Macro-tracking can take some time to get the hang of, but doing so is well worth it! And there are ways to make it easier and more enjoyable so it doesn’t have to take up any more of your precious headspace.
1️⃣ Pre-Log your day ahead of time. Spend 10-15 minutes the night before to pre-plan and log your next day’s meals. Not only does it save you time from trying to log as you go, it also prevents you from making impulsive decisions in the moment.
2️⃣ Log your favorites first and work backwards. If you know you want a burger and fries for dinner, or maybe it’s a glass of wine with dinner, and or a piece of chocolate after lunch, log that first, then reverse engineer your day from there.
3️⃣ Repeat meals you enjoy eating often. Reduce decision fatigue by making a list of two to three go-to meals you don’t mind repeating and eat those throughout the week. For some variety, you can cycle through the same breakfast and lunch, while making a different dinner each night.
4️⃣ Purchase a simple food scale. You can find legit ones for <$30 at Target, or online. Start tracking/weighing! Put your plate on the food scale and zero it out (tare). Put your protein source on the plate, log the weight and zero it out. Repeat these steps for your carb, fat and veggie/fruits. If you zero/tare it out each time, you don’t have to worry about adding things up. Build your plate on the scale. You won’t have to do this forever, but right now you’re learning!
5️⃣ If your food has a barcode, scan the barcode directly into the app + adjust the serving size. If your food does not have a barcode, search for a verified entry for that specific food. Examples are “ground beef” or “cooked jasmine rice”.
6️⃣ AVOID GENERIC ENTRIES such as “medium banana” or “large rib eye”. What do medium and large actually mean? Instead, find an entry for bananas in grams and an entry for rib eye in grams so you can be specific.
7️⃣ Often people batch cook meat, which means you’ll be weighing the COOKED meat. The nutritional facts on the labels are for the RAW meat. Take the COOKED weight and divide it by .75 to get the raw weight that you log. (120g COOKED chicken is 160g RAW chicken…. 120g/.75 = 160g)
8️⃣ Weighing a sauce or butter, honey etc? Put the jar on the scale and zero/tare it, take out your desired amount (a negative # will show on the scale) and log that number/weight.
9️⃣ Focus on MACROS vs CALORIES. It may show that your macros are hit perfectly, but calories are either high or low. The reason for this is because nutrition labels have the discretion to round their data to the nearest “pretty” number essentially.
🔟 TURN OFF THE DAMN “CALORIES” BURNED FEATURE. Please, do this.
THE SIMPLEST METHOD TO HIT YOUR MACROS 👇
1. CHOOSE NUMBER OF MEALS
3-5 meals daily works best for most. Choose times you can consistently eat each meal, and stick to those – this helps prevent cycles of under/overeating, or playing “macro tetris” too often.
2. PLAN YOUR PROTEINS
Choose a primary protein source for each of your meals, & adjust the serving size until it gives you 25-50g protein, OR add another protein source to reach the 25-50g range. (We want to divide protein evenly between meals, most will hit their goal with 25-50g at each meal.)
3. PLAN YOUR CARBS
Now you’ll know what carb sources will pair well with your proteins – choose 1-2 carb sources for each meal, and adjust serving sizes to fit your macros. (Making the meals around your workouts more carb heavy is more optimal.)
4. PLAN YOUR FATS
Your protein (and some carb) sources will have fat, so we’re waiting until last to add fats as needed to meals. (Timing these further from your workouts is more optimal.)
You now have a rough template you can build your days around, and tweak as needed for daily success (e.g. dropping fats when you know you’ll drink later.)
HOW TO HIT YOUR MACROS WHEN RANDOM SOCIAL EVENTS COME UP
It’s Friday 1pm, when your friend texts you “Hey, let’s go to that winery tonight for dinner”
- Plug the foods you’ve already eaten today into your food log.
- Plug in your best estimate of what you’ll eat & drink at the winery–doesn’t have to be perfect, just a rough estimate so you can adjust the rest of your day to fit your goals AND enjoy the night!
- Plug in what you’d like to have, EVEN IF it pushes your macros over.
- Keep in mind you still need to hit your protein goal by the end of the day
- Don’t go to the winery super hungry, when you’re hungry, your inhibition is lower, and can make drinking worse. So don’t skip dinner. Just make your portion smaller.
Example: Say you planned to you have 1 cup Greek yogurt with fresh berries, with sourdough & honey before your afternoon workout and chicken thigh veggie stir fry on a bed of soaked rice for dinner. Instead make a mineral dense protein shake, (recipe reel on Instagram) keep your chicken and stir fry with veggies and reduce the rice size portion.
Now that you’ve adjusted your day around the boxes you need to tick to continue to make progress with your goals, you should be able to enjoy your night out on the town and still be within 5-10 g of your goals!
This tip is SO CRUCIAL it’s worth repeating: You will find at the end of the day, it will be much easier to achieve your goals when you spend 10-15 min at night to pre-log your day the night before.
#macros #trackingmacros #macrotips #nutritioncoach #flexibledieting