Live Fit: This is my journey »

Calculating & Tracking Macros

Unfortunately, while on any journey you sometimes have to take 2 steps back in order to move forward.  You will more than likely need to change your course multiple times simply because there is no one path that will work for everyone.  When I first started out earlier this year, I vowed to eat 100% “clean”.  No processed food, no refined sugar, I made the majority of all of my meals each and every single day for approximately 14 weeks.  I was convinced that the only way I was going to get in better shape, build a better body, and feel better was to go this route.  I made my family crazy with my lectures on eating processed food, I looked at EVERY single ingredient on EVERY single packaged item I bought,  I had a list of rules and do’s and dont’s for everything, I had to order special meals when my family ate out at restaurants (please take this off, please take that off, add more of this instead, can I have a side of this but not that, etc.), and I was completely obsessed with all things pure, wholesome, nutrient dense, and of course from the Earth.

As I began to resent my “clean” meals and feeling guilty about wanting to add unclean “treats” every now and then, I knew this “clean” lifestyle would not be something that I could maintain long term.  I had always had a good relationship with food up until this point in my life.  Never had an eating disorder.  Never binged.  However, when it comes to a point where you don’t even want to eat an apple cinnamon rice cake because its technically “processed”, you know you have a problem.  Really?  A rice cake?  I recognized there was an issue and knew it was a time for a change.  At the time, I didn’t know what I was going to do BUT I did know there had a to a better way.  I was in search of something more balanced for myself and stumbled upon Layne Norton, specifically THIS video on his youtube channel as well as THIS one that 100% changed my life and my fitness path.

When I began to do more research on IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and macros in general, I saw an overwhelming amount of people eating pop tarts and Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches (really, do a search on Instagram for IIFYM, it’s really quite funny looking at the posts now).  You will make judgements…. I know I did.  You can’t help but be completely apprehensive of a program that “allows” these kinds of foods, I literally turned up my nose at them initially and thought they were crazy.  Surely, they will gain weight and get off track.  Back to clean eating for me I guess.   However the more I learned and the more people I began to follow who did “IIFYM”, I was seeing consistent AMAZING results.  Flat tummy’s, growing muscles, tons of energy for training, feeling SO good every day… AND getting totally shredded.  At 14 weeks into my journey, I thought maybe, just maybe I could try it.  What’s it going to hurt if I stopped eating totally clean for a couple of weeks?  I was still committed to getting fit so I knew I wasn’t going to get off track regardless of what happened.

I went to a few websites to figure out my macros, came up with a split and intake (calories/carbs-protein-fat-fiber) I thought was HEALTHY & suitable for me (taking my previous caloric intake, daily training, height, weight, age, etc. ALL into consideration) and got with the new program.  While I didn’t jump in head first, I did get my toes wet so to speak.  Obviously, I was still cautious of the whole pop tart movement but I did finally work up the courage to start incorporating some foods that I hadn’t eaten in about 4 months.  I think one of my first “treats” was those yummy apple cinnamon rice cakes and some cereal… again, something is really wrong when you consider these items off limits in your “diet”.  That’s just crazy.  What was I thinking.  Live and learn right?

Over the course of the following few weeks, I could not believe what was happening to my body, my training, and most importantly my overall mental state.  Not only was I getting leaner & tighter with each passing day, I was eating a ton more food, had energy upon energy to train, hitting PR’s,  I was also incorporating foods I NEVER thought I would eat again AND not feeling the slightest bit of guilt about it.  It was a hard process to trust the first couple of weeks but I stuck through it and I found myself looking at some of my meals just smiling (or in some cases laughing) at how crazy it was that I was able to eat like that and still reach goals.  At week 6 into tracking my macros, I was up to over 2100 calories with over 245 grams of carbs and get this…. I LOST weight!  While that has never been a goal of mine because I didn’t have technical weight to lose (always wanted to just lose the body fat and gain muscle), I couldn’t help but laugh.  More food, more energy, tighter stomach AND I’m eating pop tarts now?  Crazy.  Simply crazy I tell you.  Even my husband and kids look at some of the things I eat and think “Yeah, thats not very healthy.  You sure about that?”  YES, I am.  Watch me eat it all myself and enjoy every bite!

Before you go making those judgements about my switch or the whole pop tart movement in general (I know you will because I did too initially remember?)… at least 95% of my daily intake/meals are SUPER nutrient dense.  I hit all of macros & fiber every day, I’m normally over in vitamins and minerals and I still eat a lot of broccoli, asparagus, brown rice, sweet potatoes, spinach, and oatmeal.  The difference now though, is that you will now see me out with my family eating a hamburger & french fries, eating birthday cake at a family event, having a pop tart every now and then, enjoying a good old hot dog at my son’s football game, and NOT feeling the slightest bit of guilt about it.  I plan for these things and typically have my “treat foods” calculated into my day and eat my healthier meals around them.  It was hard to wrap my brain around the concept, but really & truly… if it fits within your macros, you can eat it and still reach goals.

Here is a little iphone snap shot sequence of my mid section the past 3 weeks.  First picture, I was eating 1700 calories and approximately 175 grams carbs.  Second picture, I was eating around 1900 calories and 205 grams carbs.  And third picture is from this morning eating over 2100 calories and nearly 250 grams carbs.  I  know it may be a little hard to tell from the picture, but I lost 2 pounds between picture two and three.  Hello metabolic capacity!!!!  I even had to cut my cardio sessions from 2-3 times per week to ONE 20 minute session simply because I saw my muscle mass going down… muscles are important to me and I worked too hard thus far to lose them, even if it means sacrificing my tummy!

www.corinanielsen.com/livefit-1

 

So back to my original post now that you have the history behind my lifestyle and how it came to be!  If you are interested in starting IIFYM or even just tracking your macros (filling with whatever you choose: clean or unclean foods), please see my FAQ in the menu for some suggestions on how to get started.  I offer a list of people I trust to give healthy advice and break downs.  Or if you choose to do them yourself and have them figured out, here is an outline on how I set up my tracking on MyFitnessPal.

Let’s get started:

  • set up your account at MyFitnessPal on your desktop computer.  You will be able to download the app as well on your mobile device but to set up your actual macro spit, you need to do it on a regular computer.
  • once you have your account set up, go to your main page and click the “GOALS” button in the 2nd row down from the top

 

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  • scroll down a bit and click “CHANGE GOALS” and then “CUSTOM”

 

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  • go to “CUSTOM”

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  • Enter your daily caloric intake and the macro split you have been given OR generated for yourself.  These 4 items (calories, carbs, protein, and fat) are the only things I touch and most of the time, I actually leave my calories at zero then just make sure to hit the goal for that particular day.  If you hit your macros, you will hit your calories if that makes sense.
  • Click “CHANGE GOALS” and my fitnesspal will automatically sync to your mobile when you download the app and log in. 

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In some cases, your macro split may be super customized like mine where it’s more beneficial to have the actual grams needed.  For example, one day my carb intake might be 57.5% but using the regular myfitnesspal settings I would need to pick 55% or 60%.  For the first couple of weeks, I rounded my numbers but then found this nifty little script that would let me get my split dead on target.  I know a lot of people I follow on Instagram switched away from MFP since the %’s weren’t specific enough, so adding this enhancement should take care of that issue for you.

Follow the instructions on that page and then once you log into myfitnesspal on your desktop you will automatically see the “enhancements” in your menu bar.  Once you have the script installed and log into myfitnesspal, you will be able to change the % or use the actual g (grams) in your split.

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  • Once you have your macros set in MFP on your desktop, they will now be visible on your handheld device/mobile phone.  Log in and on your main screen click “DAILY” and then the little PIE CHART in the caloric breakdown section.  The set of numbers to the right represent your targets for the day and the numbers on the left are the actual numbers you have taken in.

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Now let’s take a look at how you get tracking and logging. From your main page, click “MY DIARY” at the bottom of your screen then “ADD” in the top right corner.  You will be able to pick whatever meal you need to (you can rename these in MFP on your desktop of you like).  I typically have 3 larger sized meals and then 3 smaller-ish ones throughout the day.  I don’t time them anymore.  I don’t eat every 2 hours on a schedule.  I eat when I am hungry.  I “graze” during the day.  The beauty of learning to rid your mind of all those myths we have been taught for all these years is a wonderful thing.  Trust the process….

OK, back to tracking.

This is how my app looks when I’m ready to log for the day.

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And finally, this is typically how I go about tracking my meals and the thought process involved.

*  If it’s a normal training day (no special family events, kids football games, parties, etc. where I would partake in some “fun” food), I usually always log in my dessert first (Meal 5 for me).  Gotta get those extra important carbs & fat logged first so I am assured ZERO deprivation on my journey and ALWAYS have something extra special to look forward to each day.  My dessert, eaten around 10pm is usually around 350-500 calories.  Carbs after dark never tasted so good.

*  If we do have something special going on that day, I would log whatever I might be having at the event like a hot dog, hamburger, cake, etc.  Or if I know the family is going out to dinner, I would try and figure out what I might be having at that particular restaurant.  These meals normally end up taking up a lot of my fat and/or carbs for the day (that’s typically just how it goes) so I know the rest of my meals will most likely be packed with protein.

*  Next, I would put in my supplements which normally end up accounting for a small percentage of my fat for the day (fish oil, evening primrose oil, and flax oil) and also my multi vitamins.  These I just log in “snacks”.

*  Breakfast.  Aside from dessert or a meal out with my family, this is the only other meal I don’t really “restrict” on.  I always have a ton of carbs and protein because I feel like I need that fuel and energy to get my day started off right.  A typical breakfast for me would include anywhere from 400-600 calories and again, I just eat whatever I might be craving.  Most of the time its a bowl of egg white oatmeal with chia seeds, hemp hearts, fruit, peanut butter, and granola but I may want a bagel, eggs, and bacon or French Toast.  Doesn’t matter, as long as I eat a big, healthy breakfast.

* Post workout meal.  Since my days are normally pretty full with work, kids, and a husband who has an extremely odd schedule, I like having my post workout meal prepped at the beginning of each week.  On Sunday’s when my husband and I prep his meals for the week for work, I normally put together 4-5 of the same meal that I use for post workout.  As soon as I’m done at the gym, I can come home, grab it from the refrigerator, pop it in the microwave, grab some fruit, and eat within 5 minutes of getting in the door.  Huge time saver.  This meal would typically include brown rice or sweet potatoes, chicken, and a vegetable.  Simple and easy to log.  In MFP, you can even just copy meals from day to day or even meal to meal so once I log for Monday, I can copy this meal for the rest of the week.

* The next few meals/snacks get a little trickier to figure out.  After these previous items are logged for the day, I take a look at my pie chart and see where I am at.  I normally need to fill in somewhere, take less of something the next meal, or more of something else at some point.  This is where I may need to get creative with my snacks/smaller meals.  Sometimes the next meal ends up looking like a big messy pile of food (yet still very delicious) but something like coconut milk yogurt mixed with some protein powder, a sprinkle of high fiber cereal, nuts, fruit, peanut butter, and whatever else I can find to help hit the macros.  I’m almost always guaranteed a couple of these bowls each week and I love them.

*  Last would be fillers to really hit my numbers properly.  I might need 1/4 cup of nuts or 1/2 of an avocado for some last fat.  A piece of Ezekiel bread with some fruit/jam.  A rice cake with some peanut butter.  A banana or other small piece of fruit.  It changes daily and NO day is EVER the same.

And my last little MFP tip was taught to me by my 14 year old son.  I have no idea how he even knew about this since he obviously doesn’t use the app for anything, but one day when I was trying to search for a food to log and couldn’t find it, he told me to use the bar scanner.  Huh?  What in the world are you talking about?  Grabbed my phone, clicked the bar code button on the app, and BOOM found my Arctic Ice Cream like a champ.  It looks like this….

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Then you simply take a snap shot in the app of the item’s bar code and all of the nutritional information and servings will pop up.  Genius.  I actually use this feature quite often now since it’s SO much easier to locate new food items and it’s guaranteed to be accurate for my macros!  Love it.

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So, does tracking your calories and macros take up a lot of time and energy?  Yes and no.  I won’t lie.  The first couple of weeks there is a pretty big adjustment getting used to it all.  I had never been a calorie counter and hated to even think about the stress of all those numbers, feeling “restricted” or eating according to any kind of rigid plan. Living that way just sets people up for failure in the long run. Counting had never been my style but then again, neither was my commitment to getting fit and seeing my abs (one of my main goals during this whole process).  I knew clean eating wasn’t going to work for me anymore (especially after gaining 5 pounds during those first few months) and honestly, I really had nothing to lose.  I wasn’t on a timeline for anything so I thought “Why the hell not?”  It can’t hurt to just give it a try, even if it was only for a couple of weeks to see if anything would change.  After the first few days of logging, it does get much much easier.  I can probably log my whole day within a matter of 2-3 minutes now.  So, no, it is not difficult to do once you get the hang of it.  And for me, the counting and tracking has 100% been worth it.

And as it turns out, tracking my macros for the past 5 weeks or so has 100% boosted my metabolism, fixed any damage that may have been done during the first few months of my journey, and set a truly STRONG foundation for the rest of it.  Now I have a much better idea of how much I should be eating every day, the correct portion sizes for my meals, and how to properly balance my intake. My metabolism was doing so well after 4 weeks of counting that I was able to go over maintenance level in my caloric intake and LOSE weight.  Again, that wasn’t my goal but it did happen.  That just shows me that my body was literally burning through everything I was putting inside of it and could tolerate more than I thought.  It’s an amazing feeling.  Science rocks.

Will I continue to count calories and hit macros every day for the rest of my life?  Of course NOT.  My plan is to be done with numbers, tracking, logging, and planning within the next month or so.  “Intuitive Eating” is on the horizon for me.  For now, I’m totally fine with my lifestyle and as long as I can keep pushing a ton of food (both “clean” and “unclean”), train hard every day, and reach fitness goals I’m A-OK!  This is obviously no way to live long term, but for someone like me who is totally OCD, plans everything, and writes list’s every day, tracking is right up my alley 🙂

Have you been dieting and feeling like a yo-yo, eating under 1200 calories a day, doing endless hours of cardio and STILL not losing weight?  Watch the videos I posted at the beginning of this post.  They may change your life.  Find a trainer who can calculate HEALTHY macros for you and give it a try.  You have nothing to lose and SO much more than you think to gain!  If you only give it a few weeks, it will be worth it.  At the very least, you will learn that you do not have to fear food (or carbs) and that most of all that crap people talk about when it comes to losing weight are entirely false.  I assure you that my results and progress are not isolated.  There are thousands of women (and men) following the same “program” and amazing things are happening to them.  It’s worth the trouble, I promise.

So what in the world are you waiting for????

**  As with everything contained in this blog, please note that I am NOT a trainer, nutritionist, or licensed in anything regarding health/fitness.  I am a 35 year old working mommy getting in the best shape of my life and the information I share are ALL based on my own beliefs, research, and findings.  Always make educated decisions regarding your health and before beginning any program, please consult your physician.  I don’t claim to be an expert in anything but I do love sharing my journey  **

  • Kim - Corina girl you’re right on the money. I was strict paleo with NO cheats for over 8 MONTHS. And while my inflammation went down, my results from working my tail off in the gym weren’t what they should be. Started eating WAY more. Way more. Got amazing results. Still super clean though. Then I started not being afraid of some crazy good gelato now and then and things like that and am truly getting better results (Um Rice Krispie treats are INSANELY good and occasionally I have two of them with my protein shake and hit right on my post workout macros and did I say they are CRAZY good? And super easy to digest). Part of me even thinks the lack of stress over food helps our bodies to respond better.

    Have you seen Amber at gokaleo’s calorie count pics? They’re pretty awesome and right in line with your experience. And she eats around 2800-3000 calories. http://gokaleo.com/2013/08/28/a-brief-history-of-my-timeline-photos/ Her photos were life-changing to me when I was trying to convince myself to believe the things that were challenging everything I had thought up until that point about food.

    I’m so stoked to see you out here helping change so many ladies’ views on calories and carbs (nom nom) and food in general. Time to start shaking up this low calorie nonsense.ReplyCancel

    • corina - YES, I am totally familiar with her! I remember a video she did about abs and her saying how she got hers… GENETICS lol! Its so true. Some people are just built certain ways and some body parts we have to either work extra hard on or not at all. I could literally train legs once every 2 weeks and still have them super lean and muscular, thats just in my genes. Tummy is totally different for me! I also know if I cut my calories and went into a deficit, I would also be able to see my abs pretty easily BUT I just dont want to do that. I rather eat as much as I am (and the carbs that I am) than see my abs at this point kwim? I’m even considering jumping in at some point to do a little bulk. Like I said in this post, what do I have to lose? Its fun seeing what you make your body do! And absolutely… low calorie/low carb NONSENSE lol! Hogwash I tell you. Women have such a fear of food (and weights), most have no idea what utilizing BOTH can do!!!! Thanks for the support girl, I really appreciate it!ReplyCancel

  • Brandi - Corina,
    You are an angel for posting all of this. I mean seriously, it must have taken some time! I REALLY want to try the macro thing I guess I’m just nervous b/c I feel like I will be SO OCD on counting everything that it’ll make me miserable. BUT, I’m so intrigued by it that I can’t help but maybe go for it.
    How do you count the calories/macros for when you’re eating out. There’s no barcode there when they hand you the food LOL and you don’t know the exact measurements of the foods.
    I love your blog by the way. It looks great!ReplyCancel

    • corina - Girl, I am 100% OCD right now about this but know that its only going to be for a very small part of my life. I’m fine with it right now as long as I’m learning how to nourish and feed my body properly!!! Temporary means to an end and you will have the tools to continue it long term and not see eating as a “diet”. It just becomes a way of life! And on eating out… I normally estimate if nothing shows in MFP. For example I had a hamburger the other night at Islands. I don’t do cheese/dairy and I don’t like thousand island so I just added a wheat bun, 4 ounce hamburger patty, lettuce, tomato, etc. and then the fries which were in MFP. Obviously those items are not 100% exact but its good enough. I also normally add in some fat which would account for whatever they cook the meat/burger on (i.e. a tbsp of oil or whatever). Make sense?ReplyCancel

  • knmkendall - Hi Corina,
    This was such a helpful post! Your website has been teaching and helping me very much. Your journey and progress are AMAZING! I had a question about increasing your carb micros: do you lower your fat gram micros or your protein, or a little of both? And it is best to increase very gradually? Thank you for your help and for sharing your experiences!ReplyCancel

    • corina - knmkendall, as I have raised carbs, I bring my protein down and fat stays the same. I started out with REALLY high protein since I was scared of the carbs, but now I know my body can handle them! And YES, definitely begin to add in slowly especially if you were in a huge deficit or doing low carb/keto dieting. You need to see how your body responds over the course of a few weeks. You may have an adjustment period where you have a slight gain… if thats the case, don’t increase the following week, keep things the same. There is no one magic number so you just have to play with it! Get as much in your body without the fat gain! Thats my opinion anyways lol! Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - Yeah you’re in a good place to start a bulking period. You’re stoked being as lean as you are and having the luxury of doing a nice building stint. Man super heavy lifting and loads and loads of eating? Who doesn’t want that? That’s my kind of fun right there. I have a number of friends on a bulking cycle and good Lord the recomp they are getting is crazy! Had one of my friends today tell me how excited she is that her size 4 pants are snug around her tush and quads and she can’t believe how happy she is to go up a size LOL. And she looks amazing. Can’t wait to see your results.ReplyCancel

    • corina - OMG… snug pants on my tushy? Ultimate dream of mine lol! I had toyed with the bulking idea now for a couple of months but now I really think Im going to just do it. Im around 2200 calories right now and was going to level off for a couple of weeks, still increasing carbs to 300, see what happens. Then if I adjust well, I *may* go to 2800 or so. I just need to get comfortable with the idea of sacrificing what I have done with my tummy this far. I know Im bound to lose the tone I have now especially since its my trouble area 🙁 My ass is more important to me though, I think hahaha! Stay tuned, I should know in about a month. OH crap, can you imagine be on a bulk during the holidays? Good lord, I need to do this. Seriously. Crap.ReplyCancel

  • andrea - Alright girl…..I’m going to try this. Like a previous commenter I’ve been sold on the Paleo diet. And it DID work for me. After my first pregnancy I tried my DANG hardest to lose the weight and every stupid pound was after a lot of sweat and tears (and hunger!). After my second pregnancy, the weight FELL off doing Paleo and I was sold. But my progress has halted …and I’m getting seriously bored with my food choices. The weight is gone but I’m not toned or as “less squishy” as I like to be….and I do crossfit. So frustrating! I will admit….the few times I saw your food on IG, I judged :-/ (Sorry!) But man, your results?!?! A-MAZ-ING! I’m not that close minded not to try something else so I’m giving it a go 😉 Off to buy some Trutein protein powder and see what else I’m going to need for your recipes. It’s gonna kill me to go back to grains….but I’m trusting the science 😉

    I know you get a million questions a day on these things but one thing I am confused about ….you keep saying you’re going to raise your carbs. What’s the variable behind that? When I plugged my info into those calculators I got my targets and I’m thinking I’ll probably stay at those until I’m happy with my results (i.e., how I look in the mirror ;)). But is it based on wanting to bulk up? Your weight loss? I’d love it if you would give me some insight.ReplyCancel

    • corina - HI Andrea! I’m happy to help you but again, I only know what has worked for me and have been going off of trial and error for the most part (in addition to a ton of my own research). Absolutely TRUE that people will lose weight on Atkins, Paleo, low carb, low calorie diets. Anytime you shock your system like that, your body will respond immediately and quickly. The problem (for me anyways) was that I knew I didnt want to stay eating clean for the rest of my life. I just wanted to train hard, lift heavy weights, and eat smart BUT balanced. I hated feeling guilty about enjoying a treat here and there. Now that I am tracking, I not only see results but am eating a HUGE variety of foods. Its a win win for me (and my family)! Another problem with the “diets” is that once you start to incorporate things you havent had in a long time (say more grains/carbs for example) and you over do it, again, your body is not used to it so it will go crazy and more than likely I think people gain back the weight and then some. You will need to start off slow adding in the stuff you have kept away from to start. As for your actual question for me… your body only needs a certain amount of protein so my goal has been to decrease to what my body needs (roughly 1 g per pound of body weight) and then fill in with the carbs and fat. We need carbs to function, build/fill in muscle and train properly so my goal has always been to get as many carbs (and calories) into my body with the addition of the body fat if that makes sense. My macros are more or less for a lean bulk I guess? Building muscle while maintaining or decreasing body fat since I still have a few %’s to reach goal. its a much longer process than bulking and then cutting, but Im ok with that for now. Im not on a timeline and rather do things gradually…. thats just a personal choice though! Im not a crossfit person either but I do lift 5 days a week and always go as heavy as I can (without sacrificing form). If you still have weight to lose, just make sure you are in a caloric deficit to start out with and then adjust macros according to what your body does and your goals! Like I have said a few times… best thing you can do is see my list of trainers who I trust and get your macros calculated properly. They will know more than what the online calculators tell you AND will be able to help you through the questions and process! Michelle Yeager (she’s on that list) is taking on new clients now and is a wealth of knowledge! I would 100% invest in a plan from her 🙂 Good luck! Hopefully I helped you a little bit, just remember I don’t know anything lol!ReplyCancel

  • Luciene Pestana - OMG!!! Thank you so much Corina. You answered all my questions..Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Bridget - Wow. This might just be what I need. I’ve been eating clean working out hard for the past 7 months. Granted I wasn’t perfect, had a few more cheat meals than I should’ve, and wasn’t counting cals. I did 23 days of the whole30 (paleo, but stricter) then realized I needed carbs for energy. Especially, because I’m training for a marathon! So I took a little break from weight lifting and body weight work outs. I decided the 1st of October it was time to change something. Okay, so let’s start counting cals and keep it super duper clean, let’s hit the weights heavy and more. Start your body weight work outs back up. So I have and I’ve been doing pretty good. I have noticed a slight change already just in one week. BUT, i’m getting sick of eating the same thing. And, I find myself wanting bad foods. I’m only allowing myself 2 cheats this month. Just a challenge I’m doing for myself. All the things you describe, reading every single label, lecturing family..exactly my thoughts. There’s things like peanut butter that I think can be bad for me. I’m giving this whole iifym thing a new thought…I may have to try it and see how it works! 🙂 I love how you broke down how to use my fitness pal too. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Kara Weaver - I’ve been using My Fitness Pal for some time now. I have lost 50 lbs on my own in the last year. However, in the last 3-4 months I have stopped losing hardly any weight. Alot of the people I follow on Instagram follow “IIFYM” and I have been wanting to try it for some time now. Ive read your post as well as several others on how to get started. Ive calculated my macros on the IIFYM website to get an idea of where I need to be. I changed my settings and goals on MFP to accommodate where I need to be. I spent several hours meal planning and prepping to start off with so I know what I need to eat and when. However, when I started today I noticed on MFP that on the pie chart, it says I’ve already reached my daily percentage of carbs & protein after only eating breakfast snack & lunch. But then when I go to list it at the chart it states I still have remaining grams left in each category. It’s confusing me. Im supposed to be eating 100.3 grams of carbs a day & so far I’ve only had 39 but its showing Ive had 25/25% on the pie chart. Am I missing something?! Thanks for your help.ReplyCancel

    • corina - Not sure I understand correctly, but MFP will still calculate your macro split regardless of whether or not you hit your calories… I set my calories to ZERO and then just make sure to hit my caloric goal for the day AND my split! Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Thanks for posting all this awesome information! I started tracking macros 4 weeks ago and while I’m eating more food and a bigger variety, I’m super bummed because I gained 4 pounds. I’m already lean and work out 5 times a week so I mostly wanted to maintain and be able to eat more calories and more foods. Why I’m I gaining weight? Do I need to lower my calories? Would love some advice…ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Melissa! Did you figure your macros out on your own? If you have been in a big deficit for some time, you may need to slowly reverse diet. There are SO many factors that go into your macros. Are you doing heavy lifting or cardio only? Your body could just be adjusting… some people adjust quicker than others. Again, this is why having a qualified trainer can greatly help you (as well as answer your questions)! Definitely worth it! Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Linzie Russo - This might seem like a daft question. But I have been tracking my macros for 2 weeks on MFP and I also add in the exercise I do daily. Which then gives me more calories to play with. Do you add in your exercise. I feel by doing this I am not doing it correctly…I know you are no expert! But I am trying to change the way I eat and exercise to become strong and fit. But feel I am cheating when I add in the exercise for more calorie allowance if that makes sense. Maybe I should buy a watch instead that tells me what I am burning.
    Thanks in advance! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Linzie! I don’t subtract my calories/add in my workouts but my macros are calculated based on that! It’s nice having a watch like a Polar (which I have) to see what your actual burn is! Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Corinne - Hi Corina,

    As with most of the other posters here, I’ve been toying with/entertaining the thought of/dipping my foot into the world of IIFYM. This post was great! Educational, informative and not condescending (cough IIFYM cough). It’s really nice that in addition to the tiime you took to put this together you also take the time to interact with well thought out responses.

    I’ve been in the researching phase recently (after reading this post i scanned just about every bar code in my kitchen) I’ve been meal prepping and in addition to my work outs, have been feeling and seeing a change although not in the scale…trying not to get caught up on numbers though! I am looking for insight in regard to two matters. I do both free weights and machines, but a majority of my working out is comprimised of yoga, barre and cardio. I have been trying to increase my weight training to no less than 3x a week and be more confident in the gym. I know a lot of people in the bulking/lifting game arent into cardio, but it’s something a genuinely enjoy and is one of my main stress relivers/personal times, should I adjust my macros to accomidate?

    2- I juice (once again because it’s something that i genuinely enjoy) is it possible to incoroprate this into IIFYM?ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hello Corinne!

      Thank you for your comment. I’d be happy to help where I can, just keep in mind I am not a trainer, coach, nutritionist, etc 🙂 As far as lifting and cardio… you need to do whatever makes YOU feel good! I personally don’t do much cardio at the moment because I am trying to build and retain as much muscle as I can. Doing most cardio will compromise my “gains” so for me, its lifting lifting lifting and heavy! I hate cardio though, so Im ok with that lol!. If you LOVE it, then you DO it!!!! In the end, this journey we are on is all about making us better right? If your mind is clearer and it helps with stress, don’t ever think twice about your cardio! Thats just my opinion! As fas as juicing goes, My Fitness Pal should have things already stored for you, just input “raw carrot juice” or whatever… should give a good estimate for you to put in! Hope that helps! Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Hi
    I have been recovering from anorexia for years now and am soo scared of calories. I have ended up weight restored (and bigger that i’d like) on a very low calorie intake that is like 600 cals lower than iifym suggests,

    How did you calculate your exact protein, carb and fat macros e.g. which option on IIFYM should i choose?
    I really want to believe this will work, but i seem to be gaining weight on such a little amount at the mo, i’m terrified ill just balloon! 🙁

    What do you think? …ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Rachel!

      I’d be happy to help where I can, just keep in mind I am not a trainer, coach, nutritionist, etc.! As far as my own macros, initially I did them myself and had a LOT to learn and lots of adjusting to do. Took me a couple of months to really get a handle on it properly. In retrospect, I 100% would have hired someone sooner to get me on the right path. Seeing as that you are recovering from ED and most likely been in a large caloric deficit for an extended period of time, your reverse diet becomes even more important! I honestly feel like you hiring someone will help you tremendously…. I recommend my coach William Grazione at http://www.metabolicevolution.com. He actually wont even “diet” someone until they are healthy and metabolism is on the mend. Its super important for you to keep long term health at the forefront of your goals!!! Good luck!

      CorinaReplyCancel

  • Jamie - Can you give me the list of trainers to calculate? I’ve been doing this for 3 weeks and need direction. Thank youReplyCancel

    • corina - HI Jamie

      I just emailed you but figured I would leave this note as well…. if you are serious about hiring someone to help get you on track, try contacting my coach at teamgrazione@hotmail.com Really a huge wealth of knowledge and can get you on the right track right from the start! Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - I know I’m a little late on this but I just found out about IIFYM (Pinterest led me to your site!) and this whole program really excites me. I’ve just started a new fitness regime and I wanted to make sure I was getting the nutrition I needed in order to see results. I’ve never been on a bona fide diet before, but I have counted calories, restricting them to far below what my body actually needs (at least 500 cal/day to be exact, according to TDEE calculators). So I’m excited to finally find something that will give me the nutrition I need, yet not feel so guilty if I treat myself to froyo every once in a while. My question to you is how did you figure out your workouts in accordance with IIFYM? Was that something your trainer helped you with? I work out 4 times a week, HIIT cardio in the morning and weightlifting at night, but I hate cardio too (plus I’m not a morning person at all) and would love to concentrate on weights instead of slaving over the elliptical/treadmill. Any suggestions?
    Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • corina - HI Stephanie! When I first started out, I bought a Polar heart rate monitor to get a good estimate of what I was burning. As for cardio, yes…. I HATE it and avoid doing it at all costs lol. I only do cardio now twice per week and only 20 minutes per session. I lift 5-6 days a week and each session is roughly an hour or so! Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Hey girl! First of all great website!! I just recently started the iifym as well. I was on a super low carb diet from doing fitness shows. Of course after my show I went back to eating normal and blew up! I am trying to get the weight off the right way this time. I have only been doing it not even two weeks. I was wondering how many weeks in would you suggest changing up your macros if it isn’t working? I have noticed a slight difference (I would be the only one to notice it’s that small lol) but no weight change just yet. Also, should I drop my carbs or raise them? Once again I am so glad I found your website it is so nice and highly organized!!ReplyCancel

    • corina - HI Ashley! Please remember that I am not a trainer or nutritionist so can’t really give you any advice other than my own personal thoughts… that being said, I think your body needs a few weeks to adjust to new macros especially coming off of a low carb diet. Be sure you start off VERY slow with your carbs and only increase once your body starts to adjust. The first week I started my cut after reverse dieting, I GAINED 4 pounds. Then things leveled off. Don’t do anything drastic or aggressive, but definitely be sure your macros are at a healthy range!ReplyCancel

  • Alexandria Barretta - I just wanted to tell you that I always had a lot of questions and never any real answers. Thank you so much I have learned more from you than I have in weeks from anyone else. You have definitely inspired me to do more for myself.ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Alexandria! Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad I helped you in some way!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Hi Corina,
    I have been rereading your articles over the past few weeks and would love some help.
    I am quite high protein now -180g and have started strength training. my 120g of carbs aren’t enough anymore to keep me satisfied and i keep going over by 20g!
    i am not interested in losing weight, but am in losing fat and gaining muscle. my calories now are 1650 under ‘suggested fat loss’ in iifym. any advice?ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi rachel! I’m not a trainer or nutritionist so anything on the blog is really just based on my own trial and error/research. That being said, if you feel like your carbs are too low and aren’t feeling great during training and throughout the day, try increasing your carbs, but just do it very slowly each week… maybe 5-10 grams. If you have no weight gain, you are good to go. If you do gain at a fast rate, wait for any other increases 🙂 Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Daniela - Hi Corina, i already download my fitness pal, but i dont really understand the percent of my macros.

    Carbs 50%
    Fat 20%
    Protein 30%

    1,200 calories per day, its that okey?

    im skinnyfat 🙁 ,i have 28% body fat and just star lifting!ReplyCancel

    • corina - HI Daniela! I’m not a trainer or nutritionist so can’t really say… it really all comes down to your goals though. There are so many other aspects that go into figuring macros and without knowing everything in detail, I don’t even feel right giving an opinion. Sorry!ReplyCancel

  • zoya - Corina,

    When I saw your ‘before’ picture I thought it was me.
    I am 51 and I have been heavy lifting all my life. After I turned 50 last year, I noticed things are not working the way they used to – I lost my abs leanness and in general I feel like I am getting softer and wider , even though I am training as usual.
    I was never on a diet, but my husband always keeps saying that I don’t eat enough for the way I lift.
    Do you think starting the reverse diet will shake my age related metabolism slowing? I know you are not a nutritionist, but I really would like to hear your opinion – the opinion of the working mother who loves lifting and has my physical parameters (except for the age of course 🙂
    Thanks,

    zoyaReplyCancel

    • corina - Hello Zoya! Thanks for reaching out to me… keep in mind that I am not a trainer or nutritionist so I won’t be much help! As for reverse dieting, I think everyone can benefit from it in some ways! If you have been in a caloric deficit for a long period of time, don’t have enough energy to train properly, etc. then adding more calories in might help you!ReplyCancel

  • Jenna - This site is awesome! I feel like you went through exactly what I have. As an avid calorie counter/exerciser, I’m very discouraged with my lack of results from my 1200 calorie/day “diet”. I cannot wait to start counting my macros! My question is about exercise and being able to eat “more”. I have a fitbit that tracks my calories burned, and the more I burn, the more I can eat. With this macros “diet”, do burned calories not matter? For example with my macros I’m supposed to do 1895 calories, 159g protein, 220g carbs, and 42g fat. If I burn 500 calories at the gym, should I still just eat my 1895 calories for the day no matter what (and obviously hitting my other macros), or would I eat the extra 500 I burned resulting in 2395 instead? Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • corina - HI Jenna I did not subtract my burned calories… but my macros were calculated based on a variety of factors!ReplyCancel

  • Meg - Hi Corina,

    Thank you so much for writing this post about IIFYM! As a woman new to fitness and weight lifting, it’s a relief to find an approach to nutrition that is practical and sustainable and healthy. I am wondering how you manage to stick to your macros when you have to attend an event where you can’t necessarily know what food will be available in advance or bring your own food (i.e. a holiday dinner with the in-laws or a work lunch).

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Meg! I estimated the best I could! Remember, its one thing to stay on track and another thing to stress yourself out TO stay on track! One meal here and there where you aren’t 100% accurate won’t kill ya or your progress!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Hi, great post! I too have been working out relentlessly without seeing too many results and am dying to give this a go! Just a quick question, when I try to update my macros in MyFitnessPal, it keeps telling my that my “Goals Calories Exercise” is not a number. Did you run into this problem when customising your goals? Its annoying me so much as its stopping my progress with this idea! Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Amy You need to make sure that your calculations are correct… multiply 4 times your protein, 9 times for fat, and 4 times for carbs. This will give you the total number of calories 🙂 Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Thanks so much for this post! I just finished a 30-day paleo challenge, and while I looked and felt amazing, I knew it wasn’t something I could keep up with for life. I missed bread way too much! I have been trying IIFYM for about a week and a half now and love the concept (and how much I get to eat!). But I haven’t ever been able to hit my macros exactly…so I have just been trying to get as close as I can without going over my calories or fat for the day (fat is always the one I hit or go over and then I am always way under on my carbs and protein). Any tips on what I might be doing wrong here? I have been trying to eat the lowest fat diet I possibly can (eating tons of egg whites, fat free cottage cheese, lean meats, fruits and veggies, etc.) but can never hit my protein macro without going over on fat. At the end of the day I am usually about 500 calories under my goal, hit or am slightly over my fat grams, and have around 60-70 carbs and 60-70 protein grams left. I would love any suggestions you might have for me!ReplyCancel

    • corina - HI Amy! Best advice I can do is to plan a little bit better and log the majority of food/intake in the AM or night before. I would also double check your macros to make sure your fat isn’t too high/low. Also, its fine to not be completely perfect but 500 calories under (or over) is pretty significant. The whole idea behind tracking is to get as close to where you need to be (for your goals). The variation of 500 calories is pretty high so results either way won’t be a good guide.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Lynch - Corina,

    Wow you are in inspiration! I am on MFP as well, what is your user name, I would love to follow you & your diary for ideas.

    Thanks!!

    JenniferReplyCancel

    • corina - HI Jennifer! I no longer track anything 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Chelsia - Hi there! I’m new to this whole iifym thing and I was wondering, what happens when you reach your micros but still have calories left to consume? Are they supposed to be carbs or proteins, or does it matter? Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Chelsia

      Just focus on hitting your macro amounts (carbs, fat, protein)… the calorie amount will rarely ever be correct 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Hi!
    I am so happy about finding macros, but I am having a hard time making my numbers. Do you have a example day of recipes or meals?
    What would you eat if your macros were
    1800 cal
    225 carb
    136 protein
    40 fat
    Everyday I seem to be way off on one category and my trainer wants me to really figure it out on my own,,, but I need help!
    Thank you so much for writing that wonderful article, it is very inspiring!ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Amanda You can actually see a couple of months worth of my meals here on my blog! Just look under reverse diet in the menu 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Erika - I am so glad I found this. I’ve been dieting like crazy, obsessing on only getting 1200 calories and a lot of protein. Everyone keeps telling me “eat more and you’ll lose weight quicker.” Which sounds CRAZY to me! I work out everyday. Half hour of cardio, half hour of weights, but I stopped losing any weight.
    I changed all my macros on MFP, setting them up to where the macro calculator says they should be at. I’m really nervous, but going to try it.ReplyCancel

  • jan - Hi can u tell me if u ever have so called cheat days on this? For example if u had a family gathering or a special occassion night out?

    ThanksReplyCancel

    • corina - Hello Jan! No, I don’t believe in “cheat meals” or “days”… when tracking my macros, if there was something I wanted to eat (cupcake, brownie, hamburger, pizza, etc.) I would just make sure early in the day I accounted for it when inputting my food. When you are a flexible dieter and following principles of IIFYM, you can eat anything you want that fits within your daily allowance! Just have to make sure you hit you micros and macros each day 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Charlene - This post is amazing! I’m new to IIFYM and it’s daunting putting trust into essentially sometimes eating more, still hoping to shred some fat! Definitely going to try the MFP tip, it’s been frustrating not having the macro percentages exactly as I want them. Thank you!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - How did you come up with the breakdown for your macros? On one site, after putting in my info (5’9in, 149, exercise 6days/week) my breakdown was 40%protein, 35%carbs &25%fat for a total of 1872 calls). (1.25grams protein/lb of body weight, .35grams of fat/one pound body weight) Only been trying it a few days and even when I think I’m relatively low carb, it is soooo hard! Any suggestions? Do I recalculate?ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hello Jaime! My coach calculates my macros for me! Worth every penny having someone do all the thinking for me 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - I can really appreciate your research and tips that you share! Do you have any recommendations for someone who doesn’t have a coach as a means to calculate what my macros are? I too am looking for some guidance with this.ReplyCancel

    • corina - I have a list here on my site under FAQ or under my reverse dieting article!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - How does sugar fit into this picture? What (g) of sugar per day would be ideal?ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hello Leslie, I account for sugar as a part of my carbs! As long as I hit my carbs, I don’t worry too much about sugar intake.ReplyCancel

  • adrienne - Hi Just wanted to say thank you for your post! you have inspired me to trust that food is fuel. i have been anorexic and bulimic for 22 years and am ready to use food as fuel to help me . I also am a cardio bunyy, thus have not seen much change in my body, Im going to try and eat more and start lifting.Scared of this but am finally willing to try.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - Thank you SO much for sharing your journey and tips on IIFYM in such detail. It’s very inspiring:) LOVE the MFP trick!! All the Best!ReplyCancel

  • Lyn - Hi Corina
    A HUGE thank you for this article and the information you have provided. I have found the whole macro experience rather confusing up until now and your advice along with your tips (the script for MyFitnessPal rocks!) has been a game changer.
    A massive & heartfelt thank you.
    Lyn
    -x-ReplyCancel

  • Shamrock - Thank you for this article and trick for MFP. I am wondering if you add your activities back into MFP or just let it run with the IIFYM calculated calories? I am just starting to track macros, but I’m a MFP vet and am not sure if I should log my burned calories as usual.ReplyCancel

    • corina - If your macros are calculated correctly, your activity should be included in them! You should NOT be adding calories back in each day to compensate for a workout!ReplyCancel

  • Reyna - Hello! I have been trying to start IIFYM but I have found myself unable to eat all of my calories/macros! I don’t know if it’s a mind game I am playing with myself but I have no idea how to put this much food in my body! I’ve even gained weight when I wasn’t even able to meet my macros because I was so full I felt like throwing up! I don’t know what to do, bring my numbers down and slowly increase every week? I am determined to love food and my body, but the idea of feeling sickly full every day is not very exciting… I would love to hear from you, but since this is such an old post I doubt I will. But thank you for the read -I will keep trying because of you!ReplyCancel

    • corina - It all comes down to your goals but I will say that hitting your macros regardless of muscle building, metabolism repair, or losing body fat is key! You must be consistent!ReplyCancel

  • Tania - Hi Corina 🙂
    So I have taken the plunge and set up MFP and also used the links to calculations you shared to set my calories and Macros.
    I just wanted to ask you if it sounds correct?

    I am 5ft (yay for shorties)
    weigh 108lbs-skinny fat- very low muscle tone and struggle to build muscle.
    Cals-1952
    Macros 55/25/20

    Also I aim to lift twice a week, bootcamp once a week and possibly 1 short run x 20 min … I want to really build some muscle and lose some fat!

    Do my cals and macros sound round about right? It seems like a lot of food to me!!

    Thanks in advance 🙂 🙂ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Tania!

      Unfortunately, I am not a trainer, nutritionist, or coach. I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving any macro or training advice. Your best bet is to hire someone who can help you with that process! One thing I will note though is that there are very few circumstances where you can build quality muscle AND lose fat.. typically, its one or the other 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Tania - Thanks Corina- yes I think I will focus on building a bit before losing the fat- right now Im going to spend some more time tweaking things and researching to come up with something that works for me. I’ll take your advice and also contact someone to help me work out cals and macros.
    Thanks so much for all info and inspo!
    TaniaReplyCancel

  • fitgirl01 - Corina-love this post, so inspiring! I have always wanted to get into iifym! My question is…I have used the macro calculator from iifym and my calorie intake was around 1630…I was wondering since you started around the same at 1700..how did you eventually increase to 2200 in 3 weeks?? How did you know what to change and when?ReplyCancel

    • corina - My coach determined when and how much! Best investment you can make for your journey if you are completely in the dark and need that guidance!ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa - I’m still confused as to how to figure out the macros that I need. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated 🙂ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Alyssa! Hiring a coach can make the biggest difference in the world! I wish I had done it sooner 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Amy - I love your article, want to start. I found so many websites to help find macros, but they are all different. Any help on the best website to find your macros. Can’t get a coach.

    ThanksReplyCancel

  • Brittany - I am just starting iifym and i am having trouble see food differently. Do you have any pointers and I think me learning how to plan what I eat will help but for some reason it is odd to me to do that.ReplyCancel

    • corina - You just need to dive in and slowly trust the process! Its a difficult thing to grasp, but once you let go of all the old beliefs, it gets easier… and then FUN 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Justine - Hi there!

    I just read your amazing article and am so excited. Your first paragraph was me to a T! Been eating clean for ages… Results are so slow… Never even heard of macro counting.. And I thought I knew everything!

    I started two days ago but am so confused to work out how many macros I should be having of each day, carbs and protein… Two different online calculators say two different things and the carbs are sooo high. I’m really nervous I’m gonna blow out considering I use to eat pretty much no carbs…

    I know you’re not wanting to advise on correct amounts but I just want to know if 220 carbs, 84 protein and 24 fat sounds normal to use?

    Thanks so so much!!! 🙂
    JustineReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Justine! I strongly suggest getting a coach who specializes in macros, reverse dieting, and body recomp. You can play with online calculators but it saved me SO much time and headache just hiring someone. One thing I will say is if you have been eating low to no carbs for a long period of time, you will need to ease into eating more (reverse dieting). If you jump up too fast/too soon, the larger chance of more weight/fat gain. Again, a coach would be able to help you through that! AND 84 grams protein and 24 grams of fat sounds super super low in my opinion….ReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Love this post! My question is- when tracking on mfp do you log your daily workouts- if so doesn’t that alter your daily calorie/macro goals?ReplyCancel

    • corina - If your macros are calculated properly, your activity level will already be accounted for!ReplyCancel

  • zyrine - Hi! I hope i can get a little help with this macros just to get started. I have recently just started 3 days ago and I’m still trying to figure out everything as in numbers to sure I have my numbers right. I inputed everything that’s close to my numbers on myfitnesspal and I’m eating regular foods and meeting my numbers..but am I suppose to be right on top of my numbers..closest as I can? The past few entries I’ve made through myfitnesspal I’m a bit far from my carbs and proteins ? And it’s per day, right?
    Carbs/protein 151 and fat is 58 and sugar is 25 (through myfitnesspal)

    Through iffym my numbers are:
    C:156 P:131.4 F:58.4

    Am I doing this right?ReplyCancel

    • corina - The closer you stay to your numbers, the better you can assess if they are doing what they are supposed to (fat loss, gaining, etc.)! You will need to give it at least 2-4 weeks minimum and be 100% consistent before you decide to change anything.ReplyCancel

  • Joe Biden - I need advice on how to track macros when going out to eat like how do you know how many carbs protein and fats are in that meal?ReplyCancel

  • Calculating & Tracking Macros with MyFitnessPal - Brie Beeks - […] via Calculating & Tracking Macros » Live Fit: This is my journey. […]ReplyCancel

  • Francesca - Hi Corina, I know this post is old and you stopped using MFP.. but it is really helping me out tons! May I ask, when you started tracking macros and see the amazing shreeding results, were you eating maintenance calories or cutting? Thanks for your answer, much love from Europe!ReplyCancel

    • corina - I have gone in cutting/dieting phases and reverse dieting/gaining phases. Initially, I slowly reverse dieted (caloric surplus), then began to cut.ReplyCancel

  • susannah - I keep trying to customize my goals but there isn’t an option at the bottom. Of.my page on mfp! Any tips?ReplyCancel

    • corina - It needs to be done on your desktop!ReplyCancel

  • Why, When, & How to Calculate Your Macros - One Strange Herd - […] it “fits their macros.”  I was skeptical and wasn’t convinced until I read Corina Nielsen’s blog post and gave it a go myself for 12 […]ReplyCancel

  • Val - Hi Corina, Can you explain how to calculate your daily caloric intake and macro split if you are looking to lose fat and gain muscle as you have? Your progress pics are amazing. I work out 6 times a week and I can’t seem to lose my belly fat no matter what I do.ReplyCancel

    • corina - Hi Val, when I’m in a dieting phase my coach determines my macros/calories. Also, there are very few instances where someone can lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously. To lose, you are in a caloric deficit. To gain muscle and grow, you are in a surplus or at the very least, you are eating at maintenance and doing a very slow body “recomp”. Unfortunately, you cannot spot reduce, so in order to lose fat, you need to loose everywhere on your body!ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - Hi Corina!
    Thank you so much for your post. I was wondering if you include your fiber in your carbs and if you have a minimum fiber intake.ReplyCancel

    • corina - I aim for 25-30 grams of fiber each and every single day!ReplyCancel

  • Alina - Great blog!….I was just wondering, when you say coach (as far as the one that calculated your macros for you) do you mean like an online nutritional coach or a trainer at a gym?…Would an online coach be the same as seeing a coach at an office ? So many to pick from am not even sure where to start looking :/
    Thanks for the help:)ReplyCancel

    • corina - I have a nutrition and strength coach! He sets up my macros when I need to and also provides my weight training programs! Its an invaluable service and I can’t say enough good things about my coach! Reach out to him if you need some help william and http://www.metabolicevolution.com!ReplyCancel

  • Erica - Hi Corina,

    I have been looking at iifym for a while because every time I try and do super clean & eat chicken and salad I fail miserably and end up gaining more back after binging. I know losing weight isn’t your goal, but for me I am looking to lose 30lbs and gain some muscle definition. Would you recommend iifym to lose weight? Thanks girl, I really appreciate your page !ReplyCancel

    • corina - IIFYM/flexible dieting is simply just tracking your macros/calories. A calorie deficit will be needed for weight/fat loss… doesn’t matter if its “clean” or paleo or vegetarian!ReplyCancel

  • Macro Break Down - Emily K Buck - […] well. Another great blog to follow or subscribe to is Live Fit by Corina Neilsen. She has a great post about her macro journey and how to start counting your macros using the My Fitness Pal app. (Also […]ReplyCancel

  • Tuesday Check-In: Saying hello to my squishy belly again | A Little Bit Of Lisa - […] I’m at the super tip-top of the Feels-O-Meter this week! Because I feel awesome! I had a fun dance party outside today testing out my camera and getting these makeup-free and slightly mental photos. I have also been counting my macros, which is basically counting the number of grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats you consume each day, and I highly recommend doing it! It’s what all the cool kids do… yeah, I just made that up. But it’s a great way of making sure you’re getting what your body needs each day, even if you’re not trying to lose weight. Here’s a great explanation of what it means and how to do it! […]ReplyCancel

  • Motivation - […] Macros, boiled down, is a lot like weight watchers, its just not packaged quite like WW.  You eat for your body, measuring out exact amounts of protein, carbs and fats based on your weight and activity levels.  It’s not rocket science but it is a new way of prepping and thinking about food that I’m excited to try.  After years of eating around 1400-1600 calories per day, I think I need to eat a little bit more unless I want to sustain that for life.  According to this macros calculator, I actually should be eating 1975 calories per day.  I’ve been shifting my eating to make that adjustment…  Perhaps that’s why my food has been all whack-a-do lately.  I’m not used to letting up and relaxing the reins with myself and I can see why.  I go off leash and hit the kitchen pretty hard!  My goal next week is to dial back the night eating.  I’ll ween myself this week.  ? […]ReplyCancel

  • Andria - I really don’t understand how this can work. I mean if you eat a burger or pizza or anything out at a restaurant you have no idea what it weighs and the calorie/macro breakdown of what you eat there since you have no idea of added ingredients etc.

    Can someone please explain how you manage eating out or eating foods in general you don’t prepare?ReplyCancel

    • corina - Many restaurants have nutritional information available so while it’s not always 100% accurate, it’s close enough to give you general numbers. For restaurants without information, you can simply estimate (or over estimate). Flexible dieting is just that… remaining flexible!ReplyCancel

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