Eating with Macros: A Day in the Life

When I started posting about my macro tracking journey a while back, the questions started coming. Then after answering a few questions and posting in detail 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 macros 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.? 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, and 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 (ha!)?we can help you out. Download our free Macro Counting 101 Ebook now. Our simple guide will give you the basics of macro tracking and will help you figure out the appropriate macros for you and your goals.

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. πŸ˜‰ 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 calculating and tracking for those of you who would like to get nerdy with me and start calculating macros…and eating peanut butter waffles at night. ;)?The Transform App?2.0 finally has macro tracking capabilities! ?So now you can track the foods that YOU eat.

 

 

And to help you calculate the appropriate macros for you, we?ve created our Macro Counting 101 ebook?available for FREE download now. ?Pick it up while you can because this baby won?t be free for long! ;-)? Click here to download!

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. πŸ˜‰

207 Responses

  1. 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!!!!!

    1. 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!

  2. 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!!

    1. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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.

    1. 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!

  5. 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 ?

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

  6. Hi!

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

    Thanks!

    1. 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!

  7. 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!

    1. 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!

  8. 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 πŸ™‚ Thank you !

  9. 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

    1. 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!

  10. 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 ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.