**This is Part 2 of aÂ 3-part series on counting macros to look good naked and break PRs in the gym:
â€¢ Part 1 â€“ Â Counting Macros & Flexible Dieting 101
â€¢ Part 2 â€“YOU ARE HERE â€“ How to Count Macros The Right Way AND How to Royally Screw it Up (like I did)â€¦
â€¢ Part 3 â€“ Pros and Cons of Counting Macros (PLUS: FAQs)
Welcome to part two in our series on counting macros and flexible dieting!!
I ended the last articleÂ asking you a question, and that was:
Counting calories is rather arbitrary. Wouldnâ€™t you agree?
I went on the explain that aÂ 2,000 calorie diet could literally be made up of soda, white bread and pop tartsâ€¦
However, if you are following a macro-based plan, EVEN if you wanted to have your pop tarts it would count against your allowed allotment of carbohydrate grams for the day. So if you â€œrun out of carbsâ€ you now have to figure out how to get the right amount of protein and fat before the day is over…
Then I challenged you to…
- Get a Macro Plan (click here to use mine)
- Buy a Food Scale (if you donâ€™t have one already)
- Download an app or get a new notebook
Today, I am assuming you…
- Have your Macro Plan
- Have a Food Scale
- Have an Macro Counting App, or you are prepared to track with a notebook
Now,Â what I am going to do today is tell you the three ways I have screwed up counting macros over the years then tell you the “right” way to do, or my best advice.
How I Screwed Up Counting Macros, Way #1:
The Screw Up: Guesstimating Your Macros…
When you first start counting macros, you will be tempted to “eyeball” your serving sizes as opposed to actually weighing and measuring.
That’s what I did wrong, at first. So to show you how easy weighing and measuring food actually is, I made a video which will show you how I weigh and measure making one of my favorite shakes. These basic principles apply to weighing and measuring all food. Bonus: I give you the recipe 🙂 Enjoy!
The RIGHT Way: Actually weigh and measure!! It’s easy.
How I Screwed Up Counting Macros, Way #2 & #3:Â
Bad Plan + Bad Quality
The Screw Up:Â The Wrong Type of Macro Plan AND Low-Quality Food
Now, what you are about to see is a photo that I like to keep secret…
To me, it looks like I am having trouble smiling due to the pudginess in my face…
The picture may not look that crazy, especially if you donâ€™t know me that well.
But just compare that face to my face in the video above…
Now, I am not trying to say I was once massively obese…Iâ€™ve been into fitness a long time, so that would be hard to do, but I have done some things wrong. When you look at this picture of me, just look at my faceâ€¦
Can we agree it looks swollen, pudgy, or even just big??
Itâ€™s inflamed, really. And it was THIS exact picture my wife showed me years ago that made me realizeâ€¦I had no clue what I was doing…
If you have seen any recent videos or pictures of me (like the one above) you will noticeÂ the difference. At this point in my life I was working out 2 and even 3 times a day, and tracking everything that went into my mouth…
- And I was about 200 lb and my body fat percentage was well into the teens in that picture…
- Compared to about 185 lb and 8% body fat now (and I’m stronger)…
Keep in mind this is not some transformational story where I talk about how my nutrition sucked, I didnâ€™t workout out, blah, blah, blah and I turned it all around one dayâ€¦
No, this is when I was training for hours every single day AND tracking everything about my nutritionâ€¦
And honestly, this is the worst shape I have ever been inâ€¦
I tell you all this because I just want to give a word of caution and prove my OVERALL point for doing this series:
- Knowledge is POWER.
- Knowledge is RESULTS.
So the BIG mistake(s)…
- Following a plan that was REALLY high carb, REALLY high protein and basically NO fat…
- Eating LOW-quality CRAP foods to try and “meet” my macros…
Thatâ€™s what I was doing.
I was trying to â€œmeet my macrosâ€ but I didnâ€™t care at all about the quality or types of foods. I was just making sure â€œit fit my macrosâ€ and my macros were WAYYY off from a healthy diet.
So what should you eat??
None of these lists are all-inclusive, nor paleo, etc. These lists serve only to give you an idea of what kinds of foods you may or may not want to include in your diet. Itâ€™s up to you to choose the best quality foods to suit your individual needs and tastes.
The RIGHT Way: Eat Quality Food and Develop a Good Macro Plan for Your Goals!
More About My Results (if you want to know)…Â
Let me preface this by saying I hate shirtless selfie pics…
I could just never get on board with plastering pictures of me with my shirt off everywhere on my siteâ€¦It just doesnâ€™t jive with my overall mission because I want everyone at End of Three Fitness to have a well-balanced approach; i.e. look good naked AND perform AND be healthy AND mentally toughâ€¦
But since you are reading this series Iâ€™ll show you a few pics, because these shirtless pics help me make a point.
Like I said, I’ve been working out my whole life, so these aren’t ridiculous transformation pics.
On the left, I am “bulking”, I’m slower and weaker than the picture on the right. I am also about 20 lb heavier in the picture on the left.
Yes, bigger ANDÂ weaker…and slower.
All I did to start the leaning process was slightly adjust my macro plan and continued/implementedÂ some EO3 Training.
I focused on eating higher amounts of healthy fat, I lowered my carb intake and moved my protein to a moderate level (~1 gram per lb of bodyweight).
And it’s been about 6-7 months since that picture on the right was taken…I’ll have to take another shot soon and update you on my journey as we go.
But I want to say this…
My nutrition journey has been long with a lot of learning and bumps in the road…and guess what?
I’m still not where I want to be.
But the only way to start seeing results is to start!!
So let me know if you have any questions, and I will add that to Part 3 of this series.
To becoming better!