While meal prep can sound tiresome, there is a reason why fitness fanatics are obsessed with it - and it's not about counting calories.
It is no longer about how much you eat, but rather the 'macros' that you eat - which refers to proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
It's a simple way to take control of your health: you just need to work out how many calories you need per day and then break this down into the different macros to find out exactly what to eat.
The best part? It doesn't prohibit factoring in the occasionally cheat day treat into your nutrition plan.
Here, CEO of Fit Kitchen, Amar Lodhia, explains everything you need to know about macros.
What are macros?
You may have heard the term thrown around at the gym, or even the office (removed water cooler), but not had a clue what these mysterious macros mean. Put simply, macro is shorthand for macronutrients, a term that describes the three key food groups: carbohydrates, fats and proteins which comprise exactly what you need to function, just like petrol in a car.
How do you track them?
Macros tracking can be intimidating and without help from a personal trainer, it can be difficult to understand how to divide your daily calorie intake between carbohydrates, fats and proteins. My first attempts at macro tracking saw me struggling to try and tailor my diet to my macronutrient requirements, but with no knowledge of how to best support my workouts I failed to make gains despite hitting the gym six days a week.
The turning point came when the ‘petrol in the tank’ theory became logical thanks to my coach who explained the importance of appropriate pre-training nutrition, and refuel and replenishment after training. After all you wouldn’t try to drive to Wales on an empty tank of petrol.
If you don’t have the luxury of a personal trainer, there are plenty of tools available online to determine your daily calorie requirements. These digital calculators examine your age, height, weight, activity level and goal and provide a breakdown of how you should split your calories to meet these aims – someone hoping to shed fat will need to eat very differently to an aspiring bodybuilder hoping to make muscle gains.
Once armed with your unique macro requirements, measuring devices like weighing scales and measuring cups are essential to help you split out the day’s calories – which can be stressful for time-poor professionals. To meet my goals I eat between 5-6 meals a day, with calories varying depending on my activity level that day. On two ‘high’ days when I have a hefty workout I consume 3,883 calories, but for the rest of the week I stick to 2,714.
To stay on track, you’ll need to start a log to record your meals and make sure you’re eating in line with your macros – and prepare for food prep to become a big part of your life. It’s a familiar story that coaches and PTs will urge clients to vary their meals more, leaving clients thinking (as I did) ‘where do they get the time?’
Why is this so important?
Consuming the right balance of foods matched to your macros each day will make you more effective at burning fat and building muscle, making weight or gains goals much more achievable. Eating this way acknowledges that no two bodies are created the same and allows you to get the most out of every calorie you are consuming in order to meet your health and fitness goals.
Fit Kitchen is an innovative gourmet food delivery service, tailored to your macros and available for delivery nationwide. To find out more visit fitkitchen.uk.com/ .