Macro tracking  and will it work for you?

There are many roads to take to achieve a shredded physique. Let’s look at what this means if you’re trying to get shredded for your next show or even a vacation.


Let’s take a look at getting shredded. 
There is a lot of scrutiny about how to lose fat and gain muscle these days. 

There are numerous strategies, most of which aren’t exactly true or even reliable results. So let’s take a look at an old concept with a new spin on it. Macros, if it fits your macros or the acronym (Iifym). 

First, what is a macro or macronutrient? It’s broken down into three parts : Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats (alcohol for those who like to live dangerously). 

If you’ve spent even a a few moments doing your own research in the pursuit of getting shredded, you’ve probably heard it come up at least once. Here I take a look at the broad scope of things versus the straight and narrow path. Quantity of calories versus quality of calories!
There is a little wiggle room with the macro tracking approach. Here is where the analyzation of this will determine if quality, quantity or a happy medium. Will you be able to get peeled for the stage?
Macro tracking can be a great tool if you understand the basic fundamentals. The most important thing to remember is to always read your labels. This is what leads to another topic,  how much proteins, carbs, and fats do you need? Protein consumption needed for muscles growth

In order to spread the “If it fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) method to your nutritional goals, you need to understand the concept. The basics of macro tracking means you have to read your labels. You need to understand fundamentally how many proteins carbohydrates and fats you need to reach your desired goal. This means subsequently, you can then decide whether or not you want a fiber one chocolate brownie with 2g of protein 18 carbs and 1.5g of fat or a 1/2 cup of oats with 5g protein 27 carbs and 3G of fat. 
Matt Ogus and countless other bodybuilders use what could be categorized as an IIFYM approach for their physiques. I have used this approach while getting ready for a show, now if you are truly hitting the correct ratios of macronutrients then it would be hard to eat a bag of “potato chips ” a day and still be doing it right. 
I use the Macro Tracking approach to enable a somewhat stress free more adaptable eating plan. I never go to far off the rails as I’ve found it makes it more difficult to get back on track. Working with your macros should lead to freedom inevitably. 

Some may take the approach the wrong way in effort to eat everything under the sun in a hopes of gaining the body of a Greek God. Here in lies the problem you can’t expect to eat a subway sandwich that’s advertised at 30g of protein and 400 calories and expect to get shredded. 

Inevitably macro tracking should aid in a pinch when life gets in the way. You forget your meal prep for the day , or work runs long and your not going to be home in time to get that last meal. If you know exactly what your macros are you can work within your macro budget. Grabbing those grilled chicken cuts from Chick Fila with a side salad may work in a pinch. But let’s go a little deeper and look at the quality. Grabbing white rice instead brown , white potatoes instead of sweet. Here is where finding the right mix of healthy unprocessed foods allows for a richer experience in your desired eating plan. 
What you don’t want to do is begin to think all foods are created equal. A bag of sour patch kids although they may carry an abundance of carbs to fuel the workout and spike insulin. They do not replace the micronutrients that are found in sweet potatoes or a standard cup of brown rice. 

Venturing back to the “golden days” of the bodybuilding movement really sets the context for an honest discussion on diet. The original reasoning for health seekers engaged in this lifestyle was to become just that, healthier. The idea was to eat healthy nutritious foods and train in such a manner that the combined efforts would create both a health aesthetic physique and an equally yoked healthy inside. It seems as if this high degree of thinking has become short lived amongst almost every aspect of the sport of bodybuilding and the fitness industry in general. A good contrast would be a classic bodybuilder reaching for a banana as his or her post workout carbohydrate source, while the IIFYM bodybuilder trying to pack on as much mass could reach for a pop tart. While depending on the quantity, these two options may have similar carbohydrate content, one is rich in micronutrients and has some fiber, while the other is devoid of the latter and is loaded with sugars and artificial nutrients , which in excess has abundance of negative health concerns .
If I were to argue against IIFYM and its implementation it would focus on its overall message and abuse. When I work with a nutrition plan the goal I want to accomplish is that sustained, practical fat loss and positive body composition change occurs with a constant change of the process to consuming healthy foods. The idea is that if you eat the right foods the numbers (i.e. macronutrients and calories) will fall in line. To my point anybody can spend the day matching up Twinkies and Slim Jims to line up to their macros, but I think they would be better to do some thorough research into good wholesome healthy foods. Below is a list of ways to Implement the IIFYM methodology in the way I use it and how I believe it was meant to make your diet more flexible. 

Switch up your starches: Don’t be afraid to occasionally use white or basmati rice instead of brown, or red skin potatoes instead of yams.The idea is that you don’t have to have 150g of brown rice at each sitting to get ripped. you may already know, protein consumed at the same meal as the previously mentioned starch switch hitters will decrease the glycemic index of the meal.
Swap protein sources: Getting stuck in the extra lean ground turkey and tilapia rut is no fun, and I can certainly empathize. Don’t be afraid to use fattier types of meat such as 93/7 ground meats or even more marbled cuts of steak. Again, if the fat content fits into your fat macronutrients then it should be fine, just remove what may have been a tablespoon of peanut butter from your meal plan and you’re golden. Using fattier fish like salmon can fit in, and certainly make room for egg yolks, just simply account for the fat, it’s what the whole idea of IIFYM really is.
Be consistent, not perfect: I like to use the 95:5 rule for myself. Ok an example would be 6 meals a day for a week. That’s 42 meals and three of them won’t be your meal prepped ones. This could be a night out with your spouse and you have a burger, maybe even an alcoholic drink. This “allowance” of a unrestricted meal can give psychological and physiological benefits.
In reality the IIFYM model on dieting isn’t an inherently bad approach. When the concept utilizes whole, nutritious foods on a 95% basis to reach the desired macronutrient and caloric requirements is when it flourishes. This allows 5% for that night out where you can indulge. Not only have I found this approach to be even more successful than complete restriction, but also keeps nutrition conscious individuals sane. So when it comes down to it, IIFYM correctly can be a great approach to dieting, but like I said, when done correctly!


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