“Macros” is short for macronutrient. Macro means big. It also means important. Macros are big and important! Protein, Carbs, and Fat are macros. Some people include Fiber.
Protein is the most important macronutrient, by far. Yet it is also the one most people struggle to get enough of. If you’re training hard in the gym, in order to properly recover from workouts and make progress, you need to get at least 1 gram per pound of lean bodyweight, per day.
If you’re 150 lb female with 30% bodyfat (as measured with an InBody scan), you need 105 grams of Protein per day. If you’re training hard (4-5 times per week) or trying to build muscle, up that to 125 grams (1.2 g/lb/day). This is the minimum! If you’re really sore after workouts for days, it’s not the workout, it’s that you’re either underfed (protein!), underslept (<6 hours), or your stress levels are so high (thanks to the stress hormone cortisol) that your whole system is fried.
Ideally we’d work on all three, but realistically we have better success working on one at a time. So start with Protein!
I don’t have any magic answers here, but here are some recs from what I do day to day. I need close to 200 grams to keep going, so if Yan can do it, so can you!
Most of you know what you like to eat for protein. Chicken, Beef, Fish, Pork (Baconnn!). Look at the palm of your hand, if it’s bigger than your face you need to e-mail 5 friends right now and tell them what you just learned about protein, or you’re cursed for 30 days!
Just kidding. But double the size of your palm. That’s your meat goal at each meal (3 meals/day). If you don’t eat meat (booo), use your vegetable-based sources to hit that protein grams per day target. If you eat eggs or fish, lean on those hard.
Protein powders help post workout, and for supplementation. They are not a replacement for real food! If you struggle with time in the morning, make a shake with a scoop (or two!) of whey protein (I like ON), a banana, frozen blueberries, that’s fine and pretty tasty honestly. I like to mix mine with coffee in a Yeti rambler, and then grab an Rx Bar if I need to run out the door. Not the best practice daily, but if you’re strapped I want you to have options. If I have time I’ll have 3-4 thick strips of bacon and 3-4 eggs, with some fruit or sweet potatoes, or white rice. Scale for yourself accordingly.
For lunch I’ve switched to Trifecta Nutrition recently, and it has greatly improved my consistency. Check them out if you’re a busy person. Otherwise, I’d encourage you to plan your shopping trips to Costco. They have big packs of pre-cooked chicken breast, which you can combine with the big packs of frozen vegetables, maybe add some rice or sweet potatoes, voila! Pack 5 lunches on Sundays with generous chicken portion this way, and you’re set for the week!
For dinner, I like steak. Sarah asks what I want for dinner? Ribeye Steaks! Do what you like mix it up, but HIT. THAT. PROTEIN.GOAL.
Try Kombucha! I was really skeptical of it, but now I love it (Divine Grape FTW).
Eating out? Skip the bread. Go for the salad with MEAT and a no sugar added dressing. Meat and vegetables. Meat and vegetables. Meat and vegetables!
We’ve also discovered awesome olive oils and balsamic vinegars at a local fancy shop, which has started me loving salad again. Yay vegetables!
Are you an Iron Chef? Go for it! But if you’re struggling with consistency, find a couple SIMPLE solutions first, because decisions and time are what we all have a finite amount of each day. Most of us need just a little breathing room (with a simple solution), and once we have that we can really find our stride.
Protein Maestros, what do you do? Start a conversation on our private group and help someone today!
If you’re reading this and this is all brand new, try one new thing each week, and see it through.
Cypher Health & Fitness Owner