We're guessing that's a whole lot of you mentally raising your hands right now...
Health awareness, societal pressures, and the need to fit into that size 2 dress for the summer are motivators to lose weight we are all too familiar with.
If you've done your research online in hopes of finding the magic fix, you may have come across the term "If It Fits Your Macros."
We're here to tell you once and for all: it really works!
Macros stand for macro nutrients, more commonly known as the carbohydrates, protein, and fat you consume on a daily basis. All together, they make up the caloric intake in the food you eat.
For example, a slice of bread is rich in carbs, an avocado is highly fatty, and a chicken breast is an excellent source of protein.
Where you get your calories from makes a HUGE difference!
If you're sticking to a 1200-calorie diet, but only eating pasta and bread, you are undoubtedly going to end up with a belly and a pair of love handles around your waist.
On the other hand, the same amount of calories consumed purely in protein will inflate your muscles, and possibly cause some cholesterol overdose.
Counting your macros can help you really zone in on your goals, whether that's gaining/losing muscles, gaining/losing fat, or simply staying exactly where you are!
Let's break it down a little more, shall we?
this macro nutrient hands down the most popular with fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders. Protein powder, anyone?
That's because of two of protein's biggest attributes:
1. It has the power to build muscle and prevent muscle loss.
2. It is the most satiating of the three macros!
So if your goal is to gain muscle and stay full longer, pack on the proteins with white meat and eggs. If you're vegan, then tempeh, quinoa, and lentils are your best friends!
With diets like Atkins, Cambridge, and HFLC drilling it into our head that CARBS WILL MAKE US FAT, it's no surprise how a majority of people have started believing that carbs are the devil.
Here's the thing: carbohydrates are like fuel to your body. You need them to function and your body needs them for energy!
Without carbs, you would be tired, sluggish, and sleepy, so eat your carbs (in moderation)!
The best kind of carbs is Complex Carbs, found in vegetables and whole grains. These are higher in fiber, so keep you full longer, give you more energy, and are overall more nutritious.
Simple carbs, found in sugar, soda, honey, a much more easily digested, so they'll provide you with quicker energy, but will also deplete a lot faster than their complex cousins.
Let's just end this stigma right now: fat will not make you fat. Okay? Okay.
In fact, this vital micronutrient is vital to keeping your hormone levels in check, support your metabolism, and make you lose fat faster.
Just make sure you get your dose of the healthy type, like the fat found in avocados, almonds, olive oil, salmon, and walnuts.
There isn't a set amount of macros that everyone should be on. That's the beauty of it - it's totally customizable!
For example, if your goal is to build muscle, your macros would include more fat than they would if your goal was to lose weight.
One of the easiest ways to count your macros is through websites like IIFYM, Cronometer, or MyFitnessPal. After inputting your weight, height, gender, your level of activity, and goal weight, these websites and apps tell you exactly how many macros you should be eating in a day to reach that goal!
They also help you stay on track by noting down every meal you eat, which can often be helpful to keep away from the "mindless munchies" while working or watching your favorite series!
Are you ready to get started?