Let’s Talk about Macros
You have already received a ton of information about my Better & Beyond Program, what it is, what you will be doing, what to expect and all about carb controlling. Yet, we still have another important aspect to cover. Another huge part of this effective program is learning how to track macronutrients and time them with our workouts. You are going to learn a wonderful If It Fits Your Macros approach to nutrition. While this program is a gluten free, dairy free program, there is a ton of flexibility. The reason I believe in this approach so whole-heartedly is because it allows for variety, an individualized approach and some fun. Those are things that lead to sustainability, which will ultimately help you learn healthy habits.
Hiedi Powell, you may know her and her husband Chris Powell, from their show Extreme Weight Loss, describes it like this:
Tracking macros basically means consuming a balanced and appropriate ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats every day. An easy ratio to follow is 40% of your calories coming from carbs, 30% of your calories coming from protein, and 30% of your calories coming from fat. To break it down even further, if you need 1500 calories per day, your TOTAL macro intake for the day will be 150g carbs, 113g protein, and 50g fat. But before you start plugging in those numbers, everyone’s breakdown looks a little different according to your needs and goals. We will get there…hang with me.
It’s like working within a budget. How will you “spend” your macros? To give you an example, I love oatmeal for breakfast! Well, I really love gluten-free lemon cake for breakfast, but let’s use oatmeal (my 2nd fave) as the example. Alright…oatmeal alone is mostly just carbs, so I may add some berries (more carbs), some coconut oil for fat, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. It’s quick, easy, and delish! This meal comes out to be a total of 29g carbs, 14g fat, and 29g protein. That meal gets deducted from my total for the day, and now I have 121g carbs left, 36g fat left, and 84g protein left!
This is NOT a restrictive way of eating. Treats are allowed – or it wouldn’t be worth doing! The treats simply fit within the macros for the day.
Macronutrients – or Macros There are three macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. A gram of fat is 9 calories and a gram of protein and a gram of carbohydrate is 4 calories. Traditional diets that have you focus on a significantly restricted caloric intake often do not account for the quality of the calories you consume. That means there are a lot of folks who may look slim but are actually unhealthy. They have not provided their bodies with the nutrients needed. It is because of this reason that we will focus on fueling with wholesome nutrient dense foods with the right to fuel our busy days.
Simply, restricting calories can help you lose weight, but will not be sustainable and not help you develop your own healthy lifestyle.
Fat will NOT make you fat. I promise! Healthy fats support your metabolism, immunity, hormone production, and can improve your mood, body composition and keep you satiated so you will not overeat.
We all know the importance of protein. In fact, recently there has been almost too much emphasis placed on the amount of protein we should be eating. Protein can help the body replace worn out cells and help your muscles repair, recover and grow. Proteins also have a significant effect on your hormone levels, immune system and your overall brain function.
Good carbohydrates are incredibly important to fueling your workouts, increasing your energy and triggering the release of insulin. Consuming carbs at appropriate times teaches your body to use fat stores for energy during and after a workout. However, there are other times when eating carbs will increase insulin levels so that more glucose is burned and not fat.
What about calories?
While I will not ask you to focus on counting calories, you will need to be aware of your personal calorie goal each day – and that may change based on your workouts and goals. However, it is more important to meet your macro goals. Meeting a calorie goal by consuming the right ratio of each macronutrient will help you do more than just lose weight; it will help you burn fat, increase energy and boost your overall mood and help you learn what you need to eat, how much and when to feel your best. That will give you the tools to build your balanced healthy lifestyle. .
What about treats?
This is NOT a diet or restrictive way of eating. After we meet our macronutrient goals, you will have days with discretionary calories to spend. Pick your treat! Donut? Cookie? Homemade potatoes? Wine? If you eat clean most of the time, control your carbs and manage your macros to match the workouts, and also get in your strength training and interval training, you can definitely have guilt-free treats on your appropriate day..
LOW CARB DAYS:
* On your low carb days I want you to eat LESS than 50 grams of NET CARBS. (total carbs minus fiber equals net carbs)
* Do NOT eat those starchy carbs (like grains, potatoes, root vegetables)
* Eat protein at each of your meals
* Enjoy lots of leafy and cruciferous vegetables
* Keep your hunger level between a 4-6 at all times
- LOW CARB FOODS:
- Spinach, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, collard greens, other greens, arugula
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage
- Bell peppers, celery, mushrooms, bean sprouts, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, eggplant
- Eat Healthy Fats in smaller portions:
- Nuts, seeds, avocado
- Stay AWAY from high carb foods like:
- Root veggies – squash, zuchinni, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, peas, corn, fruits & fruit smoothies, dairy, wheat & glutinous grains, healthy non-glutinous grains, like quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice
HIGH CARB/TREAT DAY
- Eat the healthy foods you have been
- Remember to follow your hunger scale and keep it between a 4-6. Don’t stuff yourself or eat until discomfort.
- Ideally, eat your biggest meal after you work out.
- Be aware of meeting your macros for this higher carb day so that you keep the proportions even.
HIGHER CARB DAY FOODS:
- Gluten-free grains – quinoa, buckwheat or oats.
- Starchy carbs – sweet potato, carrots, beets, parsnips,
- Fruit – Enjoy fruits you like such as berries, pears, and apples and bananas.
- Nuts – almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, etc.
- Legumes – black beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.
- Healthy fats – avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, fish oil, flax oil, hemp oil
- Proteins – lentils, beans, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild fish, eggs, bacon, hemp seeds, chia seeds, protein powder.
- TREATS: If you choose to have a day for your treat, this is the day. You have done a great workout, so you can treat yourself and have some fun!
LOW CARB/LOW CAL AND ACTIVE RECOVERY DAY
- This is the day to give your body a break and allow it to rest and recover. You will be less active today so require fewer calories. Aim for eating Eat 25% less calories than a Regular Calorie Day.
- Take this day to enjoy with your family, friends, hobbies, and rest.
- Take a yoga or Pilates class, enjoy a low intensity, longer walk, bike, swim that will not stress your body