OPENINGS

I've never been one to count calories. I'm aware of them, sure. A Dairy Queen Blizzard, for example, has a lot.

But logging every single one I eat? Pass.

And yet, for the last two weeks, I've been tracking macronutrients — also known as proteins, carbs and fat.

It is similar to counting calories — macronutrients make up calories, after all. But this method is less about restricting my diet and, as registered dietitian Jill Koegel puts it, more about achieving optimal ratios among the three nutrients. The result is improved energy and better health.

I plugged my age, gender, activity levels and goals into an online macronutrient calculator, and boom, it outlined my daily nutrition needs.

In just two weeks, I have more energy at work, at home and at the gym. I sleep better, and I haven't missed a single workout.

Even better (in my eyes), I haven't been tempted by the donuts in the break room or felt deprived. In fact, at the end of the day, I'm usually scrambling to eat more food to hit those magic numbers. (Consuming 139 grams of protein is no easy task.)

If you're looking to make healthier food choices, Jill writes more about macronutrients on Page 6.

Certiied personal trainer Tim Collins explains that if you can't find an hour to exercise, you shouldn't neglect the gym altogether. Read his tips and check out his 15-minute, full-body workout on Page 7.

Still not motivated to get moving? Read Brandon Ryan's story that begins on Page 4. The 31-year-old from Bellevue has cerebral palsy, but he doesn't let it relegate him to the couch. Instead, Brandon does juijitsu, Cross Fit and teaches self-defense classes.

The only thing stopping you from improving your health is you. So what are you waiting for?

Katy

KATY GLOVER

Live Well Nebraska Editor livewellnebraska@owh.com

Tips & tools

GET FITNESS ADVICE

Tim Collins is a certified personal trainer and owner of TC's Strength and Conditioning. He shares exercise advice monthly on livewellnebraska.com.

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GET INSPIRED

Real People, Real Inspiration is a regular series about local people and their journeys to better health. Find this month's feature on Page 4. Check out previous installments online at livewellnebraska.com/inspiration.

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