How and When to Use them with Macro Counting
To be perfectly honest, having a meal plan sounds pretty restricting, especially to people who have found all of the freedom that counting macros brings! With macro counting you are not eliminating foods of any kind, you are simply arranging the foods and portions you choose with a daily goals for each macronutrient category (carbs, fats, and protein). So if we can eating ANYTHING, why are we talking meal plans? Well, sometimes life is busy and sometimes people get overhwhelmed when they can eat anything they want and a little structure goes a long way.
So the kind of meal planning I’m talking about is flexible and PERSONALIZED to your macro numbers. It takes the tetris out of trying to fill your protein at the end of the day because you have already mapped out meals that help you fill your goals, so simply eating the food you planned gets a successful day of eating every day!
My meal plan example is based off of macros that are probably NOT your macros. A person’s macros dependent on highly specific characteristics and I don’t recommend winging them. One of my favorite aspects of Tighter Together challenges is that hundreds upon hundreds of people given CUSTOMIZED macro counts. I read each questionnaire and am confident that you are eating in a way that is going to be effective for you and your needs. The details for participating in that challenge can be found here.
My Current Macros:
So those are the totals I’m looking to fill with the meals I eat throughout the day. I’m truly not picky about the ratios of each in my meals as long as the totals add up at the end of the day.
Also, my meals are not fancy! Most of them are put together quickly with relatively basic ingredients combined in different ways that I enjoy eating! Some people thrive with recipes and others don’t-- I’m a simple girl when it comes to flavor combinations and I find that with some good seasonings, I’m happy!
(Favorites: Everything But the Bagel from Trader Joe’s, Garlic Salt Seasoning (TJ’s), and 21 Seasoning Salute (TJ’s)
Also, the “recipe” I’ve been making for lunch is adapted from Lillie Loves Macros blog and the main things I have changed are: spaghetti squash instead of pasta and then I leave out the chicken from the dish, and also use Fat Free Mozzerella as my topping instead of breadcrumbs. But I have made her recipe as called for and it’s DELICIOUS!
And here is one she has made with spaghetti squash!
Meal 1: (breakfast) 31 Carbs / 4 Fats / 22 Protein
Meal 2 (morning snacks): 29 Carbs / 8 Fats / 38 Protein
Fage 0% Greek Yogurt + Rice Cakes
Meal 3 (lunch): 38 Carbs/ 2 Fat / 24 Protein
Meal 4 (snack): 28 Carbs/ 12 Fats / 11 Protein
Better Oats (maple flavor)
(chocolate drizzle) 10 grams dark cocoa powder + 7g Powdered PB + 1 liquid stevia and a little water mixed together— sometimes I get it too watery :(
1 Tbs Jiff Peanut Butter
ALSO: I had added Walden Farms Sugar Free Caramel Sauce to this so the colors are a little scary! (Peanut butter is underneath)
Meal 5 (dinner): 19 Carbs / 2 Fats / 24 Protein
Meal 6 (treat): 26 Carbs / 16 Fats/ 26 Protein
This picture is not my current daily bowl, but I have included the information in the MFP screen shot! I add a little water + 1/2 Nutribullet of ice and BLEND
I wanted to show you my app entries as an example, but I won’t necessarily take the time to log them each day since I know from my first day and my meal plan the totals!
Once I know that my meals for the week add up to my totals, I just eat! I know what the approximate sizes of the portions and ingredients look like, BUT I will measure/weigh out things like peanut butter and proteins just so I get those correct. Lower calorie foods like zucchini and cauliflower rice I’m not concerned about being perfect.
What If you Eat Out or Plans Change?
Let’s say it’s a day that we go out to eat of plans change unexpectedly-- what happens? First of all, if I’m this accurate 5/7 days a week, then I know the unplanned things will not derail my consistency, so I don’t fret, I re-arrange! I usually will just pull macros from my dessert and dinner and eat something that is generally balanced from a restaurant and call it even. If I know I didn’t get close to the calories I would have consumed with my normal dinner + dessert, then I’ll still make my protein ice cream (maybe leave out the chocolate). And I DON’T STRESS.
This Stresses Me Out
I tell every client or new friend that there IS a learning curve that comes with a much more intentional and accurate way of eating, but there are also ways to simplify! So if logging things into your app daily is becoming a chore, make a meal plan that FITS your macros and just eat! I promise it’s better than winging it :)
You should also know that these macros are NOT my personal fat loss macros, so when Tighter Together rolls around and I am eating with a different goal, my macros will change. Be sure you are eating in a way that supports your current goals. For those of you who need help with macros, I HIGHLY recommend participating in Tighter Together as it gives you fat loss macros AND the tools to transition to maintenance macros afterwards.
Sign Up Dates (shop page of the blog): January 1-14th
Start Date: January 14th
UNLIMITED PARTICIPANTS (unlike 1-1 Macro Coaching)