Macro counting can be a blessing, especially for those who are used to restrictive, yo-yo diets or binge-eating habits. But at first, tracking your carbs, protein, fats (and micros!) can be overwhelming. I’ve been there too. So I’ve put together 10 of my favorite tips to make tracking easier. Read on and I hope this helps you on your journey!
1 – Download a smartphone app. Something like MyFitnessPal (MFP), FatSecret will suffice. Personally, I like MFP and use the full version (only because I find I can track more accurately and I feel like it’s worth the investment). You need this on your phone so that you can easily access and it at any time of day.
2 – Buy a digital food scale. You’re gonna need it (refer to number 3). You can find one on Amazon easily. I have this one here.
3 – Weigh everything. Yeah, I say this to everyone – especially in the beginning. You may think you know what 4 ounces of meat or a tablespoon of peanut butter really looks like, but then after weighing, you realize that eye-balling can be quite off. You will learn quickly that doubling a serving size can really screw things up.
4 – Save meals and recipes that you have on a regular basis. I eat a lot of the same things, so it’s nice that I can quickly just add them on MFP.
5 – Plan ahead. I try to at least plan all my dinners for the week. This is usually the only meal I eat with the family and I like to know how much room I’ll have left in the day for everything else. Plus, this makes grocery shopping much easier.
6 – Familiarize yourself with food. Sometimes, it’s hard for people in the beginning to track because they simply do not know the macro breakdowns of what they eat. Take the time to look at everything you eat, and once you become more familiar with common foods, you’ll be in a better position to budget out your macros for high calorie foods.
7 – Hit your protein. Seriously, I could say this for the next 5 bullets, but I’ll spare you.
8 – Hire a coach. Macro calculators might be a good place to start, but be wary of the numbers you get. The calculator uses averages and best guesses to give you a one-time macro recommendation that sometimes cannot compete with an actual coach. A coach will monitor your results and make adjustments as necessary. Bottom line is, if you aren’t seeing results with your suggested ratios, it’s time to hire someone to get you on track. Especially if you are a serious athlete, I always recommend this route. And yes, macro calculations are part of the online training programs that I offer. Click here to learn more.
9 – Be consistent, not perfect. The beauty of counting macros is that it’s supposed to help you become more flexible. If you are obsessing over everything you eat all day, then it kind of defeats the purpose. And the reality of it is, if you hit your protein and stay within your suggested calorie range, you will definitely see results. So instead, aim for consistency, and don’t stress if you are off a little here and there.
10 – Practice, practice, practice. It can seem overwhelming at first, but like with anything, you will get good at it. You’ll learn your own shortcuts, become more comfortable and in return, create a positive, life-changing habit.
I always suggest giving it 2-3 weeks before really catching on. So hang in there. And good luck!