How to Hit Your Macros
Your Ultimate Guide to Building a Sustainable Nutrition Plan
In this new meta-verse world we’re living in, there’s all kinds of macros to talk about. Well, we’re here to talk about the nutrition kind of macros, and how it can be a major game changer for your overall health, energy levels, and fitness goals!
Counting macros has been a fan favourite for athletes, body builders, and celebrities for years. If It Fit Your Macros (IIFYM) and CrossFit became the Brangelina for the body building world.
While we love counting macros as a way to achieve health and fitness goals, it’s important that this style of eating is closely monitored by a health and fitness professional. We always recommend to work with a certified personal trainer who can help you find a way to build a sustainable nutrition plan designed for your unique lifestyle and food preferences.
If you’re ready to find out more about the magic of macros, stay tuned! We’re taking a deep-dive into the world of macros and how you can achieve success hitting yours!
What are Macros?
Let’s begin by looking at what macros actually are. The term, “macro” is short for macronutrient and these falls into three categories: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. These nutrients are going to provide you with the majority of your energy needs for the day.
In essence, when people say they are “counting their macros” they’re really just counting the amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat in their food.
Let’s briefly look at these macronutrients to understand the role they play in a macro-focused nutrition plan.
Fat is a macronutrient that largely gets a bad rap in the dietary industry despite it actually being a great way to store energy, make hormones, and absorb certain vitamins. There are three types of fat, including trans-fat, saturated fat, and unsaturated fat.
Foods rich in healthy fats (saturated and unsaturated), include:
- Avocado (specifically on toast)
The man, the myth, the legend – protein.
There’s a reason we’re all looking for ways to get more protein. This coveted macronutrient is responsible for building lean muscle mass, repairing tissue, and supporting cells. Most commonly found in foods like poultry, red meat, fish, and eggs, this essential nutrient is also widely available in vegan/vegetarian sources like cheese, soybeans, lentils, and beans.
Finally, we have carbs – the nutrient unfairly condemned by 20th century magazines, television, and advertisements as the sole reason behind weight gain.
We’re here to set the record straight on arguably the most delicious macronutrient. Carbohydrates, when broken down by the body, turn into glucose – our main energy source! Your brain and many other organs need glucose in order to function properly. So, the next time you’re doubting yourself while halfway through a Nutella banana crepe, we’re here to remind you: your brain loves it.
While yes, Nutella banana crepes shouldn’t be your main source of carbohydrates, it doesn’t mean you have to villainize the entire macronutrient. Carbohydrates are placed in two categories: simple and complex, and both have their place in nutrition. The healthiest foods containing either simple and complex carbohydrates, include:
- Brown Rice
- Sweet Potatoes
- Steel Cut Oats
Benefits of Counting Macros
Counting macros, like counting calories, is not a one-size-fits-all plan. However, unlike calorie counting, macro counting helps shift your mind’s focus to nutrients rather than numbers – which can be incredibly helpful for people who find calorie counting to be too rigid.
People also use macro counting as an educational tool for building a sustainable nutrition plan. Often times, counting macros can give people a better understanding of what foods provide the satiation they need to feel satisfied after a meal, rather than hungry.
Here are a few common benefits of counting macros. Bear in mind, each individual will have their own reasons behind choosing to count macros, so it’s important to speak to a certified personal trainer or health care professional before starting a new nutrition plan.
While weight loss is not always the goal, counting macros has been shown to have an effect on weight. This generally works through macro manipulation – eating higher protein foods that are shown to improve satiation and increase metabolism, thus decreasing hunger frequency.
If weight loss if your goal, consult with a health and fitness professional who can create a customized nutrition plan based on your unique needs.
Maintain Lean Muscle
There’s a reason counting macros is a big player in the body building community. Through macro counting, you can focus on the specific foods that are designed to build and maintain lean muscle, like protein, complex carbohydrates, and unsaturated fat. Combing macro counting with a strength training class or workout are a dynamic duo for providing you with the best results for healthy muscle gain.
Unlike calories, macros provide a deeper look into the effect that different foods have on our bodies. 170 grams of salmon has nearly the same number of calories as a Starbucks blueberry muffin, yet the salmon is going to provide far more protein and fat – both of which are designed to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
How to Hit Your Macros
Now that we’ve looked at what macros are and their many benefits, how do you hit your macros? And how many macros are you supposed to have in a day?
Unfortunately, these aren’t questions we can answer for you as each person will require a different number of macros depending on age, weight, activity level, and goal.
After speaking to a health and fitness professional, however, we can offer you our favourite FW! tips for continually hitting your macros in a fun, sustainable way!
Work with a Personal Trainer
Our number one tip for hitting your macro goal: work. with. a. personal. trainer!
We can’t stress enough how helpful working with a professional is for achieving your health and fitness goals – no matter what they are! A personal trainer can not only tell you how many macros you’ll need, but also create a completely customized plan while working with you week-to-week, so you never feel alone.
Book a free goal session with a certified personal trainer today to create a plan you can stick to AND enjoy! (the latter is very important)
Document Your Food
If you don’t see it, you’re likely to forget it.
Keep a food journal and dedicate an entire page to each macronutrient and your favourite foods that fall under each category. One important tip: if you don’t like a food, don’t write it down. Forcing yourself to eat chicken when you don’t like it, is not a healthy, sustainable way to meet your protein goal.
After each meal, document what you liked about the food, how you felt after eating it, would you eat it again, etc. Remember, food is fuel, but it’s also meant to be enjoyed.
Strive for Sustainability Over Perfection
Choosing an end goal is important, but finding a way to make your journey sustainable is arguably the most important.
Counting macros can be tricky if you’re unfamiliar with how to do it or why you should be doing it, so give yourself the space to make mistakes and realize those Nutella banana crepes will not ruin your entire progress, unless you let them.
Let Fitness World Help You Hit Your Macros!
If you’re ready to jump on the macro train, let Fitness World help you get exactly where you want to go! Head in to your local Fitness World today and get started on your fitness and nutrition journey! We have a team of experts ready to give you all the knowledge, support, and tools you’ll need to hit your macros and meet your goals.
It’s what we’re best at!