I think at first macro counting can seem extremely overwhelming so I just wanted to really simplify a few things about questions that I get a lot.
I'm actually really excited to pour all this info on y'all! I think part of the reason that macros can be so confusing is that it's somewhat of a "fitfam" thing. I just googled "If it fits your macros" and "flexible dieting" just to see what comes up. Honestly, the information is not very good...at all. I can completely understand how you get overwhelmed and confused with how much crap information is out there.
I have gone through some of the questions on a big facebook group called "Female Flexible Dieting" and compiled that in this blog post.
1. How do I know what my macros should be?
Here's the honest to God truth. No matter what calculator you use or how much or how little you pay someone to calculate them, there is no scientific 100% guarantee that this going to be the exact magic numbers for you. I am a big proponent of getting someone to work with you. Try to find someone that you know knows their stuff and give them some of your time and money. It will be worth it. Here's why:
They are going to know how to slowly tweek things as the numbers you originally receive honestly may not work.
Those calculators can give you numbers based on population norms, but it does not take into consideration your metabolism or your goals. Some women have completely destroyed their metabolisms with dieting while other women can eat 2500 calories and still lose weight.
For kicks and giggles, I calculated my macros. Yep, those aren't my macros. Not even close. My protein is way higher, and my carbs are slightly lower and my fat is higher than that. The point is, play around with it until you find what works best for you. Some respond better to a higher fat, some higher carb. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!
2. How long before I know if these macros are right for me?
I think that you should give it 2 weeks on a set of macros. When you change, don't do anything drastic. Just change slightly maybe by even 5-10g of carb decreased. Try a carb cycle. You would have a moderate carb day most days, a low carb day maybe on your rest day, and a high carb day on your leg day.
3. Are these macros right?
I think frustrations come from this question because it's been answered time and again. No one is going to know if they are right for you. Even the most elite coaches can not just look at a set of macros and say "yep those are yours"
4. If I have this amount of protein or carb or fat left, what should I eat?
Protein is one that people find hard to hit. I prep chicken and ground turkey at the beginning of every week that I throw in just about every meal but breakfast which I always make protein pancakes. I have cottage cheese, greek yogurt, quest bars for snacks and some ideas that you may not hear of often are that I will have deli meats, perky jerky (like beef jerky and can be found at Walmart or online), and Jack Links Beef Sticks (yes, high sodium, but this is flexible dieting).
Here is a great database on bodybuilding.com for that :
5. How do I fit fun foods in?
This is my favorite and most liberating part of this topic.
If you are going to have something extra naughty then I always add that in at the beginning of the day. Many times, I personally plan these in advance. I will go to Saturday on myfitnesspal and put in "Shake Shack burger"--> I mean have ya had one? wow.
Enter this food before you even begin your day. This way you will have a good idea on how to adjust for the rest of the day. Most of the time, fat is going to be what you will have to adjust so just simply have less peanut butter that day.
Reference: Instagram when I guestimacroed this aforementioned Shake Shack meal.
6. This is just a tip. No one should be on a carbohydrate intake less than 100g per day. The only people that would be that low is someone coming directly out of a show. However if you are less than 100g per day then you probably shouldn't just jump right to 100g. I would just reverse diet and add 10g extra into your diet per week.
7. Should I increase what I'm eating because I see these girls eating 250g-300g of carb and they look better than me?
NO. NO. NO. The "fitfam" has made it look like that everyone can just start off eating this exorbitant amount of food and get results. It just doesn't work that way. These girls have spent a year of their lives slowly building their metabolisms to handle this amount of food while at the same time lifting weights so they are building muscle. Patience is the absolute key!!
January is right when I started weight lifting and joined an "eating clean" plan. So thankful for macros, but you'll see it took over a year to build the muscle. I've build calories from here, and am up to 2000 now continuing the build.
8. Macros just don't work for me. I'm just going to eat clean.
Do me a favor and stick six. Give it six weeks at least. And when I say stick six, I mean like truly give it a chance and stick to your numbers and don't cheat and then blame it on your coach.
9. Explore, explore, explore!
Go to the grocery store and give yourself 2 hours. I'm not kidding. It's a blast! Maybe I'm weird, but I find this truly so fun. You find so many things that you are like HECK YES I CAN FIT THAT IN! Today for example, see below: Those french twists only have 30cal (9g C/2gF/0P) in them! That's great for a treat!
Here was another great find at Target:
Cookies by Enternmann's brand have only 6g C/2.3gF/0.3gP ! I have two with coffee every afternoon now!
10. Just because it's deemed "healthy" does not mean that the macros are going to be good.
This is a common misconception. There are all these amazing recipes out there but sometimes they crack me up. Organic this, organic flax seed that, whole wheat flour this and that. I have started comparing this uber organic-y muffins that people make to a box cupcake mix and quite frankly they are the same. The oat flour used in "cleaner" recipes may have a lower glycemic index (see post from yesterday) but if you are hitting your numbers daily, then macros work, plain and simple.
11. How do I make this puzzle work?
Aim for 80/20. Eighty percent of your day should be whole nutritious foods with high protein. See protein recommendations above. Save fat by getting extra lean ground turkey. Full fat ground turkey will waste all of your fats. Yes, it's more expensive. So, is diabetes and a plague in your arteries from fat. When you first start, play on myfitnesspal...a lot. Plug different things in and just become accustomed. You'll find what works for your macros and you'll see that this numbers game isn't so bad after all.