If you’re in any health and fitness groups on Facebook, you’ve probably seen people raving about counting macros.
“It is important to calculate your macros according to your goals, activity, and diet. Everyone is different.”
“Once I started focusing on my macros, that’s when I saw results.”
By the way, these are all quotes I pulled up from the first three posts I saw in a fitness group I searched.
Have you read things like that and thought they were talking about a whole different language? Or did you look into it and think that it was too much work to keep track of it all? You’re not alone. Who has time to obsess over every single thing they put in their body? As a mom of littles, I sure as heck don’t.
What are Macros anyway?
Let’s break this down in a simple way. Macros are short for the term macronutrients. Macronutrients are carbs, proteins, and fats.
Some foods are straight fats (oils), straight carbs (sugar), or pure protein (egg whites), and some foods contain all three (milk is an example with carbs, fats, and protein).
Examples of carbohydrates:
- Sweet potatoes
- Grains (oats, rice, corn, barley, etc)
Examples of proteins:
- Yogurt (Greek and skyr have a higher concentration of protein)
- Cheese, milk
- Beans and legumes
- Whey or plant based protein powders
Examples of fat:
- Peanut and other nut butters (almond, cashew, etc)
Why Does Counting Macros Work?
When you classify food into these groups, it takes away the “good food vs bad food” debate.
When you start seeing the breakdown of food, you no longer fear it. You begin to understand it and notice how your body reacts after you eat it.
Example 1: It’s 3 pm and you feel hungry. You open the fridge and decide to snack on some baby carrots with guacamole and feel full and satisfied with your afternoon snack. It holds you over until dinner, plus you feel great that you fueled your body with food that serves health benefits.
Example 2: It’s 3 pm and you feel hungry. You see a tray of cupcakes on your kitchen counter from yesterday’s birthday party. You try to avoid it because you want to lose weight but after opening and closing the fridge 5 times, and having a handful of chocolate chips to satisfy your sweet tooth, you give in and eat it. You feel like you ruined your diet and since you screwed up, you’re going to make it a cheat day and grab some chips too. That cheat day turns into a cheat weekend and you decided you’ll start fresh on Monday. You feel sick, and you beat yourself up over the “bad choice” you made.
Example 3 – The Food Freedom, Your Way way: It’s 3 pm and you feel hungry. You see a tray of cookies on the counter. You decide to make a little snack plate for yourself. You love how you feel when you have fruits and veggies so you grab a few baby carrots with guacamole to dip them in and add a cookie to your plate for dessert.
You’re excited about your sweet treat because you have a big sweet tooth and understand this about yourself. Instead of punishing yourself by taking away foods you love, you add more healthful foods around it and enjoy the cookie with zero guilt. You log the food and go on about your day.
Food no longer controls you. You no longer binge on a whole sleeve of Oreos because you know they’re no longer scarce. You can have it anytime you want. You know when you eat 3 or 4 you feel sick (because you listen to your body and have a food log to go back on) so you keep it to one or two. You feel full because of the carrots, guacamole, and the glass of water you had it with.
Macros Educate You with Your Food Choices
Now that you no longer see food as good vs bad, you see food as what it is – energy.
You see that macros make up your calories and that these calories make you feel a certain way (gives you energy vs makes you feel sluggish, satisfies you vs bloats you, etc).
You see that not every calorie is created equal and that when you have a balanced diet (all three macros) and stop cutting out certain foods (I’m looking at you carbs), you feel full!
When you stop giving peanut butter cups the power to make or break your diet and understand you can have them whenever you want because the convenience store is right down the road, you don’t want them as often.
Is Tracking Macros the Same as Calorie Counting?
Calories in vs calories out is one way to reach a calorie deficit and you will still do it by counting macros for weight loss, but you focus more on the foods, not the calorie count.
Macros make up calories. For every gram of fat you eat, you’re consuming 9 calories. For carbs and protein, it’s 4 calories per gram. Macronutrients make up your calories but you focus on your macros to make sure you’re not just eating twinkies all day.
You will prioritize your protein and balance out your fat and carbohydrate intake for the rest of the day to make you FEEL and look good.
That being said, macros are not just for weight loss. It’s a great way to maintain your weight and build muscle in a calorie surplus as well.
How to Get Started with Macros
If you’ve been counting calories, cutting out carbs, or tracking points and have hit a plateau in your weight (or find that you end up binging over the weekends), it’s time to stop the hamster wheel and try something that you can be sustainable with.
Stop giving up your favorite foods! You can lose weight while enjoying pizza. You can lose body fat, even if you grab a cupcake from your favorite bakery. You do not have to restrict or deprive yourself every day to change your eating habits.
Food Freedom, Your Way gets you started with macros without obsessing over every little number. You focus on your calories, prioritize your protein, and give yourself leeway with carbs and fats.
Food shouldn’t stress you out nor should there be any strict rules when it comes to getting healthier and feeling better.
It was created by Randa Derkson the Certified Holistic Nutritionist from Randa Nutrition.
What’s included in Food Freedom, Your Way
Food Freedom, Your Way is a learn at your own pace program that is taught through video and written lessons by Randa.
Questions? You can always email Randa for support or book an optional coach session if you would like her to walk you through the program and have her do the calculations for you.
Randa wants you to succeed and genuinely cares so much about every client. She’s easy to reach on Instagram too (make sure you check out her delicious recipe videos).
Here’s what’s included in the program:
Module 1 Goals and Habits
- Your Why
- The Snowball Effect
- How to Properly Set Your Goals for Success
- Changing Habits and Routines
Module 2 Nutrition Facts and Calories
- How Much Water Do You Need
- Intuitive Eating vs Tracking
- How to Calculate Your Calories the Right Way
- How to Properly Read a Nutrition Label (this lesson shocked me)
Module 3 Macronutrients
- Macros 101: Carbohydrates
- Macros 101: Proteins
- Macros 101: Fats
- How to Calculate Your Macros
- How to Track Carbs, Proteins, and Fats
- How to Track Alcohol
Module 4 Tracking with MyFitness Pal
- How to Set Up MyFitness Pal
- How to Track Using MyFitness Pal
- How to Add Recipes Using MyFitness Pal
Module 5 Meal Planning
- Why Meal Plan?
- 3 Things to Consider with Every Meal Plan
- How to Meal Plan to Reach Your Goals
- Bonus: Grocery Shopping Tips (saves money and impulse buys)
Module 6 Meal Prep
- Different meal prep styles and what’s right for you.
Bonus: Nutrition Resources
- Emotional Eating vs True Hunger. How to tell the difference + tips.
- Dining Out Secrets
- Craving Busters
- Healthy Snack Ideas
- Beat the Bloat
- Healthy Eating Starter Pack (Includes 7 FREE Cookbooks)
- Plus exclusive discounts
I love that she put everything in a go at your own pace. She brings it back to basics and recommends you take each new change week by week (example: week 1 focus on calories, week 2, focus on calories and hitting your protein goal, week 3 carbs, etc).
She also drives the importance of health goals I never thought of like fiber and why as women it’s so important for us!
There are no memberships, no recurring payments (unless you upgrade to a coaching package), and what you get is yours forever. It’s refreshing since I have so many subscriptions as it is.
As my goals change, I can refer back to the calculations and change my macros to suit every need. Whether it’s weight loss, maintenance, or muscle gain. Randa also includes calculations for breastfeeding mothers as well.
If you’d like to get started with counting macros and stop giving up the foods you love for months at a time, I can’t recommend Food Freedom, Your Way enough. Randa has also offered you an exclusive promo code. Use code SMILEY to save $20.
Randa also has a free easy to follow guide on how to track macros here as well: