If you’re not familiar with “counting your macros,” it’s the process of monitoring and managing your daily intake of the three macronutrients: fat, carbohydrates and protein. Everyone has a different amount they should aim to eat based on goals, body composition, age, gender, level of training, and more. For a few weeks now, I’ve been counting my macros, and while there were some challenges, I can definitely say that I have noticed a difference in 3 areas in particular:
- Sleep. As it turns out, I wasn’t eating enough carbs (about 75% of what I should’ve been eating) and was eating too much fat (roughly 150%!). Increasing my carbohydrates and lowering my fat intake has helped me sleep much better. It’s been shown to help with others’ sleep, as well.
- Recovery. By eating enough of the right foods, I’ve been able to recover faster, which means I can increase my training volume and get stronger in less time. Win-win!
- Body composition. Just by honing my macros, I’ve gained about 1.5 pounds of lean body mass without a change to my body fat!
A quick how-to guide:
- Download the MacroStax app. It’s what I use and it’s great!
- Record what you currently eat to get a baseline.
- Determine your goals (lose weight, maintain, gain, etc.) and use this simple calculator to figure out how you should adjust.
- Make it easier on yourself. Prep your week’s meals ahead of time with your ideal macros, so you can just grab and go during the week.
- Make sure you eat vegetables. The ONLY downside to counting macros is that you may find that you neglect vegetables. Not good. To combat this, I make two salad drinks™* per day. My favorite is: 1 banana + 1 scoop of protein + 8oz milk + handful of mixed greens + little ginger + little turmeric + ¼ cucumber + 3 trees of broccoli! You can mix up the veggies and fruit however you’d like.
*™ Michael Butts, Life with Adventure Co.
Conclusions: Counting macros works! I encourage you to try it, even if it doesn’t stay a part of your routine. Get after it!
Want some more help figuring out your macros?