There’s a misconception that eating healthy is all about calories in – calories out. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Your total number of daily calories is only the baseline number that tells you how many macronutrients you need to eat. But what does that mean exactly?
Macro Counting for Beginners Let’s first start with the different macros and how they convert to calories: Protein contains 4 calories per gram. If something has 10g of protein, it contains 40 calories Fats contain 9 calories per gram. If something has 10g of fat, it contains 90 calories. Carbs contain 4 calories per gram. If something has 20 of carbs, it contains 80 calories DONT FORGET…….Alcohol contains 7cal/gram As you can see every gram of protein, carbs or fat converts into a calorie. Even with macro-counting you will get an end calorie count, but that’s just the surface number. The macro numbers go deeper and determine the body’s true needs. Start Tracking Your Food As a beginner, I recommend finding a good app for tracking food. I use myfitnesspal.com. Before you can figure out your ideal numbers, you must first track their food for a week. DO not change your eating habits. Give yourself a real life view of what you eat. From here you can either find a body coach like me www.stevenmorrispt.co.uk or search for a macros calculator online.
Try this one -
Based on your current weight and fitness goals, a macro calculator will help give you a starting goal of how to divide your macronutrients and how many calories you should consume a day. Compare this to your original eating patterns. This will tell you if you are undereating or overeating for your body type. To fully understand how macronutrients help the body, there are many eBooks out there that you might find helpful. Create a Menu Plan This is the next important step. Use your calculated numbers and macro split to plan your foods for the day ahead. Mapping out your foods the night before or in the morning will help give structure to your new macro diet, making it easier to follow. Without a plan leading into the day, it’s very easy to get lost and overeat.
Top Meal Prep Tips From The Macro Mini A great way to add variety to meals is to come up with a few ideas and then make a shopping list. Do it on the weekend to set yourself up for the week ahead. Go shopping for only the foods you need. Keep extras out of the house to prevent side track eating. Food prep and portion out meals every Sunday. To give yourself grab and go options, pre-package some meals ahead of time and use a pen to write down the MACROS – Protein/Carbs/Fat – according to your numbers. Use the search function to find the macronutrient breakdown of any food in myfitnesspal.com. Initially try to keep foods and meals simple before jumping into complex recipes. Here’s an example of a daily menu plan: Breakfast – eggs, Beans, Brown toast and bacon Snack- yogurt and almonds Lunch – sandwich with lunch meat, fruit and cheese Snack – protein bar Dinner – ground turkey, pasta sauce and noodles or pasta All of these food items are very easy to measure and track. You can scan the specific product and enter it into Myfitnesspal in the morning or plan and prep over the weekend.