Men Made For More Podcast Episode 26: Should I Track My MacrosAug 04, 2020
If you’ve done your homework on your nutrition goals - you’ve probably come across the importance of tracking your macros. Most men are confused about where to start when it comes to tracking their food and finding an approach to eating that works for them and their goals. Once you can find a style of eating that works for you and your goals, you have the opportunity to feel and look better than you have in years. While there is a lot that goes into this, today we’re going to be addressing the topic of tracking your macros.
If you’re looking to learn more about the nutrition recommendations we make with our clients, click below to download The Inside Out Strong Living Roadmap
If you’re looking for more specific guidance, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at [email protected] with more specific questions regarding your goals and I’d be happy to help.
Men Made For More Episode 26: Should I Track My Macros?
[00:00:00] Dave: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Men Made For More podcast show designed by men for men. Looking to get strong, feel confident and live a high performing life. As men. We face many challenges as we try and strive for better life. Want to live a meaningful and confident life, but don't know where to start. You've lost your physical and mental edge.
[00:00:18] That's keeping you from living out your full potential. You're tired of talking about doing big things and you're ready to start living it. But the men made for more podcast. Our goal is to teach you how to strengthen your body, your mind, and your purpose. On your way to reaching your full potential.
[00:00:34] It's time to start living as a man. You know, you can be to help lift up those that matter most in your life. In this podcast, we'll leave no stone unturned as to what it takes to get out of your comfort zone and step into living a strong, competent, and high-performing life. We'll focus on the topics that matter most for helping you develop into the man you were made to be, our goal is to not only build strong men physically, uh, to help coach and develop strong friends, sons, brothers, fathers, isn't [00:01:00] owners, and professionals in every area of your life.
[00:01:03] I'm your host, Dr. Dave Paczkowski, proud husband, business owner, physical therapist. And strength coach with a passion for helping other men strengthen their body, their mind, and their purpose, wherever you're at in your journey. Remember that you're made for more. I'm excited to have you with us today and let's dive into today's episode of the men made for more podcasts.
[00:01:24]Hey guys, welcome to today's show. We are talking all about macros or macronutrients, and if you've done your homework on your nutrition goals, you've probably come across the importance of tracking your macros at some point or another. And most men are confused about where to start when it comes to tracking their food, if it's even necessary and finding an approach of eating that works for them and their goals.
[00:01:46]But the important thing is once you can find a style of eating that works for you and your goals, you have the opportunity to feel and look better than you have in years. And while there's a lot of info that goes into this, there's a lot of things to consider today. We're going to be addressing the topic of [00:02:00] tracking your macros.
[00:02:02] So first off, what, what are macros their macronutrients for is the more formal term. And this is pretty much breaking things down into fats, carbohydrates, and protein. So when we talk about tracking macros, it involves tracking the overall calories. So the overall food eating, but also specifically of what percentage of carbohydrates are you eating?
[00:02:26] What percentage of fats are you eating and what percentage of protein are you eating? Now there's a lot of different info out there on what ideal amounts are, and this is very individualized, but the important thing to know is that it would be having a set percentage. So you would know going into the day, most likely if you have goals for these, that would be say, you're trying to hit.
[00:02:50] 33% of each. So you might be 33% carbs, 33% fat, 33 protein. And that's not right. Super common. Some more common ones are [00:03:00] something like 40, 30, 30. Ah, there's some that go HyperCard there's some that go ahead or fat. But the important thing to know is that you are trying to track the percentage of each of these three main macronutrients.
[00:03:12]And macronutrients are different compared to something like micronutrients, where those are more, our vitamins are minerals. Some of the other things within the food where the macronutrients are, what breakup, the primary calorie breakdown of a given food. So something like butter is going to be a hundred percent fat.
[00:03:30] Whereas something like chicken breast is going to be all protein and a candy bar is going to be more sugar related carbohydrate related. So that's just a general overview to help give some context before getting into what we're going to be talking about. Yeah. Today. But this is important because there's so much overwhelming and conflicting info out there.
[00:03:51] So these macronutrients all on their own play an important role in our eating habits, in our diet, but there's so much [00:04:00] variability on what you read based on. Do I need more fat or more carbs? Should I go higher? Fat? Should I go low, fat and higher carb protein? Do I actually need and. It's it's tough guys.
[00:04:12] I get it because there's not a set approach. I wish there was a set approach of, Hey, you need executives much. That's going to work for you. You're gonna feel good. You're gonna lose weight. You're going to be mentally sharp. You're going to have energy. You're going to have a six pack. That would be great, but this stuff requires experimentation.
[00:04:29] And that's where tracking macros can really become important. And in a few minutes here, we're going to get into the. The reasons why you should track your macros and the reasons why you should in a couple of guidelines for each of those, to know where you're at. I know there's a struggle with this because finding that right way of eating is difficult and finding that ideal ratio of how much of each macronutrient need to be consuming can be challenging because I've been there and I've, I've personally [00:05:00] tracked a lot of things. I personally tried tracking nothing. I've gone everything in between and after you've listened to any previous podcast, you know, that I have tried about as many things as I could just because I enjoy experimenting and enjoy finding what works best for my body. I read about something that seems promising and I'll try it and then I can either discount it or take all of it, take some of it. And that's the beauty of being able to experiment and try those things. But I've recently settled on. A way of tracking macros and I'm not even specifically tracking, but a way of eating and a general recommendations of macronutrients that tend to work for me.
[00:05:38] And I've, I've settled on a higher fat, lower carb approach. I don't associate with Kito specifically or anything like that. I don't like associating with the specific names of specific diets and things. I think we tend to create more problems by doing that. But I tend to settle on that, but I've also tried.
[00:05:58] I've no, there's plenty of [00:06:00] recommendations out there and plenty of people and say the bodybuilding and the powerlifting world that do really well with higher carb and lower fat from a performance standpoint, from a body aesthetic standpoint, in terms of looking good. And I tried that and I got bloated.
[00:06:16] I didn't feel good, but I wouldn't have known that if I didn't try taking these percentages, try tweaking with them and finding what works best for me. And this is the same thing that have to work through with a lot of the coaching clients we have in terms of improving their exercises, improving their nutrition, improving their overall health is.
[00:06:35] There's no set approach. So we just have to pick something. We have to try it after experiment, have to track it for a little bit and then go back to the drawing board and say, Hey, is this working? Are we on the right track? Or do we need to start to tweak something? And the tweaking can be a little more new.
[00:06:51] There's some things to consider with that. But generally speaking that's gives us a starting point of where to go from there. So let's, let's jump [00:07:00] into how to know if you should, should be tracking your macros or maybe if it's something that you shouldn't be doing. So I want to start with, you should probably consider tracking your macro if you have very specific training or fitness goals.
[00:07:14] So if you have specific things you're training for, I was taking it again, extreme example, you're training for a bodybuilding competition and. You need to get to a certain percent of body fat and a certain look, you're going to have to very specifically think of how much they track their food. You're gonna have to very specifically track these things.
[00:07:32]Making very minute adjustments and that's going to be a very specific approach or same thing. If you're an Olympic athlete or you're high level athlete training for something specifically, you want just to be very dialed in and we'll get into the reasons why you shouldn't. But think the opposite of if you're just have general fitness goals, then.
[00:07:53] It's going to be less important to know the specific things, but there's still value as you'll see with some of these other things. So you should also consider tracking [00:08:00] your macros if you've been eating healthy consistently for over a year and you're starting to feel stuck. Now let's, let's talk about what eating consistently means.
[00:08:10] So if you're not mastering the basics, if you haven't given it a full year of just eating in a way that's generally healthy, uh, not going crazy on portions, yo yo dieting, and doing some of these other things, then you, should you consider tracking your macros. If you're feeling stuck, Jack, if you're feeling like you're not making progress.
[00:08:30] Now, if you haven't done those other things, don't try jumping into something that might not help the other underlying issues that need to be addressed first when it comes to your eating habits and your nutrition. Now if you have any unhealthy healthy, and you're starting to feel stuck, then tracking macros and being aware of that can help take things to the next level.
[00:08:50] Because like I said earlier, everyone responds differently to different styles of eating, where what's healthy for. Someone might not get the same results [00:09:00] for someone else. You could go back to my specific example of even having upwards of. 30% carbs for me, leaves me feeling kind of bloated leaves me feeling kind of sluggish from an energy standpoint where there's other people that 30% is too low for them.
[00:09:16] They might operate on 40 or 50% carbs and look and feel really good. So that's where if you are, and it feels stuck tracking, your macros can help give you a ballpark of what your starting point is. And then at that point, it's just making small adjustments and experimenting strategically to help identify what works best for you.
[00:09:37] So you should also consider tracking your macros if. You have trouble with controlling portions or avoiding certain macros. If that's a challenge for you, then it might be a good idea to track it and keep some accountability on yourself for it. So if you find yourself gravitating towards high sugar foods, high carb foods, then having a set macro allotment for [00:10:00] carbohydrates for the day, we'll keep you accountable and help you to manage some of those things.
[00:10:05] And same if you're. Showing down high fat foods, even if it's healthy foods like nuts and nut butters or butters and oils, then you might need to set a specific facul and that'll help keep you in line and keep you accountable and help manage. Especially when portion control is an issue where a lot of people don't even realize how much they're having of a certain food and tracking.
[00:10:28] It can bring some awareness in there. So that brings us to our next reason of considered tracking. If you just want to educate yourself and build awareness around what you're eating, this is a great way to start to take some accountability and take some ownership over what is going into your body. And for some people it's an accountability issue for other people.
[00:10:51] It's just an education issue of some people don't realize. What the breakdown of certain foods they're eating are maybe they think they're [00:11:00] eating in the lower carb approach, but they're having fruits or they're having things with added carbs and added sugars in them until you track that you don't really know what you're actually ingesting and digesting.
[00:11:12] So that can be a great way to bring some education, bring some awareness around what you're eating and get a more objective measure of. Okay, this is, what I'm actually consuming. Now I can have a plan for how to change this.
[00:11:27] Another reason why you should consider tracking would be to find out what works for you and your body type.
[00:11:32] And we've gotten into this already here with my experience. It's a different things, but you have to consider to adjust. You have to consider, continue to tweak and do those things to find out what works best for you. Important note on this, though, if you are doing some self experimenting, Make sure that you're not changing too many variable, especially overall calories.
[00:11:53] So if you're consuming, let's say 2,500 calories, you don't want to [00:12:00] drop the carbs. And keep everything else the same. Cause you might be like, Hey, well I'm getting leaner, but you cut out 200 grams of carbs. And now you're just actually having 2300 calories, which might skew the data a little bit. So make sure that you're keeping the variables that you can the same.
[00:12:16] If you're trying to really experiment on these things, don't go changing your workouts. Don't go changing a bunch of things that might impact how you're feeling or what you're doing. So last thing I want to talk about for why you should potentially track your macros would be to challenge yourself mentally.
[00:12:33] This is something that getting back to our previous point of, if you have certain, certain, uh, macros, let's say carbs, for example, that are difficult for you to avoid. There can be mental benefit in saying, Hey, for this for the next month, I want to limit my carb intake to 25% a day. And if this is something that's hard for you, cause you find yourself eating a lot of sweets, you might find yourself closer [00:13:00] to 30 or 40 or 50%.
[00:13:02] Then this gives you that mental challenge to say, Hey, I'm not, I'm not even limiting my calories. I'm not limiting what I'm eating in other areas. I'm just. Picking this one, macronutrient and monitoring that to see if I can create some change in my habits. So that's another great reason. Those are some great reasons on why you should potentially track your macros, but also want to touch on when you should probably not consider tracking your macros.
[00:13:28] So if you're newer to eating healthier, or if you struggled to stick to any type of consistent eating, then it might not be a good idea to get into tracking. Macros or tracking in general, I would even say so if you're newer to it, Focus on big picture changes, focus on the habits around eating, focus on doing the things like chewing your food, eating slowly, being aware of what you're eating.
[00:13:51] Feel free to use different hand measurements that we tend to give our, our clients in terms of, uh, have a fist of veggies, a Palm size of protein, [00:14:00] a thumb size of your fats and different things like that to, to dial in nutrition versus trying to get super specific on percentages. Because to be honest, tracking, isn't even completely accurate in terms of what we're actually digesting, what our bodies are doing with it. So don't get caught up in tracking if you're newer, you're just starting out. It can add some overwhelm and some unneeded difficulty to your eating. Another reason you should consider not tracking is if your goal is just general health or fitness.
[00:14:29] If that's the case, if you're just trying to look good, feel good. And in general, it'd be, be healthy and not feel restricted. There's no need to get into tracking your macros. If you're content with where you're at, if you're making steady progress and your goals had just want to in general. Good and feel good, then you don't have to get as dialed in with this stuff.
[00:14:51] If your goal is just general health and general fitness, it's a lot less important to, to do that. Just worry on being healthy. We're on these small [00:15:00] changes, make steady progress over time and worry less about these details. Another reason to consider not tracking is obvious, but has to be said if tracking for you is stressful.
[00:15:10] You probably shouldn't be doing it even if, even if I say, even if your friend says, even if you read on the internet, that it's really important to track these things. If it's extremely stressful for you and annoying and cumbersome, and you tried doing it and you're like, I, I hate this. I do not like this.
[00:15:27] Then do not force yourself into doing that. If it's not something that works for you and your lifestyle, I would argue that all the stress around something like that. And just in general, if you're stressing around. How you're eating and it becomes overly stressful and not fun. That has so many other negative side effects that are going to counter counteract.
[00:15:48] A lot of the benefits that you might be seeing from it. So that's obvious, but it has to be stated it's stressful to track don't track last point here on why you should potentially not [00:16:00] be tracking your macros. That would be that if you can feel like you can eat. Intuitively. So if you feel like you have a good grasp on when you're hungry and that cravings difference between hunger and cravings, hunger would be truly being hungry and needing, needing food, needing energy cravings would be, I have a taste for something that's sweet, or I just want something because I'm bored.
[00:16:23] If you can tackle some of these things and you have a good grasp on that, if you can be in tune with your body, then. There's no reason to add complexity to it by tracking your macros. If you already have a good awareness, if you're already have a good grasp on that side. Yeah. So that would be the last reason on why you probably shouldn't.
[00:16:41] So hopefully this gives some clarity of some reasons on. Why you should reverse why you shouldn't, if you are going to track, don't overcomplicate it. There's plenty of great apps out there. I can use something like my fitness pals, a popular, yeah. One to enter in your food and they make it super easy to scan and labels and do some of those things.
[00:16:59] Uh, that would [00:17:00] be one option for tracking it. And if you are going to get started on it, I like to have people. Without changing their habits, just currently enter everything in that you're eating. So if you're going to go this route, don't try and change it and then enter it enter in as is. And that will give you a good picture of where your starting point is.
[00:17:18] And that helps to establish that baseline and makes it easier to give the next plan of attack. The small changes that can happen after that. So to summarize, don't force yourself into a way of eating that isn't right for you, but don't use the excuse of inconvenience or not wanting to, as a reason to not try something that could potentially work really well for you.
[00:17:37] So whether or not you decide to track your macros is really less important than it is finding a way of eating that works for you and your goals. So instead of jumping around from thing to thing with no real results, Imagine being able to eat in a way that works for your body and your goals. And the first step to doing this is increasing your awareness and education around nutrition habits.
[00:17:58] If you're looking for some more specific [00:18:00] guidance, I don't know where the link in the show notes to download our free, strong living PDF. And in there you'll find the same nutrition recommendations that we give to our clients. And if you're looking for more specific guidance, I also have my email in the show notes.
[00:18:13] Don't hesitate to shoot me an email with more specific questions regarding your goals. I'd be happy to help in whether it's on nutrition, whether it's on exercise, whether it's on anything else I would love to hear from you guys. We'd love to hear what you think of the show and would also love to answer any specific questions you might have when it comes to these things.
[00:18:28] Because like I said earlier, these things are complex. There's a lot of conflicting info. I love to at least help point you in the right direction. Thanks for listening today, guys. We'll see you tomorrow.
[00:18:39]Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of the manmade for more podcasts, hope you found today's show valuable and you have some actionable strategies you can apply to your life today. This is your first time listening. Thanks for being here. The aim of this podcast is to provide a ton of the best possible content to help you grow in your journey, to becoming the best version [00:19:00] of yourself.
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[00:19:36] Keep challenging yourself growing and know that it's okay to get out of your comfort zone and know that you're made for more. Thanks for listening and see you guys soon.
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