Counting Your Macro’s
Dr. Alison discusses why you should track your food and count your macros, what they are, what to do with the information, and how this impacts your health.
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You’re listening to Functional Wellness with Dr. Alison and I am so glad you are here. Today we are talking about macros! Should you track your macros, what are macros, what numbers should your protein, fat, and carbs be every day, and much more.
First, what are macros? Macro is short for macronutrient and covers the protein, carbs, and fat you eat during the day. Micronutrients are the individual nutrients like vitamin A or C, or minerals like magnesium and sodium.
So should you track your macros? I vote yes, you should track your macros and for a few different reasons.
The first reason to track your macros is to make sure you are getting ENOUGH. Most of my patients fall into either severely undereating, consuming less than 1200 calories per day or overeating and eating over 3000 calories per day. Both categories of people have no idea that they are doing this! Both are wondering why they are tired, can’t lose weight, don’t sleep at night, and losing their hair.
Once you see where your daily intake is, you can adjust it easily from there. If you need more protein or less fat, you will know without having to guess or worry while you are tracking.
Another reason is of course weight loss. If you are undereating protein and overeating carbs, you probably won’t lose weight easily.
How do you track your macros? The easiest way is to use an app and track your foods there. My favorite is MyFitnessPal.com It is free, and you can scan your foods there so the information is automatically added to your list. From there you can see your calories and macro count every day.
When you are tracking you do need to be specific with your foods. Make sure to measure, because we all know that we aren’t using 1 tablespoon of creamer in coffee. It’s probably more like 3, which is where the calories and sugar hide.
And when you weigh your meat, always used the cooked weight, so weigh your steak or chicken after you cook it.
Then how do you know how much you should be eating? In the links I have the link to my calculator for you through the Madator diet. I love this one because it helps us get enough calories and macros in during the day, also supports weight loss and muscle growth. So you have two phases, the first one is the deficit where you are eating 30% less calories than your maintenance, then 2 weeks of maintenance calories.
Also included on that site at the bottom of the page is the macro calculator where you can add in the calorie amount you need to be eating and it will calculate that for you.
As an example: if you weigh 200 pounds, you put that in the calculator. The maintenance calories are 3,000, which means you stay at the same weight. The minimum calories are 2100 daily.
Scrolling down, you need 184 g of protein and carbs plus 70 g of fat daily as well.
Now, most people will say “oh my gosh Alison, I can’t eat this much! My calories are too high! That is too much protein!” But when you think about it, if you are drastically undereating, say you need to be eating 2100 calories for your deficit and you are actually eating 1200 a day, than your body will act as if it is in starvation mode. You need the right amount of food for your body every day.
And an important part of this calculation is that you are moving, exercising, and breathing. You are building muscle and bone and strength. This doesn’t mean you need to be in the gym for two hours, but it does mean walking, stretching, and doing something you enjoy.
When should you not track your macros? If you struggle with disordered eating, intense guilt around food where if you see your numbers aren’t what you need them to be and you end up punishing yourself, than this is not a good option for you. Instead focusing on eating whole foods, moving your body, and working on meal planning and prepping so you have great options every day.
I would love to invite you to my June programs: the mindfulness eating challenge will be running all month and a weight loss specific class will be on June 14th. Make sure to sign up so you get the replay of the class and bonuses too. And of course if you are looking for personalized care schedule an initial consult with me, we will review your symptoms, testing and create a personalized plan for you. Thank you so much for being here today, make sure to like and subscribe and we will see you next week!