You’ve most likely tried counting calories, but if you’re really looking to make a change and see progress then the macro diet may be right for you. Ideal Nutrition make it easy for you to track your daily intake of nutrients since all their meals have the macros attached to the lid of each container.
It’s also known as the flexible dieting or the IIFYM (IfItFitsYourMacros) diet. It has become popular on social media … #IIFYM. And it will all make sense after you read this article.
What is the Macro Diet?
Instead of staying under a calorie limit – you will focus on hitting a certain number of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats). That number is usually measured in grams. It’s a much more flexible way to diet because you can switch it up every day, as long as it fits your macros.
What are macronutrients?
These are the cornerstones of your diet and the nutrients you use in the largest amounts for energy in your body. They are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Many foods have two or three different macros, but they’re categorized by which they contain the most. For example, chicken is a protein, but it also contains fat.
-Carbs: These are the body’s primary source of fuel. They provide energy for your muscles and central nervous system while exercising. Healthy carbs include: whole grains, sweet potatoes, quinoa and fruits (yes fruits!).
-Protein: This is essential to building muscle. When you work out, your essentially creating micro tears in your muscles … allowing them to rebuild bigger and stronger. Protein helps the rebuilding process. Popular proteins include: Chicken, turkey, eggs and beans.
-Fats: These foods help the body absorb vitamin A, D and E. They also help you feel full and satisfied longer. Healthy fats include: Avocado, nuts and olive oil.
How to calculate:
Step 1: Get your numbers. You can use one of the many free macro calculators online, like the one on bodybuilding.com - https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm
Step 2: Download an app that allows you to track your macros (not just calories!). I use MyFitnessPal and so does Ideal Nutrition. When you scan the barcode on their meals it will translate to the app and calculate the number of calories you’ve consumed from that meal.
Step 3: WEIGH your foods and plug it into your app. The app will calculate the number of macros in each food item for you. (Weighing your food is a much more accurate way to calculate, although measuring will work too)
**Yes, at first this will feel tedious. But I promise you get used to it. Give it 2 weeks to really get in the habit of weighing and tracking your food. It will be worth it.