Dieting is difficult at the best of times. Decreasing calories and fat, while trying to eat more protein, fruit and vegetables doesn’t always work for everyone, particularly when you’re weightlifting, doing CrossFit, or in bootcamp. "Counting Macros" also known as "Flexible Dieting" has been catching on with active people as a realistic way to manage a healthy diet.
Telling someone they can’t eat cake, steak, or cheese for several weeks out of the year can make them give up before they even start. But counting macros is different. While portions are still carefully measured, no one food is off limits in your diet plan. This means that if you want a little donut with your coffee, or you want the lobster with butter sauce, you can indulge.
The human brain is wired for survival. You go against your internal programming by trying to limit your diet. You’ve already set yourself up for failure, before you’ve even begun. And who wants to be exhausted before you’ve even gotten to the weights, because you had only salad for lunch!
With counting macros, no one food is considered good or bad for you. Some foods may be more beneficial than others and everyones bodies vary so much that we are asking you to think outside of the box. You’ll want to toss your old dieting belief system to the mat. So, how do I lose weight, you may be wondering. There is still work involved and it requires tracking your food. When cutting, you will be eating less calories than you burn. We take it one step further than traditional calorie counting and have you track your macronutrients.
What are macronutrients, or "macros" for short? In the human diet, protein, fat, and carbohydrates are our three main macros.
These three main macros are counted as 1 gram of protein or carbohydrate equals 4 calories, while 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories.
To achieve weight loss goals, you’ll need to hit your macro goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating a chicken burger or tuna with brown rice. Each hits on your 3 macro goals. Your body is able to break down the same amount of nutrients regardless of the food choice.
You can eat different foods each day, and yet still reach your macro goals. This is the end of diet plans where you eat the same foods every day for 1 month, and then fail, because you’re tired of eating the same type of food over and over again.
When you’re counting macros, you’ll still want to ensure that you’re gaining micronutrients, such as fiber. According to the AMA, you should be eating 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories eaten.
If you are an athlete, gym rat, jogger or couch potato this diet can work for you but it needs to be tailored to your needs specifically. Trust a professional to calculate the macronutrient numbers you will need to reach your goals.
A flexible diet plan is not only healthy for the body, but it’s also sustainable over the long term.