5 things I experienced when I started paying attention to ‘macros’ (plus, what are macros?)

If you have been following us or talking to Tony lately, you’ve probably heard the term ‘macros’ getting tossed about as frequently as a 35 pound slam ball – I know I have.  Ever since the whole bodybuilding thing, I’ve heard more about nutrition than I ever wanted to.  I vowed to support Tony through this, but really?  Every meal is spent telling him how many servings of vegetables I gave him, or what went into the spaghetti sauce.  “Are these details really that important?” I asked once.  (BTW, the answer is yes).  At the same time, I’ve been pretty frustrated at my own stagnation in my fitness progress, so I finally decided to at least explore what he’s been talking about.

For the uninitiated, ‘macros’ refer to the major food classifications of carbs, protein and fats.  Depending on your body weight and your amount of lean muscle, and your goals, you need to eat a certain amount (in grams) of each.  Super simple.  Then, all you need to do is track your food and make sure you hit your goals.  I don’t mind saying, I was extremely averse to doing this.  Basically my reasons were:  a) I already eat really well and nothing is changing.  This won’t work for me.  I’ve ruined my metabolism with yo-yo dieting and being over 40 so this is a lot of work for nothing.  b) this is a starvation diet and I’m going to be hungry and grumpy all the time and maybe get an eating disorder c) tracking your food takes way too much time.  I have twins and Grace.  Enough said.

I explained all this to Tony and he said “So don’t do it then.”  How could I ignore such a blatant, in your face challenge? It has, at the time of this writing, been a week and here are five things I’ve learned:

1)    It is really hard to eat ENOUGH protein.
Kind of like flashbacks to my twin pregnancy, where all I ate was protein shakes and ice cream (without the ice cream).  When you are adding food to your diet it is a different perspective and sometimes I have to go get more food at the end of the day.

2)    I am starting to see eating as a numbers game
If I have grapes for breakfast, I need to add a protein shake, or my macros are out of whack.  I am really starting to see how all this fits together.  I am very connected to the content of the food I eat and what it is doing for me and this is kind of cool.

3)    I’m not hungry all the time or craving sugar.  The first two days I got a little crabby (shut up, Tony) ok a lot.  And I was nauseous with a headache, but that might have been the flu.  Whatever, it passed and I feel fine now.

4)    Tracking food is super easy.  We’re using MyFitnessPal for free and everything I eat is in there and you can adjust your serving type or size.  Tracking food also made me realize how much I was nibbling at and ‘not counting’.  Why do I play this game with myself?

5)    Oh yeah, I lost 4.5 pounds already.  Hmmm…maybe a ‘bad metabolism’ can be partially attributed to a diet overly proportionate in carbs and eating the equivalent of  a jar of peanut butter a week.

6)    I think point 6 is really a restatement of point 3, but I can’t state enough how un-deprived I feel.  I was prepared to hate this.  I was prepared to feel miserable and I had already chalked this up as an unsustainable way of eating.  I went on a 1,500 calorie a day diet once and was so hungry I ate Grace’s baby food.  What I’m finding is I’m eating less than that almost every day (not much less but less) and I feel great.  I’m still under-eating and need to eat more but this really has been revolutionary.  Huh.  Who knew?

If you want more info, Tony will be having another class soon.  Stay tuned or call him at 425.686.4882.

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