A beginner’s guide to macro counting – Tikiboo
What do you think a diet that lets you enjoy cookies, ice cream and pizza, a glass of red wine, and even a Saturday night take out? No, not all of a sudden, let’s be realistic! The macro diet, also known as the flexible diet, rejects the notion of counting calories and instead focuses on counting macronutrients – the food groups that our bodies actually need to function. These are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and our bodies need all three in the right ratio to perform best, stay well, see workout gains, and lose excess weight.
When you manage to balance your macros, you can do your regular weightlifting, CrossFit, running, or athletic workouts, and then continue to see the gains you want while enjoying “treats.” The guiding principle is IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros).
This flexible dieting approach has been used by fitness professionals for years and can be extremely effective. Deep down, he recognizes that calories are not equal in value. Thus, 100 calories of lean chicken will not be used by the body in the same way as 100 calories of chocolate. By moving away from simple calories and optimizing macros, your body will begin to bend and perform at its best, and you’ll enjoy a diet that you can stick to for the rest of your life. Basically, macro eating takes away the notion of ‘good and bad’ foods and also helps keep you from getting bored.
Take carbohydrates, for example. They have become the enemy in recent years, but if you exercise regularly, they are essential for energy. However, if you are a pen pusher in the office, a high carbohydrate diet (even “low calorie”) will become a problem. The body uses fat at rest but switches to carbohydrates when you exercise. This means that even if you are not training, you should focus on fat and protein, but bring out the carbs and protein together when you are training hard.
Work on your macros
The important thing is to determine what your macro ratio really should be. To do this, calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and then adjust it based on activity. Then you will have a goal of daily calories, which can be broken down into fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Go online to find tools to help you do this or find a personal trainer or nutritionist who can help you get started with the math and breakdown you need to successfully advance your macro approach.
Translating calories into food
Remember, your body has no notion of good or bad foods; he just needs these three groups in the right proportions. So figure out what your macro goal is and then choose foods accordingly using an app like MyFitnessPal to help you track foods and do math. It will take time at first, but you will quickly become a pro at evaluating your macros. Most people who are looking for fat loss will aim for 40% carbohydrate, 40% protein, and 20% fat. This allows you to maintain your hard-earned muscle mass, while allowing your body to lose fat.
If you are looking to gain volume, your macro allocation will be different, and so will your exercise. The same applies if you are training endurance, and in that case your macro division may need to be adjusted again. Work with your trainer to assess your goals and calculate your macro allocation accordingly.
The keto diet
It’s a big trend right now and it courts as many ecstatic followers as it does controversy. If you are planning on going keto, you can use a calculator like KetoDiet Buddy for a breakdown of 73% fat, 21% protein, and 6% carbs. Some people go on keto for medical reasons. Consult your doctor before planning a keto diet and only do it for a short time. Keep in mind that the changes in body composition that you see are most likely due to water loss. Likewise, a strict reduction in carbohydrates can make training or energy difficult.
What do you actually eat?
So you did your macro-mathematics, but now what? Be aware that this is not a signal to eat junk food 24 hours a day. Your body also needs vitamins and minerals found in whole foods, as well as fiber. So make sure that 80% of your food comes from nutrient sources and reserve the remaining 20% for treats.
Ready to try macros? Then, whip up the app of your choice, follow your favorite influencers on Instagram, find a supportive community in your gym or online, and go chasing those results! Good luck, and remember – If this fits your macros, then this pizza slice will no longer be banned. Happiness!
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