Ever had one of these situations:
It’s the end of the day, you eat your meal, you have 30 grams of fat left, but no other macros.
What do you do?
In this post, I discuss the virtues of the “straight-up” macros. They can help you fill the gaps.
“Straight-up proteins” –>
very lean meat, tuna, fat free cottage cheese, whey shakes (read label to be sure)
“Straight-up carbs” –>
fruit, sugary cereal (read label to be sure), sorbet, honey, low-fat bread
“Straight-up fats” –>
creamy dressings (read label to be sure), butter, oil
But sometimes that just isn’t gonna work.
Maybe you don’t feel like eating some ranch and veggies.
And this sort of a lifestyle and diet has the tag “Flexible Dieting” because it’s flexible.
No need to be forced to eat any one certain thing.
And there’s a hierarchy of importance to macro counting.
At the top of the pyramid? Overall calorie intake.
Assuming your primary goal is fat loss, keeping your calories under maintenance is the primary driver in weight loss.
Now, have our macros been set to optimize our sanity and our goals? Of course.
But I’m not talking about doing this very often.
This trick is for those times when you have a few grams of a random macro, or a combination of a few grams, and you can’t find anything to hit them.
What if you have 8 protein grams, 11 carb grams, and 19 fat grams left?
Good luck finding something that fits those numbers nicely.
So, here’s what you do.
I call this the “Caloric Equivalent Trick”.
Find the caloric equivalent of the macros you’re missing.
Eat something which contains that many calories and forget your macros.
Simple as that.
Using the example above, let’s say you have 8 protein grams, 11 carb grams, and 19 fat grams left.
Get a calculator.
Protein = 4 calories per gram. 8 x 4 = 32 calories
Carbs = 4 calories per gram. 11 x 4 = 44 calories
Fat = 9 calories per gram. 19 x 9 = 171 calories.
Add them up.
32 + 44 + 171 = 247 calories. Look through your pantry and find something with that many calories.
Eat it. Done.
Don’t worry at all about hitting your macros. If you’re within those numbers, you’re close enough.
Good compliance is seen as +/- 10% variance.
Optimal compliance is seen as +/- 5% variance.
You really can’t get much better than 5% variance. Even the top of the line bodybuilders can’t get closer than that.
Nutritional labels are merely estimates as well. So don’t stress it.
This trick works when you accidentally go over on a macro as well.
I recently bought a bunch of pork chops. 5 to be exact.
I had a meal with 150 grams of protein allotted.
I seasoned those bad boys up and got them ready for the grill.
Usually my estimation skills are on point. But I weighed them. And they were 175 grams of protein.
Shit. Time to put a pork chop back, right?
Hell no. Putting pig back in the fridge is a cardinal sin of IIFYM.
Let’s use the Caloric Equivalent Trick.
I was over 25 grams of protein. 25 grams x 4 calories per gram = 100 calories.
I still had fat grams left.
100 calories / 9 calories per fat gram ~ 11 grams of fat. Round to 10 for counting ease.
And there it was. Took away 10 grams of fat. And I’m good.
Time for pork chops.
You can easily use this trick if you are dining out.
Ever notice nice restaurants don’t have nutritional information? Know why?
There’s no “standard” of use at the nicer places.
A nice restaurant has a buyer who will purchase food fresh daily.
There’s no way of knowing exactly what those macros are, so why guess?
Your chain restaurants ship their food from their own processing plant using their own trucks.
It might give you the illusion
you’re eating whole foods
when you order a steak from Applebee’s,
but the reality is,
it’s as processed as a bag of Doritos.
Anyways, back to the trick.
You’re eating out at a nice spot.
You look at the menu. Decide on a steak/chicken/pork chops and veggies – which is pretty much the perfect meal on a cut.
Estimate the protein using 1 pound = 100 grams of protein. It’s probably a bit less, but it’ll be just fine.
12 oz. steak = 0.75 pounds x 100 = 75 grams of protein. Allot for it in your macros.
Too hard to guess. Not gonna try. If the meat is lean, it could be < 10 grams.
If it’s a fatty prime rib (mmmmmmm…..), it could be > 70 grams.
Even chicken usually gets loaded up in butter.
So, here’s what you do.
Just save all your fat for dinner. Eat your meal. And relax. You’ll make progress.
You gotta watch the extras, though. The bread bowls, the appetizers, the drinks, the desserts………….
The extras will get you if you let ’em. But if you stick to the plan, eat the meal, enjoy a glass of red wine or two, you’ll be just fine.
Got any macro tricks you use personally?
Let us know about them!
Put them in the comments section at the bottom!
I’m always game to learning a new trick or two.
I hope you found this information useful.