Macro Tracking For the Win! All of Your Questions Answered

Have you ever tried a new diet, lost weight, jumped for joy, and then gained it all back? Have you ever tried a diet just because it worked for a friend, but it didn’t work for you? Have you ever stuck to a plan so rigidly you went a little crazy and ended up eating 25 Olive Garden breadsticks? Maybe you are doing everything you think is right, but that scale is just not budging! *insert high-pitched angry screams*

The cycle of success, failure, guilt, and starting over is a lot to carry emotionally. How about we set the record straight with a few helpful basics about food once and for all?! As I have recovered from an eating disorder myself, one of my biggest personal goals was to improve my relationship with food. I didn’t want to be afraid of it. I didn’t want it to dictate every move of my life or every MOOD of my life. I can confidently say today that so much of my personal recovery has come simply through educating myself about food and a whole lot of trust in the process!

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*Photo credit: James Patrick (right)

Gosh, it’s hard for me to even believe I was ever that girl on the left. I remember so clearly thinking I had my eating disorder under control when this picture was taken. But c’mon…this picture says it all. I may have been free from my binge/purge behaviors, and even free from starvation, but clearly, the scale still controlled me. CALORIES controlled me!!! Macro counting (in conjunction with carb cycling) truly has FREED me, you guys. “So what is this macro counting thing?” you ask. Simply put, macro counting allows you to take control of your body composition (once and for all), whether you feel you are too big OR too small, WITHOUT deprivation. In my case, I felt too small and wanted to gain…but this same concept has been applied to carb cycling and has worked WONDERS for those needing to lose weight as well.

So let’s talk about food. Whether you are a clean eater, junk eater, vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, dairy-free, or gluten-free eater, ALL EDIBLE items are made up of 3 macronutrients: CARBS, FAT, and PROTEIN.

Here’s the downright truth: MOST diets fail because of one simple problem—they are not REALISTIC! It’s nearly impossible for even the STRONGEST OF WILLS to commit to an extreme plan that doesn’t account for real life moments like cake at birthday parties, pizza after baseball games, cotton candy at the carnival, handfuls of goldfish, and eating the remainder of your kids’ mac and cheese. If you completely deprive yourself of these “indulgences” for long periods of time, you will either end up in the crazy house OR in a cycle of binge and guilt. So where is the balance? Can you really reach your fitness goals without starving? YES! It’s time to shift our beliefs in food and how it affects our bodies.

I ALWAYS thought that if I ever wanted to see my abs and have nicely defined legs, I would have to consistently eat a perfectly clean diet (think chicken, brown rice, and broccoli), train 6 days a week, and rarely (if EVER) indulge in my love affair with sugar and baked goods. I told myself, sure… abs are nice, but I love donuts. And pizza. And ice cream. What if I told you that you could have abs AND donuts, pizza, and ice cream. Excited? Yeah, me too. Read on.

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Tracking macros basically means consuming a balanced and appropriate ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats every day. An easy ratio to follow is 40% of your calories coming from carbs, 30% of your calories coming from protein, and 30% of your calories coming from fat. To break it down even further, if you need 1500 calories per day, your TOTAL macro intake for the day will be 150g carbs, 113g protein, and 50g fat. But before you start plugging in those numbers, everyone’s breakdown looks a little different according to your needs and goals. We will get there…hang with me.

It’s like working within a budget. How will you “spend” your macros? To give you an example, I love oatmeal for breakfast! Well, I really love gluten-free lemon cake for breakfast, but let’s use oatmeal (my 2nd fave) as the example. Alright…oatmeal alone is mostly just carbs, so I may add some berries (more carbs), some coconut oil for fat, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. It’s quick, easy, and delish! This meal comes out to be a total of 29g carbs, 14g fat, and 29g protein. That meal gets deducted from my total for the day, and now I have 121g carbs left, 36g fat left, and 84g protein left!

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Using an app like MyFitnessPal (my favorite) will automatically track these numbers for you when you input your food items into the app. Easy peasy. Now, everyone has different goals, so this ratio doesn’t always translate perfectly across the board. For instance, due to my goals, existing body type, workout routine, and wanting to put on some serious muscle mass, my coach has me eating 55% carbs, 25% protein, and 20% fat every other day, then 68% carbs, 20% protein, and 12% fat the other days. These ratios help me add lean muscle mass to my frame while keeping my body fat low!

So why track macros?

Tracking your macros rather than just calories alone ENSURES that the calories you are taking in go to all the right places in your body. They preserve lean muscle mass and help rid unwanted body fat. That’s the goal! We are so conditioned to jump on that scale in the morning (totally naked, of course, because we need all the help we can get) and jump for joy if the scale goes down. But what if some of that weight loss is muscle mass? Your body just became slightly less efficient at burning body fat. Boooo! So, tracking those macros and being sure that our calories are distributed appropriately can allow us to rest easy and know that weight lost is the weight we WANT to lose—that extra fat jiggle.

What about calories? Do I have to track those too?

NOPE! Crazy enough, 1 gram of carbs always equals 4 calories (yes, whether it’s a gram of sweet potatoes or a gram of white sugar), 1 gram of protein always equals 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat always equals 9 calories. Interesting, right? So, if you are tracking your macros and hitting the same numbers every day, you will also be reaching roughly the same calorie goal each day.

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Can I track my macros AND carb cycle?

YES!! This is just a more DETAILED way to focus on your overall composition and goals. On high carb days, your macro goals may be set to 200g carbs, 120g protein, and 39g of fat, but on your low carb days, maybe you get 125g carbs, 120g protein, and 60g fat. Again, these numbers are just examples, but in short, carb cycling (like in Extreme Transformation) and macro tracking actually work synergistically for maximum results!

The best way to get started on your own is to input your information and goals into a macro calculator, and I’ve got you covered there! Click HERE for an awesome one I found. Then, start tracking using an app like MyFitnessPal. It will take a little while to get the hang of it, but long-lasting and true results are what we are all after, right? Here’s the kicker: Online calculators can be off and not as precisely customized as a plan that comes from a real-life macro coach. The macro coach is going to cost more than “free” online calculators to get started, but it’s the BEST investment I’ve made for my health and fitness EVER. Doing things on my own has proven to have me going in circles, and having a coach has truly been life-changing. For anyone interested, here are links to my own coach’s team…they are amazing, and I trust them with your plan completely:

Pro Physiques, or @theprophysiques on Instagram, or email them at [email protected]

I also LOVE my good friend, Cori Baker…who many of you may already follow. She is incredible, is coached by the same coach I am, and is working wonders with her own clientele. She’[email protected]_fit on Instagram, and her site is corifit.com/coaching.

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Did it scare me to hear my coach say I needed to eat WAY more carbs than I was eating? YEP! Did I doubt it would really work for me? YEP! Was I afraid that eating carbs AND lifting weights would make me “bulk up” or gain weight in places I didn’t want to? ABSOLUTELY. What kept me going was the ability to be consistent on a plan, enjoy foods I always thought were on the naughty list (because they fit into my macros), and… drum roll please… THE RESULTS!! I could not have transformed my body the way I have this past year if it wasn’t for understanding HOW macros affect my body composition. I’m happier than ever, not afraid of food (or the scale), NEVER hungry, and flexible with how I eat. It’s a life I wish for everyone!

Now here’s something crazy…MOST people who need to lose weight actually are coached to INCREASE carbs or other macros when they begin following a macro counting plan. Here is my good friend, Kacey Luvi Pearson.

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She increased her macros (and calories by about 500 a day) over the past 6 months with the help of a macro coach and shredded down to this!! Insane, right? True story. And one story I will be featuring in the upcoming months.

Here are some of my favorite MACROS I always keep on hand!

PROTEINS:
grilled chicken
extra-lean ground turkey
eggs/egg whites
Greek yogurt (nonfat, plain)
cottage cheese (low-fat)
protein powder (I use whey, but adjust according to your own food sensitivities)

CARBS:
brown rice
white rice (yes, I said “white,” believe it or not)
sweet potatoes
red potatoes
white potatoes (there’s that “w” word again…I’ll save my why for another post)
KIND granola
Udi’s gluten-free bread
Kodiak Cakes pancake mix (not gluten-free…but was a fave of mine before I pulled gluten. The Power Cakes are high in protein too!)
fruit
cereal (yes, I can eat cereal again!!)
oatmeal
brown rice powder (Quest is the only brand I know of that makes this. Great for shakes and baking gluten-free)

FATS:
flaxseed
olive oil
avocado
cream cheese
shredded cheese
coconut oil/butter
peanut butter

Be happy, healthy, and never go hungry!

Xoxo,

Heidi

Related reading:

Carb Confusion
The Power of Protein
Carb Cycling 101
Heidi-Approved (& Macro-Friendly) Fast Food Picks
Ask the Powells: How Do I Gain Healthy Weight?
The Extreme Cycle | Meal Planning Tips
Eating with Macros: A Day in the Life

*This blog was a collaborative effort with my good friend, and fellow macro counter, Kacey Luvi Pearson. Thanks, Kacey, for lending your experience, and for spending time putting our brains together and pen to paper on this one!


205 Comments

  1. Michele Lander - February 17, 2017

    Will this coach help plan meals for the week that fit the macros you need. I have the calories and the macros I need, but when it comes to meal prepping and planning meals-that’s where I fail miserably. Thanks for your time

    • Team Powell - February 18, 2017

      Hi Michele: Different coaches offer different options, so I’d contact them and see what options they have available. 🙂

  2. Holly - February 13, 2017

    I’m planning on starting this Macros system (great information and lovely site guys!) but I don’t feel mentally ready to tackle the carb-cycling out of the gate. Will eating by the Macros suggested by the site healthyeater.com (which you linked to use) help me somewhat slim down and tone up off the bat in conjunction with my workout routine? Or does it only work when you cycle macros/carb cycle all together? I was hoping to get used to the macros system without switching carbs everyday to receive some benefits and just want to make sure I’m setting my expectations correctly.

    Thank you kindly!

    • Team Powell - February 14, 2017

      Hi Holly: This site can definitely help you know what to do nutrition-wise to help you achieve your goals. It’s not actually set up to put together a carb cycling schedule for you, it’s more of a general macro tracking site where your macros remain the same every day. If you ever get to the point where you’d like to carb cycle, Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling programs have all of your macros figure out for you (for both low and high carb days), or you can also work with a macros coach who can tailor-make a program for you and your goals. You can learn more about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling programs here: http://heidipowell.net/2713. You can do this! 🙂

  3. Eliza - February 8, 2017

    So…I put my info into the calculator you linked to and my jaw dropped at the calories it said I needed per day: 1620 (set on “lose” and protein to “high”/ I am currently 215 lbs, 29 yrs old, 5’4”, female).

    1620!??! …That number is more than a little terrifying to me. Should I really be eating that many calories? I have definitely had a VERY hard time losing any weight the past 2 years (I’ve been trying to stick to the ole 1200 average). But I’m having a rough time with the idea that eating so much will help me LOSE weight. :-/

    • Team Powell - February 8, 2017

      Hi Eliza: Some people do eat too few calories, and that can hinder their weight loss. If jumping to 1620/day is too much for you to wrap your head around, I’d add in 50-100 a day for a week (following the same percentages from the calculator), then do the same the following week, until you get more comfortable with the higher number of calories. You can also probably put your protein at the “regular” amount instead of high, unless you’re doing killer workouts every day. Hope this helps!

  4. Megan Bailey - February 5, 2017

    I am just getting ready to start carb cycling. Do I need to keep track of veggies in my macros or can I have unlimited veggies?

    • Team Powell - February 6, 2017

      Hi Megan: It’s best to keep track of everything you consume. 🙂

  5. Amy Clark - February 3, 2017

    Hi! I am fairly new here, but love what I am seeing thus far. This is a program, lifestyle is something I believe I can get my family to follow because there is no deprivation. One thing I am wondering, you talk about gluten-free, is this a personal choice or does the program (macro counting) work best with gluten-free?
    Love watching the show and seeing the “spark” when someone gets it…”This isn’t for a year this is for my life, to save my life.” Thank you for sharing your expertise with us!

    • Team Powell - February 3, 2017

      Hi Amy: Macro tracking can totally work with or without gluten, Heidi eats gluten-free for medical reasons.:)

  6. Kelly - January 31, 2017

    This may be a silly questions, but for the extreme cycle (I am reading book now), how do I make the % translate to the “bank” you are talking about. Like how many grams of carbs, protein and fats do I need for a high carb day and a low carb day?

    Maybe this is just me being bad at math, but some guidance or concrete #s would really help. Thank you!

    • Team Powell - January 31, 2017

      Hi Kelly: There’s a “Create Your Own Meals” chart in this post that outlines the calories of each macro for each meal: http://heidipowell.net/10617. And remember, each gram of protein or carb = 4 calories, and each gram of fat = 9 calories. Hope that helps! 🙂

  7. Melike Ersoy - January 19, 2017

    dear team
    i am your fan and i like the blog and the books. But apart from the book this macro thing cofuses me. If I follow the book you say macros are calculated as HC 40% pr, 50%C and 10% Fat for LC days it is 40% P , 10%C and 50% Fat.
    on the other hand when I calculate my macros on the tracker attached to this post it gives me a total of 1478 calories with the macros 37% Protein,36% Fat and 27% Carb
    I am 5″7′ and 170 lbs.
    please tell me, should I go with the macros from the tracker or the book ?
    love you guys

    • Team Powell - January 19, 2017

      Hi Melika: You can follow whichever plan you’d like to follow. One thing to keep in mind is that the macro calculator doesn’t carb cycle with low and high carb days like in Chris and Heidi’s program. Hope that helps!

    • Melike Ersoy - January 19, 2017

      thanks for the reply?
      so which one is better? carb cycle or the macro tracker?

    • Team Powell - January 19, 2017

      Both can work, it’s a matter of personal preference. Although I must say, Chris and Heidi’s program is awesome! 😉

  8. Mandy - January 16, 2017

    Are the macros for the carb entered in the total amount or as net carbs (subtracting fiber etc)?

  9. Mandy - January 16, 2017

    Hi! I am going to try the turbo cycling. I understand the 1200 cal on low carb, 1500 cal on high carb days. Where I am having trouble is logging macros into apps like Myfitness pal. Is the Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40% ratio – per meal or for the full day? I am assuming for the full day. I am having a hard time finding a carb for breakfast that doesn’t put me way past my carb for the full day in the nutrition tab. I did contact myfitness pal and I am currently trying to find out how they do the break down in the nutrition area because this is really making it confusing for me. Any help or advice would be great 🙂 thanks!

    • Team Powell - January 16, 2017

      Hi Mandy: Those percentages are for low carb meals only. Chris and Heidi tried to make things as simple as possible, so they have figured out all of the macros for you. Follow their meal guidelines, and you’re good to go!

  10. Ashley - December 26, 2016

    Hi Heidi and Chris! I recently started the ketogenic way of eating 2 weeks ago. I have lost weight but I am concerened with telling myself “you can’t have that again” what are your thoughts on this way of eating vrs. Carb cycling and counting macros. Thanks in advance!

  11. Kim - November 11, 2016

    Hello ! First of all sorry for my bad english, I’m french. I wanna eat according to macros (for me 1356 kcal per day : 178g of carbs, 76g of proteins and 38g of fat).
    For exemple, in the morning I wanna eat muesli with semi-skimmed milk. The milk is for 100ml : 1,6g fat, 4,8 carbs and 3,2 proteins.
    So do I consider the milk as a carb, or do I calculate everything every time ? (so for exemple if I can eat 7,6g fat per meal, do I consider the 1,6g fat of the milk?). Cause that’s really complecated, especially if I wanna do my meal preps…

    Thank you very much for your time and I thank you in advance.

    • Team Powell - November 11, 2016

      Hi Kim: You’ll keep track of all of the macros in every food you eat. 🙂

  12. Connie - November 8, 2016

    Hello Heidi,
    I’m new to the entire macro counting and carb cycling program. I’m a 42 year old, active mom. I crossfit 4-5 days a week, but cannot seem to shed some excess fat. I’ve tried a couple other programs, but they left me very fatigued and made workout days really rough. They were also very difficult to manage with a family. I simply couldn’t serve them chicken and broccoli every night. My kids were starting to revolt! Do you recommend a specific plan? Carb cycling + macro counting seems to be the way to go. How do I tailor my macros to customize my meal planning? Is this information in one of your books?

    • Team Powell - November 8, 2016

      Hi Connie: In all of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling plans, everything is figured out for you. And you have many more options than chicken and broccoli! I’d start with the Extreme Cycle. 🙂

  13. Sel - November 7, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    Loved the post! I’ve been working out intensely for almost 2 year now. Although, in terms of diet, it has always been flakey. However, over 2 months ago, I started the macro diet. I currently weigh 115 lbs, and I have been weighing that before I started my diet too. However, I’m not too worried about the weight because my goal is actually to shred the fat that’s on my abdominal area. I’ve struggled with that area forever. I thought that macro dieting might help, and even though 2 months is too early to declare “no progress,” I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I’m 5’2, and I’m currently eating 1600cals, with 115g protein/175g carbs/46g fats. It’s not that I’m not seeing progress, I have grown muscles on arms and legs and it’s all great, but the stomach fat just won’e quit. I don’t know if i should be changing my macros or just stay patient? How do I lose the belly fat?

    • Team Powell - November 7, 2016

      Hi Sel: It sounds like you’re on the right track! It might help to work with a macros coach since what will work for your goals can be so totally different than what would work for someone else with similar goals. There’s a link to Heidi’s macro coaches in this post, and they do work at a distance. We wish you all the best! 🙂

    • Tiffany - February 20, 2017

      Hi Sel,
      I read your question on Heidi’s blog and am curious if you ever met with a macro coach like they recommended and if you found the results you were looking for? I ask because my story is exact to yours. I’m also 5’2″ about 115 lbs and struggle with belly fat. I’m always interested to see what works for people. I just started their extreme cycle and I’m really hoping i get good toning results. What does your typical week of working out look like too? Thanks!

  14. Allison Satalino - October 28, 2016

    This has seriously changed my life. I started “working out” after 10 years of a sedentary lifestyle with 3 kids. Although I enjoyed the mental benefits of exercise my body did not transform until I started macro counting. I adore it! My body is finally leaning out and the confidence is slowly starting to come back. Thanks for all you do HP. You’re truly an inspiration.

  15. Amy Holland - October 28, 2016

    This is one of my favorite posts! You are always so informative and helpful!

  16. Sierra Polenz - October 23, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I need your help!! I bought Extreme Transformation, followed it to a T, lost 4 lbs the first week and 2 lbs the second but nothing the third. I absolutely loved the book by the way- easiest and most satisfying plan I’ve EVER been able to stick to faithfully. I did the program in combination of Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer program so I’m lifting a lot, at the gym 6 days a week now. My first week of extreme carb cycling I did zero cardio and only trained 4 days at the gym. I’m 5’8, 150lbs and probably have 10-15 lbs of fat to loose, I’m guessing but I’ve never been below 142lbs. I used the macro calculator and got that figured out. My question is how do I figure out my macros for high carb days and low carb days? I feel like I busting my A off. 30 mins of cardio 4 days a week and weight training 6 days….I’m getting no where. Well, I’ve definitely seen muscle gain since I started the gym back in May but only a 7lb weight loss. Please help me!!!!

    • Team Powell - October 24, 2016

      Hi Sierra: It sounds like you’re on the right track to achieving your goals! Here are the recommended macro percentages for the Extreme Cycle: Extreme Cycle: Breakfast (EVERY day): Protein: 30%, Carb: 40%, Fat: 30%, High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 50%, Fat: 10%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 10%, Fat: 50%. If you follow the 21 day meal plan, all your macros are figured out for you also. And as you get closer to your goal weight, those pounds will come off slower, and even a 1 lb loss a week is awesome, especially if you’re adding muscle to replace any lbs of fat. You can do this! 🙂

  17. Alexandra - October 16, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I just purchased the Extreme Transformation Book. I am intending to follow it but my question is regarding caloric intake. I realize different macros =different calories but I am pretty petite (5’1) and I am wondering if 1500 calories is 300 too much for me? I’ve done other nutritionist recommended plans and they have had me always at 1200 calories. Can you tell me if I should adjust the program to hit the lower calorie limit or is 1200 the amount in the low carb days? and 1500 is the amount needed for high carb days? Just trying to do this correctly for my 12body type.

    • Team Powell - October 17, 2016

      Hi Alexandra: The recommended calories (1500/day for women on the Extreme Cycle) are for those who want to lose weight. If this is your goal, then these recommendations should work for you. 🙂

  18. Louise - October 14, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I just purchased Extreme Transformation I have a whole bunch of questions. I’m a very picky eater and so I was wondering if I could use the food list and do my own thing. That being said I’m having a difficult time figuring out which I can have on the high carb days and what I can have on the low carb days. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Team Powell - October 14, 2016

      Hi Louise: Here’s a post that can help you with meal planning on the Extreme Cycle: http://heidipowell.net/10617. And there’s an extensive list of food options in the book that is super helpful! 🙂

  19. Donna - October 7, 2016

    Great information! Thanks for posting. Question: Are there any adjustments that need to be made to carb percentage when it comes to a person with type 2 diabetes?

    • Team Powell - October 7, 2016

      Hi Donna: I’d ask your healthcare team about this and have them help you make any modifications if necessary. 🙂

  20. Natalie - October 5, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    Just recently started reading your blog and absolutely love it!! I’m looking to lose fat and have done quite a bit of research in terms of macro counting.

    I am 26 years old- 5’8 and currently ranging between 190-200 pounds. I’ve started to count my macros and my ratio I’m trying is 40% protein, 30% fat and 30% carbs. (146 g P/ 48g F/ 117g Carb) Should I be doing 40% carbs though and 30% protein if I’m looking to shed fat? Please let me know what you think. Eventually I want to try carb cycling as I get more comfortable with macros.

    • Team Powell - October 5, 2016

      Hi Natalie: I’d run your info through the macro calculator linked to in this post. It’s great at helping you figure out the best macro percentage for your goals. 🙂

  21. Elisa - October 3, 2016

    Hi, I’m following the extreme cycle as a vegetarian, but I’m finding that my skin is breaking out more than usual and I’m thinking it could be because of the high amount of dairy (cottage cheese, greek yogurt, low fat mozzarella, whey) I’m eating to reach the amount of protein. I have not had much success with the plan so far and therefore I’m afraid to change things up, but do you think I could lower the protein amount in ordere to eat less dairy? Or do you have any advice in regard? I eat tofu, egg white, protein bars as well as protein sources, but I find it hard to eat these foods for breakfast and snacks all the time! Thanks a lot for your help! Elisa

    • Team Powell - October 3, 2016

      Hi Elisa: It’s best to not lower the protein recommendations if at all possible since protein is the foundation of every meal and is a big part of good health and weight loss. You can substitute other fat options for your cheeses, and that might help. Hemp, bean, and pea proteins are also great protein options.

  22. Cheryl - September 30, 2016

    I am currently in week one of the Turbo Cycle. I have a party to go to on Saturday so I was thinking to switch my reset day to Saturday. If I do that, should I switch my Friday low carb day to a high carb day? Then what to do for Sunday?
    Thanks!
    Cheryl

    • Team Powell - September 30, 2016

      Hi Cheryl: It’s best to only switch your reset days as infrequently as possible. But if you do change it, you can make Friday and Sunday low carb days, then begin your week again on Monday. 🙂

  23. sohib - September 29, 2016

    i wanna ask something can you give me some examples of 1900 calorie diet with 25% protein , 20% fat , 55% carbohydrates please answer me , i don’t know how to setup my meal in the right percentage

    • Team Powell - September 29, 2016

      Hi Sohib: Each gram of protein and carb = 4 cals, and each gram of fat = 9 calories. So for protein, for example, take 1900 X 25% = 475 calories from protein for the day. 475 cals / 4 cals/gram of protein = 118.75 grams of protein for that day. You can follow the same formula to figure out your fat and carb calories too! 🙂

    • sohib - September 29, 2016

      thanks , but i know this , what i mean is when i setup a dietplan i get confused like when adding eggs, one egg contains about 69 kcl , 0 gram carb , 6 gram protein , 5 fat (which is something you know) like this i add every thing i eat but when the intake calories reach the maximum ”1900” the protein doesn’t reach 25% or the fats goes above 20% , i dont know how to make every thing in the right percentage so … i hope you understand me, i like asked about 100 people and no one answered me.

  24. Danni - September 2, 2016

    Heidi I love both you and Chris, think you are amazing people! Love watching you’re show so inspirational. I am about 40 lbs overweight, I’ve lost 12 lbs on my own. I’m a vegetarian, what’s the best diet plan for me? I’m trying so hard! This is the whole way from Northern Ireland, goes to show how highly you both are thought off !

  25. Shannon - August 31, 2016

    Hi Heidi 🙂

    I love reading all your blogs and it helps me find my strength and positivity everyday. Like you, I had battled an eating disorder from the age of 14-21. I was in and out of hosptial rehabilitation centers for 7 yrs)… I was blessed, like you, to beat the demon that was trying to take over my life. I am now almost 40 (this month ??). I have a beautiful and miracle son (5+ doctors told me I would never conceive), a wonderful baby daddy ((we’ve been together almost 15 years, still alittle afraid to commit as my previous husband was an A-hole) and also a very dedicated nurse as my career :). The only problem I still struggle with is to fully take care of myself (long term issues with sexual abuse as a young child) and believe I am good enough. I have been recenty diagnosed with Addison’s disease (but that is totally not defining me) and have to be on long term steroids. I am struggling to lose 20 lbs ( I know, it doesn’t sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things) but having difficulty doing so. I would love some ideas on how to get back to where I felt comfortable. Currently about 5’8 and 170 lbs. My target weight is around 135-145 lbs. I would love your input or even a visit (515 evergreen street, New Smyrna Beach, Fl). Since I live on the beach, my ultimate dream is to walk around in a bikini ( I’ve never felt comfortable doing so, even at 112 lbs….issues…) and feel confident, but more importantly, just comfortable and happy. Can you please help me? ??

    • Team Powell - August 31, 2016

      Hi Shannon: Thank you for your post and for sharing your story with us. You can learn all about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060, and be sure and follow all the links within the post too. It’s an awesome program, and it works! And please discuss this, or any nutrition and exercise program, with your healthcare team first and then follow any modifications they might recommend. You can do this!

  26. Moiya Rossnagle - August 31, 2016

    I loved your article about macro tracking! Thank you for all of the information. I am familiar with your carb cycling and I plugged my numbers and goals into your recommended macros counter. Here are my numbers. 1874 CALORIES PER DAY
    Carbohydrate 191g40.7%
    Protein 161g34.3%
    Fat 52g25.0%
    So is that a low carb day or a high carb day? And if so, then how do I calculate the opposite. I am trying to get healthy and lose 50 lbs.

    Thank you!

    • Team Powell - August 31, 2016

      Hi Moiya: These numbers don’t take into account low and high carb days, so if you’d to know how to adjust your macros for carb cycling, it’s best to work with a macros coach who can help you figure out what will work best for you and your goals. However, here are some general macro percentage recommendations for all of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles: Easy, Classic, Fit, and Turbo Cycles: High Carb Meal (including EVERY breakfast): Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. Extreme Cycle: Breakfast (EVERY day): Protein: 30%, Carb: 40%, Fat: 30%, High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 50%, Fat: 10%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 10%, Fat: 50%. Hope this helps!

  27. Nikole - August 31, 2016

    Hi there! Would you be able to set my macro goals for me or do you recommend anyone in SD who I can meet to do so?

    Every app I’ve tried using on my iphone recommends different calories/macros for my weight loss goals and I have yet to find an app that will give me macros from training days vs rest days.

    Thank you!!!

  28. elisa - August 31, 2016

    Hi, I posted already, but probably the question is more pertinent on this post.
    I’m trying to stick to the extreme cycle plan, following the 40 40 20 rule. Based on the 1500kcal a day, inserting such quantities in MyFitnessPal I came up with 150g protein a day, 150g carbs and 33g fat on HC days and 150g protein, 75g carbs and 67g fat on LC.
    First of all does that sound correct?
    If so, I’m finding it extremely hard to reach the 150g of protein na day, as I usually reach 100g max (I’m vegetarian but i try to fill up on your suggested vegetarian options pf protein and if I do respect the meal calory chart you give in the book I do not reach 150g either).
    Is eating 100g a day not enough and could be ruining my chances to be succesful in the program? If it sounds ok instead, …what am I supposed to do with the remaining macros? Higher the carbs % on HC days to 50 for example and do 50C, 30P,20F and viceversa on LC days or what do you suggest?
    thanks a lot!!!!!!
    elisa

    • Team Powell - August 31, 2016

      Hi Elisa: Here are the recommended macro percentages for meals on the Extreme Cycle: Breakfast (EVERY day): Protein: 30%, Carb: 40%, Fat: 30%, High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 50%, Fat: 10%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 10%, Fat: 50%. I’d try using these and see what you come up with and go from there. I hope this helps!

  29. Kaisa Paulson - August 11, 2016

    I WANT to try this. I have for YEARS and yet I’m terrified. I have PCOS, hypothyroid, and hashimotos.
    Do you think that I can get away with MORE carbs?!? I rarely go over 60 a day 🙁
    I lift, teach cycle, and bootcamp. Bit just when I want to pull the plug on what I’m doing and try this, I freak out because girls with pcos and hypothyroid “should never” have high carbs.

    Any ideas?

    • Team Powell - August 11, 2016

      Hi Kaisa: It might be a good idea to discuss macro tracking and what percentages of each macro would be best for you with your healthcare team. We wish you the best!

  30. Cheryl Dunnells - August 11, 2016

    I changed my reset day to Wednesday this week due to going out of town for a girls trip. Should I continue with the plan as usual when I return and skip my reset day on Sunday?

    • Team Powell - August 11, 2016

      Hi Cheryl: Yes, continue on as a “regular” week, and have fun on your trip!

  31. Arriane Alexander - August 10, 2016

    Hi Heidi, Thanks for all the great support and info. My calories are at 1900 and I have my macros Carb 37, Protein 37, Fat 26%.
    My problem is I feel like I’m eating all the time, even when I’m not hungry. I get to the evening and still have more to eat, and feel like I’m stuffing myself to get my calories and macros in, especially the protein bc I get all protein from fish, egg whites, turkey and protein powders…and it’s still not enough.
    I feel like I’m eating all day, and never hungry (except after my workout), but from lunch until dinner, I just am eating even though I’m not really hungry.
    What do you recommend for this? Are there more foods that are concentrated for carbs and protein that I can eat that maybe I won’t feel so full all the time? Or what should I do?
    Thank you so much!!

    • Team Powell - August 11, 2016

      Hi Arriane: It can take our bodies a bit of time to adjust to a new eating plan, and there is a bit of a learning curve with macro tracking. You might try splitting your macros between 5 meals, every 3 hours and see if that will help.

  32. Tiannen - August 7, 2016

    The Extreme Transformation plan has me eating about 1500 calories a day. I used the marco calculated that Heidi recommended in a link above and that puts me at about 1,200 calories, 150G carbs, 40G fat, and 60G protein. Should I follow the books recommendations or the macro calculator?

    • Team Powell - August 8, 2016

      Hi Tiannen: I’d follow the book’s recommendations. We wish you the best!

  33. Sarah - August 6, 2016

    I started tracking macros about a month ago. I used an online calculator you recommended, above, which gave me a breakdown for the day. I aim to eat 1435 calories (108p, 161c, and 40f). Id like to carb cycle, too, but I’m not sure how I should adjust my targets. Can you recommend how I should adjust for low and high carb days?

    • Team Powell - August 7, 2016

      Hi Sarah: IF you’re following any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, your macros are figured out for you. Learn more about their carb cycling program here: http://heidipowell.net/2713. If you’d like to put together your own low and high carb days, it’s best to work with a macro coach since macro recommendations are based off of your body composition, exercise routine, and goals. 🙂

  34. Jeanie - August 6, 2016

    Any recommendations for a macro coach in the Dallas area? I’ve been “googling” and can’t seem to find a place locally.

    • Team Powell - August 6, 2016

      Hi Jeanie: The coaches linked to in this post might work at a distance.

  35. Anna - August 3, 2016

    Thank you for this post!! I’m getting into macros! I had a macro coach give me numbers to = 1600 calories…so my carbs and protein are about 143 and fast 43 ish…I’m shooting for 1600 calories…my question is if I do weights or cardio should I increase my macros so I’m not hungry all the time? I want to lose some weight? Or if you know a macro coach!! Sorry to bug! I appreciate what you do!!

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi Anna: I’d check with your macro coach who helped you with your original numbers and have him/her help you tweak these numbers for your workout schedule and goals. Heidi does have a couple of links to some macro coaches in this post: http://heidipowell.net/10990. 🙂

  36. Natasha stabile - August 2, 2016

    Hey guys,
    So I’ve decided to start macro counting along with the turbo cycle. I’ve calculated where I should be hopefully correctly! LOL. Anyhow I’ve also started a 30 day challenge at my kickboxing studio and had to make 3 lifestyle changes. I have no clue what I was thinking when I chose to cut out dairy completely for the month of aug! I’m having a hard time coming up with snack and breakfast options that’s not always eggs and lunch meat or the same thing several times a day when. I would usually add in some Greek yogurt and granola. Also my go to protein powder is whey so that’s out too! Any suggestions would be great!

    • Team Powell - August 2, 2016

      Hi Natasha: What a fun challenge! There are non-whey protein powders available, so that might be an option, or any of the other protein options would work too…and try and think outside the “snack” and “breakfast” box and try some combinations you might not usually think of for these meals. Hope that helps…you can do this!

  37. Johanna - August 1, 2016

    Hi,

    I’ve been carb cycling for a few weeks in combination with excercise (metabollic missions and cardio training) Unfortunately I broke my leg today and can’t workout for 6 weeks. Should I still continue the carbcycle with high carb days, low carb days and resetday? I’m scared to gain weight because I can’t excercise

    • Team Powell - August 1, 2016

      Hi Johanna: I’m so sorry to hear about your broken leg. 🙁 I’d continue with the nutrition part of the Turbo Cycle, and check with your doc about any upper body movement you could do. We hope you heal quickly!

  38. Emily - July 31, 2016

    Thank you for all your answers, I just have one more – With the chart provided to create your own meals in Extreme Transformation it only gives you a calorie guide for protein/carbs/fats but not the condiments/misc section. If I add an item from this section such as tomato sauce it puts my calories above 1500. Should I remove calories from another category?

    • Team Powell - August 1, 2016

      Hi Emily: If you’re creating your own meals, you’ll want to include any carbs, proteins, and fats you consume from the condiments/misc section since it’s best to track everything you put into your mouth. Hope that helps!

  39. Diane Taylor - July 31, 2016

    Heidi,
    My name is Diane. I have lost 35 pounds on the Ideal Protein Diet. I still have 25 to 30 pounds to lose. Before starting the diet I thought I was doing everything correct. Looking back at my food journal, I see I ate too much food. But it was healthy food. I maintained my 200 lb for years. On the Idea Protein Diet I am down to 155, in 4 months.
    I will finish losing the 25 or 30 pounds on the IPD (Idea protein diet), but I want to someday eat , oatmeal, greek yogurt, fruit, pasta. But, i never want to be 200 pounds again.

    Diane

  40. Tara B - July 29, 2016

    Loved this article ! And am loving counting macros along with following the extreme transformation program. In your book you provide a list of “free foods”. My two favorite are pickles and tomatoes. I’m was wondering what makes them a free food? If I eat 100 calories of tomatoes (which I easily do everyday) aren’t I going to mess up my progress, macros, calories? I would love to understand this better to lower my anxiety about enjoying them. Thanks for your help : )

    • Team Powell - July 31, 2016

      Hi Tara: There’s a “Create Your Own Meals” chart in this post that shows you what macros + veggies are included in each meal: http://heidipowell.net/10617. You can include up to two fist fulls of veggies in each meal, so as long as you’re following that guideline and eating the other appropriate macros for your meals, you should be good to go.

  41. Andi - July 25, 2016

    Hello! This is so inspiring!~
    I used the macro calculator above. I have my breakdown. But, HOW do I know how much to eat at each meal? I love the idea of containers!
    Thank you!

    • Team Powell - July 25, 2016

      Hi Andi: You can use up your macros as you’d like, and planning your meals for the day is super helpful to make sure you have enough macros to get you through your day. You might start by dividing your daily macros by the number of meals you eat each day, and then go from there.

  42. Emily - July 25, 2016

    In appendix D (in Extreme Transformation book) it has serial listed as a carb but does not say how much milk you can add or what kind of milk.

    • Team Powell - July 25, 2016

      Hi Emily: Chris and Heidi recommend unsweetened almond milk, and if you use less than 2 cups, it counts more as a condiment than as a fat. Enjoy!

  43. Emily - July 25, 2016

    Hello, I just bought the Extreme Transformation book. In appendix D it says 1 scoop protein powder is 100 cal towards my protein intake – does Isagenix count as a protein powder? Also there is a section “condiments/dressings/misc” would this section be counted as carbs? Or can I add an it from this least to any meal?

    • Team Powell - July 25, 2016

      Hi Emily: In general, Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, low-carb protein powders with around 20 grams of protein per serving. And the condiments/dressings/misc section doesn’t count towards your daily macros and can be added to any meal. Just be sure and track those calories because even in small amounts they can add up.

  44. Shannon - July 23, 2016

    Hi, my fiance and I are looking to drop a significant amount of weight and we have been looking at macro tracking and the Extreme Carb Cycling program. Which would you recommend for us to begin with? I guess I am just having a hard time wrapping my brain around exactly how much we should be eating. When looking at the Extreme program, the portion sizes seem somewhat vague (just because sometimes it is hard to judge exactly what a thumb size is or palm), and I just want to be sure we are on the right track. We want to create our own meals, as the meals in the Extreme book are a little too complicated for every day meals. Is there something you can reference that might help us? I would greatly appreciate it!!!

    • Team Powell - July 23, 2016

      Hi Shannon: In the Extreme Cycle, all your macros are figured out for you, and besides following the recipes in the book, you can get some great meal planning and creating your own meals tips in this post: http://heidipowell.net/10617. You both can do this!

  45. Jenn Friend - July 20, 2016

    I have been doing the extreme transformation from the book for about 2 months now, i have seen great results off of it but had seen Heidi’s post about this on facebook over the weekend and my husband and I started incorporating the macro calculator into our diet. I have already seen results since monday, do i need to recalculate my macros every week? Or just stick with the original one at the 20% weight loss i had calculated?

    • Team Powell - July 20, 2016

      Hi Jenn: Congratulations on your results! You’ll need to recalculate your macros every once in awhile as you continue to lose weight since what you’ll need to lose weight will change. There’s not really a set answer as to how often to change, but when your weight loss slows down is a good indicator. We wish you the best!

  46. Donita Kotz - July 19, 2016

    hi!! thank you so much for posting this!! very informative! my son does this faithfully. the thought of eating more and more carbs is kinda scary but that is because of the additional plan you would have as well in regards to weight lifting and working out right? i just ordered your book. any advice is appreciated, Thanks again

    • Team Powell - July 19, 2016

      Hi Donita: Yes, you are correct! Enjoy the book! 🙂

  47. Jennie - July 17, 2016

    Hello! I bought Chris’ book and start carb cycling tomorrow. What macro count should I be shooting for on my high carb and low carb days?

    • Team Powell - July 17, 2016

      Hi Jennie: All your macros are figured out for you for all of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, so you’re good to go!

  48. Alicia - July 16, 2016

    I am interested about the extra comments on white rice and white potatoes. Is there a link to the place where you talk more about them? You mention above you would add a blog entry specifically to talk about them.
    Thanks a lot!

  49. Katie - July 16, 2016

    Hi Team Powell!

    After hearing about Chris and Heidi talk about carb cycling, I decided to read Extreme Transformation and give it a try. I was hooked after the first week!! Since then, I’ve done some online boot camps for carb cycling and tried some different protocols. I really liked the Extreme Cycle of 4 high carb days, 2 low carb days, 1 refresh. I know the calorie goal for high and low carb days is 1500. I saw the macro goals for low carb meals and high carb meals, but wasn’t exactly sure how to set the overall % in MyFitnessPal. Any help is much appreciated!!

    Thanks for all you guys do! You have changed my life and I will be forever grateful!! The advice and response you’ve given all of these posts is really remarkable. Keep up the amazing work!

    • Team Powell - July 17, 2016

      Hi Katie: Here are some percentages to aim for: High carb meals: 50% of your calories coming from carbs, 40% from protein, and 10% from fat. For low carb meals: 10% from carbs, 50% from fat, and 40% from protein. For breakfast, 40% from carbs, 30% from protein, and 30% from fats. And there is some awesome information in this post that can help with meal planning also: http://heidipowell.net/10617. You can do this!

  50. Alicia - July 16, 2016

    I’m very interested about the white rice and white potatoes extra explanation. Is there a link to the post where you would talk more about them? Thanks a lot.

  51. Courtney - July 16, 2016

    I am SO confused on how to connect counting Macros and Carbs Cycling. Are they 2 separate “diet plans”…I’m wanting to do The Fit Cycle (as I am training for a half marathon) I need more high carb days right now. But the macro calculator says I should be having over 1900 calories a day?…Please help clarify! The response of breaking the macro recommendations into percentages isn’t helping clarify my confusion. Thanks for everything! I’m excited!

    • Courtney - July 16, 2016

      I just found another comment where you explained “that a gram of carb or protein = 4 calories and a gram of fat = 9 calories.” Is this how they connect? So as long as i’m shooting around my 1900 calories, I’m good?

    • Team Powell - July 16, 2016

      Hi Courtney: (Be sure and check my response to your other comment). Yes, this is how things work. You mentioned in your other comment that you’re confused by the percentages. Here’s how it works: Say you need 40% of calories from protein for the day, and your daily calorie recommendation is 1500 cals. Here’s the math to figure out how many grams of protein that is: 1500 x .40 = 600 calories. 600/4 = 150 grams of protein for the day. Hope that helps! 🙂

    • Team Powell - July 16, 2016

      Hi Courtney: For the Fit Cycle, you’ll aim for 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days. These are the recommendations for losing weight, along with those percentages. If your main goal is not to lose weight, then you’ll want to follow a different daily macro total. And be sure and check your other comment for my reply too. 🙂

  52. Victoria - July 16, 2016

    Hi Heidi! First of all I wanna say that omg ur amazing ? Love watching ur husband show, I started knowing bout ur healthy eating through FB. Love everything u post. I’m trying to eat healthy for the past three yrs but I always fail bad ? I have two kids,a 3yrs old and a 7yr old. As u can understand they drive me nuts n it’s super hard to eat healthy cuz u know kids. My husband works five days a week,he does not eat healthy at all but he’s sooo skinny ( lucky?) I work 2 days a week and spend most of the time w my kids. We live in Mendo in CA. One of the reasons I fail bad it’s cuz some times we don’t have the money to buy food. Some weeks we just eat the box pasta,quesadillas ect. Hard times ? Every time I grocery shop I buy lots of veggies meats but at the end I get stuck n don’t know how to cook it even though I have tons of recipes. Also my kids r soooo full of energies that I don’t have time. If I cook healthy I’m the only one that eat the healthy food. I have to cook like three different meals ? For my kids (they r sooo picky) for my husband n me. It’s so exhausting making three different meals and I just give up. I try to feed my kids veggies but they end up crying screaming at me n ugh I just don’t wanna deal w it ?. I also fail n this is the most important reason y. I love junk food. Ice cream,bagels, and specially chocolate! After like 3 to 4 days of eating “healthy ” I crave something sweet,a bagel w hazelnut spread,chocolate ect and my craving is so intense that I always fail. I feel like the drug addicts. I seriously can’t stop craving that kind of food even though it so bad ? I always eat it n at the end I feel guilty but I’m just so stuck like u don’t imagine ? Not sure what to cook some times, w my kids I don’t have time to work out most of the time like I would like. All I’m trying to say is HELP! Not sure what to do. I feel so depressed when I see my body ? I’m 25yrs n I weigh 148lb I used to weigh 154. I’m 5″3 I used to weigh 120 before my kids. I have never had a flat sexy stomach in my life. The older I get the more depressed I get n think I will never have a sexy body. Heck I have never wore a bikini in my life! I’m sure I need counseling cuz some days I feel so happy w energies n I’m willing to to accomplish my dreams but other days I feel so ugly lonely w out energies ? I’m sure most of what I feel is cuz one my body second I don’t have lots of patience w my kids n I think I’m a horrible mom n third cuz well we don’t have money. We live pay check to pay check which it sucks. I hope to hear from u soon. Im so sorry for my huge essay (LOL). ? Victoria ([email protected])

    • Team Powell - July 16, 2016

      Hi Victoria: Thank you for sharing your story with us! As with anything in life that we want to change, it really is all about taking those baby steps one after the other. Here are a couple of ideas and posts that might help you get started on those changes you want to make: 1. Promises: These are Chris and Heidi’s #1 transformation/motivational tool: http://heidipowell.net/8679. 2. Meal planning and prepping: The more foods you prep ahead of time, the easier it is to put your meals together – especially with a busy family! 3. Helping your family to eat healthy: http://heidipowell.net/7986/funwithfood/. 4. Eating on a budget: http://heidipowell.net/6252/save-money-eat-healthy/. 5. Emotional eating: http://heidipowell.net/10663/10663/. And remember to take things one step – one promise – at a time. You can do this!

  53. Ashley - July 15, 2016

    I’ve been taught that sugar is more likely going to turn to fat over carbs (controlled). How does sugar fit into the macro counting? Do you avoid it if you can? Thank you!!

    • Team Powell - July 16, 2016

      Hi Ashley: Any sugars are carbs, and it’s best to choose complex carbs (vegetables, whole grains, legumes, etc.) and fruits when possible rather than more sugary products. Hope that helps!

  54. Kim D. - July 15, 2016

    Heidi,

    First of all, I love following you and your family! So fun and inspirational. My question is, I have friends that count their macros, but they have a professional figure it all out for them, along with the menus. Is this something I could do on my own? Thanks in advance!

    • Team Powell - July 15, 2016

      Hi Kim: While a macro coach is highly recommended, check out the link to the macro calculator that’s in this post and you can get a pretty good idea of what you can do. Hope that helps!

  55. Ashton - July 15, 2016

    Hi Heidi!

    What do you do if you’re breastfeeding and want to do this diet given that you burn 500 calories/day nursing. For example if my TDEE is 1867 calories, how much should I subtract to safely have enough calories for me and baby. I’ve read to subtract 300-500 if looking to shed weight.

    Thank you,
    Ashton

    • Team Powell - July 15, 2016

      Hi Ashton: Here’s a post that outlines Heidi’s breastfeeding nutrition program: http://heidipowell.net/2275. I hope it will give you some help figuring out what will work best for you!

  56. Kristi Westphal - July 15, 2016

    Hi!! I am new to this, well, not to the clean eating thing…I’ve been doing that for awhile, but I am new to the macros thing and it’s intriguing. I added a comment on Instagram, but I thought I’d ask here, as well. I have two questions now, though…LOL
    1) When you grill the chicken (or any meat for that matter) what do you use to flavor it? Do you marinate it in any oils/butter? Do you use some type of homemade marinade? We meal prep/grill on Sundays and I marinade it, but I’m wondering if I should just go to an oil/butter, sea salt and pepper…hhmmm
    2) Do you have to carb cycle? I’m not used to eating a lot of carbs and am trying to add a little more in there and there…brown rice, whole wheat pasta…etc. I love the counting macros, but does it have to be done with the carb cycling?
    Oh, and one more question: what cereals do you eat? And what do you eat it with (what kind of milk)? I haven’t had cereal in 2.5 years and would LOVE a bowl for breakfast one day.

    Thank you for any, and all info!

    Kristi Westphal

    • Team Powell - July 15, 2016

      Hi Kristi: Let’s get you some answers to your questions! 1. Chris and Heidi use different salt-free seasonings, and if they use olive oil, it’s only a tiny bit. 2. You don’t have to carb cycle, you can follow whatever macros you want to help you reach your goals. 3. In Chris and Heidi’s program, they recommend low-fat granolas, Kashi-type cereals, All Bran, Fiber One, and oatmeal. Hope that helps!

  57. Beverly Pace - July 15, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I am a type 2 dieabetic and Gastric vsg. I follow a baratric diet. I have lost 124 pounds. My question is when I work out hard at the gym I get low blood sugar. What can I do to prevent this.

    • Team Powell - July 15, 2016

      Hi Beverly: With your diabetes and gastric vsg, it would be best to discuss this with your healthcare team and then follow their recommendations. We wish you the best as you work to achieve your goals – you can do this!

  58. Kathy - July 15, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I’d like to start carb cycling and currently power lift…5-6 days a week plus a day or two of Crossfit. These workouts are pretty intense. I keep reading about 1200-1500 calories a day for folks. Seems a bit low for someone who does intense workouts. I want to recover and replenish energy levels properly. As someone who has lost over 100# on my own, I know a bit about counting calories and macros and have used MFP for years.

    Where do I go on your page to find a customized caloric intake and macro count for my demographics. Just trying to be as accurate as possible and do what works best for my body and workouts. Thanks!

    • Team Powell - July 15, 2016

      Hi Kathy: There’s a link to an awesome macro calculator in this post – give it a try!

    • Kathy - July 15, 2016

      Oh my goodness. Didn’t see that, thank you! Any suggestions for sugar grams within those carbs grams?

    • Team Powell - July 16, 2016

      Hi Kathy: It’s best to choose complex carbs (veggies, whole grains, legumes, etc.) and fruits whenever possible. 🙂

  59. Amy - July 15, 2016

    Heidi,
    I am not a fan of the ezekiel sprouted bread. Is there an unsprouted bread you can recommend?

    • Team Powell - July 15, 2016

      Hi Amy: Look for whole grains, as whole grain as possible!

    • Kristi Westphal - July 15, 2016

      I am in love with Trader Joe’s 7-grain Sprouted bread. It’s $3.49 per loaf here in NC. They sell it on the shelf, not in the fridge or freezer. It’s pretty tasty!

  60. Amy - July 12, 2016

    Hi Heidi, I am not a fan of sprouted bread. Is there an alternative you can suggest?

    • Team Powell - July 13, 2016

      Hi Amy: Look for whole grain, as whole grain as possible. 🙂

  61. michelle - July 11, 2016

    Heidi,

    I look up to you and your husband. I would love to do a workout with you, I need that boost especially right now I’ve been going back in my old habits.
    I know you two are very busy helping others. Hope to meet you one day!

    Thank you please message me,
    Michelle

  62. Amanda T - July 9, 2016

    Hi Powell Pack! Can you please help me with early morning workouts & meal timing? I have your new book as well as Chris’ “Choose More…” and am trying to make my macros and meal timing work with your meals. I go to the gym at 5:30 am (I work with a trainer at times and do classes or HIIT, weights, etc.) and wake at 5:00 (please don’t tell me I need to wake earlier!). I can’t have a full meal at that hour/before workout. So I have 1/2 of banana & 1/2 of a boiled egg. On low carb days, should I eat a low carb meal after my workout? Or should I have carbs? I guess I’m trying to see how my pre-workout snack fits into carb cycling. I’m trying to lose about 15 lbs of fat and tone up. Thanks! Love your work!

  63. Janelle - July 7, 2016

    Hi Heidi. I responded to your comment but I’m sure your so busy :). So do I based percentage of macros on a 1200 (low carb day) and then change them to fit 1500
    calories for my high carb day?
    In doing so, it gives me some fat macros for high carb days and carb macros for low carb days. Is that ok? The reason In not sure is because when Ingot my macros done in the past it gave me 1g of protein per lb I weigh etc.

    I’m tracking all my food including veggies In MCP. Sorry I don t mean to bother but I want to be accurate so I dont waste anytime :)!!

  64. Janelle - July 5, 2016

    Ok. I’m so confused lol! I’ve had my macros done but want to do turbo carb cycling. I read your book and have a copy of the carb cycle pdf (it doesn’t have exact measurements of food just basic portions). I’m confused because I’d like to know exactly how many macros per meal I should eat (this would help my brain). Also I don’t know how to adjust those to higher carb days? So far my macros are 175p 140c 47f; but that’s waaaay over he 1200 allotment on the pdf chart??? Can you help?

    • Team Powell - July 6, 2016

      Hi Janelle: Here are some macro recommendations for the Turbo Cycle: High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. And remember, each gram of protein or carb = 4 calories, and each gram of fat = 9 calories. Hope that helps – you can do this!

    • Janelle - July 6, 2016

      Thank you for responding so quickly. Another question. Do I base the percentages on 1200 calories (low carb day and 1500 (high carb day)?
      On high carb days, I dont add any fat to my meals except the fat that may be in the protein or carb sources correct?
      Thanks. I really want to do this correctly. I appreciate all your help 🙂

  65. Heather R - July 2, 2016

    Hello! Every time I see this picture of the chicken and veggies, I’m always curious how the chicken was cooked! I assume in a slow cooker, with salsa? Something else? It looks so yummy and I need to know! Thanks!

  66. Betti G - July 2, 2016

    Hi Team Powell,

    I just started my Turbo-carb cycle journey and I already made progress. Had my weight in this morning and I’ve been very happy to experience that carb cycling really makes a difference! 🙂
    The other day I accidentally ate too much fat instead of the 40% I saw that due to a few walnuts that I added the percentage was 74% instead. If something like that happens either with too many carbs consumed or too many fats in my case. What is the best thing to do? I could not find an answer in the book choose more, lose more and was hoping that you could help me what the best solution would be? I was thinking to skip a meal, but maybe that’s not the best solution. Iam looking forward hearing your advice. Thanks for your great work! 🙂 Best wishes, Betti

    • Team Powell - July 2, 2016

      Hi Betti: You’re doing awesome! If you ever have a little hiccup, just begin again the next day. These things happen, and it’s nothing to worry about! Just do your best, and you will be fine. 🙂

    • Betti G. - July 4, 2016

      It’s very helpful to know that I can just start again on the next day in such cases 🙂 thank you!

  67. Sheena - June 30, 2016

    I really want to hire your coach. I need to gain weight. Is 8 weeks enough to learn what I need or would I need to be prepared to buy her program for another 8 weeks after that? What is the best way to get in touch with her? She has not responded to my email or Instagram comment.

    • Team Powell - June 30, 2016

      Hi Sheena: Keep trying to get ahold of her, she might be busy, so please be patient. And we with you the best!

  68. Anna-Lena - June 29, 2016

    Hi Heidi ?
    I’ve a question about calories and how much to eat…. I’ve lost 19 lbs ( 9kg ) and I done it with eating less calories. About 1500-1200 and sometimes less. But now I’ve started training a lot…I train every day, but have one day I take it easy ( in a week). But I reached a plateau and my weight is not coming off although I train like a “madmen” ? and eating less…some days my training (I use a pulse watch) burn off more than I’m eating… One day my intake was 1500 but I trained off 1700… Should I raise my calories? Because it is starting to be so hard to eat little and train hard, or should I continue to eat 1200-1500 ? Also starting to feel tired and sooo hungry.. It is so hard in all this diet and calorie world…but I still need to loose about 18-19 lbs before I’m hitting my goal.
    Love Anna

    • Team Powell - June 30, 2016

      Hi Anna-Lena: The key to weight loss is to burn more calories during the day (through regular daily activities and working out) than you consume – to create a calorie deficit. You might find some tools you can add to what you’re already doing in Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, and you can learn about the nutrition part of it here: http://heidipowell.net/2713. On the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles, women eat 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days. On the new Extreme Cycle, you’ll eat about 1500 calories every day. Sometimes it’s the type of food, and when you’re eating that food, that can make a difference. Hope that helps!

  69. Carrie Lenihan - June 29, 2016

    I have studied and totally get the basics of Carb Cycling. Is there a formula for figuring out my Macros? I know 40/30/30 but it there a basic breakdown for carb cycling?

    • Team Powell - June 29, 2016

      Hi Carrie: Here are general macro recommendations for the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles: High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. For the new Extreme Cycle, there’s a “Create Your Own Meals” chart in this post: http://heidipowell.net/10617. Hope this helps! 🙂

  70. Alie Pickwell - June 28, 2016

    Hi, this post has been an eye opener!! I went and looked at the link to determine my macros and I get it, I eat too Much hidden sugar, but actually underway a lot. I never believed my trainer, but the facts speak for themselves. I’m super busy, so how do you meal plan and calculate to hit your macros?? Is their a website you can use to design a meal plan? Just to get me up and running?? The only way I can think of is put my food ideas into myfitnesspal, tweak until I meet my needs, write it down and cook! But their must be an easier way!! I’m a PhD student on a tight budget (uk economy is about to go tits up) who is active so I like to sort my weeks food on a Saturday. Could your tam point me in a direction to kick start my improved diet please?

    You guys rock. Keep on inspiring.

  71. Patty Peru - June 28, 2016

    Hi Heidi and team,

    Can you please help me figure out the correct amount I need for macro counting for weight loss. I need to loose 30 lbs and I tried so many other diets and when I’m done the weight comes back on so I am hoping with this method I can use for a lifetime and lifestyle change. It seems so difficult to me for some reason.

    • Team Powell - June 28, 2016

      Hi Patty: If you follow one of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, all of your macros are figured out for you! Learn more about the nutrition part of their program here: http://heidipowell.net/2713.

  72. Monica Dean - June 27, 2016

    So I am just starting carb cycling, as well want to track macros. I’m going with the turbo cycling, and for macro counting used the tracker Heidi recommended on on of the blog posts. In doing so, it adds 400 extra calories to my diet, and I adjusted to the 40/30/30 rule. So my question, how do you handle on the low carb days to meet 40% carb intake? Today, I only hit 26%, protein was right on, but I need to adjust my fat. Thanks in advance! I’ve done paleo on and off and found great results, but want to try something a bit less restrictive to avoid my inevitable binges.

    Thank you!

    • Team Powell - June 28, 2016

      Hi Monica: Chris and Heidi have figured out all of your macros for you in carb cycling (for both low and high carb meals) for the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles; however, if you’d like to count your own macros, here are some general recommendations: High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. Hope that helps – you can do this!

  73. Kannika - June 27, 2016

    I’m excited to try out carb cycling using the Extreme Transformation as my guide. I’m not a fan of the of cooking different meals for every meal but I appreciate the variety that was offered. Am I allowed to pick and choose/mix and match/interchange the high carb and low carb meals? I plan to cook in very large batches to get us through the week but want to keep it simple for our busy schedule.

  74. Savana - June 26, 2016

    I noticed that you have different macros for HC and LC days, which shows you do the carb cycle. I was wanting to do the Turbo Cycle and I’m wondering how you would reach 125 grams of carbs (55%) on your LC day when the only meal you get carbs on is breakfast. You may be doing something different which is probably why I’m confused but I was just curious. I’m new to counting macros and I’m just trying to understand and set something up for myself. Thanks for everything you do! You’ve been very motivational for me!

    • Team Powell - June 27, 2016

      Hi Savana: Heidi is following a different version of carb cycling to help her reach her current goals. For the Turbo Cycle, she and Chris recommend these percentages: High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%.
      I hope that helps – you can do this!

  75. Caitlyn - June 26, 2016

    Can you carb cycle while on a reverse diet? Or should you wait until you reach maintenance calories before starting cycling?

    • Team Powell - June 26, 2016

      Hi Caitlyn: You can carb cycle for weight loss, maintenance, or healthy weight gain!

  76. Maggie - June 25, 2016

    Every macro calculator I put my number into, gives me totally different results. Any other suggestions besides my fitnesspal? I just want to start but get the best numbers I can.

  77. Theresa - June 25, 2016

    You are beautiful inside and out. I just don’t know how you keep strong. Got the 21 day book, but there’s just no light. I’ve loved watching the show. Thinking I wish I could do that. I’m just so tired of so much. Only so many directions one can go at once.

    • Team Powell - June 25, 2016

      Hi Theresa: It really is about taking those baby steps one after the other! Step #1: Make and keep that first small promise to yourself today. Here’s a refresher course on promises: http://heidipowell.net/8679. You can do this!

  78. rusty - June 24, 2016

    Hi im rusty have spina-bifida and aproximately 260 lbs , need how doi get on extreme weight loss

    • Team Powell - June 25, 2016

      Hi Rusty: Casting for “Extreme Weight Loss” is currently closed, but you can begin your transformation journey today with the same program Chris and Heidi use on the show! You can learn about their carb cycling program here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And be sure and discuss this program with your healthcare team first and then follow any modifications they might recommend. You can do this!

  79. Tatiana - June 24, 2016

    A huge thank you to the team for your fast response!! Thank you very very much!!!!
    Tatiana

  80. Tatiana - June 24, 2016

    Hello again from Greece,

    Is the slingshot week that Chris talks about in ‘choose to lose’ the same fir all carb cycling programes?? Would I be doing a slingshot week in the extreme cycle after the 21 days? Or do I keep doing the cycle until I hit a plateau and only then do I do the slingshot week????

    • Team Powell - June 24, 2016

      Hi Tatiana: Yes, you do a slingshot week for all carb cycles. 🙂

  81. Laurie - June 23, 2016

    Help me Team Powell. Please? ?

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Laurie: If you’re wanting help with weight loss, here’s a post that outlines Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And be sure and follow all the links within the post too. You can do this! 🙂

  82. Christine - June 23, 2016

    So I’ve calculated my macro goals based on the calculator. How do I go about adjusting these for high carb vs low carb days?

    • Marci - June 24, 2016

      I Would love to know this too please.

    • Nicoll - June 24, 2016

      I have been wondering the same thing! I was also wondering… is the carb intake percentage that is given to be used for high carb days or is that just a baseline? I eat a Paleo diet due to a lot of digestive issues and find it is hard to get in the necessary amounts of carbs and protein since I do not eat grains or dairy. I love the convenience of protein powder as a quick add in but most protein powders are full of chemicals and contain dairy =(. I hate the thought of processed anything and am wondering besides fruit and sweet potatoes what other good carb options do I have that do not involve grains or legumes? Thank you!!!

  83. Cynthia - June 23, 2016

    Love this post ! I am currently 36 weeks pregnant and I’ve been crossfitting throughout my pregnancy but I’m so anxious to get back in the gym and up my muscle mass as soon as I’m cleared . Counting macros has always been in the back of my mind, but I was wondering if it is safe to do while breastfeeding?

  84. Roxy loop - June 23, 2016

    Hiedi, Help!!! I’m pretty much going insane with the dieting yoyo, and while I have lost 75 pounds I still have 56 to go. I’m so tired off counting calories, counting carbs, using special containers, special drinks and pills uuugggh! I need a more sustainable program. Where do I begin with something healthy.
    Help please!!!

  85. Curran - June 23, 2016

    Hi Heidi. Thanks so much for all of your information for health. It’s so “health-ful” – Ha! Quick question…..the MACRO calculator you recommended shows 1796 calories for me (187C, 149P and 50F). How would this work with Carb Cycling (Easy…for now)? Would I do 1796 on HC days and (?) on LC days? How would I determine the connection between counting MACROS and HC/LC requirements? Thanks so much!

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Curran: If you’re doing the Easy Cycle, Chris and Heidi have figured out all your macros for you. On this cycle, women eat 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days. Men eat 1500 calories on low carb days and 2000 calories on high carb days. Here are the percentage breakdowns for this cycle: High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. And you can also follow the portion size guide (there’s one in this post for your convenience: http://heidipowell.net/4514). Hope that helps – you can do this!

  86. Ashley - June 23, 2016

    Can you point me the right direction for calculating my macro needs. I have used iifym calculators online and they all give me something different and have drastically different carbs and fat ratio suggestions.

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Ashley: Heidi did add a link to a macro calculator in this post. If you’d like to find out the best macro counts for you and your goals, a macro coach would probably be your best option. We wish you the best!

  87. Cathy M. - June 23, 2016

    Hi Heidi, I like following the 2 low carb days followed by 1 high carb day, I skip the cheat day. I was looking at the ewl club. Is the type of cycle I am following supported in the plans offered in the club? Are there workout videos I can follow along with each day or are they only instructional in nature? I want an easy eating and exercise plan that I can just follow without a lot of thought 🙂 Please let me know. Thanks!

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Cathy: EWL Club follows the Easy Cycle (http://heidipowell.net/2715/carb-cycling-the-easy-cycle/), which is a bit different than what you’re doing. And the 9-Minute Mission videos are for instructional purposes where Chris and Heidi explain the mission for that day and then demonstrate how to correctly do the movements. I hope that helps!

  88. jackie - June 23, 2016

    I did not see how to sign up for macro diet planning. I see that the pro physiques offer personal training along with the diet planning.
    I live in Colorado and I am very interested in the Macro tracking.
    Thanks,
    Jackie

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Jackie: I believe that Pro Physiques will work with you at a distance, and I’m sure they’d be happy to answer any questions you many have. We wish you the best!

  89. Brooke - June 23, 2016

    Hello!

    When you went to a higher carb diet, did you slowly increase your carbs to that amount or go all in at once? Also, on low carb days, do you want to still be eating the same amount of calories just with a different macro breakdown or is it key to have a lower caloric intake on low carb days? I hope I am explaining that correctly 🙂

    Thank you!

  90. Tori - June 23, 2016

    Do you count your macros per meal or per day?

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Tori: You count them per meal, and then subtract them from your daily total that you’re aiming for. 🙂

  91. Laetitia - June 23, 2016

    I’m on low carbs diet for 5 months now. Do I have to make a transition to go with your macro counting and carb cycling ?

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Laetitia: You can check out the nutrition part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program here: http://heidipowell.net/2713. It should answer any questions you have – it’s full of lots of great information!

  92. Kim - June 23, 2016

    Hi. I see many people on macro diets showing what they eat and it’s usually so much sugar like donuts, poptarts, cookies Etc. That can’t be a healthy way to eat even if it fits into your macros for the day, right?

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Kim: It’s not about filling your day with “junk” foods, but it’s about eating healthy foods and allowing for those “real life” moments that always seem to come up like Heidi talks about in the post. 🙂

  93. Tatiana G - June 23, 2016

    Hi Heidi,
    Thank you for your post it did shed some light into this Macro confusion of mine. Forgive if the question will sound stupid but you mentioned the oats you eat and the equivalent percentages of carb fat and protein but how many grams oats yield those percentages?? I have always had trouble with quantity and while doing chose to lose for 7 months I must have been doing it the wrong way because I didn’t lose as much weight as I was hoping HOWEVER I will say that itnwas he only “diet” regime that had me in a perfect mental state of mind, never feeling deprived, sleeping better, better skin, better energy both physical and mental and better everything really. I made the mistake to give it up a few months ago and I am runnng back in circles again so it’s been a week that I am back on it and already feeling better but I would love to combine it with the macro counting concept so that I also see significant weight loss ( 15kg is the goal) .

    Thank you to anyone who reads this rant and apologies in advance:)

    Tatiana from Greece

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Tatiana: I’m not exactly sure how much oatmeal Heidi’s talking about, or how many berries she added, but based on her macro count for the meal, it’s around 3/4 cup cooked. Here are some macro percentages for the Classic Cycle (in “Choose to Lose”) that should be helpful: High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. Hope that helps!

    • Angel Wulff - June 25, 2016

      Hi if I am on the turbo cycle what are my macros suppose to be? Thanks

    • Team Powell - June 26, 2016

      Hi Angel: Here are some general macro recommendations: High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. Hope that helps!

  94. Ida - June 23, 2016

    Hi!
    Great post! Well needed to say the least ;).
    I was thinking about IIFYM and if it means you don’t have “set” macros only a number of daily calorie intake which basically means you can fit anything? Or do you have specific macros to hit every day?

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Ida: You can do it either way. You can have a set number for each day, or you can carb cycle like Chris and Heidi do where you have different macros for high carb days and low carb days. 🙂

  95. Patricia - June 23, 2016

    I have a question about the turkey. Can you use the Healthiest hamburger meat as the same as turkey. I’ve compared to fat,calories cholesterol n it all seems to add up to be the same. No One n I mean No One has answered this question for me. What the turkey n not the beef n it’s the same in health. Thank you so much for this very long awaited question.

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Yes! As long as the macros are the same or very similar, you’re good to go!

  96. Kendra Cundick - June 22, 2016

    Love this!!

  97. Cheryl - June 22, 2016

    Thanks Heidi , I am a 53 year young woman who has recently ( in the last 2 years) gained approx 24 pounds . Menopause is a you know what! I have always been an active person , working out several times a week. I’ve recently started yoga and doing the bike at the gym. I have back issues so some things I used to be able to do are just not in the cards for me anymore. What my question foryou is… Does carb cycling and macro counting work for someone my age and having been through menopause? I feel like nothing is working for me any more, and I eat pretty healthy most of the days!!!
    Very frustrated !! Help!

  98. Kaela - June 22, 2016

    Hi Hiedi!
    I love your new book and was reading through the recipes. Is there anything you recommend as a replacement if you are dairy free? Thanks!

    • Elise - June 23, 2016

      Yes I’d like to know that too x

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Kaela: There are many food options that are dairy free, and here’s a post that talks about how to do meal planning on the Extreme Cycle to fit your schedule and dietary needs: http://heidipowell.net/10617. 🙂

  99. Kate - June 22, 2016

    I don’t see veggies

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2016

      Hi Kate: Veggies are awesome! They are full of nutrients, as well as carbs and some protein, depending on the veggie. In Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, veggies have their very own category, and since they’re pretty much “free” foods (the non-starchy/non-root type), they’re a great addition to every meal. And I can assure you, Chris and Heidi eat a lot of veggies!

  100. Liba - June 22, 2016

    Thanks Heidi for sharing this eye opening post! For some odd reason up until now I thought that macros is the same thing as calories! Wow! I can’t believe I didn’t know it’s 2 diff things! I’m def going to look into your macro coach. Can’t wait to get started! Xo

  101. Jill - June 22, 2016

    Love this post Heidi! I to absolutely love macro counting. I can’t wait to hear more about it from you in the future! We met at FitCon in Utah, and you and Chris are just plain awesome! Xoxo

  102. Karen - June 22, 2016

    Very interesting. I feel like I’ve tried everything and nothing works. I’m going to try this 🙂

  103. Tara Welling - June 22, 2016

    Heidi,

    My name is Tara Welling and I am a professional distance runner for Skechers Performance and will be running in the Olympic Trials on July 2 as a favorite for Rio. That being said, I am a cardio addict, foodie, and love a healthy lifestyle. I have also struggled with an eating disorder, as runners are “supposed” to be skinny an lean. I am interested in learning about macros and how you have developed a healthy relationship with food. P.S I was only raised in Tucson and love seeing pics of Arizona ??

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