To ensure hitting your target macros, there is one piece of advice that trumps all others—plan ahead!
If you already have an idea of what you’re going to be eating throughout the day, there won’t be any surprises that break your macro budget. By planning out your meals, you can also make sure to distribute your protein, fat, and carbs effectively.
Through strategic planning, you can still enjoy social events and eating out without sabotaging your progress. Remember that the food offered at such outings are typically high in both carbs and fat, but low in protein. To make these treats fit into your numbers, you’ll need to save room for them! To meet your daily protein target without going over on fat and carbs, you’ll want to eat high protein, lower carb and fat meals leading up to the event.
It’s also a good idea to plan smart for traveling. While on the road, it’s easy to find food rich in fat and carbs, but finding food high in protein can be a challenge! To help you meet your protein targets, you’ll want to pack quick, convenient, and travel-friendly sources of protein such as jerky, protein powder, protein bars, packaged tuna, and low-fat string cheese. There’s no need to worry about packing extra fat and carbs with you as these are just about everywhere you look when you’re in a place that sells snacks and food.
One final way you can set yourself up for flexible dieting success is to have a quick source of protein on hand to fill any gaps. It’s not uncommon to find yourself standing in the kitchen at the end of the day, wondering what to eat when you’re 45 grams low on protein but have already eaten your fat and carbs. This is where protein powder can come to the rescue and bail you out of macro trouble. Making a protein shake is fast, easy, and doesn’t contribute a lot of added fats and carbs. You can also add protein powder to yogurt, hot cereals, or during baking if you often find yourself short on protein.
Although it’s much less common to find yourself scrambling to fill out a missing chunk of fat or carbs at the end of the day, it’s helpful to have such foods on hand. For quick carb sources think fruit, rice cakes, cereal, and bread. For fat sources, think nuts, oils, and butter!
Tip: Here’s an article with more detail on filling up your leftover macros!
So to recap:
- Plan your meals in advance
- Plan for social events and eating out by having protein early in the day and saving room for fat and carbs
- Plan for traveling by packing high protein snacks
- Plan for macro mishaps by having quick food sources primarily made of protein, fat, or carbs