I started counting macros and following the flexible dieting route 3 or so years ago, and back then I feel as if flexible dieting wasn’t hugely popular. Now it seems that a lot of people have heard about macros or follow a flexible dieting way of eating, and it’s not as uncommon as it used to be.
It can be hard to explain macros to your direct and extended family, or when you’re going on date after date, but you’d be surprised that your friends and family will come to support you once they have a better understanding of how macros work and what it consists of. They might find it confusing or give you a hard time in good fun at first, but trust me when I say that they hopefully will come around and fully support you.
And when it comes to dating, I’ve found that if you are attracted to healthy, athletic men or women, that the chances are good that they have eating habits that will make you feel less alone with how you eat.
Just the other day I was telling a guy that I was meal prepping for the week and he asked if I was on a strict diet or if I’m type A (haha). I simply informed him that 1) meal prepping keeps me from eating like an a-hole, and 2) that I follow macros and work with a coach. He surprised me by saying that he was starting with a coach the following day and had a meal plan to follow as well.
So, if you’re dating and counting macros, be honest and upfront if the topic comes up. I don’t bring it up unless I’m asked about my nutrition or training, or asked about my meal prepping routine. If that person is right for you, they won’t give you crap and will be interested in supporting you. Some days counting macros can be a pain in the butt, like when it comes to events out of the norm, but if you don’t hit your numbers that day, it’s not the end of the world. You will not gain weight if you eat a slice of cake or go over your carbs for the day. If you continue to eat over your macros and eat junk food every day, then yes, you might gain weight.
And also, don’t let macros rule your life. Don’t stop having fun and going out just because it might prevent you from hitting your macros that day. If you’re just starting out on macros for the first time, maybe try to avoid eating out right off the bat if it will prevent you from getting stressed, but as you get into the routine of it, you’ll be able to eyeball portions when you’re out to eat.
This is why macros, or flexible dieting, as it’s referred to, is so great. It allows us to be flexible with what we eat. Technically speaking, as long as you hit your numbers, you can eat whatever, but you can’t just front load your body with junk. Macros allow me to eat the meals and snacks that make me feel good, but that also satisfy cravings that I might have.
I try to make my main meals as healthy as possible, and by that, I mean getting my protein from chicken, beef, and eggs. My fats from coconut oil, eggs, almonds, and peanut butter, and my carbs from veggies and oatmeal.
The first half of my day is almost always pretty static from day to day, and the afternoon and evening might be more geared towards cravings. That’s why I try to get most of my veggies and lean proteins in during the first half of the day, that way if I want to indulge or enjoy a dinner date with friends or a guy, then I can without guilt, as I know that I’ll have carbs and fats to play around with.
If you’re a long-time reader, then you know that I get my workouts in during the early morning hours. I either shower at work or back at my apartment if time permits, and on the days that I shower at my apartment, I will always have a handful of raisins in my car right after the gym, and will then enjoy a shake when I get home.
Ashley and I made friends with a guy at the gym, and several weeks back I noticed him eating after his workout. He told me how he learned from a Navy SEAL that consuming a handful of raisins after your workout and then a shake are great for helping your body recover from the workout. I trust Brian, so raisins and a shake it is. I found these extra mini containers at Target, and they are the perfect amount for post-workout. My carbs are precious, so I was happy when I saw that these boxes are only 11 grams of carbs. The raisins help replenish your muscle glycogen almost immediately, which helps with your recovery.
The raisins are usually eaten around 6:40, with a shake around 7:10 am.
Around 8 am and later in the afternoon, I take 1 scoop of Xtend BCAA’s in Pineapple (OBSESSED) mixed in with water, in order to replenish lost electrolytes. I swear by this brand, and always have at least 2 tubs of this on hand. One at work and one at home. I’ve tried fruit punch, green apple, sour green apple, grape, strawberry kiwi, and watermelon, and love all of them, but pineapple and sour green apple are my absolute favorites. The regular green apple tastes exactly like apple juice!
I typically don’t get hungry again until 9 am, so that’s when I will have the first part of my breakfast. I usually have oatmeal first to make sure that my body gets the carbs it needs. I’ve been obsessed with the OatFit pouches of oatmeal, and I will top it with 1 tbsp of peanut butter and maple syrup.
Around 11 I break into the second part of breakfast, which is an omelet. I put spinach and 1 Laughing Cow cheese wedge in the omelet, and then top it with another cheese wedge. Sometimes I’ll eat the oatmeal and omelet together, but I’ve really enjoyed breaking this meal into 2 smaller meals. If I don’t put peanut butter in my oatmeal, then I will put coconut oil in it instead, which is a fabulous addition!
Later in the afternoon, maybe around 1:40/2ish, I’ll have lunch, which is a stir-fry, usually made up of squash, zucchini, asparagus, red peppers and either chicken or chicken sausage. I love everything about this meal, mostly because I get to eat so many veggies and can get the micronutrients that my body needs. If my chicken sausage is low in fat, then I’ll add in a single-serving pouch of almonds to my meal.
An afternoon snack can vary from cucumbers and hard-boiled eggs, another bowl of OatFit with peanut butter or coconut oil, or a packet of almonds with carrots. I know that those don’t sound too exciting, but I enjoy them, and I feel good knowing that I’m giving my body the veggies, proteins, and healthy fats that it needs to keep me healthy and satisfied.
Dinners vary, depending on what I have left for the day, but it might be another omelet, chicken and sweet potatoes, stiry-fry, or a thick protein shake. My last meal depends on my remaining macros and what I’m craving. It might be a Quest protein bar, another protein shake sprinkled with powdered pb, or maybe it’s an English muffin with peanut butter.
The later parts of the day all vary, but I like that, mostly because it allows me to be flexible. If I’m invited for a spur of the moment dinner that night, it allows me to say yes since I’ve made smarter choices with how I allocate my macros earlier in the day.
If you’re interested in counting macros on your own or with a coach, do your research. Instagram is my go-to for finding coaches and IIFYMers to follow. Some hashtags to search under include:
A good resource on how to calculate macros on your own:
My awesome coach Ashley of Grit Health.
Other great macro resources:
I’ll be back tomorrow with a recap of how week 3 went on the current cut my coach has me on!
If you follow a specific way of eating, how do you handle telling others?
Are you lenient or strict when out to eat?
Lenient baby! Just the other night I enjoyed chips & salsa, a quesadilla, and dessert! Eating out = high carb day
Do y you have any additional great macro resources?