Hey guys, so how you decide on what your macros should be his is a fairly common question I get, and for good reason! A lot of people who I talk to want to start counting macros but aren’t too sure how to make the first step. Learning how to count macros themselves can be tricky enough, but even prior to that–what about getting your numbers in the first place?! Today I’m going to talk about how you should decide what your (macro) goal should be, and who calculates my macros. Now, just as a disclaimer, I am not an expert! But I have been counting macros for almost 2 years and have adjusted my goals throughout, so I can speak with that experience in mind 🙂
When I first started counting macros, I did it because I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted with solely eating clean. I felt like I wasn’t nearly as toned as I should have been for the time and effort I was spending at the gym and with my diet (only 1-2x “cheat meals” a week). With that in mind, what I wanted to achieve is called a body recomposition. Meaning, I didn’t have a bunch of weight to lose, but I wanted to tone up and I wanted to gain lean muscle. As an end result, my weight didn’t really fluctuate because I lost a little bit of fat, but also gained more lean muscle; so the two kind of evened out. In terms of my macros though, I was eating in a caloric deficit– I was in a cut. The deficit wasn’t so low that I was burning muscle; I was still able to gain some lean muscle. But since I was in a deficit overall, I was able to burn fat.
So, this is what I did for the first 5 months of counting macros. Now this may be your goal as well but it may not be. You have to decide on what your body needs/what you want. If you have a lot of weight to lose you’re going to be in a cut–you’re going to be eating in a caloric deficit. Or, maybe you want to put on a lot more muscle. Well, in this case, you may decide on a bulk which is eating in a caloric surplus. Or let’s say that you’ve been eating in a deficit, and you’ve toned up and you’re happy with how you currently look. Or, you’ve been happy with how your body is responding to just eating clean but you want more flexibility in your diet so you’re starting to count macros. Well, in last two cases then you probably will have your macros calculated as maintenance. In maintenance, you are not eating in a deficit or a surplus–you are “maintaining.” As a side note, if you’re in a maintenance phase you can still burn some fat and gain muscle but it’s just going to be a slower process than if you’re cutting or bulking.
Based off this information I just gave, what do you think is best for you at this time? Now, just because you pick one (body recomposition, cutting, maintaining, or bulking) doesn’t mean you will be doing that forever! After I cut for about 5 months, I switched to my macros to maintenance. (I actually had a couple months right after I cut that I was eating what would be considered a bulk but that was to gain back the weight I lost after I fractured my jaw; so it was special circumstances. But after this, I started my maintenance macros and I did this for about 6 months). So after this maintenance phase, I then decided that I wanted to grow my legs and butt more, so I switched to more of a bulking phase–I increased carbs and increased my heavy weight days. After several months of this, I didn’t have as much time to put into the gym, so I cut out some of my weight days, and lowered my carbs again–I went back to maintenance. So as you can see, you don’t have to be stuck to one goal. Your macros can change as your goals change. HOWEVER it’s not beneficial to switch your macros up too often. When you are switching them every month your body is not going to be able to adjust and make progress. Pick a goal and stick with it.
Okay, so who calculates my macros? Paola Marquez calculates mine and she has been ever since I started counting! I trust her 100% and have had great results with her. I honestly don’t trust online calculators because there is no way that they can take into account all the factors that should go into calculating your numbers. For example, if you have a history of restrictive eating and a damaged metabolism, that will affect what your numbers end up being. That’s why I love using an actual person because they can take everything about you into account! Paola offers a 1 time macro calculation, or a package of 3 calculations. If you’re someone who thinks that you’ll be counting for a while then I would get a 3 pack because your macros will change as your goals change.
Alright, hopefully this post helps answer some questions about what your macros should be! If you guys have any additional questions, leave them in the comments and I’m happy to try and answer them! xx Claire