Hi guys! I am so happy to be back and writing blog posts again! With the holidays, flu season, and all of our January birthdays...I feel like I haven't had the time to sit down and really focus on writing a blog post (or at least one that I felt would be detailed enough)! But, I am back in action and so HAPPY about it!
So, if you follow my fitness account @Jenray_fit or my decor account @Happyhomeonhaddon you have heard me talk a lot about counting macros in my posts and stories. I know some of you may have heard of macros or people who track them...but others may have absolutely zero idea of what I am talking about and that is okay! I had no idea what it was either and was very confused about them for a long time. I am not a professional in the fitness industry or a nutritionist. I am simply sharing what I know about them and what I have personally learned. I thought this might be a little extra helpful since I am just a regular gal with no biased opinions and speaking from personal experience!
What are Macros?!
The term "Macros" is short for macronutrient. A macronutrient is a food that is required to eat in large portions for human life. Macronutrients involve fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. These are the 3 categories of macros that I track. Every single food no matter what it is has different macro numbers. This short video below I made is to help explain macros a little bit better and show you how to look for the 3 different macros on a protein bar nutrition label ( which you could do with any food). Even with foods that do not have nutrition labels such as fruits and veggies....in the My Fitness Pal App which I also talk about in the video you can enter in your food and it will have it for you...already broken down, with the calories too!
no more "bad" "cheat" "unhealthy" foods" in my vocabulary
I cannot believe that I live my life with no more food restrictions. No more labeling foods as being "bad" This is coming from someone who went years and years with sticking to a rigid meal plan all throughout the week for 6 days. I hated for the most part of what I was eating. Pretty much eating a little fruit, tons of veggies, chicken (which I don't like) , only allowing myself rice and potatoes as carbs and some protein bars/powders. Sure, I was eating and probably underrating for how much I was training but I DID NOT LIKE what I was eating at all! That is why I do not like the term "diet" because "diet" means temporary. Who wants to be on a forever "diet?!" NOT ME! I started to develop an unhealthy relationship with food and get severe food cravings from depriving myself of things that I actually enjoying to eat because in my mind I was labeling them as "BAD" . On my one "cheat night" that I would have a week...turned into an epic binge day because I did not know how to control myself around food. I would eat so much of everything that I was craving for the week it would make me seriously have a food coma and mess my stomach up for two days. Or lets say it was during the week when I was eating "clean" and I would see a box of Dunkin Donuts in the teacher's room....I would take a bite and then say screw it and eat totally too much that day just because of one small bite! Talk about unhealthy! Looking back now I can't believe that was my mind set....However, it truly makes me appreciate just how far I have come with food.
Now, my macros make up the calories that I am eating for the day. I shoot right now for right around 1800-2000 cals a day at this point in time and continue to go up from there.
Can't forget about miCRONUTRIENTS "aka" micros
Now, here is where I feel like counting macros can get a "bad wrap" a lot of people on social media who preach macros make it look like all day they are eating donuts, pizza, dummy bears, pizza, you name it and still have 6 pack abs. Can I fit all of those things into my macros for the day? Sure...but not unlimited amounts. You cannot forget about Micronutrients. They are the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs daily in much smaller amounts. You can eat too much of ANYTHING! Yes, people you can eat too much fruit, broccoli, or ANYTHING. Fruit and veggies are full of carbs! Carbs are not the enemy, however if you eat unlimited amounts of anything you will be in too much of a surplus...which means weight gain. I make sure to take a multivitamin every single day on top of making sure I have at least 1 or 2 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. I use 1 a day women multivitamin because it also has iron in it.....which many of the fun gummy vitamins that taste amazing, do not!
MACROS CHANGED MY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD:
Since no foods are "off limits" if I am craving something...I let myself have it! I have a bunch of candy in candy jars on my counter and you better believe that I have two Hershey kisses every morning with my coffee....and today I also had two tablespoons of Nutella (best tasting thing in the world) Now the macros are not great on Nutella but I wanted some and let myself have it. Do I feel guilty if I have something like that or pizza?! Absolutely NOT! No more guilt, not more obsessing about food, I feel so much more relaxed and balanced...I am so proud of myself and also still feel halfway mind blown about how I can eat the things I want, continue to get lean, get stronger, and feel amazing. It is for sure a win-win!
my advice for a person interested in started macros & where to start
It is crucial in the beginning to get more aware of portion size. Have you ever used a table spoon to eat peanut butter? haha I used to think just because I was scooping the peanut butter out of tablespoon it would be equivalent to an actual table spoon......when I actually got my food scale to test this out...boy was I wrong!!! I was eating over 2 tablespoons, it just looked like 1! Or when you pour cereal...you probably are eating 2 or 3 serving sizes instead of 1. If you weigh your food you will be so surprised and use it as a tool to educate yourself on just how much a serving size is of something! Also, download the free My Fitness Pal application!
Here is the scale that I use that I got off of Amazon (it is not the prettiest scale out there, but I have had a lot and this one is by far my favorite!):
CLICK THE PICTURE TO SHOP IT >>>
Now you are probably thinking....how do I get my macro numbers?! I have been working with the most amazing fitness coach I have ever had in my entire life. His name is Kalim over at Ripped to Shredz Fitness and he sure knows his stuff! I researched him and watched his stories on his IG PAGE @rippedtoshredzfitness for over 2 years because i was skeptical. But I am SO GLAD I went for it! I decided that after I had my second child (12 months ago) I wanted to be in the best shape of my entire life! Now, I have been into fitness for years but felt stumped and hit a platue. I knew that I wanted to invest in myself, my health, my well being, because I knew that If i kept my 30 minutes of cardio everyday and extra long gym sessions....it just would not be possible anymore with 2 kids and it was already extreme enough. Since working with Kalim my entire mind set towards fitness has changed. I am eating more, getting leaner, getting stronger, and only workout 4x a week (3 complete rest days). It was the best money that I have ever invested in myself! We have worked so well together I could not be more honored to be a sponsored athlete for his team which is a crazy dream of mine. Fitness is my passion and to show people it can be healthy, balanced, and a lifestyle is simply amazing! For more click the link below!
use my code: Jen-RTSF
Even if you are not interested in a program just by watching his stories you will learn so much! A great tool to use to start is the macro calculator over at bodybuilding .com you enter in all of your information and go from there...it is free! Of course, it is not as custom as having a coach, but hey it is something! (click) >> bodybudling .com macro calculator
yOU SHOULD NEVER FEEL THIS BAD AFTER EATING AN OREO: (A VIDEO I CAUGHT OF MY SON)
Fitness, nutrition, and just living healthy can be a LASTING lifestyle. Commit to something that does not set you up for failure and that does not have an end point. I am just a former special education teacher, stay at home mom of 2, living lean and healthy for my children. I truly believe the better care you take of yourself the better care you can take of the ones who depend on you!
Please email my of DM me on my fitness page @JenRay_Fit if you have any further questions! I will be doing a blog post on how to enter foods into my fitness pal coming up! Have a great day everything and I am so happy you stopped by to check out my blog! xoxo Jen :)
ps: some food for thought below>>