Beginner tips for counting macros

I’ve been counting macros for about three years. It’s like second nature to me now, but that wasn’t always the case. Many of the questions posted in the Facebook fitness groups I belong to involve counting macros – especially how to make it easier. Here are my top tips for new macro counters.

  1. Track what you already eat. If you haven’t started counting macros yet, start by logging what you already eat in MyFitnessPal for a few days. It will help you see if you favor protein, carbs or fats so you can adjust your existing diet to fit your macros.
  2. Include protein, carbs and fats at each meal. I try to have a balance of foods at each meal so I don’t end up having to pack my dinner full of the macronutrient I’ve been missing. Meals are more pleasant when they have variety.
  3. Meal plan. Take that second tip one step further and actually figure out what you’re going to eat for each meal during the week. Then go buy the food. Your days will go much smoother when you already know what you plan to eat and have it all on hand.
  4. Meal prep. Want to make life even easier? Batch prepare as much food as possible and portion it out if you can.
  5. Keep it simple. A recipe with lots of ingredients can be overwhelming when you first start tracking. Stick to easy foods, like lean meats, veggies and a simple grain or starch. Simple food doesn’t have to be bland or boring. Herbs and spices are easy, macro-friendly ways to make simple foods taste delicious. Once your comfortable, move to simple recipes, then more complicated ones.
  6. Pre-track your meals. I spend a few minutes each morning inputting what I plan to eat for the day in MyFitnessPal. Then I know where I’m lacking and I can make up for it with snacks. I keep a variety of snacks on hand so it’s easy for me to grab whatever I need.
  7. Repeat meals. I eat the same thing everyday for breakfast all week and the same thing for lunch a few times per week. Dinner is different for me every night so meals don’t get completely boring, but some people don’t mind doing the same dinner several days in a row. If you’re not into eating the same thing multiple days in a row, make note of your favorite meals so you can have them each week.

What tips do you have for tracking macros?

Stay fit,

Marisa

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