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…
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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,
And click HERE for the GMAZ Facebook Live Segment in case you missed it above. 😉