A Beginners Guide To Counting Your Macros For Weight Loss

Eat the food you love and get the bod you want? No it’s not a trick, it’s a daily reality for IFBB Pro Sophie Guidolin and her clients at THE BOD.

After gaining – and losing – 30kgs in her first pregnancies, mum of four and whole foods cookbook author Sophie lit a passion for fitness and nutrition which led to the development of THE BOD. With a social following of over one million, and thousands of clients around the world achieving real – long term – results, Sophie credits her success to a macro-led diet. 

“Macros are the major macronutrients in food – carbs, fats and protein,” she says. “By understanding the macros in your foods and your daily caloric requirement, you can structure your nutrition to achieve the body composition you want – whether that’s losing weight, adding lean muscle or both.”

It clearly works – Sophie achieved a coveted Gold at the Arnold Classic just one year after giving birth to twins, and earlier this year achieved her IFBB Bikini Pro Card. 

“I eat carbs every day, I eat chocolate and burgers regularly and I don’t spend hours training,” she says. “I fuel my workouts with the right combination of carbs, fats and protein, I train smart (maximum output in minimum time) and I don’t make special meals or eliminate foods. My whole family eat the same meals – no one has time to make multiple meals or fussy recipes!”

Sophie’s macros basics

Not all macros are created equal

Carbs and protein both yield 4 calories per gram, but fat is more than double that, at 9 calories per gram. Understand your basic daily calorie requirement (how many calories your body needs to survive, even if you were just lying in bed all day), then use a macro calculator to work out your recommended daily macros according to your goals and activity level.

How much?

We recommend an intake of between 1.5g to 2.5g protein per kilo bodyweight, depending on activity level. You don’t need to go nuts on protein shakes! Spread your protein intake over your meals, aiming for around 30g per meal to help you feel full and stabilise blood sugars.

Aim for around 20-30% of your daily calories from fats (avocado, nuts and seeds, olive and coconut oil).

Carbs are the final element in your nutrition plan and make up what’s left when you’ve allocated your protein and fat.

Get on TRACK

You have to track to know exactly what you’re eating (and where you’re going wrong). Women are often guilty of under-eating protein and that sneaky wine after work or muesli bar in your desk draw can push your carbs over your daily requirement. Using a tracker like MyFitnessPal, plan your day in advance – even enter those ‘after dinner munchies’ so you know exactly where you’re at. Then, when the 3pm cookie jar is calling your name, you know if it fits into your macros.

Don’t cut carbs!

Your body needs carbs for energy and so many physical processes – your brain needs the glucose from carbs to function effectively. I eat carbs every single day, even on comp days. The same goes for fats – women especially need healthy fats for hormonal regulation. Fats also help your body absorb nutrients and protect your organs – the right balance of carbs, proteins and fats is critical to achieving your ideal body composition.

Weigh raw

Food ‘shrinks’ on cooking – so that 150g raw steak might end up at 100g once cooked. If you tracked 100g of steak rather than 150g, you’d be missing about 5 grams of fat from your daily total. Always weigh raw so you’re totally accurate. 

If you’re out of a macro

Run out of fats but haven’t hit your carbs yet? Try fruit.

Need to hit your fats but have eaten your carbs? Try nuts.

Need to top up your carbs? Honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup all yield around 6g carbs per teaspoon.

THE BOD has an ‘at a glance’ chart to help make smart choices when you’re out of macros.

Tracking your macros lets you include your favourite foods, while still being accountable. And it takes less than five minutes a day. The right combination of nutrition and training will get you the body you want – no tricks!

Sophie is a nutritionist, master trainer, gym owner, author, mother of four, world-renowned fitness model and IFBB Bikini Pro. Founder of THE BOD body transformation programs, Sophie adopts a macro-led nutrition approach, which combined with weight training contributed to her winning Gold at the Arnold Classic (2017) just one year after giving birth to twin girls, and winning her IFBB Bikini Pro Card (2018). Sophie believes in living lean year-round, and shares her fitness, nutrition and parenting journey with her social following of over one million.

 Macros: A Wellness and Lifestyle Guide to Transform Your Body is Sophie’s fifth book, comprising 65 recipes will full macro and calorie counts. Bauer Media Books, RRP $49.95.

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