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9 TIPS FOR HOW TO BUILD MUSCLE WITH MACROS
I have tried just about every nutrition plan out there. Personally, I’ve seen the best results from tracking my macros and focusing on protein. There are a few reasons why this kind of eating plan can be so effective at helping you reach your fitness goals, and why I recommend counting Macros to my clients.
Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, protein, and fats, which all work together to keep your body functioning efficiently. Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbs and fats, which means consuming more protein can help boost your metabolism. Eating enough protein also increases your satiety, which can keep you from overeating, and it helps build and maintain lean muscle mass, so you can hit those body recomposition goals.
Protein is super important, BUT you need a balance of all three macronutrients in your diet. When you’re not fueling your body with the right amount of carbs, fats, and protein, it can be difficult to build muscle and see steady progress on your fitness journey.
That’s why I offer a customized macro count to anyone who wants their fitness routine and diet to work together toward their goals. With these 9 macro tips, you’ll be on your way to building new muscle and feeling your best in no time.
1. MAKE SURE YOU'RE EATING YOUR VEGGIES
Sometimes, when people think about nutrition in relation to muscle growth, their main thought is, “protein, protein, protein.” Protein is a huge part of growing muscle, but veggies are a critical part of that process as well.
Eating veggies help regulate your metabolism and digestive system and, in turn, help your body regenerate cells from healthy nutrients. Your body is going to need the energy to encourage that cycle, and veggies can provide a hefty serving of fiber and carbs to hit those macro goals every day.
2. ADD PROTIEN TO EVERY MEAL
I often hear from my clients that the thing they struggle with the most when it comes to their macro count is hitting their protein goal every day. And I get it! But when you prioritize protein in your meals, you’ll start to feel more full and satisfied, which ultimately helps to curb cravings and keep unnecessary snacking to a minimum.
It’s really important to find ways to hit your protein count, especially if you’re trying to build muscle. So here’s a quick list of foods that are high in protein to start adding to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Related: Easy Protein Snack
3. EAT LEAN MEATS
Look for low-fat meats, like 93% lean beef, to keep the calories low and the protein content high. Check out these lean meat options:
- Chicken breast
- Pork Loin
- Lean beef (90% lean or higher)
4. EAT HIGH PROTEIN FOODS LIKE EGGS AND DAIRY
Great for breakfasts or snacks, eggs and dairy can pack a protein punch. Here are a few examples:
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Swiss Cheese
5. CHOOSE HIGH PROTEIN PRODUCE
Adding protein-packed produce to your meals helps balance your meals and adds extra grams of protein to help you meet your goals. Try these:
- Lima Beans
6. KEEP HIGH-PROTEIN PANTRY ITEMS ON HAND
Many people shy away from pantry items, but they can actually be great sources of protein. These protein-packed options are perfect for snacks, side dishes, or breakfasts:
- Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
- Peanut Butter
- Protein Pancakes (Want to make your own? Here's my favorite recipe!)
7. PRIORITIZE CLEAN FOODS
If you’re training to build muscle and counting macros at the same time, that probably means you’re on a journey to reach a new level of health and wellness for mind and body, and I am so excited for you! So here’s my third tip that can make you feel even better as you put in the work each week:
Try to eat clean foods.
This can be hard, especially if your favorite snacks are usually processed with additives and preservatives. And listen, I get it. I love a good treat every now and then, but they don’t usually make me feel great. When I’m snacking on clean foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc., I feel like I have more energy to work out, I don’t experience bloating as often, and I’m more inclined to stay on track with my macros.
If the goal is to build muscle, fuel your body with foods that it can process more easily and avoid the ones that leave you feeling sluggish and uncomfortable.
Related: What is a Balanced Macro Meal?
8. CUT BACK ON THE PROCESSED SUGARS
This is related to the last tip, but for a lot of my clients, sugar can be a challenge when they’re counting macros. If you have a sweet tooth, you may crave a bit of ice cream every night, chocolate, or some other sweet treat, and it can be tough to get out of that loop once you’re in it.
So if you’re trying to cut out processed sugars, have natural sugars on hand that can help stave off those cravings. If you like fruit, you can replace your nightly dessert with a little yogurt parfait and add some shaved nuts and chopped fruit to the mix. This way, you’re getting a little extra protein if you’re under your limit for the day, and you’ll satisfy that craving for something sweet.
You can also try these 4 protein shake recipes that taste like dessert but are actually macro-friendly! Each one is made with my BodyByBree protein powder, which is another great source of protein without additives, preservatives, and chemicals.
9. KNOW THAT YOUR MACRO COUNT IS UNIQUE TO YOU
Lastly, it’s important to remember that your macro count for building muscle is going to be completely unique to you. With a customized macro count, you won’t have to wonder if you’re giving your body exactly what it needs; you’ll know.
If you need some help finding the right count for you, you can purchase a customized macronutrient count through my website! It will take into consideration your height, weight, age, and more to tailor a macro plan specific to your body and goals.
Related: Why Are Macros So Powerful?
I'm a mom of 4 and have been a certified personal trainer with specialties in pre- and postnatal fitness for 13 years. I'm also a certified nutrition specialist and certified meditation and mindfulness coach.
I am passionate about helping women change their lifestyles to be the healthiest, happiest versions of themselves and I've seen it happen for thousands of women.
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