Make It Macro

A one-stop space to find all of your favorite foods macro style. 

The Cheat Foods You've Craved For An Hour, Or The Body You've Craved For A Lifetime.

It’s bullshit.

I’m sorry, but it totally is.

Those thoughts ran through my head while sitting in the bathroom at dinner this last weekend. Hung right above me in the womens restroom was a sign that read the above. “The cheat foods you’ve craved for an hour, or the body you’ve craved for a lifetime?” With a picture of a burger on one side and a salad on the other.

This restaurant shall remain nameless. But they profess “healthy” meals filled with protein. That’s cool. Let’s get some gainz. I support that! But this sign totally derails everything I have ever tried to teach my clients.

Food is FOOD. It fuels our body. The great thing about macros is it gives you the knowledge of what foods work best for YOUR body. And it also teaches you that you can make any kind of food you’re craving fit in one way or another. So, excuse me, silly restaurant, I can have a donut and get the “body I’ve been craving.” Thank you very much.

The worlds view and relationship with food is so timultuous these days. It’s a constant battle of “stay away from this food!!” and “only do juice cleanses!!” while “shedding 30 pounds in 15 hours by trying this ONE trick!"

These things bother me. They bother me because they capitalize on a “quick fix".” for people who want the easy or convenient way out. Or, honestly, the hard way. 99% of diets fail because we burn out. We feel restricted, cave, binge eat, and give up. It’s not a sustainable way to live.

I feel like life is about finding a healthy balance for fueling our body and fueling our soul. Sometimes a burger just hits the spot. And it’s not going to derail all of our progress in one meal. Sure, if we’re having a burger for every meal every day that’s a bit of a problem. Its just about BALANCE. All things in moderation!

When ever I have a client sign up, I always give them tips on how to make their favorite foods fit into their numbers. It’s doable. Sometimes we have to adjust serving sizes, or eat around that meal a little, but the concept that we have to live in this constant state of sacrifice to achieve our goals is ludicrous.

New goal for the rest of 2018: gonna smash my goals AND the food I love!

What are your favorite foods? Do you have any you’d like to fit into your numbers but you can’t quite get it? Let us know! We’d love to help!

How To Make Cheat Foods Fit

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One of the things you hear the most when it comes to macros is "you can eat all the foods you want and still lose weight!" 

Which is true, in a sense. That's the thing that first drew me to macros. I can eat bread?? I can eat CHEESE?? Sign me up!

Here's the key with so-called "cheat" foods. All things in moderation! The longer you track macros, the more you'll feel comfortable with planning your day around meals you really want to eat! I want to show you guys how to do this, so let's take a situation I had last weekend for example:

One of the biggest pieces of advice I give my clients is to PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE. This leaves very little margin for error and helps you go into your day with a plan! There's nothing worse than sitting around at 7pm with 25g of protein and 2g of fat left wondering "well what do I do now??"

So, back to my example. I really wanted to go to a steakhouse with my husband for date night. Usually I'm pretty good when I go out to eat, but this particular restaurant has a mac and cheese that's to die for.. and I KNEW I would cave and screw up my macros if I didn't plan ahead. 

I looked online for nutrition information for the restaurant and found a PDF on their website. (ALL chain restaurants are required to provide nutrition information by law. If it has more than 3 locations, you'll be able to find the nutrition information. I try to avoid hole in the wall restaurants, foods trucks, etc that don't have nutrition info available because I don't know exactly whats going into my body and have to guess. Otherwise known as intuitive eating, which we'll go over next week :) )

My total macros every day are 160P/225C/63F

I knew I wanted steak, mac and cheese, a salad and some bread for dinner. Here's how that nutrition broke down:

Strawberry Pecan Salad: 190Cal/4P/28C/8F
6oz Fillet: 330Cal/37P/2C/15F
Steakhouse Mac&Cheese: 610Cal/26P/43C/37F (ouch)
Honey Wheat Bread (1/2 loaf) 285Cal/10P/51C/4.5F

This entire meal totaled out to be 1415Cal/77P/124C/64F

Well, shoot. I ate ALL of my fat in ONE meal. What am I supposed to eat for breakfast and lunch? Well, let me just learn you a thing or two here. 

  • Breakfast was an egg white omelet with veggies and fat free cheese.
  • Lunch was a chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bun with Walden Farms Honey Mustard
  • Pre-Workout was non-fat Greek Vanilla yogurt
  • Dessert AFTER dinner was strawberries with fat free Reddiwhip. 

    I actually ended up eating slightly UNDER my calories for the day by PLANNING AHEAD. This is where the term flexible dieting comes in. I had an extremely fat heavy dinner so I had a fat free lunch and breakfast to balance the day out. 

I know this probably seems intimidating, but you guys can absolutely do it. It doesn't have to be an entire meal, either! Craving some french fries from McDonalds? Use their nutrition calculator online to figure out the macros and plan it into your day! I never want my clients to feel deprived or starving, so I want you to learn this skill! It is so valuable and will help macros become a sustainable lifestyle for you for years! Who needs a massive cheat weekend when you can eat at steakhouses, McDonalds or Chipotle during the week?

Here are some awesome resources for you as you start to plan different foods:

  • http://www.themacroexperiment.com/blog/the-iifym-chain-restaurant-master-list
    • This list includes restaurants like Longhorn Steakhouse, Ihop, California Pizza Kitchen, and more! 
  • http://www.themacroexperiment.com/blog/the-iifym-fast-food-restaurant-master-list
    • This is a fast food chain. My favorite item on this list is the ice cream cone from McDonalds! (Vanilla Ice Cream Cone - 200kcal: 5F/32C/5P)
  • http://www.ontheregimen.com/2016/02/05/restaurant-macros/
    • This post has great information on what to do if there's NOT nutrition info available.

You guys got this! Happy tracking! :) 
Sam


 

 

 

"I hate carbs" -Said no one ever

Alright guys. Let's have a chat. A heart-to-heart, if you will. The main point of this blog post is CARBS ARE NOT BAD FOR YOU. THEY WILL NOT MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT IF EATEN APPROPRIATELY. If that's all you came here for, then have a good day! Love you! But I know there are lots of people out there who either
A) Think a diet that involves carbs can't sustain weight loss or muscle growth
or
B) Think carbs in general should be removed or cut down into small quantities because the body has a hard time digesting or processing. 

Okay, so let's get into the science of this a little bit. When you start a weight loss journey of any kind, an equation comes into play called "Energy Input and Output" Basically this equation helps us figure out how many calories your body burns. Some people call this a REE (resting energy expenditure) equation as well. Most people need about 1600-1800 calories per day to keep their body functioning. Of course this varies by person, and we're using that number as an example, but just go with me here. This means, if you were to sit in a bed all day and just breathe, your body would need those 1600-1800 calories to maintain your bodyweight. 

Now, of course that isn't a reality for most people, right? We have jobs. We have kids. We have lives! That's where your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure) comes into play. Here at Make It Macro, we use multiple factors to determine how many calories your body needs to support your lifestytle. 

Once we have that number, we put you in what's called a caloric deficit. This means we're giving you less calories than your body needs every day to help promote sustainable and prolonged weight loss. If you consume less calories than your body burns every day, your body will start to burn your glycogen stores (fat.) This is THE solution to weight loss, guys. That's how it works. But there are plenty of ways people invoke a deficit.

There's a super huge craze going around right now for a high protein, high fat and low carb diet. I don't want this post to make it seem like i'm bashing Keto or think it's illigimimate. It's not. I've seen people have AMAZING success with Keto. 

However, in my opinion, it's not sustainable. Let me give you the short version and then expand from there:

Your body needs energy to function. Guess where you get energy from? Glucose. Guess where glucose is found? ahhh, you got it! Carbs! 

There's tons of knowledge to be gained about carbs. Which is why there are books upon books about them! I'll save you the science behind most if it, and try to explain this as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
When you consume carbs, you get multiple vital nutrients. But there are three key ones I want to touch on: Sugar, Starch, and Fiber. 

Sugars/Starch. I'm putting these two in the same category because they work in tandem together. We preach everything in moderation here. Starch, by definition, is "an odorless tasteless white substance occurring widely in plant tissue and obtained chiefly from cereals and potatoes." Starch is a polysaccharide, meaning its very makeup is made of a number of sugar molecules bonded together. Sugar is absolutely okay (and good in some cases) if you're getting it from natural sources LIKE CARBS. You'll find the most sugar in refined carbs like white bread or white rice. These guys come high in sugars and lower in fiber. I absolutely think it's okay to have these guys in moderation. Of course I would never tell a client to strictly eat white bread for every lunch meal they plan. That's silly. But I want them to use those sugars to get energy for their day. Typically before workouts or the morning of a competition day, I'll recommend clients eat some refined carbs to provide a more natural energy spike that their body can process easily and quickly.

Fiber: Fiber is the parts of carbohydrates that cannot be digested. Fiber is VITAL to digestion as it helps the body move food through the digestive tract. It also reduces cholesterol and helps combat disease. 

You can get fiber from whole grains (Quinoa, brown rice, oats, etc) and also fruits and veggies! But guess what category all those foods fall into? Caarrrbbbsss!!

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See what I'm getting at here?

If this is totally new information to you, here's a tidbit I give all of my clients about making sure you get good natural fibers and good carbs in your diet:

  • Make sure your plate has color. Fruits and veggies are really low in caloric value (meaning you can eat a lot for not a whole ton of calories) and give yo the necessary fiber you need.
  • Switch to wheat. White bread is so delicious, guys. I get it. And because I preach all things in moderation, if you want to eat a white bread roll sometimes please do! But try to look for whole grain products as it'll give your body more nutrients which are good for you in the long run :) 

    Well. That was a looot of information. So what exactly am I getting at here? Let sum it up.

Carbs are not bad for you. Just like all things, if eaten in moderation pertaining to your own personal goals, they will not make you gain weight. I could eat chicken in excess and gain weight from it. It's all about a nice balance and remembering your total energy input. Bottom line is this: if you want energy to live your life and put everything you have into training, eat some carbs. Just track them and make sure you hit your macro for them;)

Happy Tracking!

Sam

 

The Coach's Struggle

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This post is a hard one to write. As coaches, we always want to put our best foot forward. We want to be the strong, unchanging presence that supports you and gives you all of the motivation you need to reach your goals. 

But some days are better than others. If I could be strong and steady all the time, believe me, I would. I would carry all of you through all of your struggles and we would all reach our goals in record time. As a coach, I feel that responsibility deeply and passionately. We care about you so much. We celebrate with your success and we feel the aches of all the bumps in the road, too. We are so invested in you guys sometimes I think we lose ourselves a little bit, too. 

When I got into competitive swimming I started to butt heads with my coach a lot. I was convinced I knew best. One day he looked at me and wrote a quote by Tom Landry on the board out on the pool deck. 

"A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so that you can be who you have always known you could be."

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I stared at that quote every day for almost a year. Slowly I started to understand. 

The process doesn't always look or feel how we expect. I think we've been learning that with coaching as well. Some days I feel like I have all of the answers and I'm just the best darn example ever. But some days, I sit on my coach and eat Nutella because it's just been one of those days. 

As coaches, we are far from perfect. But our passion for you is! So although we may slip up sometimes (and you may see us eating a brownie or nutella here and there), we are fully confident in our ability to help you achieve your goals AND we understand that we're all human. You are our biggest motivators, just like we are a motivating tool for you! Our goal is to build a solid relationship with you and help give you the tools to have healthy and meaningful relationships with food and those around you. 

Keep crushing it, peeps! We are so proud. 

 

 

 

You Made A Promise

You see them every day. Whether its a glimps as you go about your day, or a quick look before you leave the house. This person-you've gotten accustom to the features. Same eyes, same nose, same hair that never seems to work the way you want. You've gotten really good at spotting the flaws, too. Maybe a little too much. 

It plays like a broken record over in your head. "If I could just fix this one area." "If I could just lose 10 pounds." 

If. If.

But do you see the work they're putting in? Do you recognize the persistence and commitment? The resilient spirit that hides behind those negative thoughts. They're strong. They're able. But negativity smothers them. Pushes them into a corner and tells them to sit down and wait until we're feeling better to get started. 

But don't you remember? You made a promise. Whether it was 2 days or 2 years ago when you started this journey. This time was different. This time, change is going to happen. That never negated the inevitable speed bumps or backsteps that were bound to happen along the way. It just lit the fire. And that fire wakes you up every morning with a new determination. It keeps you going when the negativity sets in.  

The fire feeds off of positivity. Just a small "you got this" nudge can send the flames higher. Lightness always drives out darkness. You made a promise. That fire isn't going to go out unless you let it. 

It's a constant battle. I'm telling you that now. But there are ways to gain an upper hand.

Every morning, when you see that face in the mirror, tell it how proud you are. You know this is hard. To be honest, this sucks. But you're trying. And today is a new day, and we're going to keep going. 

You made a promise once before. Now make me a new one. Keep going. 

Meal Prep: To Plan Or Not To Plan?

Over the years I've learned that with every lifestyle change or new eating plan people seem to be sacrificing something. With Keto you sacrifice excess carbs. With Paleo you sacrifice grains and dairy (<-- this is why I could never do Paleo. Bread and ice cream 'til I die!)

Here at Make it Macro we preach flexible dieting, which means you get to fit all of your favorite foods into your daily meal plans. But then what are we sacrificing? 

Time.

When I first started tracking, I would spend a good 15 minutes measuring out one or two things to make sure I had them down right. "I have to be ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that this sweet potato is 150 grams." <-- me, every day. 

As the months have gone on, I've become more efficient in weighing and tracking my meals. But this week we're talking about something that everyone can do, beginner or professional, to help counting your macros less time consuming! 

Drum roll, please. . .

MEAL PREP! Woohoo!

As you scroll the site this week you'll notice a bunch of new meal prep additions. If you look at the breakfast tab, you'll see a ton there. As working people, we generally don't have a whole ton of time to wake up and make a balanced breakfast. That's why we want to give you different options to keep your meals interesting and fast- cause we know how boring a protein bar for breakfast can get after a few days! 

I have the luxury of working from home, so I don't always need to meal prep my breakfasts. But today we're taking a page out of my dear friend Jannae's book! She meal preps for her and her husband every weekend for the ENTIRE work week. When I approached her and asked why meal prepping is so important to help keep her on track she told me this:

"Meal Prep is one of those things that seems hard, but it's really not! The only hassle is it takes a bit of time. I typically spend about 3-4 hours every Sunday prepping meals for the next week. This includes planning what I'm going to eat every meal and then sticking to my list and only buying those groceries. This helps me stay on track because not only does it save me a lot of time (and $$), I'm also not having to figure out day of what I'm going to make for dinner that night.

I like to meal prep breakfast, lunches and snacks. This helps a TON because I work full time, and I always have food to eat while I'm there. This cuts out the need to either make a sandwich (which will leave me still hungry) or having to go out to eat which totally throws off my numbers. 

I love having meal prep because I never have to worry about trying to grab something to eat before work. It's all ready for me to grab and go. The 3-4 hours on Sunday really have me a ton of time throughout the week!"

Being prepared is so important to help keep you on track to meet your goals. If you have a huge gap in your day, its easier to say "oh forget it, I'll just stop at the gas station or Wendy's on my way home to grab something because I don't want to cook."

Being prepared also helps you be confident! You know exactly what your plan is for the day and you know you're going to crush it! Take the guess work out of macros. Plan your day! Let us help you, too! If you sign on for our monthly coaching, you have the option of receiving a tailored meal plan to fit your macros! 

Shoot us an email at makeitmacroas@gmail.com to get started! 

Persistence, Not Perfection.

I have anxiety. Really bad anxiety, actually. Couple that with depression and you have a really gnarly cocktail of brain imbalances that can lead to a whole plethora of problems. When I was in college, I mitigated my anxiety by spending 2-3 hours in the gym. Mostly running on the treadmill. It was an okay outlet, but I still struggled internally for a lot of years. 

Fast forward to when I got married. I gained about 25 pounds because I just didn't have time to workout with transitioning to working full time, buying a house and raising two fur babies. I started to slip in to this awful and punishing cycle where I'd try to eat healthy, get overwhelmed because I didn't know where to start, get frustrated, quit, eat my feelings, and then feel gross and guilty. I was stuck in a loop of frustration and self pity. I didn't know where to go, or where to start to feel better. 

Any mental health journey is a tough one. And it's different for everyone. I started mine with medication that helped clear my head. And then I walked into a CrossFit gym one evening after almost psyching myself out. CrossFit was and still is a massive positive influence for my mental health. I started to notice a few small changes as months went by; my shoulders started getting more solid. I had quads for the first time in my life. But progress was slow, and I was hungry for more. 

So I researched. And I found macros. And I was scared out of my damn mind. It was so confusing! What are these categories?? How do I track them?? What is a carb??? ( I knew what a carb was cause #allthebread, but I legitimately didn't know vegetables were a carb until I started counting macros. I know. No judging.) 

I really struggled at first. I would hit my fat way before my protein, and didn't know how to balance out my meals without eating the same thing every day. I didn't want to branch out for fear of going over on all my categories, so I ate chicken, sweet potatoes and oatmeal for a few weeks.

But I got tired of that crap real fast. There had to be a better way. I see all of these people on Pinterest making these amazing meals that are somehow macro friendly?? How? 

This is the point I'm getting to. Macros are a process.

You aren't going to be amazing at it after a few days. I'm still not amazing at it! It's something I have to practice every. single. day. There are days I totally blow my macros. Sometimes one graham cracker becomes the entire sleeve. Sometimes I just need to eat some freaking ice cream because you know what? It's been a really hard day. And I always used to feel guilty after those slip ups. 

"I ruined my diet." "I can't stay consistent at anything. This is never going to work"

are things I said to myself all the time after those bumps in the road. And then one day I just decided that when I woke up every morning, it was a fresh day and I was going to try as hard as I could to make THAT ONE DAY the best I possibly could. 

The thing with macros is it's a lifestyle change. This isn't some fad diet we're all doing for 6 weeks to get the best results and then we'll all go back to our old ways. We are literally changing how we view food and world around us. We're learning about proper intake. We're learning about our bodies preferences and the kinds of fuel it likes the best. We're learning how to create combinations of those foods that are convenient and tasty! That's a lot of information and a lot of learning to do. We can't put pressure on ourselves to be perfect at it every day. We would all go crazy. 

There will be bad days. There will be days we feel like everything is crashing down and macros are the last thing on our minds. There will also be really good days, too. Christmas, birthdays. Special date nights to our favorite hole in the wall restaurant where no nutrition information is available. Please, PLEASE enjoy those nights. Mental health days are JUST as important as anything else. Don't over stress if you can't find the nutrition information. Don't bring your scale to a birthday party (or on vacation!) Persistence is more important than perfection. 

You are human. You are going to have ups and downs. The path to success is never a straight line. But you know what matters more than any of that? The fact that you're here. And the fact that you're trying. 

Macro Calculators: To Use Or Not To Use?

One of the first things you'll see when you google Macros is "MACRO CALCULATOR" pasted everywhere on your search engine. There is literally a plethora of different calculators out there where you plug in some information and it spits out some macros for you. But how accurate are these? Can we trust them? Should we? Why does this world of macros have to be so dang complicated?

I'll be the first to admit, I tried my fair share at macro calculators when I was getting started. I was looking for ANY kind of guidance I could get. I was alone and these calculators made it seem so easy! All I needed to do was enter my height and weight and BOOM. Macros. 

I stuck to my given macros for a couple of months. I was pretty good at hitting them. But I wasn't feeling any better. Nothing was really changing. Was I doing something wrong? Are these numbers even right? I had no idea. So I decided I was done with the cyber world of macros. I wanted to talk to a real human, and I wanted to talk to them NOW.

Here's the reality guys. Calculating individualized macros, adjusting to lifestyle factors and keeping tabs on a client takes time. You need to be able to talk to someone who can factor in multiple things into your numbers. When I started talking to my coach about my typical day, he was asking such in depth questions about things I didn't even consider. "Do you do Crossfit?" Well, yeah. "Okay that's awesome. You also mentioned you have dogs, do you walk them at all?" Yes, twice a day. "Do you cook three meals a day or do you eat out? How's your water intake?" Come to find out, I was in TOO MUCH of a caloric deficit. I wasn't fueling my body enough. My coach came back with my new numbers and upped every single one of my categoeries. More protein, more carbs and more fat. 

All of these questions were SO helpful in calculating my new numbers. As soon as I started hitting them more consistently, I started to notice massive changes. Not only was the weight coming off, but I felt better. I could run longer. Lifts were getting heavier. My SKIN was clearing up?? All of these things started happening and I finally found the love for macros. 

August 1 2017/February 2018

August 1 2017/February 2018

Here at MakeItMacro (can we abbreviate this to MIM?). We are so passionate about giving you the advice and guidance you need to hit your goals. Need someone in your corner every day giving you daily advice? Monthly coaching is your best bet. Need a good platform where you can learn, practice and ask us questions for a few months? Sign up for our 90 day challenge! Or maybe you're like me and just need to talk to a real human for a second to tell you what the crap your macros should be. We do that, too! We offer one time macro sets that help point you in the right direction and then send you on your way. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

And as always, remember: this is a process. Macros are a lifestyle change. Getting your numbers is the beginning of an awesome journey. But it's not a one-stop-shop. You have to recommit every day. This is a grind. Health always is. But, we're here for you! And we can't wait to see you succeed. 

Love always, 

 

Sam

Pumpkin Protein Donuts

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Alright. Need I say more? C'mon people. PUMPKIN DONUTS. I'll wait while you wipe that drool off of your face.

You missed a spot. 

Okay, you good now? Oh, good. 

These donuts are so easy to put together. The key here is Select Protein in Snickerdoodle. (Use code PES30 to get 30% off your order!) The only thing I would recommend is whisking the eggs and egg whites together before you add them into the rest of the batter, just so you don't have weird streaks after they bake. These guys are a great pre/post workout snack, and you can even make a protein frosting with greek yogurt and sugar free cheesecake jello mix! They last for about 4 days in an airtight container. 

Enjoy!

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Tracking App Tutorials

Tracking is probably the scariest part of Macros. 
How do we know what category to put everything in? What units do we measure in? How do we track recipes with multiple elements??

Don't worry. We got you! Ashleigh and I both use different tracking apps to help keep our knowledge up to date for our clients. Ashleigh uses  MyFitnessPal and I use MyMacros+. Here are a few tips for both apps!

 

  • Each app has an integrated food database that you can select items from. They also have a barcode scanner to help you scan new items directly into the app. (This is awesome and we use it all the time.)
  • You can also add your specific macro goals into each app. For MyFitnessPal you'd go Menu>goals>calorie&macronutrient goals>and then input your specific numbers. 
  • In MyMacros+, you would click the top three buttons on the right>select app settings>set nutrition goals>create new goal. This will keep a running total for you as you track your day. 

Another huge thing to remember is to ALWAYS pay attention to the unit in which a food is weighed. Sometimes it's ounces, sometimes it's grams. Sometimes you'll see a food label that reads "one serving is One Cup (or 88g). Always, I REPEAT, ALWAYS go with the unit option. AKA, grams in this case. A cup of any food can be 10  or even 20 grams off depending on how you measure. You always want to weigh everything out so you can be specific and accurate, otherwise your numbers could be thrown off. 

My macro goals are shown at the top AND the bottom here on MyMacros+

My macro goals are shown at the top AND the bottom here on MyMacros+

Here Ashleigh shows us how to add your own Macro goal in MyFitnessPal!

Here Ashleigh shows us how to add your own Macro goal in MyFitnessPal!

 

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks for some indepth tutorials on how to navigate these apps. We know it can be a little overwhelming! 

 

Happy Tracking!

 

Ash and Sam