If you’d asked me a year ago what a macro was I probably would have looked at you blankly and said “a store?!”
Now I think about them every day and they are an integral part of my training journey, especially in the last few months where I’ve been going through the “shredding” phase. You might have heard about “bulking and shredding” if you’re into your fitness (there was a really good programme on channel 4 a few months back that explained it perfectly!). Essentially for three months you eat lots of food (healthy food mind!) and lift heavy to build muscles. Then the next three months you eat less and shred fat to reveal the muscle. That’s a VERY basic explanation and there’s much more to it. It’s pretty advanced training and not for everyone. I’m also doing a very toned down version of this I’d like to point out!!
In the last three months my news goals were to just get leaner. I’d started to look toned and was happy with my progression with my PBs but I needed new goals and I was interested to see if I could visually change.
This involved cutting calories down to 1,700 and looking properly at my macros (percentage split between fat, carbs and protein). My new split was 40% fat, 40% protein and 20% carbs. To be honest, this is extremely hard and I massively struggle with hitting that percentage of protein. Therefore it’s more a 33/33/33 split (yes I know it doesn’t add to 100 but you know what I mean!)
At first this was really hard. When I started my training, I had cut back on refined carbs and introduced brown rice or bread instead. Now I had to get rid of it altogether! This meant some serious meal planning and thinking very carefully about my food. Omelettes for breakfast became a staple!
I didn’t nail it straight away (it took about two months to get my head round it!) but you learn over time how to substitute the carbs for veg (cauliflower rice is brilliant!). Sometimes you just need the carbs and that’s fine, just make sure you eat them at the right time (e.g. Evening before morning training).
I’d been pretty sloppy over the last three weeks; I’d finished at my current job and ate out a lot! But I need to get back on it because I have seen a HUGE difference just by changing my diet (training has also changed but that’s for another post!) and I don’t want things to slip again. Posting before and after pictures really helps with motivation and pushed me to sort myself out. The pictures below show me when I began a year and a bit ago on the far left, the middle is before I started shredding at and the left was last week! The pictures don’t fully show the definition in my arms but the abs and very, very slowly appearing lol!