Sunday, June 1, 2014

What the Heck are Macros?

I remember sitting on my computer in June of 2013, thinking to myself, "What the heck are Macros?" At that point in my life, I was at my heaviest. I was 240.2 pounds, and hearing people talk about macros, and IIFYM, and percentages freaked me out. I've been there, but I swear to you that it really isnt as scary as it seems.

Your Macros are basically just categories. All of the food you eat, fits into these categories. Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Sodium, etc, are all Macros. A slice of cheese has about 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs, and maybe 5 grams of protein. See how one food has individual categories?  Your body needs a healthy balance of all of these macros. How can you lose weight and be healthy if you eat 1500 calories of pure sugar? That's pretty silly, right? This is why people track their macros.

Each body type has its own needs. My body for example, (in a weight loss state, not a maintenance state) functions best with 1500 calories a day. (I am a woman and need less calories than a man does naturally, and these numbers depend on your workout intensity as well.) So out of 1500 calories, 35% of those calories are carbohydrates. That is the sweet spot for my body, but some people need more. These are your percentages. I have 40% of my daily calories reserved for protein. this leaves 25% left for fats.

My Fitness Pal and Macros: If you have an account with myfitnesspal, you can track your macros! This is the app I use daily to make sure I am on track. If you are on the mobile app, you can click menu in the top left corner and click on "goals." (if you are on a computer, goals is under the button that says "my home"). From goals, you want to scroll down to where you see the calories that MFP has set for you. You should adjust your calories first, (I recommend staying around 1500 for women and 1800 for men.) You are welcome to use my percentages and numbers above as you enter the percentages below the calories and adjust them as you see progress if needed. Save the changes and restart the app to refresh it. The app will automatically convert your percentages into grams for you. All you have to do now from our phone to track your macros, is click on the left menu icon, and click "nutrition" (if youre on the computer click on "food"). You will see where your macros are listed on the left, and on the top it will show you your goal for the day in each category, and how many you have used, and how many you have left. This is a great tool!! Pre-plan your day, and then check to see where your macros are! :)

Tracking Macros definitely takes commitment, but I can assure you, it is not time consuming though it sounds like it. It took about a week to get used to it, and then it was second nature to do it. It takes me 5 minutes in the morning to plan out what I will eat for the day and make sure it fits into my macros. From there, I dont have to worry about food. I eat what I planned out, and I lose weight. If I start to stall out on weight loss, I look over my macro percentages and make minor adjustments as needed. When you're ready, youre ready. I hope this helps to alleviate some confusion or questions. This is to my knowledge, the HEALTHIEST way to lose weight, because you actually focus on each nutrient individually before looking at calories as a whole.


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