Why this is critical in understanding what you eat
At Strive, we are passionate about keeping you on track with your fitness goals, which is why we believe knowledge is power! A word you might have heard been thrown about a lot in the world of fitness is ‘macros’. You might be wondering why are macros relevant and important to my fitness and weight loss regime?
Before we go any further be sure to download our Strive Weight Loss Challenge App which allows you to create or join weight loss competitions with friends, family, or coworkers with weigh-ins to track your weight, body fat percentage, and BMI!
So, back to it. ‘Macros’ is a shorter term for macronutrients. Macronutrients refer to the number of nutrients your body needs to function properly. Your body requires specific amounts of protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables to function at an optimum rate, to lose weight or gain weight. Everyone has a different goal, which is why everyone has different macronutrient ratios.
Knowing what your macronutrient ratios are is the best way to maintain or create the perfect physique or balance you are looking for. This is because macros are all based on your individual needs.
Why should you count your macros?
Counting macros is the healthiest way to achieve your goal while giving your body everything it needs nutritionally. It allows you to prepare your meals in advance and batch cook foods. Ultimately you are held accountable for your own success. Counting macros also means you stay well clear of fad and crash diets!
Counting calories alone doesn’t tell you anything about how balanced your diet should be: for 1,500 calories a day, you could eat four iced ring doughnuts, cake or 375 strawberries, neither of which would be healthy.
Your step-by-step guide to calculating your own macros
Ok, so this post would be pointless if we didn’t show you exactly how you can count your macros too. You don’t have to specifically count your macros for every meal but knowing they are there and present in different food groups means you are much better equipped to make informed choices with the food groups you choose for a balanced meal. Do you want to take control of your own nutrition? Here’s how to do it…
Step 1: What’s your goal? Before you begin to make your plan you need to determine what your goal is, even if it’s just maintenance. This is crucial to making the next step.
Step 2: Determine your ‘daily calorie needs’. Here you will fill in the details about yourself such as your height, weight, age and how many times you can exercise a week. You will then be given 3 numbers which are:
- How many calories do you need daily for weight loss
- Extreme weight loss
Step 3: Taking the number, use the ‘nutrient calculator’ and enter your calories and choose ‘moderate’ this is usually a good, average program to follow. Fill in the rest of the details and press calculate. Your macronutrients will then be delivered. You can see how many grams per food group you need in your meals. The results will look something like this:
|GRAMS per day||168g||112g||41g|
|GRAMS per meal||33.6g||22.4g||8.2g|
|CALORIES per day||675 cals||450 cals||375 cals|
|CALORIES per meal||135 cals||90 cals||75 cals|
Calculating your macronutrients will enable you to make a scientific and customised nutrition plan completely tailored to your body and your goals. You can select your own lean protein sources, healthy carbs and fats based on your own preferences. You are creating your own menu. Below we have included some healthy meal recipes with good, balanced macronutrient ratios.
Easy high protein meal recipes
Below are some delicious high protein meals, which include a lean source and are low in fat making them well-balanced in their macronutrient ratios.
Oats and whey
What do you need?
- Rolled oats
- 1 – 2 scoops of protein
- 1 teaspoon of your favourite nut butter
This is one of the easiest high protein meals ever and requires minimum effort, but delivers maximum taste and fulfilment! Pour your desired amount of oats into the bowl and add water. Allow water to be fully absorbed by the oats, then add your scoop of protein. Mix well until protein has been fully dissolved. Top with your favourite nut butter and enjoy!
Grilled salmon, asparagus & rice
What do you need?
- 1 salmon fillet
- Handful of asparagus
- Half a pack of microwavable basmati rice
Another easy one, this high protein meal contains healthy omega 3 & 6 fats in the salmon, and asparagus is a natural diuretic that helps with weight loss. The basmati rice is a low GI carb, which means it digests slowly keeping you fuller for longer. Grill the salmon for around 6 minutes and roast the asparagus in the oven for around 15 minutes. Serve up with basmati rice and enjoy!
Vegetarian tofu sandwich
What do you need?
- Half a block of firm tofu
- Whole grain bread bun
- Sesame seed oil
- Tomatoes, spinach and any salad of your choice
Slice up the tofu and brush with sesame seed oil. Lay on the baking tray and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, turning frequently. Once cooked, lay over the bread and finish with adding the salad and some light mayo. This tasty sandwich is low in fat and high in protein.
Bedtime recovery protein shake
What do you need?
- Casein protein powder
- Coconut milk
- 1 scoop of super greens powder
This bedtime recovery shake is the perfect bedtime fuel! Using a blender, add in a scoop of protein and 2 cups of coconut milk, 30g of oats and a teaspoon of flaxseed. Blend the ingredients, then add in the scoop of greens powder and blend again. This drink is the perfect nighttime fuel! It will keep your body full throughout the night and provide a tapered release of protein to your muscles while you sleep and recover.