I started my macro counting journey back in 2017 through the help of Stronger U.
After 4 surgeries (3 female related and one rotator cuff) my weight had slowly crept up in 2016 as the intensity and frequency of my workouts declined. Even though I was a fitness instructor – I was out for recovery more than not and clearly pacifying (in other words convincing myself I deserved it) with everything and anything. My snacking was hitting new levels of consumption (lets eat an entire 1lb bag of gummy candy in 3 days).
I started to realize that things were not as they should be when I was trying to find an outfit to attend my father in law’s funeral. Nothing fit. Then a trip to Hawaii a few months later also slapped me in the face as …yes you’ve guessed it…nothing fit.
So as I have been taught and impressed upon for years – I will exercise it out.
Yes, it helped a bit, but my eating habits remained unchanged. Nothing I was doing on my own was making any difference. I went low carb. Then low-fat. Then Keto. Then Paleo. I might have even thrown in a Weight Watchers in there (you mean, I can eat 10 of these snack cakes and still hit my points? Woo-Hoo!)
In truth, I never stuck with any of them for very long – so I will not comment or criticize the positives (or negatives) of any of these.
I had been watching a friend of mine from Facebook go through her journey with macro counting and I was AMAZED by her results. I did not know anything about it. Asked her 10,000 questions and even sent an inquiry into Stronger U. But I still could not pull the plug.
A diet coach? You mean I actually have to pay someone $$ to help me diet? And they don’t provide meal plans or menus. Hmmm…
A few uncomfortable business trips (again, nothing fit) and finally a picture of me at Thanksgiving were the deal breakers.
So when you hear people say that abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym – there is A LOT of truth to that statement.
So what are macos? Macronutrients are your proteins, carbs and fats. Each serves a specific purpose and provide the calories necessary to supply your body with energy. Yes, I could just say I need to eat 1500 calories a day – but understanding how my macros make up those calories is key. And that is where a certified nutrition coach can help.
The first thing I needed to do (and you can easily do this too!) was simply understand what I was eating and how much. Apps such as My Fitness Pal (MFP) are helpful for you to log your food and see how you are eating. But a word of caution: a lot of entries in MFP are inaccurate/incorrect, so its take a bit of patience and practice to find what is right. Another thing that is necessary is weighing your food – in grams, ounces, etc. Buy a food scale and get cracking – because let me tell you – a serving of Lucky Charms (27g) is a lot less than I was eating. A LOT.
And log EVERYTHING you put into your mouth. EVERYTHING. Gum, mints, etc.
But that brings up another thing and that is personal accountability. With macro counting, I can eat ANYTHING I want – as long as it fits into my macros. Over time and especially when you are in a cut (calorie deficit) – you want to make the most out of your food – so getting a plate full of broccoli and other vegetables will get you a lot more food than french fries. But you can still have those fries – maybe just not the super-size portion anymore. And you will probably find that you stop eating out as it is almost impossible to track your meals from a restaurant with any accuracy. But it is a small price to pay for results
In the case of Stronger U – I had to fill out a spreadsheet with information such as hours of sleep, workouts, daily weight, waist measurements and of course my macros for each day. Our goals was to get +/- within 5g of our targets. Each week I had to send in my spreadsheet to my coach (for some accountability) who would evaluate my progress then adjust as necessary. Each session is 12 weeks long. And this is where your commitment to the progress is critical.
I did great for the first 6 weeks – then started to feel a bit burned out from the process – and this is also where a coach is invaluable. Although they can’t make you adhere – they can certainly provide you with encouragement – some tough talk and have your remember you “why”. I got back on track and started to see some real progress.
Macro counting is not a diet – but more of a way of eating. It teaches you to understand how you are eating and forces you to make better choices.
Trust me. I still eat Lucky Charms almost every day. I still eat desserts. I still eat white rice and potatoes. And I still eat at restaurants. Nothing has really changed except perhaps a better understanding of my portions.
Thank you Stronger U for educating me and getting me back on track.
Here is my 12 week journey – at 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks. Started at 135 and ended at 124lbs.
I still track macros and although I am a little less stringent than when I started. I continue to stay on track and maintain.
My coaches were with Stronger U, and by no means are they they only ones out there. So go check them out. And if you like what you see – say I sent you. And feel free to ask me any questions you might have and I will be happy to answer them.