Macros: Where the Count Starts (and Stops)
There are a lot of ways to lose weight out there. In fact, if you do a google search on "types of diets", more than 10 things pop up for you to try right off the jump. TEN! And people wonder why it is such a struggle to figure out what proper nutrition, weight loss or sustainability means to them. Something that is easy to find is the fact that nutrition is not cookie cutter, and there is not a box that we can put everyone in. If it was as simple as everyone doing the same thing and eating the same food, we'd all be at our perfect goal weight with zero body image issues, and 100% confident in our knowledge of health and nutrition.
The industry is ever changing and the information coming out is spreading faster than methods can be proven long term. The unfortunate part of this industry is that everyone is trying to capitalize on it. The majority of supplement companies or mass weight loss programs are more interested in how they can get you to buy into their product or program versus how they can teach you to be a healthier version of yourself and make it an enjoyable and sustainable lifestyle that you can do on your own.
Everyone has that friend, family member or neighbor:
"I'm doing keto! I've lost 12 pounds! I get to eat nothing but bacon and cheese, and I've never felt better!"
"Have you tried low carb? Carbs are SO BAD for you! Stop eating them!"
"All I eat is protein. Muscles need protein, so I just eat protein all day long to get lean!"
Low Fat, Keto, Low Carb, High Protein, Carnivore, Paleo, Vegan, Intermittent Fasting .... Arrrggghhhh!!! Where do I start? What do I do? How do I know what is right for me?
While you are welcome to try any fad diet out there to see if it will work for you, we at Beast Body can tell you (as people that have probably tried every single fad diet out there) that 90% of them are not sustainable long term, which means at some point you will break off the plan and then completely de-rail yourself from the track because you feel like a failure. Sound familiar? We've likely all experienced that at least one time in our lives.
Weight loss and/or Cutting is simple. More calories out than in.
Bulking is simple. More calories in than out.
But, if it is so simple, how come we are all not doing it? Because it takes time. And we live in a microwave generation where everyone wants their results immediately, and it absolutely does not work like this in the nutrition and fitness field! This is the one area of life where you have to be completely committed to sticking to a plan and know that it may take a few weeks, a few months, or even years depending on your end goal, to get where you want to be.
The best way to reach goals and maintain them is by finding a plan that is easy for you to understand and stick to so that it isn't a chore to keep up with everyday. While some of the more popular diets out there seem easy to follow, there is a lot more going on than we are told because the fad catches like wildfire and spreads so quickly, the information gets distorted. Like keto, for example. This diet was originally designed for those with diabetes as they require a low carb diet to help maintain glucose at a low, but healthy, level long term.
For the ketogenic diet to work, your body has to get to and stay in a state of ketosis. The only way to be absolutely sure your body is in ketosis is by measuring it. This means you've got to check urine levels or do blood sampling. Things like "keto breath", "keto flu" or "cotton mouth" can be signs your body is entering a state of ketosis, but you don't truly know unless you are getting an estimated measurement through urine analysis or a more accurate reading through blood sampling. On top of that, the slightest imbalance of protein or carbs to the diet can quickly kick you out of ketosis, therefore making it all a moot point.
Healthy shouldn't be hard, and food should be fun. Macro counting is the easiest and simplest way to get to your goals. By doing this, you are simply making sure you intake the correct grams of proteins, carbs, and fats daily. The idea is that you are getting the perfect combination of all the things your body requires to run efficiently, which in turn keeps your weight down, your muscles lean, and your energy up. The great thing about just following macros is that it is flexible, so you can incorporate cravings, treats or snacks and not completely throw your goals off. Thinking long term, this is beneficial because you don't label foods as "bad" and you do not get discouraged from sticking to a nutritional goal.
You may have heard of IIFYM (if it fits your macros). This is the concept that you can eat anything you want as long as it fits your macros. That includes the idea that you can stuff your face with pizza, beer and cupcakes ... as long as it fits your macros at the end of each day. While that would be kind of an awesome way to live, there is another side to this whole macro thing, and that is nutrition.
We are athletes, and we need to be mindful of the types of foods we are putting into our bodies. It is not only about quantity of what we are eating of each macro, but it is also about quality. We want to be sure we aren't overloading on sodium because that can cause high blood pressure or body holding onto water weight. Or, we want to be sure we are getting a good dose of fruits and veggies throughout the day because they contain a lot of water soluble vitamins which means they leave our systems quickly and need constant replenishment.
Making the lifestyle change to eat by macros helps to give the eater a more conscious awareness of the types of foods they are consuming, and amounts of foods they intake. The general rule of balanced macros is a palm sized protein, fist sized grains / starchy carbs, and two handfuls or a half plate full of fruits / veggies. If you have more specific goals, you should be using food scales and measuring cups to ensure you are meeting your macros within 5g each.
The great news is that there are a ton of apps you can use to monitor your macro intake throughout the day, including the one linked to your Beast Body Fitness account! You can even plan ahead by creating a meal plan within the app and tweak as needed to meet your goals BEFORE actually eating anything! We like to call this being PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE.
Of course, we are always here to help guide you every step of the way with our nutrition packages that take all of the guess work out of it for you. We've got several packages to choose from, and each one can help you to learn more about how your body works and the best foods to help you reach your goals! The meal plans are easy to follow, the recipes are quick for those short on time, and we are mindful to keep the grocery budget to a minimum. To see which plan is best for you and to get started immediately, check it out here.