If you’ve learned about nutrition through the lens of a diet, you’re used to hearing what you can’t eat. And while that may work for weight loss in the short term, deprivation doesn’t lead to a fitter, leaner or stronger physique.
The most sustainable alternative? Macro-tracking — and here’s why…
Macros ensure you’re getting enough protein to support fat loss and lean muscle gain
If calories are king for determining changes to weight, macros are king for determining changes to body composition. As an active, strength-training woman, your needs for calories and protein are higher than your office buddy whose only suggestion for an after-work activity is hitting up happy hour. You know that building muscle to develop a strong-but-curvy body only happens when you lift heavy — but if you don’t have energy to put in that work, you will never be able to add another pound to the bar on leg day.
For your goals, it matters that you eat enough muscle-building foods. Tracking macros — particularly protein macros — ensures you strengthen and maintain muscle in the pursuit of an athletic physique + weight room prowess.
Macros ensure you keep your hormones happy
Maybe you’re in the minority who can manage to stick with that low-cal plan for a while. But coupled with spin classes, boot camps or high intensity training it was a recipe for hormone disaster! PMS became out of control and you were breaking out like a teenager again!
Hormones rule female fat loss — period. (No pun intended.) To keep those hormones happy, it’s important to never dip below a slight calorie deficit. Instead of eating dramatically less food than your body needs, you’ll eat slightly less (but in many cases more!), so that your body doesn’t react by thinking it’s in survival mode.
Macros ensure you can maintain this “diet” long-term
No one likes to hear that healthy, consistent fat loss takes time But, the reality is you didn’t gain the weight overnight, so you won’t lose it overnight — no matter what those “fit teas” or detox shakes would have you believe. Here’s what we do know: People who lose weight and keep it off for good are consistent with their eating pattern. So, while they might be making slight changes to their usual order, they aren’t skipping the entire outing to sit at home and eat plain chicken and rice.
In order to be consistent in anything, you’ve probably gotta enjoy the process and this absolutely goes for nutrition. If you see the opportunities to meet your goals and options to eat yummy foods at meal times, the weeks of this new “diet” will turn into months — and eventually into your second nature.
Will that happen if you start with frivolous food rules like “no eating at 8 p.m.” or “no carbs past noon”? In 99% of cases, NO. In contrast, tracking macros strips away the nonsense rules and leaves you with only what matters: eating enough of the right stuff to support a strong physique.
Macros ensure you’re eating enough to fuel challenging activity
Look, you can’t develop a strong physique without a few bicep curls. You’re going to have to put in work in the gym, but that’s totally fine because fitness has never been the issue. Your issue is that the harder you push yourself in the gym, the hungrier you feel, and the lower your willpower to avoid treats and sweets becomes. It’s the same cycle—get a great rhythm going in the gym, start to clean up your food choices, and experience more cravings. In a good streak, you’ll make it a couple months before
eating inhaling the contents of the pantry.
It takes proper nutrition (read: enough macros!) to build muscle so you can’t be chronically dieting and expect to get a butt like J-Lo. If you’ve ever wondered how many calories it takes to turn your muffin top into toned obliques, downloading my DIY Macro Guide is the first step.
We know that the two biggest factors for getting that strong are (1) lifting heavy and (2) eating enough protein. And, the two biggest mistakes I see women make in their pursuit of a leaner physique are (1) not lifting heavy enough and (2) not eating enough protein. You can use a macros approach to know exactly how much you need to eat to deliver the booty building nutrients your body needs and you can tell your trainer to “add more weight please!”