Macro’s – How, Why & When

Macros and Me

Hello Kettlebelles, I’m sure most of you like me have struggled to know what the best way to eat is. What really is a balanced diet? Am I eating too much? Am I eating enough? Should I go low carb, low fat, high fat, high protein, Paleo, Atkins, the list goes on. Confusion starts to mount as we are bombarded with so much information that it all becomes so overwhelming we need a class of wine or a bar of chocolate to calm ourselves! (Sound familiar?)

Myself and Michelle want to share our  experiences along with information and resources on healthy eating options that we have found useful on our journeys.

There is not a one size fits all model here but we hope to offer you the tools and resources to find and stick to a healthy eating plan that works and is more importantly sustainable and realistic.

Personally I favour the 80/20 rule as I think a little bit of what you fancy does a body good and I like to take an occasional day off from counting. I am a total foodie so when a fabulous new restaurant beckons or a new pop up is opening its doors for one night ….I’m taking that night off! I do however for that 80 % eat clean and an almost entirely Paleo / Gluten free diet. I eat a wide variety of foods with occasional treats even a glass of wine once it fits within my Macros!

What are these Macros you may ask?! I am going to go through a basic breakdown of how the IIFYM (If it fits your Macros) plan works. This is a plan favoured by body builders, bikini models and other athletes as it is very balanced and tailored to your specific needs. I have found this to be a fantastic guide for me to get the correct nutrition that my body requires and support my training. It guarantees that I eat enough as much as preventing over eating as both will be detrimental to your goals. I have also never felt hungry with this plan which makes it perfect for me as Im prone to getting H’angry if not fed! “Macros” What are they?

There are three macronutrients, or Macros:
Proteins
Fats
Carbohydrates

So firstly you need to make sure that your protein and fat intake is adequate, secondly you adjust your carbohydrates as required. Just eating ‘clean’ isn’t enough and not all calories are created equal!

Protein: 4 calories per gram. Building blocks of muscle tissue.
Fats: 9 calories per gram. Brain function and hormone regulation.
Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram. Fuel

Here are some suggested Macro intake guidelines:·
Protein:  0.8g to 1.2g per lb. of bodyweight·
Fats: 0.3g to 0.5g per lb. of bodyweight·
Carbs: Whatever is left of your calories

Using myself as an example. My maintenance calories are set at 2,200.  If I stick to my typical training regime and this calorie allowance I will stay at the same weight with very little if no change.This allowance works for me as an active woman of 138 lbs and 5’6 ½ (that half an inch makes all the difference) who trains CrossFit 5 – 6 days a week and also takes a weekly power yoga class.

Using the suggested formula my macros is as follows:·
1.2grms protein per pound of body weight = 664 cals or 166 grams·
.5grms Fat per pound of body weight = 621cals or 69 grams·
Carbs are my remaining calories = 828 cals or  207 grams
TOTALS: 2,200 CALORIES

I tend to stick to a slightly higher protein formula and find it works well for me.  I usually hit between 160– 180 grams a day and lower my carbs to fit within my calorie allowance.
Higher protein intake will help build muscle and/or prevent muscle loss if you are in a calorie deficit (athletes cutting to make weight etc).  It controls appetite and staves off hunger better than fats or carbs as it causes you to feel full longer.It also requires more energy than other macros for your body to digest, thus effectively burning more calories gram for gram through the digestion process.
Finding a balance and what works for your body takes a bit of practice but I have found this to be a really smart and sustainable way to eat healthily and support exercise and recovery.

What foods do you eat? Whatever you want, IIFYM!! The better your food choices the better the results will be. Less processed foods will have fewer chemicals in them meaning the body is cleaner and therefore it is healthier.
If you do choose this route I highly recommend doing 2 things, firstly download my fitness pal to your phone. This brilliant app will do a lot of the counting and thinking for you and breaks down the macros too. Also buy a little kitchen scales. . If you want precise results you need to be precise in the amounts you eat to ensure you are sticking within your macros.

If you want to learn about this in more detail you will find the information available at www.iifym.com .
Any questions regarding this or any other topics we cover please ask and share your experiences with us too! We are all on this journey of health and fitness together!

XxJayne

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