I recently started working with a nutritionist and have switched to tracking my macros. It was completely new territory for me, and I am happy to admit it took a good few weeks to get used to the difference, which was also the same for one of the authors of this book, Helen.
I have previously followed conventional diet plans with a well-known company and was used to that so this really was a different mindset to shift to. However, I have found the results have been quick and I am really enjoying this method not just for the health benefits but also for my own knowledge.
Having the correct understanding of what I need to eat to be healthy and fuel my training will prove to be hugely beneficial, I am sure.
This book covers using macro tracking as a method written from a personal experience from the author, Helen Foster, who had, like most of us, tried various diets in the past with no success and Angela Dowden a qualified nutritionist. They had chosen the macro method as it fits best with normal life.
The macro method is the name given by the authors to what others who follow the same methodology often refer to with the phrase ‘if it fits your macros’ (IIFYM) allowing better flexibility.
The explanation given as follows explains the logic succinctly:
‘It’s based on the simple fact that every food you eat is made up of a combination of three main ingredients – protein, carbohydrates and fat, aka the macros. Unless you’re on a very restrictive eating regime, your daily diet is already a moveable feast of those three things. However, it might not be the right combination or ratio. And that’s what macro counting aims to change.’
The book explains the different thinking when tracking macros compared to calorie counting and the importance of understanding the nutritional benefit of food and drinks you consume, in turn encouraging healthier choices.
The book also covers how you can calculate what your macros should be including allowing for activity levels and personal goals and what to do when weight loss is your goal and there is a need to adjust.
There is detail included around what foods fall into each group and how to hit each macro group. There are also many frequently asked questions that provide further insight into getting the most out of this method such as tracking of alcohol which is often forgotten and a cheat sheet if you are under your macros and what you could have to hit your targets. I found when I started that I would often forget to log oils and condiments when cooking as they are not necessarily on the list of ingredients.
I have been tracking using My Fitness Pal which is a free app and this is what is recommended in this book too. There are many other apps but this is by far the most popular that I have come across. It is free to use (although there is a premium version available) and you can access it on both android and ios.
The Macro Method talks about how you can set up your tracking with your daily calorie, carb, protein and fat goals and how the use of an app like My Fitness Pal makes this super simple with a summary breakdown of what is left in your daily allowance and a breakdown of macros to show where you are over/under.
If you are interested in trying this method the book does include a 21-day plan, which is super comprehensive.Not only does it get you started but it includes your meal plan (should you wish to use it) for all 21 days as well as recipes that you can continue to refer to and use.
That is not all either as there is a huge list of foods for reference including their full macro breakdown and to cater for the difference in UK/US terminology a further source list to use in case you need to check out aubergine versus eggplant.
In short if you are interested in macro tracking this is a must-read book!
If you are interested the book is available to purchase from Amazon from £8.19 here.