Are you Macro Ready?
Numbers are hard. Every CrossFitter knows this. We already have to calculate what 85% of our 1RM is and then add 45,15,10,2.5, multiply it by 2 then add 35 (or 45, boys) in order to figure out what’s on our bar. Stick with me here...Maybe you’re a math whiz and numbers aren’t all that difficult, but throwing numbers into a part of your life where it seems like it doesn’t belong can be overwhelming and frustrating. You’re at the gym to workout, not to calculate. Your diet shouldn’t have to have to be based around a series of numbers and calculations either, right? Well, maybe not. But if you’re looking to maximize your success in getting to your goals, then yes. If you’re learning how to create a long lasting, healthy relationship with food while leaning out or gaining muscle and feeling great, then yes. For some time your diet will have to involve numbers.
If this all seems a little bit overwhelming, I understand. There have been multiple times in my life where I have tried to track my food, weigh it, measure it, and after a few weeks completely gave up. I ended up frustrated and felt defeated. There are two reasons why this didn’t work out for me at the time.
1 - I wasn’t following a flexible diet plan while counting my macros. I was trying to stick to regimented and pre-planned meal plan AND track my macronutrients, which gave me no creativity and leniency in my diet. I bit off more than I could chew.
2 - I had a hard time staying diligent in getting enough water and micronutrients (greens) a day let alone macronutrients, so I didn’t have a great foundation.
My frustration wasn’t stemming from the numbers or the tracking. My frustration was coming from working so hard (counting, measuring, calculating, weighing) and not seeing results. Why? Because I was stressed and unhappy with my meal plan, (don’t try and take dessert away from me) and because I didn’t have a great foundation to begin with.
So, how do you know if you’re ready to take on a set of numbers? And what if you’re not yet ready?
Check in with yourself. In my previous blog post (Link here) I posed a couple quick and easy questions you can ask yourself regarding some small changes you can make in your daily life in order to start building a great foundation. Making small changes (taking your daily vitamins, drinking enough water, getting enough greens) will help push you in the right direction.
If you already have generally good eating habits but find you’re not making progress, check to see if you’re being consistent. Does your current diet plan make you binge on the weekends? If you find you’re restricted on what you can eat because you’re avoiding “bad” foods, maybe it’s time to try flexible dieting and work with a coach to track your macros.
If you’re not there yet and know that tackling a macro breakdown every day is still a little out of reach, don’t panic. I’m still here! Working with a coach and tracking your general daily food intake (forget protein, carbs and fat and think overall caloric intake) will help create great habits that will ultimately lead you to get your target macro numbers. Think of getting your numbers as your first goal! Build a solid foundation based on quality of food and good daily habits, and then we can tackle numbers together.
What’s your next step? Is it time to build your foundation? Or is it time to start tracking your macros?