you stronger? Aren’t you tired of doing the same diets that make you feel deprived so you can’t wait to quit? There is a better way.
Learn more about achieving your body weight goals, without dieting and without following another fad or restrictive diet. Visit my coaching page for more information as I would love to help achieve your health & fitness goals!