Fad Diet Takedown: Old Fashioned ‘Counting Calories’
It’s your neighborhood fit girl Kaori again with yet another Fad Diet experiment! Round 3 – Fight!
I’m going to talk about my experience with the good ol’ fashion calorie counting while hitting your macros.
A quick footnote here, macronutrients (better known as macros) consist of of a certain percentage of carbs (for energy), fats (for nutrients and stored energy) and proteins (for muscle building) to even out to 100% of your daily diet–all while staying in a certain range of calories per day. Perhaps one of the hardest “fad diets” to keep up with due to it’s calculating nature, it does teach you the best way to eat healthy. It forces you to really fine tune your eating habits and take notice of what you are feeding your body.
The good ol’ fashion guideline is to set your caloric and macro intake based on your body type. Although you can teeter somewhere between these, generally you will be mostly one of these types – Ectomorph, endomorph, or mesomorph:
-Ectos: Lean, long, and generally have a hard time building muscle.
-Endos: Big, high body fat and generally store alot of … fat.
-Mesos: Muscular and well built with a generally high metabolism and very responsive muscle cells.
I’m mainly an ecto, meaning I have a harder time gaining muscle (while mesos have a hard time dropping fat but can lift like crazy). So I set my calories right above my RMR (resting metabolic rate). RMR is the amount of calories you burn when your body is essentially at rest. The general way to lose weight is to eat less than your RMR, and to gain muscle you eat more than your RMR while lifting heavy. Keep in mind, the nutrients can’t be trash or you’ll end up skinny fat or bigger and untoned.
A lot of fitness gurus don’t even like setting your macros because people tend to forgo eating healthy so long as they hit their macros in the margins they set it at. French fries, burgers, pizza are not out of the question. I would suggest still eating the RIGHT type of foods to get those real results.
Previously: Fad Diet Takedown: Intermittent Fasting
This challenging diet, if done correctly, has the most longevity to make into lifestyle and keep maintenance. Hell, after a while I can look at a plate and know how much protein, carbs and fats I’m about to digest. I’m straight eyeballing my calories per meal! I state that this is challenging because it’s definitely pretty hard to get perfect scores. But with consistency, you can get there. The benefits are long-lasting, unlike most fad diets out there.
First thing I did was download the “My Fitness Pal” app available on both android and iphones. Logging in your food is key and MFP is the perfect guide. The app provides so many meals and breaks down the macros for you along with other important things like fiber, sodium, sugar that are in the meal. Counting calories is kind of a pain in the butt but like I mentioned, it becomes a habit and eventually easier todo.
Over the course of my fitness journey, I’ve tweaked my calories/macros quite a bit, and my body responds to it in different ways, obviously. I’ve learned that too much protein bloats me, not enough carbs fatigues me (especially since I work out) and my body loves the good fats (like nuts, and avocados). Currently my macros are set at 40% carbs, 25% fats, and 35% proteins. Way better than when my proteins were at 50% and my fats were at 10%. That was hard for me to maintain and I was bulky and did NOT like the results. Even though my goals have remained the same.
What I learned is that there isn’t a one-size fits all macro split. I would suggest experimenting for yourself. I’d say stick to it for 6 weeks and that’s when you should know if it’s working for you. Otherwise you can reset and reinstate a different percentage of macros to try. It’s a fun but challenging way to fit a healthy routine into your diet.
Another side benefit for me was that I started to pay more attention to my sugar and fiber intake. I realised that I needed to hit 25 grams of fiber per day to really aid in my bowel regularity – which essentially helped me drop a lot of waste and unnecessary pounds.
If you’re looking for something that isn’t a quick fix (which means you can revert quickly as well), I would highly suggest this one. You can even do it during intermittent fasting (which I’m currently doing).If you have any questions, feel free to tweet me or message me on Instagram at @Kaorious on either platform! Looking forward to delving into the next “fad diet” with you!