Managing Your Macros 5: Intermittent Fasting, Broccoli

Before we get into it, one bit of news from Chase ErwinThe Little Rock Architect! His mother, Christie Erwin, is a huge advocate for adoption and foster care. She’s the founder of Project Zero a non-profit that connects kids with loving families and homes.

Most people are familiar with international adoptions because of celebrities like Angelina Jolie. It’s great that these kids have a chance to have a loving home. The truth is, there are still thousands of kids right here in the US that are stuck in the foster care system looking for their forever homes. Not everyone might be interested in adopting, but if you’d like to help support kids being placed in good homes, check out Project Zero’s Walk for the Waiting.


Last time we introduced the idea of Intermittent Fasting with its feeding and fasting windows, plus how it can help you lose weight. The removal of a meal you’re used to getting is a simple was to reduce calories.

Most people don’t pick up IF for that reason though. Most people get hooked onto IF because of the appeal of losing stubborn fat. Not all “stubborn fat” is really stubborn fat, mind you.

But before we can get into all of that, it’s helpful to understand the process that’s going on inside your body. We’ll get to nutrition in a minute, but let’s focus on working out first.

Targeting Muscle Growth

When you workout, you’re not transforming fat cells into muscle cells. It’s not that streamlined. It’s not a simple conversion. In fact, when you’re lifting weights, you’re actually breaking down muscle instead of building it up (this part gets taken care of with proper rest and nutrition).

When you’re lifting weights, you’re communicating in a very sadistic way to your body. You’re sending the signal of “Hey, bicep. Look at how weak and pathetic you are.” And by sticking with a workout routine, your bicep is responding with a big, bold “nuh-uh”.

As much as we want our body to burn away fat, it’s always going to be more natural for it to burn away muscle. So when we workout, we’re trying to communicate to our body that this muscle is worth keeping. It’ll still be burned away, just slower.

And when you have your macros on point, especially your protein, that process is slowed down even further.

Burning Fat while Fasted

The theory is that intermittent fasted can help target fat burning even more. When you’re in a fasted state, you’re trying to encourage your body to stop leeching off the muscle reserves and to set its sights on fat.

Again, it’s not a simple black and white issue. It’s not magic. It’s better to think in terms of tendencies.

And now that you understand some more of the mechanics, you can see why it’s important to get the proper nutrition in your system.

Macros Sample: Broccoli

1 cup is 0g F, 4g C, 1g P

When you’re trying to eat healthy or eating clean, green veggies are a good choice. You can’t really go wrong with eating more greens.

In fact, you should probably be eating a WHOLE LOT more greens.

See, when you sub out fries for a side of broccoli, you’re reducing the macros (and therefore reducing the overall calories). And yes, for the people who are going for a calorie deficit, this is a good thing.

The problem is that by subbing everything with greens, you’re having a HUGE dropoff in calories. Even if you eat the entire bag of broccoli, you’re still under 40g of carbs.

If you’re feeling cranky with the switch to greens, try increasing the volume you’re consuming before calling it quits.

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