The most common question I get asked is around my daily macro nutrients; how I calculate them, what I eat and how I track them…
‘What on earth are macros…?’
To bring everyone up to speed, ‘tracking macros’ means counting the number of grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats you consume in a day. I do this, especially leading up to a competition or photo shoot, as I know that I can tailor my macros depending upon my progress rather than wildly guessing.
Counting ‘macros’ does involve preparation. Knowing your food amounts is essential, that’s why I meal prep because it means I can weigh the food sources out and separate quantities in particular boxes. I can eat these at varied times throughout the day. This is my way of tracking though; I know other people like to use the ‘if it fits your macros’ method (i.e IIFYM) This is more of a flexible approach to dieting which allows you to eat food sources often considered off the diet menu. That is as long as it fits into your daily macros though! Advocates of this way of dieting say it allows them to stick to their plan, I however prefer to stick to ‘clean’ foods the majority of the time.
‘But what are YOUR macros…?’
This is the one question I will not answer. It does not make the slightest bit of difference what someone else’s macros are. There are so many factors that have to do with individual macro calculating. Some include, weight, activity levels throughout the day, metabolism, age, intensity of training, how a person tolerates carbohydrates…. The list goes on. Also, macros should alter regularly in order for a person to continue to make progress.
‘How can I calculate my macros...?’
This might be controversial but I generally just start with an initial figure! Obviously you can’t be a 5ft 2 female and decide you’re going to eat 5,000 calories a day, but macros should be tailored anyway. If you have completely no idea, you can download a ‘macro tracker app’ or simply 'google it'. There’s tons of websites which will use a breakdown of your weight, age, height and gender. A word of warning though, don’t take the figure you receive as gospel!
In summary, macro tracking is a really effective way to make and monitor changes to your body. Naturally, the more you do it, the quicker you get at it and you will start to create your own effective method for doing it. I use an App called ‘MyFitnessPal’ which allows you to scan an items bar code, this is ideal for making choices whilst food shopping.
Sounds perfect right? Well I genuinely do enjoy doing it but there was a time at the end of last year when I stopped for a few months. Why? Because it started controlling my life and I struggled and felt stressed not being able to track when eating out. Counting macros is not the be all and end all to weight loss, you can just opt to make healthy choices the majority of the time. It’s always about what works for you and your own lifestyle….