Episode three of the Managing Your Macros podcast, y’all:
Here’s a quick write-up for those who prefer to eat up info with their eyeballs instead of their earballs.
Don’t Look for “Perfect” Foods
Even if you don’t pay too much to nutrition, there’s some sense of what’s “right” and “wrong”. Vegetables are good for you. Too many sweets are bad. Cole slaw is gross.
The real problem is when those attitudes get full blown religious. Certain foods can bring cult-like behavior (i.e. bacon) with their love and adoration. But sometimes there’s unjust demonization and blind love.
Let’s take the “healthy spectrum” first. We’ve covered this before, but it’s well worth repeating: healthy foods can make you fat. An apple will no doubt be a healthier option than a donut. No one’s disputing that, but remember to view things in terms of the whole day.
- Do you think the apple is going to counteract the fried food you plan on eating later? It won’t.
- Is the apple going to help you burn more fat than a donut? It’s not.
- Can you binge on apples all day without having to worry about gaining weight? You can’t.
Again, it all comes down to the macros. Fruits will still have carbs, and we need carbs. But if you’re having an excess of carbs– it doesn’t matter if they’re “healthy” or not”– you can still gain weight.
Don’t look for magic. Don’t look for certain foods to save you. I’m look at you, diet soda and high protein cereal.
Losing Weight with “Unhealthy” Foods
I can understand how frustrating the healthy-foods-can-make-you-fat concept can be. I’ve heard it from friends in high school (i.e. sports drinks are worse than cokes? Guess I might as well drink a coke).
I still hear it now (i.e. What do you mean fruit can make me fat? But it’s healthy!). It’s not just necessarily a matter of being right or wrong. I think it’s the agony of finding out there’s still so much to learn right when you thought you were getting a grip on things.
But don’t lose hope!
If healthy foods can make you fat, the flipside can also work. You can make “unhealthy foods” work towards weight loss.
Again, you have to realize it’s not about being black/white or good/bad. It’s most important in how you eat in total of the day. One cookie doesn’t really do any damage. The thing is for some people one cookie is rarely just one cookie.
Fit your guilty pleasures and sweets and treats into the budget of your macros. Don’t live life without them.
Macros Sample 1: Fruit
0g F, 25-40g C (depending on size), 0g P per apple/orange/banana
- Clean teeth feeling from apples
- Zesty fresh feeling from the citrus in oranges
- Potassium to ease cramps from bananas
- Not really a “con”, but just be aware fruit aren’t zero calories. They have sugar, so they have a carb count.
Summary & Strategy: You could opt to replace a candy bar or pastry with a piece of fruit in order to avoid fat macros. Or, you could swing the other way and avoid eating two pieces of fruit in order to spend your carbs on a candy bar or pastry.
Macros Sample 2: Tropicana No Pulp Orange Juice
0g F, 26g C, 0g P per cup
- Liquid calories are easy to ingest
- Liquid calories are easy to ingest
Summary & Strategy: If you want the vitamins from fruits, it’s going to be more “cost effective” to eat your fruit instead of drinking them. Of course, you could always make your own juice without any kind of additives. Just be aware that drinking the premade stuff usually contains more sugar that way. And more sugar means more carbs. I think most of us would rather allocate our carb budget to something else, right?
Macros Sample 3: Snickers Bar
12g F, 33g C, 4g P per bar
- Nougat, caramel, and peanuts covered in chocolate
- Gets all up in your teeth
Summary & Strategy: Insignificant protein source– don’t fall for the peanut hype. The carb numbers are very manageable, however. The only macros to watch out for is the fat, so on a day with pasta and pizza this probably won’t be a viable option. If you have your fats covered and want to indulge, feel free. Note, the ice cream snickers bar is 11F, 18C, 3P.
Hey, your’e getting the hang of this thing, eh? If you have a macros suggestion or question, send it our way to be featured on the podcast. E-mail: aoabbu [at] gmail.com