Stacking your macronutrients and nailing your calories can be super simple when you have plenty of eggs, chicken, and dairy in your diet. For those of you that don’t know what macronurients are, they’re basically the three things your body uses for energy in the form of calories: Carbs, Fats, and Protein. So when you’re counting calories, it’s important to watch the ratios at which you’re consuming these. These percentages can be drastically different depending on your goals but it’s important to know what you’re aiming for and why.
Before I committed to being a Vegan, my macros were as follows: 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fats at about 2500 calories. However, these numbers would change depending on my fitness goals. For example, when I’m bulking my calorie intake is around 3500-4000 a day, I increase my carbs and lower my fats. When I’m doing a hard cut, my calories sit around 2000 and I increase my protein while lowering carbs.
Applying these ratios to a plant-based diet has proven a lot more difficult than I initially anticipated. My first day officially logging this experiment was yesterday, and by the end of my day, I wanted to cry when I saw my macros. I only logged 1700 calories, but at my usual ratio of 50, 30, 20, my carbs were through the roof, my fats were borderline, and my protein was almost non existent. It’s essentially what everyone told me would happen. It wasn’t great, but just like every other diet, eating protocol or gimmick I’ve tried in the past, there’s a way to master it, and I intend to do just that.
First off, until I figure out all the ‘tricks of the trade’, ins and outs and vegan must haves, my macros have to change. Realistically I’m not going to get 50% protein at 2500 calories on a plant based diet without spending a lot of money on supplements. If I try achieve this ratio, I’d have to cut back on all my carbs to even things out. This would mean less food, fewer calories, and a serious deficit resulting in a loss of muscle. That’s called counterproductivity and I’m not about it.
Here’s how my macros ended up today with next to no time to plan or prep last night. This was a good test to see how I would perform being thrown into the deep end.
As you can see here, this is not ideal. But like I mentioned earlier, I will be using this as a foundation and slowly tweaking it every day by adding certain foods or taking out certain foods. If I adjust my macros to a ratio of 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fats at 2900 calories, I can realistically sustain myself both physically and financially. This is where I will start. Once I perfect this formula for current weight maintenance, I will begin experimenting with cutting and bulking.
To get started tracking your nutrition and calories, go download My Fitness Pal from the App Store. Please don’t hesitate to comment or message me with any questions.