You count your macros?
If not, you should.
Does it suck? Sometimes. It’s a bit time consuming. And annoying if you eat out a lot. It takes preparation. And mental toughness occasionally.
Is it worth it? Oh yeah. Hell yeah. Totally worth it.
Why, you ask? You get get ripped pretty easily if you have some dedication and consistency.
But why else? You can do that on any diet! Maybe. But this is more of a lifestyle than a diet.
Lifestyle? You think I wanna do this crap FOREVER?? Are you flippin’ crazy??? I guess so. Once you get good at it, it takes almost no time. It takes me seriously 2 or 3 minutes to count my numbers and set my meals for the day.
But why would you want to do this forever? You’ll be counting calories for the rest of your life! Simple: Life Hacks.
Here’s one of my favorites. Feel free to use it if you’d like. Fair warning: math involved. And you can only do it if you count macros (relatively) closely.
I planned a vacation. A Friday through Sunday lake trip with some friends.
At first, I thought I would stay on point with my diet.
But of course, I got there and ate (and drank) like an absolute hog.
Here’s a laundry list of the foods I ate on Friday and Saturday:
-1 lb. cottage cheese
-7 cups Frosted Flakes
-Casein protein powder
-3 bags of mixed nuts
-2 bags of beef jerky
-14″ sausage and cheese pizza (entire pizza)
-Bowl of crab soup
-2 orders crab cakes
-Smoked fish appetizer platter
-14 oz. ribeye steak with asparagus and mashed potatoes
-White chocolate macadamia nut dessert
-Piece of chocolate cake
-Ben and Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream
-Bottle of Canadian Club whiskey
-Bottle of red wine
So, um, yeah. I guess you could say I went slightly over my calories for the trip.
My abs had disappeared by Sunday morning.
Time for damage control. Good news? I count macros. And I teach math.
This should be easy. Here goes:
For the past 9 weeks I’ve been running macros that put me at an average of 2,400 calories per day. (You have to think in terms of weeks, not days, when cycling macros).
In that time period, I started at 214.8 pounds.
On the Friday morning before my trip, I weighed myself and clocked in at 209.5.
214.8 – 209.5 = 5.3 pound weight loss.
9 weeks divided by 5.3 pounds = 0.65 pounds weight lost per week.
3,500 calories = 1 pound.
0.65 pounds x 3,500 calories = 2,275 calories under maintenance eaten each week.
2,275 calories divided by 7 days = 325 calories under maintenance eaten each day, on average.
I was eating 2,400 calories per day. 2,400 + 325 calories (the calories under maintenance) = 2,725 calories.
This is my estimated maintenance.
However, I don’t count every single macro.
I eat lots of veggies, a few berries, and a few extra bites here and there.
I estimate an additional 300 calories or so I actually eat per day.
So, for our purposes, let’s call my maintenance an even 3,000. I like working with round numbers.
This means that on Friday and Saturday, I had around 6,000 calories I could eat without gaining weight. (3,000 per day)
I guesstimated I ate around 6,000 calories per day. No clue what the number was. Could be higher or lower. But that was my guess.
So, I ate around 12,000 calories.
My maintenance allowed me to eat 6,000. 12,000 – 6,000 = 6,000 calories over maintenance I needed to account for.
On Sunday, I was so disgusted by food from belly bloat and being hungover, I decided to fast for the full day.
I ate a few veggies to get me through the day.
Around 300 calories of veggies.
It really wasn’t hard to do, either.
If you’ve ever eaten that much in two days, by the third day, you don’t even want to look at food.
I also had a few scoops of BCAA powder spaced throughout the day to prevent catabolism. Anyways, back to the math.
Remember, maintenance is 3,000. 3,000 – 300 veggie cals = 2,700 calories under maintenance from the Sunday fast.
I had to make up 6,000. 6,000 – 2,700 calories = 3,300 calories unaccounted for.
I knew I was eating, 2,275 calories under maintenance weekly with my current number scheme.
So, 3,300 – 2,275 = 1,025 calories unaccounted for once the following week had passed.
I skimped slightly on a few macros on a few days. 10 grams of fat cut off of one day. 10 grams of carbs cut off another day. That sort of thing.
I shaved around 300 calories off.
1,025 – 300 = 725 calories unaccounted for.
Remember, there’s 3,500 calories in a pound. 725 divided by 3,500 = 0.2 pounds.
This means by my calculations, by making a few adjustments, I would gain approximately 0.2 pounds. Not too shabby.
On the Friday before the trip, I weighed 209.5 before my workout.
On Monday, I weighed 214.5.
Yikes! Hope this works.
On the following Friday, before my workout, I closed my eyes and stepped on the scale. And it read………….209.8.
I estimated 209.7.
I can live with an extra tenth of a pound.
And then I smashed my legs at the gym and went home to pound some more food.
Ain’t life grand?