Eating Clean Vs Counting Macros

So this week I took to snap chat to propose three different “posts” I could write for my next blog post and this is the one that came out on top. I’ve touched on macros before and how to work out yours but I will recap that again in this post. I want to once again point out that I do not count macros. I’m not against the approach – it’s just not the plan for me. I prefer to approach nutrition with an “Eat Clean” frame of mind – for me it’s a little more flexible and I make the best choices I can each day to feed my body with good and wholesome foods.

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So what is Eating Clean?

In a nutshell this approach is about making the best choices through each of the food groups – Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates – and limiting the number of not-so-healthy options. There are no “set rules” as such, no calorie counting of working out grams of protein, fats and carbs each day – it’s basically feeding your body with as much goodness as you can and making the very best choices you can make. If you are a beginner to the Eating Clean clan, here are a few tips and tricks to get you started:

 

1: Eat 5-6 small meals a day
This will go a long way to correcting your metabolism. The body does not like to be hungry or starved of food. Eating little and often will help your metabolism stay fired up to continuously burn calories and USE the food you are eating instead of storing it.

 

2: Choose clean foods:
Try limit your intake to fresh, clean and wholesome foods. A good way to think of it is to choose one-ingredient foods (i.e. foods that have no additives, preservatives etc) Fresh fruit and vegetables, butcher bought meats, raw nuts and organic nut butters etc.

 

3: Cut processed and refined foods:
Try to steer clear of anything pre-packaged that will no doubt have additives and preservatives. Even pre-packaged meat (ham, chicken etc) have a heap of additives. I’m not suggesting you have none at all in your kitchen – but just be aware and cut it down.

 

4: Read Labels
Take a look at the ingredients in the foods you buy. It’s crazy the amount of junk that is added to foods – stabilisers, emulsifiers and colouring. Sugar and salt are two of the biggest offenders. You don’t need to be consuming foods with these hidden extras.

 

5: Drink Plenty Of Water
Aim to drink up to 2 litres of water a day. You can add lemons and limes two to alkalise the body on the inside.

 

6: Eat ALL Food Groups
Don’t cut out carbs or stick to low fat products. These more often than not have sugar added to them so that the taste is better. Healthy fats actually HELP the body burn body fat and carbs are your energy. Eat them wisely but make sure they are part of your diet.

 

7: Know About Portion Sizes
Whilst I generally think when you eat clean foods, portion size is not a massive concern – you should all be aware of portion guidelines. Here are some general rules
Protein – Size of your palm
Carbs – Rice/Noodles/oats – Handful
Fats – Size of your thumb

 

macros

Now Let’s Recap Counting Macros:

What are MACROS?
Macros are your macronutrients ie. Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates. We all need certain amounts of each of these daily to fuel the body. Protein is extremely important, especially when training, for growth and repair of muscle tissue.

How Much Of Each Do We Need?
This question has no simple answer. Each and every person will be different based on a number of different factors. To work out YOUR MACROS there are a number of different formulas based on height, weight, gender, activity level, body fat percentage and personal fitness goals – but as with many things these days – there are now numerous apps and websites that can do it for you. Check out IIFYM.com – they have a handy little tab with online calculators to help you figure out the percentages you need.

How Do You Calculate Your Macros?
As I mentioned there are NUMEROUS online calculators and apps that can help you with this so if dialling with figures is not you thing then absolutely look into those. Otherwise here are some easy ways to calculate what your body needs.
FOR FAT LOSS
– Eat 1.2g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day
– Eat 1g of carbs per pound of bodyweight per day
– Eat 0.2g of healthy fats per pound of bodyweight per day
As an example – I weigh 126lbs so my breakdown would be the following:
151g Protein
126g Carbs
25g Fats
Total Calories: 1,333 per day – (to calculate the calories multiply grams of protein by 4, grams of carbs by 4 and grams of fats by 9.)

 
TO GAIN WEIGHT (MUSCLE)
– Eat 1g of protein per pound of body weight
– Eat 2g of carbs per pound of bodyweight
– Eat 1g of healthy fats per 3 pounds of bodyweight.

 

For a full look at my previous post on counting macros – CLICK HERE.

 

Whilst both approaches aim to get you to follow a very nutritionally balanced diet – there are stark differences between the two. Eating Clean opts for all healthy options – naturally produced and additive free – whilst macros allows a little more flexibility whist being strict about portions and numbers. If weighing food and tracking numbers comes easy to you – counting macros does allow a little more room to fit more of the foods you might like – if it fits your macros! Eating clean then does away with all the number counting but limits you more-so to fresh foods. I myself follow the Eating Clean approach and the biggest question I get asked is – do you allow a cheat meal. The answer is – yes I do. Sometimes even two!! You don’t have to adopt any approach 100% of the time. In fact 80% will get you great results. What ever you chose to follow make sure it works for YOU. Stick with it and make the very best choices you can.

 

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