Hit your macros, we see it all the time in blogs and fitness posts but what exactly does it mean, how does it apply, and how the hell are you supposed to keep track of this stuff??? Well, if you read my two earlier posts – My body as a house? and BMI or BMP – you should at least have some basic knowledge under your belt (and we want to make some room under that belt, right?) and now you need to know how to determine what to do next!
First, let’s give you a website to start off with: IIFYM. This is If It Fits Your Macros, and that is pretty much what it sounds like. There’s lots of good info over there but for today’s topic, let’s go right to the Calculators menu and pick the ‘IIFYM Calculator’ link. This takes us to a sweet little online tool that helps us set up our macros – ratios of macronutrients. Fill in the top part. If you have already gotten a good idea of your LBM (Lean Body Mass), select that option, otherwise select the Total Body Weight Formula to have it factor off your BMI.
Now, enter in your activity levels and hit the ‘Calculate your TDEE’
This should give you two numbers like above. I’m sure you’re already thinking ‘Great, Hobbit, more acronyms!’ Yes, more acronyms. BMR = Basic Metabolic Rate. That means if you didn’t move a muscle all day long, this is how many calories your body needs just to survive. TDEE = Total Daily Energy Expenditure or given your activity level, this is how many calories you should use in a day if you don’t want to lose or gain weight. We also call those Maintenance Calories. Both these numbers are important.
So, at this point you should download the MyFitnessPal app or head over to MyFitnessPal and open an account. This is an app and website that will help you track your food, exercise, and macros. I’ll wait for you. Right here.
So this is the point where we need to decide what we are trying to do. If you are happy with your weight and build, then select the Maintain, this will set your calories at your TDEE for you to set as your daily goal.
If you want to lose weight, then you need to pick Fat Loss and a rate of loss. As much as you might want to go Reckless and drop ALL THE WEIGHT, when you first start you should probably pick Aggressive so you can see how your body is going to adapt to this WOL and WOE. If you go Keto, you will drop about 4-5lbs in the first few days, that is all water weight so don’t get to excited. You really need to give this a week before making any significant changes beyond these baselines.
Ok, so we have our Goal, now let’s apply it. The recommend IIFYM (of course, it’s their site), I recommend Ketogenic (Atkins) – they are similar but not exact, btw. We won’t split hairs on that right now. So, since you are reading my blog, pick what you want, I recommend Ketogenic but I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR A PROFESSIONAL. I DO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU HAVE SERIOUS HEALTH ISSUES THIS MIGHT MAKE MORE SEVERE. I won’t even take credit when you lose when and feel splendid:).
So if you selected Ketogenic, you should see this now:
There. Now, fire up your MyFitnessPal, go to Goals and set your Macros (yes, that is what these percentages are) to
Put in the number of calories you want to consume a day for your goal. BAM! Now it tells you how many grams of each macro you need to work into your diet. You can update your meals via the Diary in MyFitnessPal.
The two macros that are important on with this is carbs and protein. If you hit your protein right, the fat will take care of itself. Fat and carbs are max recommendations, protein is a ‘try to get as close as you can.’ Since 90% of your protein sources have fat in them as well, fat should be ok. You don’t need to hit your fat macros exactly, just enough so that your body doesn’t use the protein you intake for energy and prevent ketosis from starting. Fat protects the protein.