Part 3: Tracking Macros + Meal plan

We earlier discussed the importance of managing your calories intake (you can't out train a bad diet). In this part we will go over all the methods that will help you track and control your foods.

Let’s talk about Macronutrient & Calories:

Eat to sustain your body, not to starve it

Knowledge is power. People often fall short with their diet despite putting effort into it since they don't know what they are doing wrong. That is where macro tracking prevails, by tracking your foods you will have the knowledge of what your diet is missing, and that will give you the power to take action and make a change.

If you want to lose fat, it is necessary to be on a calorie deficit, meaning - eat less calories than your body burns.  Yet calories are not the only component, it is important to have a full well balanced diet. Tracking your macros (macronutrients) allows you to do just that!

What are macronutrients – “macronutrients= a type of food (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the human diet.”

Tracking your macros allows you to know exactly how close you are to your nutritional goals in any given moment, it guarantees that your body gets all the protein/fat/carbs that it needs to function to its fullest potential. More than everything, it allows you to reflect on your nutrition and learn from your mistakes, it is very easy to say “my diet is bad”, however that doesn’t lead you anywhere, tracking down your food and macros shows you exactly what you need to do to get to where you want to be.

How to track your macors:

  • Journal your foods. Myfitnesspal (free on the app store) is a great application that you can use to track what you are eating and exactly how much of it you are eating. An article from WebMD cites that “Several studies have shown that people who keep food journals are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off.”

  • Now I already know what you’re going to do, when you’re setting up your account, the application will ask you how much weight do you want to lose per week and most of you will reach for the highest number. Moreover, most of you believe that if you just lower your calories, that will hasten the weight loss process. We want to avoid aggressive calorie cutting because the results won’t last for long and you’re actually putting your body into starvation mode so it will be easier to gain more weight than you lost, long term.

  • We are going to supply you with your caloric goals after the measurements, so you should not be concerned with the calorie goal provided by MyFitnessPal.

  • What I am mainly concerned with is the macronutrient breakdown. This is your allocation of carbs, proteins and fats. If you are looking for a guideline where we have seen the most success over all, the diet allocates 55% of your calories to carbohydrates, 20% to protein and 25% to fat.Here is how you find your macronutrient breakdown:

🍇🥑Click here to learn how to track your macros using MyFitnessPal🌯🥄

 

Do not make this a game of starvation! The truth is, you do not need to starve yourself to see amazing results. Most people look to consume 1200 calories as that has long been defined as the minimum number of calories an individual should consume. However, if you don’t meet the number of calories YOUR body needs based on BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate - amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment) and activity level, you are actually losing muscle, which will decrease your metabolic rate tremendously and will keep you away from getting the results that you want. For this reason, your goal is to consume the calories we will provide you with. if you are fairly close the macronutrient breakdown of C55/F25/P20 you will see great results!

How to stay full on calorie deficit:

To stay full while eating less calories you will need to replace calorie dense foods with no nutritional value (empty calories) with nutritious whole foods.

*Avoiding bad foods that are very high in fat and sugar (fast food, pop, white bread)

*Eating more fiber and veggies that will keep you full for longer 

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200 calories in different foods:

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Enjoy unlimited amounts of the following foods - They are Macro friendly and will keep you full for long!

  • Broccoli

  • Squash

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Lettuce

  • Asparagus

  • Zucchini 

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Cauliflower

  • Eggplant 

  • Alfalfa sprouts

  • Bean sprouts  

  • Celery

  • Carrots 

  • Mushrooms 

  • Green Beans

  • Leek

  • Peppers

  • Salad Greens

  • Artichoke

  • Beets 

  • Cabbage

  • Peas

  • Ginger

  • Radishes

  • Tomatoes 

  • Bok Choy

  • Parsley

  • Rhubarb

Sample Meal Plans

So here is a meal plan to start with. It’s roughly 1600 calories, These meal plans are only an example (we will provide you with customized calories for you after the measurements)  , it should give you a basis to build on, you should use it as a tool to help you build your diet and then adjust your diet to fit the macros. As long as you play by the rules and track your foods (macronutrients and calories) you can find the foods that you like and fit you.

There is no one-fit-all template for a meal plan, we all have different caloric and macro goals that we need to meet, as long as you follow the guidelines, it is up to you to decide which foods work for you. ​

 

Here is an example of how I will break it down if my goal was 1600 calories and macros of 20P/25F/55C.

Checking MyFitnessPal>Nutrition>Nutrients - I will need:

 

1600 calories

80gr of Protein

220 gr of Carbs

44gr of Fat

Now just to clarify, although it might seem very complicated, it's not once you use the food tracking app! Myfitnesspal allows you to set a calorie and macro goal, and once you have those set, it shows you exactly how much Carbs/fat/protein you ate already, and how much you are missing to meet your goals, that allows you to make conscious food decision that get you to your goals! 

Option 1:

Breakfast:

1.5 Servings of: Chia seed pudding (334.5cal/34.2C/15.3F/13P)

1 cup of blueberries (83cal/21C/0.5F/1P)

1 cup of Raspberries (64cal/15C/0.8F/1P)

Snack at work:

1 large banana (125cal/31.5C/0.5F/1.5P)

30gr of almonds (173cal/6C/15.2F/6.4P)

1/2 large apple (55cal/14.5C/0.3F/0.5P)

Lunch:

1 Serving of: Beefless Chili (450cal/65.5C/4F/36.6P)

2 cup of steamed broccoli (60cal/12C/0.7F/5P)

Dinner:

1 serving of: Green Beans With Edamame (207cal/25.8C/6.8F/17.3P)

1 cup of salad greens (~9 calories)

Total:

~1560 Calories

~82.4gr of Protein

~223.7 of Carbs

~44.1 of Fat

Option 2:

Breakfast:

1 Servings of: Green warrior protein smoothie (520cal/51.5C/18.1F/37.8P)

1 cup of blueberries (83cal/21C/0.5F/1P)

1 cup of Raspberries (64cal/15C/0.8F/1P)

Snack at work:

1 large banana (125cal/31.5C/0.5F/1.5P)

15gr of almonds (86.5cal/3C/7.6F/3.2P)

Lunch:

1 Serving of: Lentil Soup (428.8cal/62.4C/10F/22.3P)

2 cup of steamed broccoli (60cal/12C/0.7F/5P)

Dinner:

1 serving of: Pad Thai Spring Rolls (204cal/30C/2.9F/6.6P)

1 cup of salad greens (~9 calories)

Total:

~1570.5 Calories

~79.2gr of Protein

~225.9 of Carbs

~41.5 of Fat

Option 3:

Breakfast:

2 Servings of: Curry and mushrooms scrambled tofu (356cal/23.3C/15.2F/36.4P)

1 cup of blueberries (83cal/21C/0.5F/1P)

1 cup of Raspberries (64cal/15C/0.8F/1P)

Lunch:

1/2 Serving of: Burrito Bowl (308cal/55.3C/11F/5.1P)

2 cup of steamed broccoli (60cal/12C/0.7F/5P)

Dinner:

2 serving of: Chickpea Shakshuka (452cal/72.6C/10.2F/17.6P)

1 serving of: Green Beans With Edamame (233cal/25.8C/6.8F/17.3P)

1 cup of salad greens (~9 calories)

Total:

~1630 Calories

~83.4gr of Protein

~224.8 of Carbs

~45.2 of Fat

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  • Recommended protein powder - Garden of Life Raw Protein (best with 1 Banana)

  • Broccoli can be replaced with any green vegetables

  • Nuts can be added as a snack.

  • Have at least 8 cups of regular water and one green tea a day

  • Have 8 servings of fruits and veggies a day

 

 

Sample Shopping List

This is not an exhaustive list. These are suggestions to help you shop with more nutritional responsibility. This is in no way intended to replace the advice of your dietitian or primary care provider. Always seek the advice of your primary care physician before starting any new nutrition regimen.

  • Protein Sources, Tofu, Seitan, Chickpeas, Beans, Lentils, edamame, Chia, Hemp hearts, seeds, quinoa, Your favorite protein shake, Etc…

  • Fruits (Carbs) Apples, Oranges, Grapefruits, Bananas, Blueberries, Etc…

  • Grains (Carbs) Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Ezekiel Bread, buckwheat, Etc…

  • Vegetables (Carbs) Spinach, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Green beans, Etc …

  • Fats Coconut Oil, Avocado, Peanuts, Almonds, Cashews (unsalted), Etc…

  • Fat Burning Spices/Aids Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Ginger, Green Tea, Apple Cider Vinegar Etc…

Let’s talk about Meal Prep

Whether you are a mom/dad, student or working full time, it can be hard (or absolutely impossible!) to cook all of your meals at home each day.

Meal Prepping is simply preparing some, or all of your meals ahead of time. It’s like having those TV dinners that you would purchase from the store, except that you prepare them yourself, with better, healthier and unprocessed ingredients.

Not only does it save you time, but it also helps to ensure you eat healthier foods more often with the proper portions, instead of reaching for quick processed and prepackaged snacks or meals that go over your caloric needs.

Whether you chop up the vegetables and scale all the ingredients the day before to save you time when you make the recipe, or you cook a big amount, divide it into containers, and then you have a ready meal that you can just throw in the microwave and eat. Meal prep saves you a lot of time and cancels the emotional eating factor. Let’s admit it, when it’s late and your coming home from work, it is easier to go for that chocolate bar that is staring at you from the counter than it is to start cooking. That’s why planning ahead and being prepared is 90% of the process of improving your diet!

"Failing to plan is planning to fail"

 ​

The idea is to plan out all of your meals on the weekend, most often on Sunday, then do the shopping and the prep at one time for the entire week. This day is labor intensive, but then your food is ready-to-eat for the next 6 full days.

 

4 Step Meal Prep Guide to make your next food prep week really simple:

 

Step One: Planning

 

Get out your notebook and pen or pull up a blank note page on your iPad, it’s time to start planning for the week. Here are the questions that you’ll need to answer:

 

1. How many meals do I need each day?

Check your calendar for special events

Consider your appetite throughout the day

Look at each day separately

2. How many servings do I need for each meal?

Consider who in the family needs which meals

Check the calendar for guests or visitors

Look at each day separately

Step Two: Recipes

 

Now it’s time to translate those meals + servings into actual recipes. Take a moment to consider the produce that is in season and any special requests or food allergies.

 

1. Find your recipes (I like to use up to 3-5 recipes per week)

2. Focus on a core group of ingredients

Plan recipes that use similar ingredients

3. Calculate leftover meals

Making enough of some recipes for leftover meals saves time

4. Make your list

Narrow down to the exact list of recipes

 

Step Three: Grocery List

 

Take your list of recipes and create a grocery list. A few things to keep in mind…

 

1. Pay attention to recipes that you’ll double or triple

Make sure to include all ingredients in your list

2. Check your pantry for items that you already have

Save money by avoiding double purchases

3. Shopping

 

It’s time to head to the grocery store! Take your list and, if you’re lucky, a helper down to your local market and go through each section item by item.

 

Step Four: Food Prep

 

You have options when it comes to the actual prep of each of your meals. Many you’ll be able to fully make right away and pack in the fridge. Other recipes you’ll want to simply do the chopping, measuring and organizing in order to make the meal hot and quick before you plan to eat it.

 

Which recipes should you fully cook in advance? The truth is that this is really up to you and your schedule. Here’s a good game plan if you don’t want to fully cook everything on Sunday:

Fully make the baked goods for the week.

Chop all vegetables.

Gather all seasonings.

Fully cook Monday’s dinner.

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