Time to try diet focused on macronutrients
Recently I had a client mention that things were monotonous and their meal planning was boring.
I did not realise that things were getting that way as, aesthetically, most goals were being met. However, I found out later that the plan was not mentally sustainable.
When competing, I followed such a strict diet regime but have largely strayed from that type of lifestyle.
However, I have still pushed clean eating and sometimes more of a regimental style of eating. It has worked for many as it has kept calories low, thereby creating caloric deficit which allows body fat to be lost. But there are definitely other plans that work too.
Several of the people I follow on Instagram, such as ifitfitsyourmacros, carrieeleefitness and macromealprep, advocate a diet focused on macronutrients that offers a more flexible approach. I knew very little about this diet, so I did some research and decided to try it myself. Sunday was my first day and we will talk about my experience in two parts.
There are three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Protein has four calories per gram, is primarily found in meats, legumes, grains and nuts and is mostly associated with muscle building. However, it is the core component of organs, hair and all other tissues in the body.
Carbohydrates also have four calories per gram. They are the body’s most accessible source of energy and take two forms: simple and complex.
With macros, a carb is a carb whether it comes from starch or sugar. However, you wouldn’t want to eat doughnuts to meet your targets.
I’ve already noticed that even though I could have a serving of Cheetos if I wanted, as it would fit my macro targets, I’d rather have pasta or rice. But the freedom of choice is definitely there and helps to relax the phobia of good and bad foods.
Fats are nine calories per gram and are very important to normal body functions such as your heart and cells.
Finding your macro targets
The number of calories per day is determined by your age, gender, weight, muscle mass and activity level. To figure out the exact number needed, visit your nutritionist as they can give you exact formulas for your body type and nutritional needs.
You could also use a calorie calculator. However, that will give you only a rough estimate as they do not take into consideration factors such as body fat percentage or specific daily activities.
We will talk more about divvying up your calories among macronutrients in my next article.
For now, keep a food diary, keep moving and B-Active For Life!
Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife