Let's create Macro friendly meals
First, let me start by explaining what macro friendly is. Macro friendly food is going to give you more bang for your buck. You're going to eat food that helps you hit your macro breakdown better. Higher protein meals are going to serve you best. You also don't want to eat meals that are thousands of calories. Odds are you shouldn't be eating thousands of calories even throughout the day.
Macro friendly is stemming from a macronutrient diet. If you have ever heard of tracking macros. You are given three numbers. Your carbs, fats and protein. These three numbers are based on a calculation. From your activity level, current weight, goal weight and other factors. This is way more beneficial than tracking calories is because you want to guarantee fat loss. Not just weight loss. Just Weight Loss may mean losing muscle. Which could lead to you looking no different than when you started your weight loss journey. Whereas when tracking your macros the goal is to get you leaned and toned prioritizing fat loss. Boosting your metabolism while getting your body in fat burning mode. If your goal is fat loss of course.
Macro tracking may come across intimidating. The goal is to hit your three numbers everyday but there are ways to simplify it. For one you could start by looking to hit your total calories and protein. Calories determine weight loss or weight gain and protein will determine what's lost. Fat or muscle. So you can simplify it that way. But if you want specific results you're going to have to be specific. Meaning it may be a little more complicated than you'd like in the beginning. Just like anything you are trying to learn. But, with time and consistency you will get the hang of it and see results.
To start macro tracking you can download THIS APP. And select me “Maria Imperato” as your coach and we can get started on this process together. So you can start your journey and not waste time.
But anyways, to get to the heart of this blog. I want to simplify what a typical meal would look like. For those who are brand new or have been tracking for a while. This is a great way to help you create meals that will serve you best. Of course there will be days we grab a slice of pizza or something else on the go and that's ok. But to fine tune our understanding of a well balanced meal I want to help you with some tips.
Number one: Watch the extras! Whether you are going out to eat or making a meal at home this is the first thing I would have you address. What's the sauce or the dressings? With the tacos you want to get, it has guac, cheese, sour cream and salsa. Yes those all sound delicious but that can add up. It doesn't mean you can't have those things! It's something to consider when piecing together your meals. All those little add ons add up. And that caesar salad you get because it's “healthier”? Has about 4 tbsp of dressing, if not more. Which could be over 300 calories and almost 30 grams of fat, just from the dressing. So the meals you get with the extra sauces and dressings and sides. Remember they count too. Possibly way more than you'd want them to too. If you need some extra spice to your meals then go for the spices instead of sauces where you can.
Number 2: Have your protein source. You want to be eating your goal body weight in protein. Protein is also the most satiating macro. It can help reduce cravings. But it also helps you prioritize lean muscle tissue. Which helps you boost your metabolism and burn more calories at rest. When you prioritize protein your body prioritizes fat loss when you're eating the correct amount of calories. So you want to make sure you're getting enough protein in. Your turkey, fish, chicken, egg whites, protein powder and greek yogurt can help you hit your protein goals. So when you're going out to eat or prepping your meals for the week or piecing together a last minute dinner. Be mindful of how it's cooked and again what's added. But protein should be a primary focus when looking to get in shape, healthier, loose weight or put on muscle. Get that protein source in and a good amount of it too.
Number 3: Load up your veggies and add your carb if you have the wiggle room. Vegetables are a great way to add volume to your meals without too many calories. You can add some wonderful colors and fun to your meals this way. Sometimes when tracking macros you may find at the end of the day that you are cutting it close to your fats and carbs. This can be a struggle because we all love our fats and carbs and don't realize how all the little things add up. So maybe at the end of the day instead of having rice with your chicken, you may need to have it with a lot of veggies on the side. Not that carbs are bad in any way. But veggies are carbs too and with the other carbs you had during the day this may help you hit your numbers better. If you have plenty of wiggle room, have those sauces and rice for dinner! But loading the veggies may be a good idea in those times of being hungry and not having a lot of wiggle room.
I hope you find these helpful in your journey. Use these as tools, not a restrictive ball and chain. Remember to give yourself grace in the learning process. But also have the knowledge that if you want big results it may take some adjusting from your typical preferences. Join the MIFIT team facebook group for more helpful tips and a community to support your journey!