It’s time to add a protein target.
So, now you have two checkpoints in the diet:
1) Eat enough fruits & veggies;
2) Eat enough protein.
And then continue to eat whatever else you like.
Just like the #800gChallenge®, there are no restrictions or eliminations with Lazy Macros®.
This combination of the #800gChallenge® and hitting a protein target is what is called Lazy Macros®.
Macros is a diet approach where you weigh and measure every single thing in your diet to hit a precise daily quantity.
But this is the “lazy” version of that.
When we eat enough of the under-represented foods in the diet, there won’t be enough room for much else.
So the total quantity we eat will move closer to what it would be doing macros, without all the work.
1. How much protein to add do I add?
Generally, start at 0.7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight a day (1.5 g/kg), although that can go up to 1 g/lb (2.2 g/kg).
The 0.7 multiplier is a good general recommendation to build lean muscle mass, as well as prevent sarcopenia. (If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you can use your target weight).
But how do you know if you should be 0.7 versus 1.0? Generally, people that are smaller, less-muscled, and less active would be closer to 0.7 and those larger, more-muscled and more active would be closer to 1.0. But, it’s better to start at the level that best approximates your current protein intake and increase as necessary.
Suppose someone was 150 pounds; their protein intake could be one of the following:
• 0.7 – 105 grams of protein/day (g pro/d)
• 0.8 – 120 g pro/d
• 0.9 – 135 g pro/d
• 1.0 – 150 g pro/d
“I really do appreciate this very simple approach to nutrition.
It’s free my mind from obsessing over what I ‘couldn’t’ or ‘shouldn’t’ eat.”
2. How should I implement this?
A simple strategy to hit Lazy Macros® is to split the total quantity across three main meals. This means ~270 grams of fruits and veggies per meal + ⅓ of your protein quantity (~35-50 g/meal for most people).
While you can space it however you want, the more “routine” your meals are, the less tracking you have to do. What may be considered a “boring” diet by some actually is a way to reduce decision fatigue and the overall work to track on every single number.
3. How should I track it?
A post-it note system where you list the weight of the 800-gram items on one side, and the protein grams consumed on the other side works perfectly!
If you much prefer digital notes on your phone, that is fine, too.
The point is we only need so much tracking to accomplish the daily targets without being overly burdensome. Pick something you will stick with!
4. What are “good” protein sources?
The point is we only need so much tracking to accomplish the daily targets without being overly burdensome. Out of convenience and taste preference, we often reach for protein sources that aren’t really protein sources. There are a ton of foods like protein bars, dairy products, eggs, and fattier cuts of meat, which on a calorie basis aren’t protein sources! They are often a better source of fat or carbs.
These foods can really stymie our goals on a Lazy Macros® approach, because as you are targeting a certain amount of protein you are inadvertently eating a lot of calories from carbs and fat. So, ideally, a bulk of your protein should come from foods where the overwhelming majority of calories are from protein (Hint: When looking at the nutrition label, the protein grams should be higher than carb grams and more than double the fat grams per serving to qualify).
“I’m loving Lazy Macros®!! I’ve been a tracker of everything Monday to Friday for years with blow out weekends because I get tracking fatigue. I’ve just started Lazy Macros® and am finding it much less exhausting trying to fit all things into the puzzle.”
5. Wait – what about fat?
Nope! We aren’t counting a lot of things with this method. And therefore, It IS possible to eat too much fat, or even total calories, with Lazy Macros®.
And the reason is: if there was another thing to track, it wouldn’t be a very lazy system! The idea is to instill a couple checkpoints in the diet that can bring the overall quantity of the diet better in line than not having them it all. But it is an approximation system that is trying to drive results without all the work!
If you want to track more precisely, you’d have to do full macros: weigh and measure everything you eat every day to hit certain protein, carbohydrate, and fat gram totals.
Hi, I’m EC (Eva Claire) Synkowski. I’ve worked as a fitness and nutrition coach for over 20 years. I have a Masters In Human Nutrition & Functional Medicine. I’m a Certified Crossfit Level 4 Coach (CF-L4) and a TEDx speaker.
Sorting out the “BS” from the truth is my trademark in the coaching industry.
I help clients reset eating habits with realistic goals without the stress of “doing it right” or overly restrictive elimination diets.
And you know how a workout buddy helps you stick with your workouts? Nutrition is the same!
“She makes it simple and doable.”
Gyms, groups, or individuals cannot use Lazy Macros® in marketing or commerce (i.e., a for profit challenge) without using a product by OptimizeMe Nutrition.