Today, diet trends seem to rise and fall faster than my 8-year-old’s mood swings. How in the world do we keep up? I’m Tracy, an exhausted mom of three boys that I love more than anything in the world, despite my ever-increasing need for hair dye and therapy.
Krista and I started our tiny blog in 2015 with a humble mission to help women thrive. We had approximately 72 followers, mostly family and friends who pinned our recipes when we reminded them to. When people other than Aunt LaNell and Grandma Susan started looking at our website we were almost dumbfounded. Today, our number one Stay Fit Mom recipe with over 341,000 pins is Easy Homestyle Paleo Meatloaf and we’re pretty confident most of those pins didn’t even come from my mom.
I tell you this in part because I want you to know how mind-blowing it is for me to be writing a blog post for Tessemae’s, but also because I want you to know that we come from a background that lived and breathed Whole30 and Paleo. To this day, we are huge fans and grateful to Whole30 because this program gave us a solid foundation eating nutrient-dense, high quality foods that our own culture wasn’t advocating.
Scared to betray a space that did so much for us, we made the terrifying leap into macro counting and coaching, and it ended up changing our lives in more ways than one. There’s a good chance you have heard the “macro” buzz word, but some of you might still be wondering what the heck counting macros is and how you do it. Many people have learned through Whole30 that certain food groups (gluten, dairy, legumes, etc.) don't agree with them. Let it be known, you can still have incredible success with macros while avoiding those food groups and maintaining what you've learned.
We’re here to give you the basics.
What Is Counting Macros?
Really, counting macros is all about eating balanced. For one, it is about eating a balanced amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Our society has a way of choosing one or another of these to vilify. Carbs are the enemy! No, fats are the enemy! Become a vegetarian!
As a result, roughly 50% of our clients over eat in the area of carbs (think typical American diet: cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta for dinner), but the other 50% over eat in the area of fats (think olive oil, avocado and almond butters—NO LIMIT). Further, since not many people crave a chicken breast regularly, 99% of them are under-eating in the area of protein.
The reality is, all three are important for a healthy hormone profile and thriving metabolism. Each serve different functions for our bodies, and none are the enemy (not even that most delicious and vilified of macronutrients…carbs). I spent so many YEARS believing bread was making me fat, that the first time I reintroduced sandwiches into my diet AND realized I was moving closer to my goals despite doing so, I was hooked. Before, pasta would have been a failure and all my hard work would seem to unravel because of it, but with macros I could have pancakes on my journey to abs. #MyMacroLoveStory
Protein, carbohydrates AND fats are the three major macronutrients your body needs for fuel, and don’t you dare let anybody shame you into thinking differently.
Macros and the Importance of Food Quantity
Counting macros is also about eating the right QUANTITY of food for your height, weight, age, metabolism, activity level and goals.
If you have a paleo and Whole30 background, you’re likely rocking your food QUALITY, which is SO important for your nutrition. But QUANTITY of food is equally important. After all, under-eating will do your body more damage than good, and eating “clean” can easily put you into a caloric surplus which can cause you to GAIN fat depending on how much coconut oil, avocado and/or almond butter you’re consuming.
It’s not quantity VS. quality – it’s not one or the other. The magic happens when you COMBINE quality and quantity so you can look and feel your best. We have seen this time and time again with our historically paleo clients who keep that focus on quality but hone in on food quantity. This combo is always what yields the most dramatic body composition changes.
How to Move Forward from Here
I envision a few readers screaming, “Blasphemy!” at the screen right now. How dare this girl suggest my years spent avoiding carbs could have actually been moving me further away from the body composition I always wanted! Reintroducing food groups can be terrifying, and knowing how much food your body can metabolize while burning through fat, is person-to-person specific. We have worked with women that are 115 pounds that can metabolize over 3,000 calories and 250-pound women that struggle metabolizing 1,500. I cannot stress this enough—each person’s caloric needs are unique. We suggest you log your food intake for three days with an app like MyFitnessPal to get an idea of how many total calories you’re consuming. Once you have that, work on shifting your macronutrient intake over time so that you’re eating closer and closer to balance.
There might be some of you who want to take this information and head straight to Panera Bread. A word of caution: carbohydrates and fats, especially from meals that are heavily processed from restaurants, add up fast. Your best bet is always eating nutrient-dense home-cooked meals.
We love Tessemae’s because of their wholesome ingredients AND because it encourages families to get cooking in the kitchen and gather around the dinner table for homemade delicious meals! Time spent planning, preparing, and cooking, will NOT ONLY yield fat loss, but create healthy habits that transform your life and overall wellbeing for the long haul.
Interested in Joining the Stay Fit Mom Nutrition Program?
Stay Fit Mom is about much more than macros. We teach our clients tools they can take with them the rest of their life in a community that we believe is second to none. Whether you have a few extra pounds to lose or a long way to go on your fat-loss journey, we’d love to show you exactly what you’re capable of. Head over to StayFitMom.com or contact us here for more information.