Macros & Real Life + My Routine

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.

imageAshley 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.

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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!

imageI 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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

  • IIFYM
  • Macros
  • Flexibledieting

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?

 

*Affiliate links included

Back On The Macro Accountability Train

Since my trip to the Bahamas last fall, I have “loosely” counted macros, with most of the calculations being done by myself. I wanted to save money and was growing frustrated with the plateau I had hit, so I just kind of said “meh, I need some freedom.” More like freedom from having to check in with my coach weekly, not freedom from tracking my meals, because I had no issue doing that. I just wanted a bit of a break.

I actually took a break from working with my coach before, and I think like anything that you stick to, sometimes you just need to take a step back for a recharge. I have friends who also work with macro coaches, and they too took breaks every now and then before signing up for another installment of months.

I had been toying with the idea of working with Ashley again for probably a solid month, before I decided that it was time. I emailed her about a week before the 4th of July, and after a quick catch-up, I immediately signed up for 3 months. It was one of those moments where I knew it was the absolute right choice.

I wasn’t feeling my best, and I knew from prior experience that if I did what Ashley told me to do, which is follow the macros as close as possible, that I would see the results and make the progress that I wanted. I had lost 17 lbs with her previously, so it now relied on my motivation and diligence to see losses like that, this time around.

The first week was a bit rough. I hate listening to people and doing what they say, mostly because I love food and eating. The second week was a lot easier, and now that I’m on to week 3, I feel a heck of a lot better than when I sent Ashley that email several weeks back.

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The first week was hard simply because I was eating less. Obviously when I didn’t have a coach to report to, I could go over my macros without fear of letting her down. It’s just funny, well not really, because by overeating, I would be letting myself down. Once I knew I was paying for her service, I became hungry with motivation. Motivation to hit my numbers. Motivation to watch my performance in the gym get better. Motivation to watch my body slowly change.

And while this is only the beginning, I’m feeling incredibly happier, more fit, and determined. Putting my jeans on yesterday morning before catching my flight to Dallas, they fit better than they did last Thursday. It’s crazy what several days can do, and that makes me motivated to keep the momentum going.

I plan on working with Ashley for more than just the 3 months that I paid for – I simply just chose her 3-month plan because it’s less expensive than paying monthly, and it’s less of a hit on my savings account than paying for 6 months upfront. Since I find macros fascinating and love following the journey of others who 1) count macros, 2) work with a macro coach, and 3) are on a fitness journey, I definitely plan on making this a weekly blog topic.

As I plan to cover this topic each week, I’d love for you to let me know if there are certain things you’d like me to touch upon. Would you like to see some of my favorite meals or snacks from that week, progress that I made from the prior week, struggles, thoughts, tangents about macros? Let me know and I’ll make sure to include those!

I just want to end this post by saying that counting macros is not for everyone, just as eating Paleo, or being vegan, isn’t for everyone. You have to find what works best for your body, and once you find what that is, stick to it! Don’t let the opinions of others keep you from trying to become your healthiest self. It’s your life, and we only have one life, so live it how you want.

I will be back tomorrow for another post regarding macros, and then back again on Friday!

Please leave a comment below on what you’d like me to discuss in my macro posts going forward!

Macros – Questions Answered!

Do you have that one friend where you both experience the same things in life, or have moments where you think, “we should have our own reality show?” Well, I have that friend. Lindsay is my best friend, and we always seem to go through the same things at the same time. Shitty guy in our life? Yup, both got one (no, we don’t right now though!), creepos coming out of the woodwork? Yup, usually we get hit with a flood within 24 hours of each other. The list goes on and on. Lindsay and I usually have a handful of conversations going on at once, all different topics, all different social platforms. Text, Instragram, Facebook, email, Snapchat. You name it, we are talking on it.

Yesterday while I was working, I thought to myself, “wow, our daily emails could be a blog in and of itself.” Later in the day, my coworker who just signed up to track macros, was in my office asking me how in the world she can eat her remaining 50 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat and 100 grams of protein. My emails with Lindsay yesterday revolved a lot around motivation, macros, and becoming our best version of ourselves. And that was when this idea for today’s post came in my mind. Lindsay was asking me several questions, and I thought that our conversation was perfect for a post because there are probably a lot of you out there tracking macros with similar questions or thoughts. So here we go! I grabbed a few of Lindsay’s comments or questions and followed them up with my exact answers to her questions! This is going to be a long post, so if you’re not into tracking macros or planning your meals, feel free to skip this post!

Do you ever notice how a lot of fitness people post a lot of motivational quotes? I get that everyday won’t be sunshine and rainbows, but maybe they do have this whole mental game down pat (for the most part). 

I have noticed that fitness people post a lot of motivational quotes, but ya know, they could be posting it because they might be going through a struggle where they need to post it to just keep reminding themselves that it will get easier or to just stick to it. I think a lot of it just needs to click, and once it clicks, the motivation stays with you. Like I mean, I did macros for a year and it didn’t click with me until last December where I stayed committed to my macros and finally saw results. The past few months I’ve been struggling to find that “click” again, but I think I’m getting really close to it. You’ll get that click back when you are ready to tackle it head on. Just keep trying to do your best each day and then one day it will just happen.

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Do you plan a full days’ worth of meals ahead of time? Or do you sorta just wing it?

So I always, always, always have the same breakfast and the same 1st snack of the day. Lunches are typically always the same each week because it’s easier. Whatever I meal prep on the weekend is my lunch for the week. It used to be tuna wraps or grilled chicken with butternut squash and potatoes, but turkey wraps with cheese, spinach and relish have been keeping me so full, it takes seconds to prep the night before, and it’s cheap! Dinners are usually winged, but I plan it the day before.

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So right now I have taco turkey prepped in my fridge, so I just decide what I’m craving. Monday I had taco bowls, last night I made chocolate chip protein donuts for dinner, and tonight will be the omelet. Then I plan on my afternoon and evening snacks based on my cravings, what I have on hand and my macros. BUTTTTT, I always go to bed knowing what my meals for the next day will be.

healthy-turkey-tacos

If I want to change something the day of, I will, and the snacks or dinner will just have to be modified. Like right now, I’m almost thinking that I won’t put the pumpkin square in my omelet and will instead use those carbs for maybe half of a bagel to enjoy with the eggs. Having a game plan going to bed really helps me feel like I can accomplish hitting my macros the next day. I’m Type A when it comes to my food, so I like knowing what I’ll be eating, etc. Phew!

So wait, do you eat 5 or 6 meals a day? 6?  I think I need to find a breakfast that I can stick with like you do.  Breakfast is usually a crap shoot in the morning for me lol. I crave different things constantly!

Always at least 6 meals! Sometimes 5 if I’m not hungry for my afternoon snack, but then I just have a double dessert haha.

I think you should try ple-planning the night before that way you can go into your day with more structure and just see if that works better for you! When I find a meal or snack that works well in a certain time spot, I really don’t switch from it because I know it works. I’ll eat my oatmeal at 7:50ish, and it keeps me full until about 11:30. Then I have my English muffin with pb and I don’t need lunch until about 1:30/2, etc. But I mean, my breakfast is oatmeal with nuts, maple syrup and melted peanut butter, and then the snack is carbs and more pb…

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I mean, I REALLY look forward to those meals the most and never want to replace them. Maybe try creating one of those dessert oatmeal bowls. Something to keep you super full in the morning and that tastes amazing.

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On one of Elle’s Youtube vlogs she mentioned that as her last snack she’ll just put a protein bar in its slot that way at the end of the day she has a good amount of carbs/protein/fat if she wants to replace it with something else or add more carbs to her dinner and have a smaller dessert.

There are obviously a bunch of little tricks that work well, it’s just finding what works best for you! 🙂 I hope this post was some what informative or eye opening to see what I do.

Ask me about macros!!

Feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll respond to those and use those for future macro-related posts!