Nutrition – Could Tracking MacroNutrients (Macros) Improve Our Health?

I’ve been reading about macros lately .. macronutrient discussions are *everywhere* and I’m one who is always looking at ways I can eat better and just be healthier. So, I’ve decided that I want to do this. Currently I am stressing out over how to get started.

What’s the problem? Well, there are blogs and more blogs about it and while some are similar most have a bit of wavering on the calculations and what you should, and should not, do.

Here’s what I’ve decided …

I’m going to figure out what works for me, than change my focus to macronutrients.

What is this you are talking about? Instead of watching calories (which is what I usually do) you focus on your daily intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Instead of meeting one calorie goal you are trying to meet three nutrient goals.

The tricky things I have run across so far?

  • Should I have a set goal every day, whether I work out or not, taking my exercise ‘expectations’ and dividing those calories out over the week?
  • Should I adjust my carbs and fats on days I workout differently that rest days?
  • Do I go with the first bullet or do I start with a base calorie goal then add on my exercise every day (which is what I do now)
  • What is the best ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats (this seems to vary widely)

There are probably more but that is a good start.

What is my plan?

Well, I track on myfitnesspal currently but it’s really not going to work well for this. The benefit though is that I have a nice eating ‘history’ on the app … including since I’ve gone mostly gluten free.

I’m going to look at the last 3 weeks and see what my trends are in regards to carbs, proteins, and fats. I’ll start there and try and figure out what is recommended, then maybe tweak my goals a bit if need be. In the meanwhile I have to decide whether I go with a consistent daily calorie goal or a dynamic one, based on my workouts. I have always gone with dynamic but I actually see the value in consistency, to be honest.

So … I’ll report back later and let you know how this is going!  I am hopeful that I’ll see good things from this tweak!

Happy day and thanks for reading!

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Easy Tips to Train / Exercise More Effectively

If we are going through the effort of training, exercising, etc then it is probably a good idea to make the most of it, eh? Let’s talk about some tips that we can do to improve our workouts.

  • Incorporate Cross Training
    • This could be a different cardio workout or even different strength training. If we continue with the same workout routines our muscles start to learn the exercises to the point where our benefits may decrease. One easy way to help with this is to mix in random other workouts for cross training. This keeps the muscles confused enough and my also help to improve your focused training, whether it be cycling, running, or just working out in general. This also helps to break up the monotony of our fitness regimen, if that is an issue for you.
  • Change Your Workout Intensity
    • We do not necessarily have to conpletely change our workouts but sometimes just changing how we are executing them helps. With cardio maybe we incorporate intervals or speed drills. In the group fitness room maybe you use bigger movements, add more risers to the steps, etc. With strength changing maybe we changing the order or maybe we lift heavier for fewer reps. There are many ways we can confuse the body and as long as the moves are safe, don’t be afriad to experiment a bit!
  • Use a Heart Rate Monitor
    • Heart rate monitors can be an effective tool to use when exercising. They help us track how hard we are working and how we are improving over time, among many other benefits. For people who like to train within different energy zones, or heart rate ranges, they can be used to see if we are where we need to be. They can also show how our performance changes over time, for the better or worse.
  • Adjust Your Nutrition Accordingly
    • I read about so many people who workout, workout, workout .. and the cut their eating down. They think by burning crazy calories and starving the body the weight will come off quicker. Not a smart move.. and it does not work. If you’re losing weight in general you will have a specific calorie deficit each day but as we exercise our total allotted calories will adjust. The goal is to meet your calorie budget which is:
      • Daily Calories + Exercise Calories = Calories Consumed + Weight Loss Calorie Deficit
      • As an example … if a person had a daily calorie goal of 2,000 calories but was trying to lose weight, their plan may recommend a deficit of let’s say 300 calories. They worked out for an hour and burned 400 calories. Their day would look like this
        • 2,000 daily calories + 400 calories from the workout = ???? + 300 calories less each day
        • ???? = they should aim to consume 2,100 calories for this specific day

There are definitely many other ways that you can tweak your workouts to get the most out of them but this is a good start. We will look at more in a future post!

Thanks for reading!

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My Last Day of Vacation – Both Wasted and Productive

I’ve been off for about 2 1/2 weeks, minus 2 (long, miserable) days smack in the middle. Aside from teaching at the gym my productivity has been … absent. But hey, it’s a vacation, who said we had to be productive …

Monday was it, my last day, and I was determined to waste as much of it as I could! Luckily I had to teach a couple of classes so that kept me from completely wasting time!

Keiser bikes for indoor cycling class
Keiser bikes at the gym. I love taking photos of the empty room before people start filing in 🙂

I taught lunch spinning / indoor cycling. During my regular work week I really love the lunch class. The group is fantastic and it gives me this great break in the middle of the day. I’ve actually been subbing this class for about 2 – 3 months and I have about a month and a half left subbing it. I’m enjoying it while I have it!

Up until now I really had not noticed a significant increase in the crowd, because of the New Years resolutions, and this class was not much different. Granted there were a few extra people in there but not enough to be significant.

Anyway class was great, as usual, and it was definitely worth getting out into the cold weather for. Plus, I am a big fan of burning calories.

One mistake .. Tervis water bottle with iceI left my water bottle out in the car with water in it … and the water was of course frozen. Thankfully by the middle of class it had started to break up a bit but still .. lesson learned!

(I love my water bottle, by the way. It’s a Tervis .. I’ll have to write a post about that bottle soon!)

After that I went back to complete laziness until I had to teach again. One last afternoon of hanging out …

I finally got moving and headed to the next gym for my bootcamp class. That class definitely felt more New Years resolution crowded, although it was not as much crowded with new people as it was with returning people. Anyway, another solid hour with those guys, as always. It is a fun class to teach but it is a HARD class to teach! Maybe I’ll talk about that class format in a future post 🙂

When it was all said and done I had burned 454 calories in the 45 minute cycle class and then 541 in the bootcamp .. so just shy of 1000 calories but with them being broken up it did not feel so tough!

So, it was a lazy day but not so lazy at the same time. I wish every day was like that!

Thanks for reading!

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