Some days, it's easy to back yourself into a wall with your nutritional targets. For example, perhaps you need to eat more protein in order to hit your goal, but you're at your carbohydrate limit for the day. You can hit your numbers by playing what fitness writer and blogger Stephanie Lee calls "macro Tetris".
A combination of tracking calories and one or more macronutrients, such as protein, is the most effective way to lose weight for many people. Using this method, you would target a specific amount (or range) of macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. (If you don't have macronutrient targets but would like to calculate them, there's a nifty calculator here.)
There's one drawback to this style of dieting. At the end of the day you may find yourself needing more of one macronutrient, despite the fact that you've already hit your limits on the others. This can often be frustrating, but as Stephanie explains in the video above, you can figure things out by thinking about your nutritional targets like a game of Tetris.
In order to do this, you'll need to have foods on hand that are dominant in one particular macronutrient (carbohydrates, fat, or protein) but lower in the others. For example, egg whites are high in protein but low in fat and carbohydrates.
Here's an example list for each macronutrient.
Protein-dominant components include:
- Chicken/Turkey breast
- Canned tuna
- Egg whites
- Protein powder
Carb-dominant components include:
Fat-dominant components include:
- Peanut butter
- Olive/coconut oil
- Heavy cream
Let's say your daily nutritional targets are 150 grams of protein, 200 grams of carbohydrates and 50 grams of fat. You've already hit your limit on carbohydrates and fat, but you're 40 grams short on protein. You can eat a protein-dominant food, such as chicken breast, and combine it with a free food, such as broccoli.
Using a different example, perhaps you need to hit an additional 13 grams of fat to meet your daily requirements. You can simply add a tablespoon of olive oil to your meal. For more information on playing "macro Tetris", see Stephanie's video at the top of the article.
How Tetris Teaches Us About Meal Planning [FitnGeeky]