New to macros? You know more than you think!
Macros are made up of 3 macronutrients that are found in the foods you already consume: Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates. While counting calories can be useful, it doesn’t help you ensure you’re eating the right ratio of nutrient dense foods.
For example, you can consume 1,600 calories per day with completely different foods! If you fill the majority of that with whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables you’ll probably feel better, sleep better and see the results you want. However, this doesn’t mean there’s no room for ‘fun foods’.
Macro counting is very flexible and built for sustainability, which means saying yes to your favorites (even that new Jeni’s ice cream flavor).
Pro Tip: Don’t overcomplicate it at the beginning. Stick with foods that are easier to track and that you know you already enjoy. Complex recipes and dining out can make it harder at first. We recommend using My Fitness Pal to track macros and break MFP down for you in this blog.
So how does the calculator work?
The calculator looks at a handful of factors to determine your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and the macro ratio that should make up those calories.
1: Your activity level. During onboarding you selected either ‘Sedentary’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Active’ for average daily activity level.
2: Your current weight and height. As you complete frequent check-ins you will notice your macros slightly changing to adjust to your updated weight. These macro shifts should be very small so even though they may change a bit, they won’t vary significantly within the course of a week and you’ll have all of the info you need to meal plan and prep.
3. Your goal. Your macros will be adjusted based on whether you selected ‘lose’, ‘build’ or ‘maintain’ while setting up your profile. For example, someone looking to build muscle will need more protein than someone wanting to lose fat.
4. Your lifestyle factors. You will be asked about breastfeeding and dietary preference during onboarding. If you’re breastfeeding, the calculator will give you more calories per day to ensure you’re properly fueled.
The calculator also accounts for different scenarios that will vary for each person. For example, it’s unrealistic that someone will be able to eat over 200g of protein per day. Therefore, if someone is over 200 pounds the calculator will calculate total TDEE (calories per day) and split up remaining calories needed between carbs and fats, and cap the protein at 200g.
Pro Tip: Life happens. If you want to change your fitness level, breastfeeding status, dietary preference or goal, simply head to your Profile in the FBK app and adjust as needed.
No, your calories are not too high.
We get it. Diet culture has taught you that you should be eating 1,200 calories per day or less if you want to lose weight. Luckily for you, this isn’t a diet! This is the path to stabilizing long term success.
Dropping macros too quickly could result in metabolic adaptation and weight stalling at a higher body fat percentage than it would with a more moderate approach. You’ll find that consistently fueling your body with proper nutrition will show you the results.
When to deviate from the calculator.
Until you’re consistent with your current macros for at least 3 weeks, we wouldn’t recommend adjusting. If you’re brand new to tracking and have never done a strength training program before, you’ll want to give it even longer to adjust.
If you do decide to tweak your macros, start with small changes and give yourself two weeks of consistency before you adjust further. Or, join one of our Coached challenges where one of our certified coaches can personally adjust them for you.
Macros are just the start to your journey.
If you read about the journeys of anyone we highlight in our amazing transformations they’ll all tell you the same things.
- The path to health + wellness is never linear. Expect ups and downs along the way.
- No one can stay perfect all the time. Allowing yourself grace and occasional treats will sustain your success.
- Consistency will be the key to your ability to create a different lifestyle. You will not be motivated at all times, which is where discipline comes in. Stay consistent and you’ll be amazed at what happens over time.
A final piece of advice: use macro calculators as guiding lights, not as strict rules. As you start to actually pay attention to what’s happening in your body when you fuel yourself with certain types of foods, you’ll learn so much about what works best for you. Every single person in the FIT Fam is responsible for understanding their own physicality, and you’ll be set up for life if you pay attention to what your body is telling you now. The signs are all there, you just need to look for them!