This Diet, That Diet…
There are so many fads going around at any given point. I definitely got caught up in it as I was trying to find my way around the health arena. I constantly failed because diets don’t work, no matter how many times people try to convince you otherwise. If you’re going to be successful and healthy, you have to live a successful and healthy life. For life.
When I started working with my nutritionist and he said macros… I panicked. I have tried doing macros in the past, but I was so intimidated I did give up. Also, I really just wanted to find a nutritionist that would give me a food log I could follow and not pay attention. Sam is not that nutritionist. The first time I talked to him he was like okay… we are doing macros… I will give you numbers… you’re responsible for planning your food. WHAT?! This is not what I was looking for. But he explained to me that if I didn’t get used to planning my own food and knowing how to eyeball food amounts, or know grams, I would be relying on someone my entire life. To be successful, I needed to be able to rely on myself.
Okay, okay. My CrossFit gym gave me a free month with Sam, so what would it hurt to just try it. I’m not going to lie it took a minute for me to start getting things going. The first week, I planned everything out but struggled to meet my numbers because I was making things each day. Sam gave me some tips and set small goals with me to meal prep on Sundays. This made grabbing and going so easy. It made me way more successful. Another thing that I do is plan out my week and eat the same thing every day. Now that I’m on high and low-calorie days, I plan one meal for my low-calorie day and then add in food on top of it to get to my high-calorie day target. It’s made meal prepping incredibly easy.
If you’re on the fence about macros here are five reasons I love them.
1. If it fits, you can eat it.
So let me explain. When you get your macro numbers for protein, carbs, and fats, you decide what you put in your body to meet those macros. So if cake fits in your macros then you can eat it… not saying you should, but macros are not restrictive telling you that you can’t eat this or that.
2. Clean your plate.
I am originally from the MidWest. I also grew up in the 80s. This is when kids were told to clean their plates and then they could leave the table. Don’t waste food there are starving children in Africa. So I remember before going on any diet, instead of throwing out all the junk food in my house, I would eat it… all. of. it. Which then would make me feel horrible and bloated and all the gross feelings out there. So with macros, I have all my meals broken out and measured, so I’m still cleaning my plate every time I eat, but I’m also only eating the correct amount of food (including carbs).
3. You can eat carbs.
I know everything in the world is telling you not to eat carbs… but you need carbs. It’s just the source of carbs that is going to be a challenge. I love tortillas. Everyone in my circle knows this about me now… they also might make fun of me. But it’s okay. Anyway back to the point. I manage my carb number around the ability to have a tortilla. It used to be every day, but now it’s on my high-calorie days (that’s my choice, not because someone or thing is telling me I can’t have one). The rest of my carbs are coming from veggies.
4. You are not going to be hungry.
Since most of my carbs are coming from veggies right now, there is a high volume of food going into my body. At lunch it’s taking me the full hour to consume all the green beans and broccoli I’m eating. Also, I’m eating a lot of protein. It’s a mix of meat and whey protein powder but it’s extremely filling and I’m not hungry. I have to set alerts to remind me to eat.
5. It’s sustainable.
I talked about this above, but macros are sustainable. You can do macros for the rest of your life and live. Do you really want to pay for Weight Watchers or Atkins products for the rest of your life? I didn’t. I like going to the Farmer’s Market to grab my fruits and veggies, get my Butcher Box delivered, and make real food with whole food.
How to Start Macros
If you’re really serious about getting healthy, I would highly recommend hiring a nutritionist who can do your macro numbers for you. I wouldn’t be where I’m at without Sam proportioning out the numbers for me weekly, but if you can’t afford one or just want to try it on your own first there are a lot of macro calculators out there you can plug in your numbers and it will tell you the ratio of nutrients you should be aiming for.
I wouldn’t deficit too much, only because I know when I was cutting hard on my own, I was starting to store weight and the scale would get hardcore stuck. When I was on a plateau three weeks ago, I was complaining to Sam and he shook things up. Not in the way you might assume. He took my calorie count from 1560 to 1900. I almost passed out from freaking out that he wanted me to eat 400 MORE calories a day. I told him, “You know I’m trying to get the scale to go down right?!” But I trusted him and within three days the scale was going down again. Sometimes it’s not just about limiting calories.