What are MACROS?
What are MACROS?
"Macros" , Short for Macronutrients are simply the type of food we eat, categorized into 3 components: proteins, carbohydrates and fats (lipid). "Tracking Macros", or "Macro Counting", refers to eating a certain amount of Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates each day, that is allocated in an individual's daily caloric budget, based off of their personal goals and preferences. Each individual should have their own unique set of allocated Macros based off of their TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure), and designed to be either in a deficit or surplus to meet their goals and needs. Macros are calculated to fit the caloric requirement an individual needs to be in based off of their goal. After establishing the proper caloric intake, macros are then created to fit that amount. There are 9 calories in one gram of fat, and 4 calories in one gram of protein or carbohydrate.
Tracking Macros requires thorough accuracy and consistency with food selections, food measurements (using a food scale in the beginning) and properly tracking, using tracking application such as My Fitness Pal. Macro Allocations should be changed, as WE change, too, based off of our new goals or new circumstances. Macro counting is an effective approach that can be used for any goal whether the goal is fat loss, weight gain, muscle gain, hormonal repair, and maintenance. Anyone can track macros since any food intolerance or preference can be taken into consideration, whether an individual follows a balanced approach, low carb, low fat, carb cycle, ketogenic, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, plant based, etc. Learning how to eat within your Macro Allocations can allow you to meet your goals and still lead a balanced lifestyle without deriving yourself of the foods you love.
THE QUICK AND EFFECTIVE CUT
THE QUICK AND EFFECTIVE CUT
This was an EFFORTLESS cut for Jason. We planned a 30 day cut for Jason, but he ended up reaching his goal much earlier. He exceeded his goal in fact!
We reversed him into vacation on day 21, by adding 100 calories each day. He ended up continuing to drop with the added calories!
Jason even added treat meals after day 21.
Jason only got 2 strength training sessions in, and three 25 minute elliptical sessions in, the entire duration of his cut. NO EXTREMES at all.
Why was this so EASY for Jason?
1. He was READY. Jason was in the right mindset to cut and eat in a deficit.
2. His previous calorie intake was higher, so we had a nice chunk of calories to work down from.
3. He was COMPLIANT.
4. He was HONEST.
5. He was consistent.
What DIDN'T Jason do?
1. He did not take any supplements or gimmicky products (ie: skinny tea, pills)
2. He did NOT do a cleanse.
3. He did NOT Practice Intermittent Fasting
4. He did NOT carb cycle.
5. He did NOT follow a Keto approach.
6. He did NOT drink alcohol.
Can this work for YOU? Of course it can!
1. Are you in the right mindset to be in a deficit?
2. Do you want it badly enough?
3. Are you coming from maintenance or surplus calories?
4. Are you able to remain 100% compliant, honest and consistent for the entire time of your cut?
5. Are you able to omit alcohol?
then YOU TOO can have a successful and SHORT cut!
Do NOT drag it out. Get it done!
GREAT QUESTION! Alcohol is one of the sneakiest ways to have your progress hindered. While alcohol is a fantastic treat, it does contain CALORIES, that have no filling volume, or useful nutrition (the term most recognized as "empty calories"). Alcohol is actually the 4th Macronutrient, but it is not tracked the same way as actual nutritional food sources. Since alcohol does indeed have calories, those calories do need to be tracked, or budgeted correctly into one's daily allocation, especially if the goal is fat loss and the calories are designed to be in a deficit.
In order to convert the calories of alcohol as either a carbohydrate or a fat macro, it will require a little math, AND a little planning to budget into your daily allotment correctly. To track alcohol as a carbohydrate, take the total calorie count in the alcoholic beverage of and divide by 4 (there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate). This number will to give you the amount of carbohydrates to track, or DEDUCT from your daily intake. Example: one can Truly/White Claw has 100 calories. 100/4= 25. So that ONE drink, that harmless little drink that is advertised as having only 2g carbs (that is 2g carbs coming from residual sugars by the way) really tracks as 25 grams of carbohydrates. What else looks like 25g carbohydrates? Try 3 rice cakes, 2 pieces bread, a bowl of oatmeal, a large apple, the list goes on. To track the alcohol calories as fat, divide the total calories in the alcoholic beverage and divide by 9 (9 calories in one gram of fat). Example: 100 calorie Truly/White Claw beverage contains 100 calories. 100/9=11. 1 TRULY Beverage tracks as 11g FAT. You can also track the alcohol as a combination of BOTH, therefore this can would be tracked as 14g Carbs and 5g Fat. Of course, there is a time and place not to track. And of course, there is a time and place not to drink. I always suggest to use your best judgment, make sure you are prioritizing your health, wellness and nutrition first, then work in the fun cocktails on occasion!
You can download the WAG app to see an even easier way to calculate your cocktails and translate them accordingly.
Notice, I didn't say CHEAT Meals? Yikes, I hate that phrase. I mean, what or who are you cheating on? When the time is right, a Treat Meal, Free Meal or Untracked Meal is essential to allow you to have a nice break from tracking, both mentally and physically. All of my clients are always given weekly Treat Meals, no matter the goal. For those who are in a fat loss phase, I usually suggest holding off for three weeks or so before incorporating one when just starting out. Once it is time is right to incorporate 1 or 2 weekly Treat Meals, this is a great time to enjoy a meal out at your favorite restaurant, enjoy a date night, girls night out, attend a special event or party, or even make something that you are craving at home! I NEVER track treat meals and neither should you. It is supposed to be an untracked meal, to allow your body to restore a bit with a little extra increase in calories and have a chance to indulge in what your body is craving. What you choose to select for your Treat Meal should be entirely up to YOU, and no one else. Do not over think your choices or try to "fit it in." That isn't the point. If at first, the idea of incorporating an untracked meal is intimidating or scary, then order what you truly feel comfortable with, or what you are truly craving! If you are the type that is more comfortable with a healthier option at a restaurant, then order that by all means. Order what YOU WANT and crave, now what you think you should order. A Treat Meal or Free Meal does not have to be a dirty free for all pig out fest if you are not mentally ready for that kind of increase in calories, and that is okay. To some, sushi may be considered a Treat Meal, while to others maybe it is a gooey brownie sundae or a big burger. There is no right or wrong choice for a treat meal, as long as you are satisfied with YOUR choice. Enjoy it! Take the stress out of the equation, this should be something fun to look forward to that you know you can have.
Do you find yourself hungrier the day after a treat meal?
That's not necessarily a bad thing, in fact that is definitely to be expected and can be a GREAT sign of progress!
Did you feel guilty after your treat meal?
PLEASE DON'T. This is common, and trust me, I understand it as I used to feel the same in the beginning. What I learned is that without these treat meals, I only am deriving myself not only of life events, but some extra fuel that is certainly needed at times. Revaluate WHY you feel guilty, and what you chose as your meal. Perhaps make a different choice net time that you are more comfortable with. Instead of feeling guilty, re direct and evaluate these details instead: How do you feel the day after? Do you have more energy? Did you enjoy yourself?
Do I need to "TRACK MACROS" when following your plan?
Do I need to "TRACK MACROS" when following your plan?
Nope! I offer several options of how to follow YOUR Macro Allocations. Independent tracking is not necessary nor is it required with all of my plans. If you are interested in receiving more information about the different services that I offer, please email me.
What is REVERSE Dieting?
What is REVERSE Dieting?
Reverse dieting is a strategic process of increasing macro intake (calorie intake) after being in a calorically restricted allocation or deficit for a prolonged about of time, in order to slowly increase calories back to a maintenance level. This is an essential component to not only restoring one's metabolic rate, but also to achieve prolonged results. Our bodies are not made to function living at a calorie deficit amount for a very extended period of time. If you do not track macros, but you realize that you are eating below your TDEE (approximate calories your specific body burns daily) for several months to a year, your body has now adapted to eating that amount. In order to restore the metabolism (get your body used to a higher intake of calories, safely, with minimal weight gain) then reverse dieting would be an ideal option for you.
Can I reverse diet if I have not met my weight loss goal?
OF COURSE YOU CAN. In fact, if you have been in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time, YOU SHOULD! If you have been "stuck", or not progressing at a specific spot in your journey and already in a significant calorie deficit, reverse dieting will allow your to slowly build your maintenance calories up to a higher point, this allowing you to have a higher set to cut back from when the next fat loss phase begins again. Having your caloric intake slowly built back up after a being in a prolonged deficit will allow for extended and long-term progress. Our bodies are not made to restrict calories time after time again. Our metabolisms are adaptive, which means we progress on what we teach it to do and teach it do have (exercise, calorie intake). Once our bodies have adapted to a specific calorie intake, and weight loss starts to slow down, usually an adjustment is needed in order to see progress. If calories are repeatedly reduced to continuously put us in a new calorie deficit to reflect the new changes we have made in our body, that calorie intake gets lower and lower over time. A Reverse Diet will allow your body to safely and slowly build that calorie intake up. If you have indeed met any personal goal for your physique, then Reverse Dieting is an ideal fit to maintain your new hard-earned physique, yet slowly and safely build your metabolic rate back up. Which brings me to my next part....
Reverse Dieting into a Vacation
If you are planning out your Fat Loss phase with ample time leading up to a specific special event (wedding/ vacation), then meeting your fat loss goal BEFORE the intended date of the event is suggested, then reversing INTO your event. This will allow to you enjoy that fantastic trip, and enjoy the higher calories that will along with it, with minimal weight gain, since your metabolism will already be used to a higher intake. Example: if during your cut, you got down to a low 1350 calories when the goal was achieved, and you then attended your vacation where your calorie intake averaged around 2250 calories per day, you would most likely not be able to maintain your new weight, since you would now be eating well over YOUR personal maintenance calories (remember, everyone's maintenance should be unique). BUT, if you had met your goal PRIOR to the event, and reversed into the event, building calories up closer to 2000 daily, you would be in an ideal spot for that higher intake, so you can enjoy without a large fluctuation in your weight. AND NO GUILT (nor should you ever have any)!
What Can I expect from a Reverse Diet?
Like almost all components to health and fitness, each individual's outcome will vary. It is normal to experience an increase in energy, mood and strength, an improvement in sleep quality, and a reduction in stress. Some may experience a reduction in hunger, since calories are higher and the level of satiation has most likely improved, while others may experience an increase in a hunger. Again, everyone will have and should have a unique experience. In some cases, during a Reverse Diet phase, I have experienced clients have wonderful success reducing any present binge eating habits they may previously have suffered from prior. For some, this process the process of a Reverse can be extremely pleasurable and enjoyable, since more food is able to be added to their daily allotment, while others, may find this process difficult to allow for higher calorie consumption. In my opinion, there is not a right or wrong feeling, ever, and both feelings are completely normal and to be expected. Regardless of the situation, reverse dieting does require adequate time and consistency in order to be effective.
How long should I Reverse Diet for?
Again, everyone will have a different time frame, length, purpose and need suitable for them, so the length of a reverse will vary per each individual. I personally never suggest to reverse for shorter than a 5-week period. I do personally believe a longer reverse can be much more beneficial to truly speed up one's metabolic rate.
How should my Training and Cardio change during a Reverse Diet?
If the goal is to remain close to your current weight during the reverse diet phase, I personally suggest to keep your activity level stable in the beginning phase of a reverse. Each individual should have a different needs for their training and cardio routines.