Now you know what this ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ malarkey is all about from my last post, here’s how to actually put a plan in place.
Whether you’re trying to lose, gain or maintain weight, tone up, bulk up or slim down you NEED to track your macros – otherwise you’re playing in the dark.
You decide to take a trip to the supermarket. So you jump in your car, put your seat belt on and then blind fold yourself (there is a point to this i promise)…
You know exactly where the supermarket is but with the blindfold on you have no idea when to turn, slow down or when to accelerate.
If you’re lucky, you might make it to the supermarket.
If. You’re. Lucky.
But will your car still be in the tip top condition it was in before you left the house and stupidly blindfolded yourself? It’s unlikely.
This nicely sums up how I used to approach dieting.
If you take a guess and just stop eating certain food groups in the hope of achieving your physique goals, you may as well be putting that blind fold on.
Guess work is great if you’re happy to take a guess at what your results will look like too, but why waste your time when you can guarantee the exact results you want with very little effort? In fact, wouldn’t it just be easier to drive to the supermarket without a blind fold and avoid all that damage to your car?
You need to track your intake. Learn from my mistake.
Calculate Your BMR
So here’s a really quick and easy way of working out your personalised daily calorie intake and macro percentages without getting spendy on a personalised nutrition plan.
First things first, you gotta calculate your maintenance calories (BMR) so you know where you’re starting at:
- BMR is worked out by multiplying your bodyweight in pounds by 15.
- Firstly, to convert your bodyweight from Kg to Pounds you need to times the Kg by 2.2. For example I weight 60.5kg, so 60.5kg x 2.2 = 133.10 pounds.
- Then take your bodyweight in pounds and times by 15: 133.10 x 15 = 1996.50 calories per day for weight maintenance.
- You now need to create a calories deficit by setting your calories between 10-12 x your bodyweight in pounds. So I used the middle of that scale as an example which means 133.10 pounds x 11 = 1464.10 calories. As you can see, this then provides a 532.40 food calorie deficit.
- Realistically, you’re better off starting between the middle and top end of this scale in the name of longevity. You want to keep your calorie intake as sustainable as possible so eat as much as you possibly can, whilst still enabling a reasonable deficit. Whilst choosing the lower end of the scale will give you faster weight loss results, it also gives you less room to move when you hit a plateau.
Plz Note: Plateau = when you reach a state of little or no change after a period of activity or progress.
Setting your Macro Splits
- You should set you protein intake first, especially if you’re training like a boss in the gym as you’re muscles need this as a priority to repair and build. This needs to be at about 0.86 – 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
- 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories – this will help you figure out your intakes once you’ve allotted the set calorie numbers to each macronutrient.
- As you have accounted for your protein, you can pretty much “fill in” the remaining calorie requirements with fats & cabs depending on what you fancy.
- For Fat, i recommend that you set this between 15% – 25% of your total daily calorie intake. You can then allocate your carbs to complete the total balance.
- 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories – this will help you figure out your intakes once you’ve allotted the set calorie numbers to each macronutrient.
- Now you have calculated your two main macronutrients (& the only ones required by your body to physically survive) you can fill up the rest with carbs. Yes, that’s right you CAN EAT THOSE DELICIOUS CARBS!
- 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories – this will help you figure out your intakes once you’ve allotted the set calorie numbers to each macronutrient.
Decide On Your Favourite Meals
This is the fun part, and for most people involves quiet a lot of trail and error. You need to decide how many meals you want to eat a day and how often. I prefer to eat all the time, so it works out better for me to split my macros into 4 proper meals and have 2 treats in between, but on weekends when i’m running around like a headless chicken, i’ll usually have 3 big meals and big pudding ‘coz it’s easier – whatever works for you.
Once you decide on this, you need to consider how you are going to split your macros. I have roughly 30-40g of Protein in every meal as your body needs a regular stream of protein throughout the day if you’re training to help repair and build your muscles & it keeps me fuller for longer.
Optimise Your Calories
It’s worth considering planning your meals around your training routine to help with energy and recovery – it’s not essential but can make or break a training session sometimes.
Perhaps for example, eat more carbs around this time of the day.
Ultimately nutritional timing doesn’t really matter because the impact on your body will be minimal (so if this is going to cause you a headache it’s really not worth worrying about) but if you wanna get the most from your training and lift heavier, then this can help.
You’re going to need proper energy to fuel yourself (& not just a scoop of pre-workout or a double espresso) and you’re also going to need energy to fuel your recovery too.
This is when I chose to eat some heavy-duty carbs like doughnuts, chocolate or sweets.
Include protein into your breakfast, whether it be a smoothie, some oats with a couple of scoops of whey or a poached egg – get it in early!
& don’t forget, if you’re taking supplements and protein shakes these all need to be accounted for too!
Track Your Macros
So now you’re all set, all you need to do now is learn and understand the nutritional values in the food you’re consuming by tracking them.
The best way of doing this as I mentioned in my last post, is to use a free food diary app – I prefer My Fitness Pal because of its extensive food lists and restaurant menus, but have a mooch around and find one that works for you.
Plz Note: I mentioned trial and error earlier on, this is really important to get a grasp on. You’re not going to hit all your macros perfectly in your first day/week so don’t be discouraged by this. You’re learning and this is a journey not a destination.
One week may be completely different to the next, but the fact that you’re taking the time to learn, being consistent and persistent already shows that you’re improving.
Don’t be afraid to adjust and try different things, this isn’t a one size fits all situation so you need to find out what works best for you.
If you need more help – drop me an email! Info@jennyflower.com and i’ll work out your Macros for you!