As famed chef, restaurateur, and Food Channel host Andrew Zimmern always says, “If it looks good, eat it”. First a brief primer on macros and macro counting. Someone who says they are ‘on macros’ or ‘counting macros’ is essentially targeting a daily goal of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that they must consume. The adage of ‘if it fits your macros’ is derived from the innate flexibility that is macro counting. If it fits your macros essentially means that you are budgeting your meals across your three macronutrients. Most individuals that count macros usually save some of that budget for savory and sweet dishes. These dishes serve as a daily reward and speak to the power of the sustainability of the ‘if it fits your macros’ lifestyle as well as the flexibility of the ‘if it fits your macros’ lifestyle.
Case in point, last night, before my nightly binge of House episodes I checked my food app and noticed I had roughly 30 grams of carbs, 8 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein left to eat. I ran through the pantheon of snacks I could possibly squeeze into these numbers and my brain popped up with none other than half a slice of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie (It was a pi day last week and they were on sale). I quietly whispered, “if it fits your macros” and then enjoyed my final treat of the day.
This is a prime example of ‘if it fits your macros’
What Doesn’t Constitute: If It Fits Your Macros
As I mentioned earlier if it fits your macros is essentially a daily budget. The same way one would budget their monthly expenses based on income is the same way one would budget their macros across their daily eating expenditure in order to ensure if it fits your macros.
The first thought that comes to mind of what doesn’t constitute ‘if it fits your macros’ is the attitude of yolo (thanks Drake). One cannot simply shout “if it fits your macros!” and then proceed to down a White Castle crave case. Just like one cannot simply walk into Mordor (don’t judge me). Yes, you can calculate the macros in your White Castle and if you’ve budgeted adequately, those delicious little burgers of Harold and Kumar fame will fit into your macros. However, the downside is twofold. For one, even if you’ve budgeted adequately you’ve probably wiped out your entire food budget in one considerably small meal. This clearly isn’t a prime example of if it fits your macros.
Just like I wouldn’t lease a Tesla Model S for $1,200 a month if I only make $1,500 a month. Once in a blue moon one can splurge but I would essentially turn that into a cheat day and perhaps not even count. However, on a day to day basis, this is an unsuccessful ‘if it fits your macros’ strategy.
What Does Constitute ‘If It Fits Your Macros’
The correct way to use the ‘if it fits your macros’ lifestyle is the same way one would create a sound monthly financial budget. You have to leave room for your mortgage or rent payment, your car, groceries, Netflix, Spotify, and Cell Phone. Any remaining budget can be used towards your shoe addiction or simply placing it all on black and letting it ride.
If it fits your macros is the best tool for sustainable and effective eating that allows for the foods you need to hit your goals (including fruits and veggies) and the foods you want in order to stay sane.