Eating with Macros: A Day in the Life

Ever since my posts about my macros started months back, the questions started coming. Then after answering a few questions and posting about my macro lifestyle (yes, I said “lifestyle,” NOT “diet”), the questions actually started pouring in! Among all of the requests, the most common was for a visual example of exactly what a day-in-the-life looks like. HOW do I (and you) actually translate the principles of this way of eating into what to eat.

I was asked to do a news segment on the topic for a local station and figured what better way to teach than to show EXACTLY what my foods look like. Since I Facebook LIVEd the segment, you all can watch it too. Yay…love technology. Click HERE if you want to watch. It’s long (but super cute because Cash came along to help out!)…so if you don’t want to watch, and you want the full breakdown of what and how-to, just keep reading…

HP_Cash_GMAZ_0716opt

So, we’ve already covered the basics of the macros way of eating in my previous post. Click HERE if you’d like to read it. But just to quickly recap before we get to the “meat and potatoes” of the post (pun intended), let’s talk about what a Macro Diet is. Well, it’s not really a DIET, per se, but it’s the best way to fine tune a diet for your own wants and needs. I STILL carb cycle, Chris STILL carb cycles, but we’ve actually taken carb cycling to another level by tracking our daily macronutrient intake while carb cycling.

The plain and simple of it is that it is NOT “clean eating,” but it’s not “unclean eating” either. Clean eating diets require you ONLY eat foods on the “healthy” list and deprivation is the name of the game. This is hard for most people to follow, myself included. The idea behind a macro-based plan, however, is that no foods are off-limits, but instead we track our proteins, carbs, and fats for each day until we reach our goal macronutrient numbers. So if I want a donut, I eat a donut. But I am aware (thanks to MyFitnessPal) of the exact macronutrient breakdown of that donut (high fat and carb content) and plan accordingly for the rest of my day.

This begs the question, “Is this easier or harder than clean eating?” While the food part is easier (because c’mon…allowing yourself pizza every now and then is MUCH easier than saying you can never eat it again), the actual calculating part is harder and much more tedious. I happen to love math, and I love treats…so this is a (marshmallow) dream (bar) come true for me. If you aren’t too keen on math—like Chris—there are many apps out there that can help you out. AND…I promise, practice makes perfect! Keep trying and you WILL get the hang of it!

Alright, so on to my sample day. This particular day’s goal for me is 120g protein, 250g carbohydrate, and 50g fat. While this happens to be my lower carb day, it actually has wonderfully balanced macros for the average person (about 50% carb, 25% protein, 25% fat). I’m not saying this is right for you, just giving an example. I’ll share info at the bottom of this post on how you can calculate your own macronutrient needs, but here’s a little breakdown of exactly what one of my recent days looked like.

Meal 1 (every single day for me, no joke) consists of a protein shake (1 scoop) and a Marshmallow Dream Bar. Starbucks should send me free MDBs for life with all the promo I give them. 😉 Ha!

HP_ShakeDreamBaropt

This meal contains 25g protein, 49g carb, 5g fat. Soooo, let’s do some math here and subtract those macros from my macros that I started with—remember, they were 120g P, 250g C, and 50g F. After meal 1, I have 95g P, 201g C, and 45g F left in my macro bank. You follow how I am doing that? Easy!

Okay, now on to meal 2. A few hours later I am eating 5.3 ounces nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup of strawberries, topped with 1/4 cup of THE best low-fat granola by KIND (Banana Nut Clusters).

HP_MacrosGranolaopt

This meal has 18g P, 37g C, and 2g F. Back to math class here…subtracting these numbers from my macro bank means I now have 77g P, 164g C, and 43g F left over for the rest of the day.

Next up, one of my favorite convenience meals—1 cup of brown rice pasta with 3 ounces extra-lean ground turkey, 1/4 cup marinara, and 1 1/2 cups of steamed broccoli to keep me full. This meal is SO easy to make if you have the brown rice pasta and ground turkey meal prepped in advance like we like to do.

HP_MacrosPastaopt

My pasta perfection has 26g P, 52g C, and 3g F. Macro bank, after subtracting these numbers, is now at 51g P, 112g C, and 40g F.

Early afternoon, I will eat some more meat and veggies—this time with rice—to keep my hunger minimized and my blood sugar levels stable. This meal is 3 1/2 ounces grilled chicken, 1/2 cup jasmine rice, 1 ounce teriyaki sauce, and some mixed veggies.

HP_MacrosChickenopt

This meal has 25g P, 34g C, and 3g F. After mowing this down in 3 seconds flat (okay, I’m not that fast), I have 26g P, 78g C, and 37g F left for the day.

Now you will notice I have been going super low fat for most of the day. Yes, I am aware of this…and this isn’t THE way to do macro-counting, this is MY way of doing it. I do this because I want to bank my fats and a decent amount of carbs for my last meal of the day. I know that by saving these macros for night, I can enjoy a perfectly-calculated, on-plan indulgence meal.

And my indulgence meal is….gluten-free, peanut butter-topped Eggo waffles. Yes…I am serious. The kid in me will never go away. I legit lick every. single. spot… off of this plate.

HP_MacrosWafflesopt

To be exact, this meal consists of 3 gluten-free Eggo waffles, 3 tablespoons all-natural chunky peanut butter, 1/8 cup pure maple syrup, and 1 low fat mozzarella string cheese. Macros for the heaven-on-a-plate are 26g P, 78g C, and 37g F…which is EXACTLY what my macro bank had left!! Bingo, bango, bongo, baby. To summarize, I’ve put it all in one handy dandy printable graphic for you:HeidiMacrosBLOGopt

Now in full transparency, I rarely finish a day spot on. This happened to work out perfectly, but usually I am 1 gram over or under on each of the macros. Give it a try and be patient with yourself. I remember at the beginning I would literally be OVER my carb allowance by noon…because I still hadn’t figured out the balance and proper way to divvy up my macros. Over time, I feel like I’ve become a macro queen, and you can too!

Now about that macro calculator for those of you who would like to get nerdy with me and start calculating macros…and eating peanut butter waffles at night. 😉 This is the macro calculator I’ve been directing people to (click HERE), but also, my good friend, Cori Baker, just released a macro calculator on her site that you may want to check out. Check it out HERE.

Now that I’ve made us all hungry, let’s end this blog now and go eat some delicious, nutritious, and possibly-indulgent macros.

Hugs and (chocolate) kisses,

Heidi

Related reading:

Macro Tracking for the Win! All of Your Questions Answered
Carb Cycling 101
Heidi-Approved (& Macro-Friendly) Fast Food Picks
It Really Is All About the Promise

And click HERE for the GMAZ Facebook Live Segment in case you missed it above. 😉


184 Comments

  1. Se - June 30, 2017

    Hi,

    I’m new to “tracking macros”, so I have to say THANK YOU, a LOT, for showing this, now I getting to know how does this thing about macros works. I’ve been using MFP app since 2 months ago. I’m eating 3 meals a day (well, I guess 4 because I take a little snack after my workout) but my BIGGEST confusion is: Do I need to eat the same amount of carbs-protein-fat grams in every meal? or I can consume more grams of these, for example, in my breakfast? and less in the dinner, and so on, etc…? I weight 143, I’m 27 yo, my height is 5’4, and I want to lose 20 pounds, I’ve been eating well since 2 months and a half, (I’ve lost 11 pounds) and I’ve been working out (cardio+strength) for 3 weeks now, 6 days a week, 90 minutes or so in total. I’ve been consuming 1,200 calories, but since I’m not sure I’ve been doing “researches” about macros and I’ve been changing them (like 4 times). Today I changed them into 137gr carbs- 106gr protein- 27 gr fat and added 20 extra calories to my calories deficit. I feel that I don’t really want to complicate about all this, I just want to lose weight, burn fat and have a lean body. Today I weighted myself (do it every week) but I did not lose even a pound, but I look thinner, I think it is because I have gained muscles (maybe because of the strength workouts 3 times a week) but the THING is that I really want to lower the numbers in my scale. Hope you can help e with the macros distribution, plus some advice, I’d really APPRECIATE IT. Thanks for reading me.

    Hope you can HELP me!

    • Team Powell - June 30, 2017

      Hi Se: Congrats on losing 11 pounds – that’s awesome! It sounds like you’re definitely on the right track to achieve your goals. There’s an awesome macros calculator in this post, and it can help you figure out your macro numbers: http://heidipowell.net/10990. As far as spreading your macros out throughout your day, you can do that in whatever way fits best, and you don’t have to split them evenly between each meal. And Chris and Heidi’s new app, Transform with Chris and Heidi (http://thetransformapp.com) can figure out your numbers for you, as well as offer a totally customized nutrition and workout program (and you can do your own workout program too). And your plan will change as you progress towards your goals also, so you don’t have to figure out anything! Your first week is free if you want to check it out. If not, check out the macros calculator in the post link I shared, and go from there. You can do this! 🙂

  2. Liz - March 22, 2017

    Hey team Powell
    I’ve been macro counting for the pat 3 weeks now! Loving it!!
    I do however struggle to meet my protein amount everyday.
    I’m training 4 times a week at the moment and I am slowly starting to feel the strain on my body for not eating enough protein. You know we’re not 26 anymore!!(almost 37!🙈)
    I want to know if and when I can use Protein Casein. I read it’s better to use in between meals and before bed as to Whei protein that should be taking after training.
    Any advice or suggestions would be great!
    Thanks

    • Team Powell - March 23, 2017

      Hi Liz: You can use whichever protein powders you like. In general, Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, low-carb powders with around 20 grams of protein/serving, but again, use what you like that will help you get that protein. 🙂

  3. Stephany - March 18, 2017

    Hi Heidi!

    What marinara sauce do you recommend?

    Thanks so much!

  4. Emily - March 12, 2017

    Hello I have been doing the extreme and then I contacted pro physiques to calculate my macros. I’m confused because she has my fat and protein staying the same every day and just rotates my carbs up and down between 120 low carb days and 190 high carb days. I gained a lb this week and I’m logging everything in my fitness pal. Does this sound right to only switch carbs. I paid for the workouts and the nutrition part.

    • Team Powell - March 13, 2017

      Hi Emily: If you’re working with Pro Physiques, I’d follow their numbers since they’ve based them on you, your body composition, your workout routine, and your goals. You can do this! 🙂

    • emily - March 18, 2017

      I gained 2 lbs this week. Do you think this seems like a lot of carbs? I don’t think 120 carbs a day is low carb.

    • Team Powell - March 18, 2017

      Hi Emily: Did you get this carb number from the macros calculator? Your daily macro recommendations are based on your goals and body composition, and if you did use the calculator, please remember that it is a bit more generalized than if you were working with a macros coach who would base your recommendations specifically on your body composition, your workout schedule (day-to-day including intensity and duration), and some other factors unique to you. I hope that makes sense, and I hope this answers your question. If not, please reply! 🙂

    • emily - March 18, 2017

      I got the macros from the pro physiques trainer. I’m not sure if it just takes a while for your body to adjust to eating more carbs or what I have going on, but I have been on a steady gain since I started adding carbs in. I have been a low carb eater for several years. I’m just confused about the carb cycling I think because in the book it suggest only carbs for breakfast 2 days a week and the rest of the day just fat and protein on your low carb days. Then when you start doing the macro counting it’s a lot more carbs on the low carb days. I’m just trying to figure out if I should keep on this program or go with a lower carb high fat diet. I always get my protein in. That’s never a problem. It is just this crazy carb business and gaining weight that I’m concerned about.

    • Team Powell - March 20, 2017

      Hi Emily: I’d suggest you discuss your concerns with your Pro Physiques trainer and go from there. And remember, like you said, it can take your body a bit of time to adjust to a new way of doing things, especially if you’ve been on low carbs for that long. I hope you can find the answers you’re seeking!

  5. Aalyhia - March 7, 2017

    Heidi, I used the calculator that you suggested and it says that I should be taking in 1,798 calories, 126 protein, and 50 fat per day. I am about to start the Turbo Carb Cycle from the book. Should I be implementing these numbers into that cycle or stick to the 1500 on the high days and 1200 on the low days? x, Aalyhia

    • Team Powell - March 8, 2017

      Hi Aalyhia: If you’re going to follow any of our carb cycles, your macros are all figured out for you. You just have to follow the program, so stick to the 1200 cals on low carb days and 1500 cals on high carb days. You can totally do this!

  6. Elida buendia - March 7, 2017

    Hey where can I get recipes with macro counts because I though the book will give you the macros counts

    • Team Powell - March 8, 2017

      Hi Elida: If you’re talking about “Extreme Transformation,” all of the macros are included with each recipe. All of the recipes on this blog also have the macro counts. 🙂

  7. Brittany - February 27, 2017

    Hi, I’m starting to carb cycle and trying to figure out what my high and low day should be? I have my everyday macros, but how do I know what high carb days should be and low carb days?

    • Team Powell - February 27, 2017

      Hi Brittany: If you’re following any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, everything is figured out for you. If not, then we’d suggest you work with a macros coach since what will work best for you is based on some very individual things with carb cycling. 🙂

  8. Amy Clark - February 22, 2017

    This has been a God-send for me! For a planner and organizer this way of eating is awesome!
    One question I have is in regards to sugars for the day. I have heard and read that sugars should be kept to 50 g or lower. With eating fruit, how do you keep that below 50 g? Is this even a “true” statement?

    • Team Powell - February 23, 2017

      Hi Amy: Yes, this is a solid recommendation. You can incorporate fruit and other healthy carbs into your day to hit that number. It does take some planning, but it can be done. 🙂

  9. Amanda - February 22, 2017

    Any recommendations on a macro coach?

  10. Ashley Yeager - February 21, 2017

    Hi there! I’ve been on the macro lifestyle for about 11 months. It’s probably the most affective plan I have ever been on. I have been able to stay under or at my goal weight the whole time. Even through the holidays. My question is how long is it safe to stay on a 3500 calorie plan? My weight fluctuates 2-4 pounds every once in a while but my body doesn’t look as good as it did in the beginning. I’m also starting to feel physically tired and my muscles kind of feel fatigued a lot. I work out 4 days a week. I do a mixture of cardio and weight training and my sessions last about an hour. I’m a massage therapist 5 days a week and I do about 3-4 clients a day. I’m still I. The “lose weight” option on my macro count. Should I be switching to the “maintain weight” macro count? If I switch then my app will want me to eat more and I’m just afraid I’ll start to gain fat. 🙁

    • Team Powell - February 21, 2017

      Hi Ashley: Since macro tracking is a very individual thing based on your body composition, workout routine, goals, etc., you might want to talk to a macros coach who can help you put together a plan going forward to help you achieve your specific goals. Sometimes, the smallest tweaks can make all the difference! If a macro coach isn’t in the cards, you might want to try switching to maintenance and see how it goes. We wish you all the best!

  11. Stacy Martin - February 8, 2017

    What program did you follow when you were pregnant? I’m 19 weeks and have followed 80% paleo diet for a few years but seem to be gaining more weight with my second pregnancy. Any guidance, suggestions are appreciated 🙂

  12. Susan - January 31, 2017

    I just started Extreme Transformation yesterday and I woke up feeling great today! I’m wondering how hard and fast the three-hour rule is? With my current job in retail sales I find it difficult to eat every three hours plus my break is only 15 minutes long. Any advice would be appreciated!

  13. Liza - January 29, 2017

    Hi Heidi.. Thanks for guiding on how to track macros..was really helpful.
    Do you consume the protein shake in the morning before the workout or after??

    • Team Powell - January 30, 2017

      Hi Liza: Heidi usually consumes 1/2 her protein shake before her workout and then 1/2 after. You can do whatever works best for you, and here’s a post that might help: http://heidipowell.net/9194. 🙂

  14. Victoria - January 29, 2017

    Hi there – can I ask about sugar? I am making an effort to cut down and this looks like at least 50g of sugar – what is the Powell view on the amount of sugar we should be consuming?
    Thanks

  15. Courtney - January 27, 2017

    I have a question about tracking macros…. When it comes to tracking “bread” let’s say….. It says it contains 16g carbs, 3.5g fat, 2g protein for 1 slice. Do I subtract all those numbers from my daily allowed total? Same with plain Greek yogurt… It contains 18g P, 6gC, 0gF… Do I subtract the 6gC from my daily alloted amount?

    Thanks
    Courtney

    • Team Powell - January 27, 2017

      Yes! You’ll subtract any macros you eat (protein, carbs, and fats) from your daily macros total. 🙂

  16. Alie Pickwell - January 14, 2017

    Possibly a silly question here. I have made the effort this new year to take better care of myself. So i’ve started by consuming 1200 calories a day and also tracking my macros. I’m using my fitness pal for this. This week i have stuck to my targets and exercised 5 days out of 6 (mostly cardio – seeing a trainer next week for a weights program) and depsite this i’ve gained half a kilo. But i’ve realised that my net calorie intake is between 350-700 calories. So am i gaining weight because i’m not eating enough even though i take in 1200 a day. IS that possible??

    • Team Powell - January 16, 2017

      Hi Alie: It sounds like you’re on the right track! To lose weight, you need to have a calorie deficit – you burn more calories during the day than you consume. So if you consume 1200 calories a day, then you’ll need to burn more than that through your daily activities. Chris and Heidi do recommend that women not go below 1200 calories a day also. One thing: Sometimes MFP adds back in any calories you burn through exercise, which is definitely not something you want, so I’d keep an eye on that also. You can do this!

    • Brooke - January 23, 2017

      I had the same problem! I lost weight the first two weeks on 1200 calories and then starting gaining even though my meals and workouts were spot on. So I treated myself with pizza and cake and the next day I had actually lost a pound. So it’s definitely because you’re not giving your body enough calories. I upped my calories to 1600 on days I was weight training and kept it at 1200-1300 on pure cardio days and now I’m consistently losing. I hope that helps! I’m not Heidi Powell but it seems to work for me:)

  17. christine reyes - January 13, 2017

    so when following a a macro plan & doing carb cycling – do i add my daily macros for the week to get a total and on carb cycle days the total end would end up the same? i am confused.
    sample daily carb goals 220 – 220 X 7 = 1540 a week –
    carb cyle MOn- 250 carb Tues 100 carb Wed 280 c Thur 220 carb Friday 100 carb , etcc.. would i add all and divode by 7 and the total should still be 1540 carbs a week?

    simple: how do you carb cyle when following macros? please please help. thank you!

    • Team Powell - January 14, 2017

      Hi Christine: Since it is more difficult to figure out a weekly carb cycle using the general macro calculators, it’s best to work with a macros coach who can put a plan in place based on your current body composition, workout routine, and goals that will work best for you and that can be modified as necessary. If you’re following one of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling plans (http://heidipowell.net/2713), all of your macros for both low and high carb days are figured out for you. Hope that helps!

  18. Kara - January 5, 2017

    I was wondering when you normally workout on a typical day with this macro breakdown. I struggle knowing when to have my carbs and if I should time them according to my workouts. Thank you for all your help!

  19. Christin - December 26, 2016

    What protein powder do you recommend that doesn’t taste too bad? I am a chocolate fan! Thank you guys for what you do! I loved your show and still watch the reruns! It inspires me! I just don’t know where to start!

  20. Jessica Swiatek - November 13, 2016

    When I count my macros on my fitness pal, should I log my workout too? Or will that mess with the numbers?

    • Team Powell - November 13, 2016

      Hi Jessica: That’s totally up to you. One thing to keep in mind is that some trackers add back in the calories you burn through exercise, and you don’t want that to happen. 🙂

  21. Ruth - November 9, 2016

    Hi,
    Can you please tell me if I am macro counting as well as carb cycling, do I still keep my dinners low/no carb? Or, can I spread my macros during the entire course of the day as long as I am meeting my counts.

    • Team Powell - November 9, 2016

      Hi Ruth: If you’re following any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, here are the recommended macro percentages for each meal: 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%. If you’re not following one of their carb cycles, it’s best to work with a macros coach who can help you put a program together for you based on your body composition, goals, and workout routine. There’s a link to Heidi’s macro coach in this post. 🙂

  22. Elizabeth - November 3, 2016

    Is your shake water and protein powder? Or almond milk?

    • Team Powell - November 3, 2016

      Hi Elizabeth: Most of the time Heidi’s shakes are made with water, but she does use unsweetened almond milk sometimes. 🙂

  23. Michelle - October 29, 2016

    I’ve ready all of you and Chris’ books, and they have helped me tremendously in getting healthy and fit. I tried every diet from weight watchers to Atkins and beyond and would only have temporary results and be miserable. I have been counting macros and carb cycling for and am down 14 lbs and 27 inches!! I also participated in your summer slim down on dietBet. Thank you, and Chris, for being so motivating and sharing so much knowledge with us!

  24. Roseanne - October 29, 2016

    I’m always confused on how to keep track. I work out daily but my eating is still off and am confused on macros, carbs good carbs, bad carbs. But I love these blogs, I read to keep learning more

  25. Courtney Dale - October 29, 2016

    I’m so on board for gluten free waffles and Pb for dinner;) love this post thank you for really breaking it down!

  26. Rachel Chinn - October 28, 2016

    Thank you for this macros have always been confusing for me but this made so much sense! Thanks for breaking it down this way!

  27. Jenny Jesse - October 28, 2016

    This is the best article I have found and read on macros. It makes sense now!! I used to look at macros as if it were greek. Thanks!

  28. Cindy - October 28, 2016

    I discovered macro eating a couple years ago and it has totally changed my life. Growing up I was a twin; my twin sister has always been very petite and I was heavy in high school. As kids can be cruel I was made fun of a lot. After high school I found a true passion for fitness and health in general. Now 30, with 2 kids 2 and under I have maintained a healthy weight by watching macros. Prior to learning about macros I did clean eating and always punished my self for “splurging” macro counting is such a more realistic lifestyle! I love this blog! #freembdforlife!

    • Roseanne - October 29, 2016

      Hi, I’m a twin too but it’s opposite for us but I still get confused on the macros. How or what is the best way to learn?

  29. Steph - October 28, 2016

    I’m a big supporter of Macros! I started tracking macros early this year and got into the best shape I’ve been in. I’m almost 20 weeks pregnant with baby boy#3 and have loosely tracked macros this whole time (but hey, food aversions are real, and omg, shredded chicken made me want to gag the first trimester, so I did the best I could do!). Love macros and it’s one reason I follow you on instagram.

  30. Brittany - October 28, 2016

    I love this post. I also like how you show what you eat all day. It’s hard to be consistent with food. I get bored or there are too many ingredients so I get overwhelmed

  31. Katie - October 28, 2016

    This is awesome! Much more realistic! I have done meal plans before, much harder! I feel like this is easier to do because you aren’t binging on things later, or starving! I will have to try this! I follow cori too, I’ll check out her calculator too! Thanks for your examples! They’ve really helped me!

  32. Bryanna Harris - October 28, 2016

    Thank you for always being transparent!!!! I love all the tips and simply-making it easy!!! I love the waffles for dinner-we do that sometimes too!!!

  33. Grace - October 28, 2016

    This was helpful! I have been counting my macros for 2 weeks now. I try to be strict but tend to have a hard time staying under my fat percentage. I feel really good eating this way but have not lost any weight. Guess I will keep pressing on!

  34. Kelly Flygare - October 28, 2016

    Thanks for always having great info

  35. Amy Longpre - October 28, 2016

    I love the easy break down you gave in this blog, Heidi! I’ve been struggling with my weight the past three years since having my third baby. Thank you for being such a great inspiration!

  36. CASI Stauffer - October 28, 2016

    Hey is Casi Stauffer! My husband and I have tried every fad there is when it comes to dieting! Now that we have been coached on macros I finally feel like this can be my lifestyle! I feel like I eat SO MUCH FOOD! and I’m still dropping weight! I love how much you and Chris talk about macros and help people learn about nutrition! It’s always fun to look at your recipes and try them for ourselves.

  37. Dominika - October 22, 2016

    Hi 🙂 My name is Dominika and I am 19 years old, 175cm tall and 75kg heavy university student. I have always been a girl who struggled with weight and appearance and tried to loose weight over and over again. 2 years ago i lost 10kilos by low-carb diet and weight-training. But i gained it back in the previous two years. My problem is definetely binging and eating properly. I really love weight training and do not have problems with kardio. ( now i am trying to weight train 4x a week and do cardio 2x 40mins a week). I would like to start with carb cycling, but i think that this non-macro tracking measurement is not for me… What macro intake would you suggest to me in low-carb and high-carb days and with which carb-cycling program should i start? 🙂 Thank you sooo much in advance! :)))))

    • Team Powell - October 22, 2016

      Hi Dominika: If you’re going to follow any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, (and I’d recommend starting with the Extreme Cycle), here are the macro percentages to aim for: 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%. If you’re going to follow a different plan, then it’s best to work with a macro coach who can help you figure out what will work best for you. 🙂

  38. Martina Stefani - October 21, 2016

    HI! Thanks for all your really good suggestions. I have been trying the macro counting for one week and I still do not everything right (my daily balance is often not right) but I think this will come with time. My biggest issue is getting the proteins in. I do not eat meat and I have no clue what I can eat instead! I do eat tofu, but not every day and not at every meal. The same is for fish. I do not really now what to eat which is protein rich and low in fat for high carb days! thank you for any suggestion!

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2016

      Hi Martina: If you eat eggs, these are a great form of protein. Nonfat/low fat Greek yogurts and cottage cheeses can also be an option, as well as tempeh, and bean and soy proteins. One key to getting enough protein is to have a protein with every meal, and Chris and Heidi recommend eating 5 meals, spaced every 3 hours, every day. You can do this!

  39. Jude - October 17, 2016

    Ok so following the turbo plan. A lovely friend gave me a huge box of organic beets. How do I count those? As Carbs I am guessing. I want to spiralize them. But also roasting some.

    • Team Powell - October 17, 2016

      Hi Jude: Yes, beets would be counted as carbs. Enjoy! 🙂

  40. Brittany Williams - October 5, 2016

    I do not understand at all what to with the percentages that I have seen with the cycles. I know my daily calorie intake because of the calculator that Heidi suggested but I do not understand how to put all those numbers together for high and low carb days. I do not know how to use the percentages to figure out my meals. My calorie goal is 2177.

    • Team Powell - October 5, 2016

      Hi Brittany: If you’re following one of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, here are the recommended macro percentages for all meals: 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%. To convert percentages to grams of macros, each gram of fat = 9 calories, and each gram of protein or carb = 4 calories. So to figure out your fat grams, for example, you’ll take the calories x fat% / 9 = grams of fat for that meal or for that day. Hope that helps! 🙂

  41. Nickie - October 2, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    So I have your Extreme Transformation book, is it intended for someone who has a ton of weight to lose? I only ask because it has meals calculated for men or for women but you’ve also mentioned about calculating our macros to best fit our goals. It feels a bit generalized and I really want to follow the plan because it’ll make my life easier but I also want to make sure I’m going to get the best results. I did however, total all of the fats, carb, and protein in day 1’s plan and it put me over in MY calculated macros for protein. It all seems so overwhelmingly complicated.

    • Team Powell - October 3, 2016

      Hi Nickie: Yes, “Extreme Transformation” is meant for people who have any number of pounds to lose from “a ton” to just a few. The macro calculating Heidi’s talking about can also be an option, but it’s best to work with a macro coach who can base your program on your body composition and goals and continue to monitor and tweak your program as necessary. With Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, they’ve figured out all your macros for you, which makes things much less complicated, and their program has been proven to be successful – it’s the same program they use with their contestants on the show. I’d give it a try!

  42. Priscilla - September 26, 2016

    What should our macros be for the Reset day? Aka….Sunday Funday….lol

    • Team Powell - September 26, 2016

      Hi Priscilla: In Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, you’ll eat 1000 extra calories, and there aren’t any macro recommendations. You can eat anything you’d like to eat!

  43. Courtney - September 17, 2016

    I tried both of the macro calculators you recommended above and got VERY different results. Is one more accurate than the other? A 500 calorie a day difference in my overall macro intake. Not sure which one to go with? Thanks!

  44. Eric - September 12, 2016

    When calculating your carb counts in your macro calculations, do you go with the total amount of carbs or the net carbs (after subtracting fiber)?

    For instance, today was a low carb day and I had 51 grams of carbs, but 16g of that was fiber- so the net carbs would be 35g for the day. Obviously, taking out the fiber would affect my percentages.

    I’m trying the extreme cycle but the 51g of carbs puts me at 14% carbs for the day’s total calories.

    Does fiber play a role in your macros? I have a feeling that it does not, but wanted to ask.
    Thanks!

    • Team Powell - September 12, 2016

      Hi Eric: We go with total carbs. It makes things so much simpler! And welcome to carb cycling!

  45. Chris - September 12, 2016

    One more question as get started on this transformation journey…

    My guess is that the condiments and dressings fall into the carb category since that’s the page they are on in the book. So, even though I can have a salad with my final meal of the day (since all of the vegetables I use are on the unlimited list), does that mean I cannot have the 4 T of fat-free french dressing to go on that salad during the final meal of the day?

    One of my meals today was 1 C brown rice, 4 oz extra lean ground turkey, 1 C broccoli and 1/2 C of marinara sauce. Did I go over on carbs because of the marinara is under the condiments/dressings = carbs (total for the meal was about 280)?

    • Team Powell - September 12, 2016

      Hi Chris: Condiments/Dressings are a totally separate category in the Extreme Cycle and can be used throughout your day. Just remember to keep track of those calories too. 🙂

  46. Becky - September 11, 2016

    Thank you! I needed to figure out a macro breakdown. This is perfect.

  47. Cynthia - September 11, 2016

    I would really love to become a personal trainer/nutrition coach to possibly eventually become and help coach body building competitors. Can you reccommend which certifications I would need to get for that.?!

    • Team Powell - September 11, 2016

      Hi Cynthia: What an awesome goal! ACE, ACSM, NASM, ISSA, and NSCA are among the top certification organizations, and all offer several different types of certifications, so check them out! 🙂

  48. Shannon - September 7, 2016

    Do I need to count carbs and protein in veggies i.e lettuce or broccoli? I am sure starchy items i.e potatoes you would count the carbs. Thank you!

    • Team Powell - September 7, 2016

      Hi Shannon: It’s best to count everything you put into your mouth. It helps keep us accountable! 🙂

  49. Eric - September 6, 2016

    For the snack you list 5.3 ounces of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, which conveniently is how much is in a small container.

    Being a guy, do I still eat just 1 container like you list… or am I supposed to eat more?

    Measuring yogurt as a “fist” is kind of hard. 🙂

    Last, I know from your book 2 tablespoons is a fat portion. But is there a weight I could go by for nuts…. or even a number like 12 almonds? The seems much easier than having to chop up nuts to see how much can fit into 2 tablespoons

    Thanks so much!!

    • Team Powell - September 7, 2016

      Hi Eric: Here are the macro percentages for each of the carb cycles which will help you know how much of each to eat for each meal: 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!

  50. Leslie Benner - September 5, 2016

    Thank you Heidi for showing examples of meals you eat while macro counting. I would love to see more meal examples in the future. Thanks again!

  51. Sophie - September 4, 2016

    Heidi, if I’m carb cycling and counting macros, how should my macros vary from a low carb day to a high carb day? Thank you!

    • Team Powell - September 4, 2016

      Hi Sophie: If you’re following one of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, here are the recommended macro percentages for each cycle: 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%. If you’re not following of their carb cycles, it’s best to work with a macros coach who can help you figure out what your macros should be based on your body composition and goals. 🙂

  52. Maura - September 3, 2016

    This is awesome information!

    I do have one question – I use sugar free syrup with my morning oats. Do sugar alcohols count towards the total carbs or is it like Atkins where only net carbs are counted?

    • Team Powell - September 3, 2016

      Hi Maura: Sugar free syrup is fine, just be sure to keep track of this and watch the amount you use. 🙂

  53. Chris W - September 2, 2016

    Ok – I’m totally sold!

    Two questions…coffee (I know, I know) is a must. I don’t see an allowance for it unless I can just include the few carbs (for the coffee and stevia) in my total morning macro. Second, I’ve been playing with this for a a couple of days now and when I was short on my carbs after my 7pm meal, I had a bowl of air-popped popcorn to help boost it. I knocked me over my protein, but helped get me closer on carbs. yay or nay on a later night snack? Oops, one more question I guess…if we eat at exactly the same time everyday, won’t our body become accustomed to that and shut down metabolism shortly before consumption? Thanks!!!

    • Team Powell - September 3, 2016

      Hi Chris: On Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling plans, black coffee (yes, you can use stevia as a sweetener), is totally okay, just make sure you’re drinking all your water too. If you’re following any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, they recommend eating every 3 hours for a total of 5 meals a day, and this has been proven to be very successful.

  54. Anna - September 2, 2016

    This post was by far the most helpful. Thank you! I have what is hopefully a quick question. 🙂
    After I figure out my macros, how do I figure out my macros for high and low carb days?
    Thanks so much!

    • Team Powell - September 2, 2016

      Hi Anna:If you’re following any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling programs, here are the recommended macro percentages: 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%. If you’re following a different program, it’s best to work with a macros coach who can help you put together a program based on your body composition and your goals. 🙂

  55. Paige - September 1, 2016

    Hey! So I just started my Marco journey, pretty excited actually. I’m using myfitnesspal and it keeps telling me I go over my sugar level. I eat a decent amount of fruit a day. So my question is, do I only pay attention to the actual carb count, or do I take in a count to the sugar count as well?

  56. Bri - August 31, 2016

    So if this is a low carb day for you, how many do you have on a high carb day?

  57. Heather - August 31, 2016

    Can you comment more on how the macro calculation might be different for obese people? Here are my numbers using the macros calculator (1999 cals a day, 136g carbs, 239g protein, 56g fat) but I also have 44 percent body fat so how would that change those numbers?? I am 34 yo F…pretty sedentary…I am 5’9” and 290 lbs and I have PCOS as well.

    • Team Powell - August 31, 2016

      Hi Heather: The macros calculator takes into account your current body weight and goals, so you should be good to go! And it’s best to discuss any new nutrition program with your healthcare team and then follow any modifications they might recommend. You can do this!

    • Heather - September 1, 2016

      So I get like literally almost double the protein but half the carbs as Heidi…fat is about the same. Could u show an example of a day with that–food wise??

  58. heather - August 30, 2016

    Hi Heidi! I have been counting macros for the past 7 months and felt great! I am now in “the bulking stage’ of my macro life ! My goal is to do a figure comp in 2017. I am at the 400 carb range. I am not doing dairy and VERY low sugar. I feel like i am choking my carb macros down and ALWAYS full to the point of a stomach ache 🙁
    Any advice??

    • Team Powell - August 30, 2016

      Hi Heather: Since with macro counting can be different for every person based on your goals, current body composition, etc., you might want to work with a macros coach who can look at what you’re doing and make changes in your program as needed. Here’s the group that Heidi works with: http://www.theprophysiques.com. And they will work with you at a distance too. And what an awesome goal!

  59. Megan Roth - August 23, 2016

    Hello there! Is there a book you can recommend for information on following a macro plan? I’ve read the blog posts and under the concept however to fully get it to sink in I prefer a “hold-in-your-hands-and turn-the-page” kind of book! Something I can get bookmark and scribble in! Thanks!

    • Team Powell - August 23, 2016

      Hi Megan: I’m so sorry, but I really don’t have any books to recommend. 🙁

    • Ginny - August 31, 2016

      All Day Fat Bruning Diet by Yuri Elkhaim

  60. Hailey - August 23, 2016

    Hi I need advice last year I did macros with the carb cycling and I went from 150 pounds to 110 pounds . This year I was changed and now my weight is going up I am at 1:36 and I feel like I’m just getting bigger and bigger and fatter I don’t know what to do on my low days my calories are under 1000 is that normal ?

    • Team Powell - August 23, 2016

      Hi Hailey: That is a bit low. Chris and Heidi recommend that women eat between 1200 and 1500 calories, and men eat between 1500 and 2000 calories a day depending on which carb cycle you’re following. If your body isn’t getting enough calories to function properly, it will start to hold fat as a survival mechanism. Try adding in more healthy calories to your day, and that should help. We wish you the best!

  61. Teresa - August 22, 2016

    Are there any apps you recommend for macro counting?

    • Team Powell - August 22, 2016

      Hi Teresa: Heidi’s favorite is MyFitnessPal, but there are others out there too.

  62. Amanda - August 11, 2016

    Hi, I have used MFP in the past and went to the suggested link and have tweaked my macros. Should I unsync my Fitbit from MFP because it adds calories. Does the macro and calories provided already take exercise into account? Thank you!

    • Team Powell - August 12, 2016

      Hi Amanda: The macro calculator does take exercise into account, so if weight loss is your goal, you’ll want to subtract calories every day from that daily total. To lose weight, you need a calorie deficit, which means you burn more throughout the day than you consume. You can do this!

  63. Anna - August 11, 2016

    Hello,

    I have two questions:
    1. If I’m trying to do macro counting and carb cycling is there really a difference in calories? Could you give an example. If you have time.
    2. Can I do 3 low carb days in a row instead of 2? I thought I read once that some bodybuilders will do up to 3 low carb days in a row. Will it cause problems gaining lean body mass if I do? Or any problems?
    Thanks so much you guys are wonderful.
    -Anna

    • Team Powell - August 12, 2016

      Hi Anna: If you’re carb cycling and macro counting, it’s best to work with a macros coach who can tailor your macros and your carb cycle to you and your goals. And it’s best to only do 2 low carb days in a row. Our bodies do need those carbs!

  64. Ryan Spence - August 10, 2016

    Hi,
    So can I carb cycle along with counting macros for fat loss and if so how do I determine what days are low carb and what days are high carb days?
    Ryan

    • Team Powell - August 10, 2016

      Hi Ryan: If you follow any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling programs, all your macros are figured out for you! http://heidipowell.net/2713. If you do your own carb cycling, it’s best to work with a macro coach who can help you tailor your low and high carb days to your goals.

  65. Jenni - August 9, 2016

    What’re thoughts about a shake or bar post workout? Is there a certain type or brand (Whey I know is best) for post workout, or bar, such as a Quest bar, then aim for dinner an hour or so later? Or if working out in the morning, breakfast should consist of proteins, carbs, and fats?

  66. Stephanie - August 9, 2016

    Hi!
    I’m on the turbo-cycle and am very interested in counting the macro’s. Can you tell me if this is right?

    On High Carb day:

    150-200 grams of carbs
    100-150 grams of proteines
    40-55 grams of fat

    On Low Carb day:

    50-100 grams of carbs
    120-150 grams of proteines
    48-95 grams of fats

    Thanks in advance
    Stephanie

    • Team Powell - August 9, 2016

      Hi Stephanie: Here are the recommended macro percentages for the Turbo Cycle: High Carb Meal (including EVERY breakfast):
      Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. 🙂

  67. Jason - August 8, 2016

    Hello Chris and Heidi. I’m wrighting on the behave of my brother who is 400 pounds with two kids and a wife in Jacksonville Florida . My siblings and I have tried all possibles and he has tried and quite every time . We are afraid that out brother will meet the same fate as our father dying to soon for being stubborn . We are asking for your assistance and would love for Chris ‘s to intervene . We are running out of options and time .

    • Team Powell - August 9, 2016

      Hi Jason: I’m so sorry to hear about your brother’s struggles. Chris and Heidi would love to help him personally, but unfortunately, they’re not taking on clients right now. And we understand it is difficult to watch a loved one struggle with his obesity or health challenges. Remember that ultimately the transformation has to come from within. You cannot do this for your brother—he truly has to want it for himself. One thing you might try, and this is the first step Chris and Heidi take with every single client they work with, is to have him make and keep a small daily promise to himself. This promise doesn’t even have to be health related – the important thing is to build his confidence and personal integrity. Read about the process here: http://heidipowell.net/8679. When he is ready to start his own transformation, have him check out Heidi and Chris’ carb cycling program in their books, “Extreme Transformation” and “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” (http://heidipowell.net/books-dvds/) These books contain Chris and Heidi’s complete mind, body, and food program, and these are the same tools they use on the show and with every client they work with. They work! He can learn about the program basics here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. In addition to these tools, Chris and Heidi have recently created the Powell Metabolic Program, where their Arizona team members can provide not only clinical one-on-one coaching through his health insurance provider, but distance coaching as well. For more information, please visit http://www.powellmetabolics.com or call 480.378.3522. Chris and Heidi are so excited to offer this new, more personal component to their transformation program! We wish your brother the best as he begins his transformation journey – he can do this!

  68. Kristen - August 8, 2016

    You. Are. Awesome! Great post. And love your last meal of the day! Makes me feel normal. ❤️❤️❤️
    Thank you!

    • Jacquie Woodward - May 17, 2017

      I was wondering about this meal. On the extreme cycle the last meal recommends protein, fats and veggies how does this meal fit in to this?

    • Team Powell - May 18, 2017

      Hi Jacquie: Great question! When Heidi posted this post, she was on a bit of a different carb cycling program due to prepping for a competition. When following the Extreme Cycle, you will eat protein, fat, and veggies for every dinner. Hope that helps!

  69. Stephen Williamson - August 7, 2016

    Awesome post! I have finished reading ‘The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution’. I am a 350lbs man. I have used the IIFYM calculator and it suggests I eat 2500 calories to lose weight. Should I use 2500 on High Carb days and around 2000 calories on the Low Carb days? Or stick with the 1500 (LC)/2000(HC). In addition, how many calories should my cheat day consist of, if I decide to indulge. Thanks for your help! Much success to you and Team Powell :^)

    • Team Powell - August 8, 2016

      Hi Stephen: If you’re going to follow one of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, it’s best to follow the calorie recommendations for your chosen cycle. For cheat days, you can eat anything you want to up to an extra 1000 calories (for a total of 3000 calories). You can do this!

  70. Mandy - August 7, 2016

    I wish I had your carb macros 🙁 I have been following iifym since January – had amazing results. Did an 8 week challenge with an online instagram coach and had the BEST results – results I never thought I could have. We were supposed to reverse out of the macros up to give our bodies a break… and my body isn’t happy 🙁 It’s like I never did the challenge – although I have kept up my workouts religiously and stuck with counting macros… I’m heavier than before my challenge started and I do NOT get it. At all! I’m not even up to where I started the challenge… so… I love the iifym lifestyle… I need to get to maintenance and can’t – my clothes are already not fitting!

    I’m going to keep trying… it worked so well before. Not sure what happened. I’m going to recalculate with the links you offered! Thank you for sharing your day with us! super helpful.

  71. Angie - August 6, 2016

    What does Heidi mix her protein with? Just water or almond milk or something else?

  72. Heather Sutton - August 6, 2016

    Thanks for the info but I.m still having a hard time following how to know how to count macros and carb cycle. I’ve counted macros in the past and does work and even use the iifym calculator like Heidi suggest. However how do you switch up between high and low carb days. I’m currently doing the extreme carb cycling and getting very frustrated because I am always hungry, especially on days I work out. My workouts consist of doing crossfit 4 times a week. I’ve actually gained weight since starting the extreme carb cycling. The macros calculator that Heidi suggests doing actually puts my Marcos much higher than what they have in the book. What is the best way to incorporate counting macros and carb cycling?

    • Team Powell - August 6, 2016

      Hi Heather: The macro recommendations in the book are general ones, which have been proven to work for many people, and each person’s “ideal” macros can be different based on body composition and workout routine. If you’d like to follow your own carb cycling macros, it’s best to work with a macro coach if possible. If a coach is not possible, here are the recommended macro percentages for the Extreme Cycle, and these can be applied to any daily calorie goal: 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!

  73. Faith - August 6, 2016

    Hello,
    I’ve been following Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling plan for about 7 months and now I’m ready to add the macro component to give myself the extra fine tuning I need. I’m just slightly confused. I know in carb cycling I should aim for 1500 on HC days and 1200 on LC carb days. The macro calculator says I should get 1722 calories a day, but how do I adjust that for a low carb day? Or do I stick with the 1500/1200? Essentially I’d like to lose more fat but continue building muscle, as I’m a power lifter. I want to make sure my body is getting what it needs to meet my goals but I’m having a hard time finding specific information on any websites. I know a macro coach is the best way to go but at this point it’s not in the cards, so any information would be helpful! Thank you!! ?

    • Team Powell - August 6, 2016

      Hi Faith: Chris and Heidi have figured out all your macros for you in their programs, so if you’d like to formulate your own carb cycle macro numbers, unfortunately, a coach is the best way to go since your correct macros depend a lot on your own body composition, goals, and work out intensity. Here are some percentages that might help, and you can apply them to any daily calorie goals: 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%. And here’s another post that might help too: http://heidipowell.net/10540/ask-the-powells-gaining-healthy-weight/. I hope this helps, and we wish you the best as you work to achieve your goals!

  74. Alex - August 5, 2016

    Hi!
    I am starting macro tracking tomorrow morning and I am so excited! have been thin my whole life, but not always healthy and fit. I had my first baby a year and half ago and of course it changed my body, but I still struggle to keep weight on. I have committed to working out at least five days a week. I have already seen myself put on muscle and tone a lot but I want to continue getting in shape and putting on a little weight then keeping it on. Is there anything special I should be doing?

    • Team Powell - August 6, 2016

      Hi Alex: It sounds like you’re doing great! Tweak your macros as you need to, and you should be good to go.

  75. Anon - August 5, 2016

    Do you think that carb cycling is a method of dieting that one can stick with for a long period of time?

  76. Cherry Garza - August 5, 2016

    I just entered my info and it is showing 32% carbs; 43% Protein and 25% fat. Does these seem correct?

    • Team Powell - August 6, 2016

      Hi Cherry: The recommended macro percentages can be different for each person based on body composition, workout frequency/intensity, and goals, so if this is what the calculator is suggesting, I’d give them a try!

  77. Jamie - August 5, 2016

    I workout 45-60 minutes a day 6 days a week, I weight lift and do HIIT. I am having a hard time deciding if I am light activity or moderate activity to calculate my macros.

    • Team Powell - August 6, 2016

      Hi Jamie: In the Healthy Eater macro calculator link (the first link in the post), there are some descriptions lower on the calculator page that can help you figure out your intensity. 🙂

  78. Jess B - August 5, 2016

    Thank you for posting the percentages! I had a quick question and I have heard different opinions. Do you count/weigh all vegetables? And Do you count dietary fiber?

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2016

      Hi Jess: It is best to count/keep track of everything you put into your mouth if at all possible.

  79. Matthew - August 5, 2016

    Do you do any sort of intermittent fasting?

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2016

      Hi Matthew: As far as I know, intermittent fasting isn’t included in their plan.

  80. Tosha - August 5, 2016

    Why do you not count for the sugar content in your meals and snacks? Do you not worry about sugars and for those of us that do, what would a good daily sugar count be?

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2016

      Hi Tosha: Sugars are carbs, so any sugar numbers are included in the carbs number. There are many things you can track, but we try and keep things as easy as possible. Instead of aiming for a daily sugar number which can include natural sugars like those found in fruits, try and choose foods with as little added sugar as possible, and you’ll be good to go!

  81. Tatiana G - August 5, 2016

    Hi Team,

    I took Heidi’s advice and signed up with Pro physiques and I am a week into macro counting. Probably the best decision I ever made and only because I trust the Powells!! I have a question just out of curiosity mainly, when on low carb days on the extreme cycle meals 2,3,4,5 are comprised of protein fat and veggies does it mean that the whole carb grams for the day are consumed mainly at breakfast???
    I just want to thank the Powells and the Team for all the information they put out there day in day out because it makes a huge difference to the lives of many and it has made a tremendous impact in my life and in my long battle to find a balanced way to eat and maintain and not go overboard with weight gain etc etc. I live in Greece and yet your work has touched me more than any other in the country I live in! THANK YOU!!!!!

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2016

      Hi Tatiana: We’re so excited for you! For the Extreme Cycle, here are the macro percentages you’ll want to aim for: 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%. You can totally do this!

  82. Diana - August 4, 2016

    I just find this fascinating! I’m very passionate about nutrition and fitness. I am a slim person and my goal is to put on a bit more muscles. I exercise 5 to 6 days a week. (weights and pilates). But my question is: for example if I try to make the meal you have here as an example at 1:00, how do I know how much broccoli, turkey or pasta should I put on my plate? I am a bit lost here…
    Admire your work! Sending love!!

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2016

      Hi Diana: You can use any of the macro tracking apps (Heidi’s favorite is MyFitnessPal) to help you know how much of each food to eat. These apps will figure everything out for you!

  83. Pat - August 4, 2016

    I want to read this so much, but the gray lettering on a white background doesn’t provide enough contrast for me to read it. I can’t even zoom in to make it easier. Is there any way you can make the text darker and/or larger. These old eyes aren’t what they used to be.

    Pat

  84. Kris - August 4, 2016

    I’m so confused! How is 50% carbs a low carb day? I have all 3 of Chris’s books, but there’s always some information missing, i.e. total calories you should eat or what macro ratios one should aim for on low and high carb days etc.

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi Kris: Heidi’s goals are different than weight loss, so her macro percentages reflect this. If you’re following any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, they’ve figured out all your macros for you to make things even easier. However, if you’d like to track your own macros, here are the recommended percentages: 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%. As far as calories, on the Extreme Cycle, women aim for 1500 calories a day and men aim for 2000 calories a day. On the other cycles, women eat 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days, and men eat 1500 calories on low carb days and 2000 calories on high carb days. Hope this helps!

  85. Jackie - August 4, 2016

    If you use the macro calculator, it will give you the number for each fat protein and carbs, but how do you alter that number for low carb and high carb days ?

    • Cindy Baker - August 5, 2016

      Shouldn’t Heidi also say she weightlifts and cardio , probably 2 hours a day!!!

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2016

      Actually, Heidi doesn’t work out 2 hours a day. 😉

    • Sharon Strieck - August 5, 2016

      Just curious, about how often does Heidi workout?

    • Team Powell - August 6, 2016

      Hi Sharon: She aims for 5-6 days a week.

  86. Ollie - August 4, 2016

    Hi!

    Thanks for including the links to the macro calculators. Do you know of any that that take breastfeeding into consideration?

    Thanks!

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      I’m so sorry, but I don’t. A general rule of thumb is to add 500 calories a day (but check with your doc to be sure), and you can add 500 calories to the total you get from one of the macro calculators and then apply the recommended percentages to that number. Hope that helps!

  87. Amber - August 4, 2016

    That was great! If I am doing your Diet Bet and try to follow carb cycling best that I can. So you guys normally say low carb at dinner. So would you skip those waffles at night if following that plan? Also, you mentioned it was a low carb day, but on low carb days don’t you stop eating your main carbs at breakfast? I only ask cause the meals you provided look great but I am just trying to figure out if you are doing a different way of carb cycling then say the extreme transformation. Keep up the great work!

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi Amber: Since Heidi’s goals are different than weight loss, her macros and eating plan reflect these differences. If you’re following any of their carb cycles, then I’d stick to the recommendations for that carb cycle. Good luck with your DietBet!

  88. Helene - August 4, 2016

    Hi Heidi! I went on the website to calculate my macros but I found the carbs are really High .. 347g on High carbs day and 305g on low carbs day. I’m not used to eat that much of These Because my current macros are 169g P / 76g C / 43g F but I want to now try Carb cycling. I’m a little afraid with These Numbers haha 🙂 Thank you !

  89. Alie Pickwell - August 3, 2016

    Legit!! This is the best post ever from you guys!!! Firstly because you guys are so honest and second for inspiration. I started tracking Macros four weeks ago and two weeks ago started carb cycling after reading your books and blog posts. I’ve lost 4lb (great!!! Slow and sensible, i don’t need to lose a lot, but i’m not happy with body composition) but i always undereat on fats and protein (turns out Tuna is my best friend to hit my protein target). I’ve even been complimented for the first time in years on how slim i’m looking!! (By a gym trainer I haven’t seen for a while. Who thought 4lb would get a girl compliments!! <3)
    But i've struggled to know the quantity of macro i should be eating on a high vs low carb day. This needs tweaking.
    For example on a high carb day, i eat 45%carbs, 30% fat and 25% protein. But how do i figure out what to change this to for a low carb day?? Do you have a link/post you could direct me to please? It is time for me to ramp this up and turn targets into success.
    You guys rock! xx

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi Allie: For Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, here are the macro percentage recommendations: 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!

  90. Lisa - August 3, 2016

    Hi , You normally have ground turkey or have chicken on hand. What do you do if you are allergic (had allergy testing) to chicken/ turkey ?

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi Lisa: You can use extra-lean ground beef. 🙂

  91. Angela - August 3, 2016

    How do I figure out my macros?

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi Angela: There are links to a couple of macro calculators in this post, and they can help you figure out your macros. 🙂

  92. Nicole - August 3, 2016

    Great info Heidi! I’ve recently started eating IIFYM. I’m curious with your carbs being so high if u are dieting? I know you just competed and wow 250 for a low day is Uh-mazing!!! Did u just slowly start to increase your carbs? I’m trying to lose/tighten up now. I’ve competed before and I’m over the bro diet??. I’m currently taking 160 p, 149 c, and 36 f, 40, 5’6″ and 143 lb’s. I need more fats in my life! I’ll definitely look into the calculator u posted.

    Best:)
    Nicole

    • Nicole - August 4, 2016

      I also wondered if this was a training day? And if so what was the pre and post meal? I mentioned my macros above and those were determined from another website. Using the calculator u provided my macros are 144g p, 207 g c, and 52g f with the lose 10% and higher protein option. I’d like this more, but not not how to transition into that without gaining fat from the increase in fats and carbs. I am trying to lean out and gain lean muscle.

    • Nicole - August 4, 2016

      And one more question. Are the calories calculated the TDEE with any decrease for weight loss?

  93. Lorrena Paz - August 3, 2016

    Hi Heidi, when entering my info in both macro calculators suggested, the numbers are significantly different. Why would there be such a large difference and how do you know which one to follow for the best results?

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi Lorrena: Each calculator can come up with a slightly different result based on how each is set up and how your info/goals are input. I’d go into each and maybe tweak what you input and see if maybe that’s what’s causing the differences.

  94. Kari - August 3, 2016

    Love the visual breakdown and sharing the realistic food items you enjoy! I’ve been eating clean and feeling great for over a year but have friends that have had amazing results from carb cycling and macro counting that I have not been able to achieve. It’s a bit mind blowing after being so so strict with my diet-to think I could still be fit and healthy by eating dream bars and pasta and rice daily-when kept in proportion and check of course! Thanks for making things simple and fun to follow. I could get use to sweets and pastas ? I might give it a try if I can get over my fear of too much food.

  95. CJ - August 3, 2016

    Great post, thanks SO much! I really liked the visuals. Can you expand on carb cycling while counting macros? More specifically, how do you what to change your macros to on high carb vs low carb days? Thanks!!

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi CJ: If you’re carb cycling to lose weight, these numbers will be different than carb cycling for different goals, so there’s really not a one-size-fits-all answer to your question. If you’re following any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, here are the recommended percentages: 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%. If your goals are not to lose weight or if you’re following a different plan, then it would be best to have a macro coach help you figure out what will work best for you. Hope that helps!

  96. Jennilee - August 3, 2016

    That was so great to read. I need to figure out what my carb, fats and protein numbers should be before I do this!! And when to have a high carb vs a low carb and what the two different numbers for those days would be:) thanks
    Ps. If you want to help me out I would love it lol

  97. Carolyn Stapp - August 3, 2016

    Heidi,

    I love this article! Currently I am 413 pounds and my biggest road block to success is trying to over complicated nutrition and your approach gives me hope. My favorite part was the peanut butter eggo waffles with maple syrup. It was helpful to see how you created space for them in your plan.

    Recently, I joined your Powell Transformation site and I plan to follow the Turbo Cycle. My only frustrations with the site are that it’s set up for a Classic cycle, so I have to manually adjust all the days, and that all the meals are a little elaborate. Don’t get me wrong, good taste takes effort, but for snacks I would love more simple ideas like your yogurt granola snack.

    I get overwhelmed with meal planning and any simple solutions you could offer would be extremely helpful.

    Thank you again for this article. You have a gift with making food and fitness sound fun!

  98. Krystal - August 3, 2016

    How do I know what to start off with?

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi Krystal: Your first step is to use one of the macro calculators in the post to help you figure out what your macros may be. Good luck!

  99. Erin - August 3, 2016

    What protein shake?

  100. Charlene - August 3, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    Just curious how many carbs do you eat on a high carb day? Also, when you were gaining muscle recently (I assume you still are but when you made that huge progress from those progress shots on Instagram) what were your macros then? Your help is greatly appreciated!!

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2016

      Hi Charlene: I don’t have Heidi’s exact macros breakdown, what works for one person can be very different than what works for another. Your correct macro percentages are based off your body composition and goals, and so it can be very helpful to work with a macro coach who can help you get started and then tweak things as you go. We wish you the best!

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