measuring + macros

Before I begin, it should be noted of the following: I am not a professional, expert, scientist, or anything like that. I'm merely just another person paraphrasing the advice and information that I have been given from actual professionals. 

I'm sure by now you have heard of the new phenomenon of macros. I first heard about it from my aunt a few months ago, and, from what she was saying, it sounded so complicated and tedious. I've been meal prepping for a couple years now, but this, I thought, this is too much. And boy, was I wrong. 

I'll admit, it took some getting used to, but once I grasped it, I realized how easy macros really are. There's three sections: fat, carbs, and proteins. If you hit the projected amount of grams each within your caloric goal, you're good. For instance, my caloric goal on non-workout days is about 1800 and 2100 on the other six days I workout. So, from there, the three sections are broken down to 40% carbs and 30% to protein and fat. And then, I plan my meals with the goals of meeting the set grams of each. It sounds like a lot, but it's really not. It actually helps me more than anything else because I'm not really dieting or greatly limiting my intake of food. I mean, I had sushi the other day and it fit my macros. It's more of a guideline to follow. And being borderline, undiagnosed OCD, guidelines are perfect. 

I highly recommend using the My Fitness Pal app to track and see the percentages/grams of everything. Yes, I do log my food. No, it's not a crazy thing to like to know what's in what I'm eating or to obsess over. I love it, actually. Like I mentioned, I love having guidelines, and this app really puts everything into proportion for you. It might seem tedious at first, but it's real easy, real helpful, and really worth it. I actually find it kind of fun, but I also find making schedules in Excel fun, too, so take that as you will.

There will be links on the main page for easy meals for beginning to deal with macros, a.k.a my go-to preps when I'm rushed or crazed, which should help you. I always aim to knock out my protein first, usually before dinner. That way, if anything happens or I can't prep dinner, I just need to get in my carbs and not proteins. It also helps because it still leaves you with wiggle room on the caloric side as well. 

The biggest take away I've had from the IIFYM {If It Fits Your Macros} phenomenon is that it's not a diet. There's nothing that they say you can't eat or can't drink. I've done a few 'plans' that weren't as freeing, and I was frustrated with the limitations that were placed on my food choices. Rather, this is a guideline -- a safety net, or fence, to keep you from going overboard. We fail to realize that when we stop giving our bodies food -- like strict diets suggest -- it does more harm than good. Our bodies need fuel to function, especially if you're putting in work at the gym or home. IIFYM simply helps you narrow down the right amounts of fuel to put in. 

Everyone has their own way of doing it. I know some people who use a scale, others who measure everything meticulously, and some who just go off the whim and eyeball it. I don't really use a scale unless the serving size is in grams and I have no clue how many is what. I do, however, prefer to use handy measuring cups when I meal prep. It's helpful in both portion control and logging it for the nutrient info. If you're giving it a shot, find what works for you. Just try your best to hit the numbers. I always feel accomplished when it's the end of the day and the goals have been reached. 

I know this was all over the place, but, I warned you about the lack of professionalism, right? This is just my take-away from the whole ordeal and review of sorts. I love the macro system so far and can't wait to see the results that come from pairing it with my various workouts. If you're already doing it, let me know your favorite parts or recipes for macros! If you have any questions, let me know or Google it. 



HealthDeAndra Merrills