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How (and why) To Track Macros For Weight Loss.
Why lasting weight loss depends on tracking your macros effectively.
If you have been trying to lose weight for a LONG time and have not been seeing results, it’s time to embrace the fact that the missing link could be you tracking your macros.
Don’t worry, if this is your first time diving into learning about how to track your macros to lose weight, I’ve got you. I will do my best to explain why you need to track your macros if you want to bust that plateau and lose some weight, and how to start figuring out your best macros for weight loss, and then I’ll share some recommended resources for getting you started.
NOTE: I am not a dietitian, a nutritionist, a doctor, a trainer or anything other than a certified fitness fanatic. Everything I’ve learned about fitness and nutrition and such I’ve learned from the experts who I will quote and reference here but I must disclose, I’m NOT that practitioner. I’m just a regular gal like you tryin to get my fit on.
How does counting macros help with weight loss?
I’m NOT writing this post from a scientific standpoint – there’s no need on this to go do research on statistics. I’m sharing with you from my own personal experience in this case because the truth is, I think most of you reading this want to hear from someone who has struggled just like you with losing weight, and came to see success in finally being able to lose weight by counting macros more closely.
So – here’s the deal.
There are plenty of trainers/doctors/dietitians/nutritionists etc. out there who will argue that “calories count” is a line of bull. These folks claim that if you eat clean or eat Paleo or eat organic or simply avoid packaged food, you will naturally be full and eat to satisfaction — intuitively- and you’ll naturally fall into a state of optimal weight.
NEWS FLASH: Winging it with nutrition works for no one.
YEA I call NO on that one. My doctor, Dr. Lane Sebring, who is known as “The Paleo Doctor” does NOT drink bulletproof coffee. Yea. He’s like MR. Paleo and he doesn’t chug bulletproof coffee for breakfast. He typically eats 1-2 meals a day and practices intermittent fasting. HINT: If you haven’t picked up on it yet, this means he isn’t eating a ton of calories. He eats clean, organic, grass fed, pasture raised, home-grown…you get the idea, but he watches HOW MUCH HE EATS. When I first went to see him and was struggling to lose a pound, and this IDIOT I was being advised by was telling me to consume bulletproof coffee with 2 egg yolks in it plus 4 scrambled eggs and avocado for breakfast plus 2 full meals for lunch and dinner and almond butter in between…..(that’s a whole other story I’ll tell you later on the topic of “How to Spot a Lying Gangster Con Artist Before He/She Robs You Blind”)- Dr. Sebring told me “Calories count. The amount of food we eat matters. There IS a tie between energy taken in and energy expended. Period.”
Conclusion: You have to track your macros if you want to lose weight. Period.
Ok, so while you will find people out there spouting off about “just eat clean and you’ll be fine!” or “you can eat all the fruits and vegetables you want, you don’t have to track that!”– don’t listen. Start listening to reason. Start using common sense. There has to be a balance of how much you eat and how much you burn off. If you eat too much and don’t move enough, you’ll be in a surplus mode.
You must start paying attention to your macros and tracking those macros on the daily if you want to see the weight loss happen! TRUST ME!! You can become that person who gets very familiar with nutrition and calorie counts and what foods are good for you and what are “not ideal” for you- and you CAN get too comfortable and you CAN get to the point where you THINK you are eating on point but– you really aren’t. Some of the simplest things could be throwing your macros way off and making you either gain weight or not be able to lose it:
- Start adding an afternoon Iced Coffee at Starbucks: (Coconut Milk, Venti) – 160 calories 33g carbs — 800 extra calories a week or 3200 extra calories a month, that’s about 1lb possible weight GAIN per month or 12lbs per year. FROM ADDING A STARBUCKS ICED COFFEE.
- Add a banana with your morning coffee each morning, because you want to choose something healthy. Then you start having salad at lunch but don’t check the nutrition info for the salad dressing– if you eat out, salad dressing can easily be a LOT higher in FAT than you think- one popular Panera salad has only 650 calories but 33g of FAT. With just adding these two things, you added 80g of carbs and 33g of fat. —> Many macro plans may call for a max of 60-70g of fat a day, so if you use up 33 at lunch, it’s easy to blow it the rest of the day. Same thing with carbs- if you add fruit then a huge salad and maybe your macros are set at 90 on a lower-carb day– after your breakfast coffee with a banana and a Panera salad–you are getting up there.
- NOTE: Neither of these examples are BAD – I’m not saying these are bad choices at all. It’s only making the point that if you don’t TRACK your macros, you could think you were “eating healthy” and you are…but you can still be eating too much or too unbalanced- too high in carbs or fat and not enough protein.
- Make sense?
How to get started figuring out your macros for weight loss.
Now that you understand this concept of needing to count macros daily in order to reach your fat loss goals, let’s get you moving in the right direction. There are SO MANY resources out there to help you in getting started on finding what macros are ideal for you.
I will share that I bought this eBook by Sohee Fit YEARS ago and it really taught me the concept of macros– you can find several great eBooks for under $50, many under $25 by CLICKING HERE. She’s fantastic- follow her on instagram she’s a wealth of information. Secondly, let’s be real- MyFitnessPal the app can absolutely spit out some macros for you as a baseline = with your input on age/height/weight and desired weight loss. MyFitnessPal is what I use to track macros on the daily and I love it. The paid version is not expensive and is so worth it.
You’ve also heard me rave about Chris and Heidi Powell’s Transformation App- now by no means is this strictly an app for food tracking but it does create not only a customized macro program with suggested meals on the daily and/or shopping lists for meal substitutions, it also includes killer weight training workouts that have blown my mind. It’s my new favorite thing ever and at $15/month you cannot go wrong. CLICK HERE to check it out.
The bottom line is this- it might sound cumbersome to start the practice of recording all your meals into an app or a handwritten journal. But on the other hand, think about how much you hate not being able to fit into your favorite dress or skinny jeans. Is the few minutes per meal to record your macros so you get on track and get balanced and eat within a reasonable caloric window WORTH IT if you can get to your weight loss goal, finally?? For me the answer is a solid hell yes.
Tell me what YOU THINK? What questions didn’t I address about counting macros for weight loss? Let me know in the comments below– and if this post helped you, I’d love it if you shared with your friends who are still confused by macros and stuck with weight loss!
Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter– cool stuff coming up y’all!! 😉
HOW TO EAT AND MEAL PREP FOR MAXIMUM AND LASTING FAT LOSS WITH DR. MIKE ROUSSELL.
What are the best tips for a healthy diet to lose weight, and how to plan healthy meals for weight loss with Dr. Mike Roussell.
Dr. Mike Roussell knows the nutrition game. On top of being a nutrition expert, Mike is also an author of several books as well as a nutrition adviser for Men’s Health and Shape magazines. He believes in the idea of what he calls the “Psychology of Nutrition” or the mental aspect of eating and dieting. He actually did a research on the eating behaviors of ordinary people, ordinary being people who aren’t really into the whole health and fitness mindset yet. He found out the hardest part of maintaining a diet was not planning or crafting the right nutrition plan rather it was the doing of the nutrition that people find most difficult.
Today, Mike talks about the idea behind the Psychology of Nutrition, the difference between physiological and hedonic hunger, and what food logistics is. He describes the Rate Limiting step of nutrition as well as why he thinks people have a misguided focus on their wellness.
“The psychology of nutrition is an extremely interesting and untapped area of food and nutrition.” Dr. Mike Roussell
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- Tracking nutrition in whatever detail you want is fine.
- People are too obsessed with how many calories they eat that they lack sleep and not exercise. This makes counting calories not matter.
- Mike describes the Rate Limiting Step of nutrition by comparing it to when you overeat, but you focus on work to rest ratio when the focus should be on the “overeating” part. People need to focus on what’s limiting them, what’s holding them back.
- People base their decision on food based on level of wholesomeness instead of nutrition.
- A lot of gluten-free foods aren’t really all that much healthier.
- Pay attention to hunger and stop eating in front of a screen. It will make you focus on the food you’re eating and will help you satiate faster.
- Physiological hunger is when the body has a need for calories and nutritional sustenance. Reward driven or Hedonic hunger is when your body doesn’t need any calories, but you eat because it makes you feel better.
- Food logistics is knowing how you get the right meals for you at the right times during the day, every day.
- Good food isn’t just going to magically appear in front of you unless you prepare it first.
- To be successful in nutrition there has to be some gray. There is no “just” in nutrition.
- People need to listen to their body’s signals which we just don’t do as much as we should.
- Pre-planning your meals will make your nutrition more about execution and not figuring out.
Connect with Dr. Mike Roussell:
- Mike Roussell Official
- The Nutrition Gray Zone blog by Dr. Mike Roussell
- Neuro Coffee
- The Meta Shred Diet book by Dr. Mike Roussell
- Leslie Bradshaw interview
- The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet book by Dr. Barbara Rolls
Visit our website or subscribe on iTunes today!
About Dr. Mike Roussell
From his online bio:
Dr. Mike is known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical nutritional habits that his clients can use to ensure permanent weight loss and long lasting health. Dr. Mike holds a degree in biochemistry from Hobart College and a doctorate in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Mike’s academic background coupled with his broad range of experience from consulting with pharmaceutical and food companies, medical schools, top rated fitness facilities, professional athletes, and individual clients, gives him the unique ability to translate scientific findings into relevant, understandable, and actionable strategies that get results. As a scientist, his research has been published multiple times in the premiere clinical nutrition journal in the world, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dr. Mike oversees the optimization of the health, nutrition, and performance of a range of clientele from professional athletes, to celebrities, to Fortune 500 executives. He is also a sought after continuing educator, speaking across the country to physicians, dietitians, nurses, and other health professionals on the most recent advances in the nutritional treatments for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and weight loss.
Publishing over 500 articles and appearing in over 150 TV segments, Dr. Mike’s unique approach to scientifically derived, yet practical nutrition, has made him a well-known expert contributor to both national print publications and leading online news outlets. Dr. Mike serves on the Advisory Board for Men’s Health and SHAPE magazines as well as LIVESTRONG.com. Dr. Mike has authored 6 books including Strength: The Field Manual (2018), The MetaShred Diet (2017), The 6 Pillars of Nutrition (2011), and Dr. Mike’s Ultimate Book of Smoothies (2015), and has served as the nutritionist for Men’s Health Book of Power Training (Rodale, 2007), Strength Training Cardio (Rodale, 2010), the Women’s Health Big Book of Abs (Rodale, 2012), the Men’s Health Big Book of Abs (Rodale, 2012), and Your Body Is Your Barbell (Rodale, 2014). He has also been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness.” Find him on his website by CLICKING HERE.
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