Welcome to my new diary where I share my experience in my current health journey! It’s been a busy first week, but a successful one to say the least! I lost 8 pounds this week!
8 Pounds! Woah, that’s a lot.
I’m pretty proud of myself for those lost pounds- I worked hard for that! Since the start of my journey, I have officially lost 14 pounds. I did a couple of different things to kick-start my metabolism and burn off the fat this week. I switched up my diet, I switched up my workout routine, and I switched on my confidence. I started IIFYM (Macro Counting), started boot-camping-it 3 times per week, and kept myself motivated and connected with my goals.
You may be asking, what is IIFYM? IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros”. And now you may be asking, “And what the heck is a macro?” I will tell you the text book definition, because I am not an expert at this stuff yet- I am simply learning.
Macros are short for ‘Macronutrients’- substances required (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate) in relatively large amounts by living organisms, in particular. – Google
How did I learn about Macros? One of my friends who hopped on the macro-counting train about 2 years ago shared it with me. She tried telling me about it last year, but I did not fully absorb the concept of it. This time around, I decided to listen and take in all that I could- if it worked for her, then it could work for me. I then started to research the subject more, and found that more and more people out there were macro-counters too! One of my favorite fitness inspirations was even on board- How cool!
So how do you start? It takes time, planning, and dedication. It won’t come to you overnight, or even in a week. I am now starting week 2 and I am just getting a hang of this whole thing. Before I could even begin, I needed to figure out my health and fitness goals.
1.) What are your health and weight goals?
This step is pretty important. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to maintain? Or do you want to gain? Understanding your overall weight goal will help you develop your daily caloric intake. My goal was to lose weight.
2.) Calculate Your Daily Calories
I figured out my daily caloric intake by tracking my meals on my Fitbit. I had found that I was eating anywhere from 1,650 – 1,750 calories per day and I was maintaining my weight- even with the workouts I was doing. You’ve probably all heard the common phrase of ‘Abs are made in the Kitchen‘- well that’s true, they are! It does not matter how much you workout, but it does matter what food you are feeding your body.
There are many macro-calculators out there, but most are based off of generic calculations for the average person. I am me, and I need a personalized plan. The IIFYM Calculator told me that I needed to be eating around 1,800 to lose weight, but I knew that was too much for me, and at that amount I would maintain. The calculator may be spot on for you, so definitely feel free to see what it says and test it out. The beauty of macro-counting is that you can adjust it at any point to fit what you need! If you need to gain weight, add on to your daily caloric intake, if you need to lose, then subtract from it. Pretty simple.
Again, I want to state that I am not an expert at this, and every health choice I made in this post was for my personal health journey. Make sure to always check with your doctor or coach first.
I decided to cut my calories from my average 1,650- 17,50 per day down to 1,400 calories per day. Eating this amount of calories helped kick-start my weight loss. Now you may be thinking that 1,400 calories is not that much- let me tell you- I had a pretty hard time eating ALL of the food that fit into those 1,400 calories- it’s a lot of food! You can literally eat anything you want as long as it fits your macros. I made myself a rule that I want to eat healthy foods and that’s what I will stick to. Now, I will live a little and have dessert or salty snack every now and again, but I’ll plan for it. If I know I will be going to a party or out to dinner, I will plan any expected meals first and then plan the rest of my day around it.
Check out one of my macro- friendly recipes I created below: The Good Morning Yogurt Bowl – Yummy!
3.) Finding Your Macro-Percentages
If you have researched macro-counting before, then you may have run into this handy-dandy chart:
Build muscle (i.e. bulk, gain weight): (Macros 40-60% carbs, 25-35% protein, 15-25% fat)
Lose weight: (Macros: 10-20% carbs, 40-50% protein, 30-40% fat)
Maintain: (Macros: 30-50% carbs, 25-35% protein, 25-35% fat)
For me, as I stated above, I wanted to lose weight. I chose the following macros for my daily intake:
- 50% Protein (175g)
- 20% Carbs (71g)
- 30% Fats (46g)
- 1,400 calories per day
This formula truly worked for me. I lost 8 pounds this week, for a total of 14 pounds lost (see photo below). I am not sure how much I will lose next week, but it should be anywhere from 1-3 pounds.
How did I track my macros?
I used the MyFitnessPal app which calculates your macros in grams and percentages for you! Easy peasy!
4.) Prep, Prep, Prep!
Meal prepping is kind of like second nature to me at this point. After going through the Tone It Up Program, I have mastered meal prepping. Preparing your foods ahead of time is essential when counting macros. I meal prep a little differently than others, as I like to focus on 2-3 days ahead of me instead of an entire week. I spend Sunday afternoons planning out my meals on paper for the week, and Sunday evening prepping the actual meals for the next two days. If there is a meal I am going to be making more than once, I will cook a large batch of the ingredients and make sure to store them for each upcoming meal.
Meal prepping does take up time- so make sure to carve out some space for it. The more you prep, the better prepared you are for staying on track with your goals.
If you decide to start macro-counting, I suggest that you do your research and try to find the best plan for you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! I would love to discuss your experience and collaborate with you on new meals and ideas.