A Beginner’s Guide to Macronutrients: How to Get Started!
Have you ever wondered, is it possible to eat whatever you want and achieve your fat loss goal?
Well, you’re not alone.
With so much noise in the fitness industry, this is one of the most sought-after questions, followed by How?
Flexible Dieting, also known as IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) and Counting Macros, you can eat whatever you want so long as you hit your target macronutrient goals.
What are macronutrients?
In short, your daily calories are macros are a derivative of your daily caloric intake and broken down and the counting your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fat).
How To Calculate Your Macronutrients.
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s calculate your macronutrients using the Macro Calculator. The macro ratios (protein, carbs, fat) are determined by your current body, lifestyle activity, and fitness goals.
How to Set Up Your Tracking App.
Once your macros have been calculated, your next step is to input the targeted macro into a food tracking app, for example, MyFitnessPal or a similar tracking platform.
To set up the app, you first want to create an account or sign in and complete your profile. Ignore the preset numbers, which are not realistic or suitable for everyone – not a one-size-fits-all.
Follow the steps below to input your targeted calories and macros. Don’t worry if they do not come out *exact* the goal is to hit your daily macros targets.
The Purpose of Logging Food and Tracking Macros.
The purpose of tracking and logging your food/meals is not to make your life complicated or miserable but to collect data and data is your friend.
When we track and log our meals, we gain an understanding of the foods we eat, their nutritional value, portion and sizing as well as accountability.
Through tracking and consistency, we are then able to view food and eat and fuel our bodies from a nutritional standpoint. All foods and I repeat, ALL foods have macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat) and macronutrients are calories. Let me make this clear, all foods are food. There is no food that is “dirty, clean, good, bad, healthy, junk, magic, secret” or what have you. Food is food. However, not all foods are equal when it comes to nutrition BUT all foods contain protein, carbs, and fat – macronutrients.
The purpose behind tracking and logging your meals to learn the property values of the foods we eat. While some foods are more nutritious than others, they should not be discarded. You’ll also be able to recognize eating patterns, behaviors, and habits, which again is data.
Tracking and logging is a tool, not life. Although tracking is “annoying” it will help identify what a common serving size looks like, this way when you are out enjoying your life, you now have a visual serving size as well as the macronutrient value.
Through repetition, consistency, and time, you will learn the tools necessary to create a healthy long-term relationship with food – Food Freedom.
Now you are ready to start tracking! Let’s get down to the starting details.
How To Track, Measure, and Weigh Your Food.
First things first, the Food Scale. Turn the scale on, making sure the scale is set to zero. Place your food of choice on the scale and set the scale to your preferred unit of measurement (grams or ounces). Note: If you’ve placed a plate or bowl on the scale, make sure to reset the scale to zero before weighing your food.
Open your food tracking app, select Diary, Add Food, and search the food by its product name and select by measurement type. For example USDA Chicken Breast 4oz. Select the corresponding entry and adjust accordingly. Save the entry and proceed to your next food item and so on – data entry.
If your food comes with a label, for example, Quick Oats or a Protein Bar, open the app, select Diary, Add Food, and use the Barcode symbol to scan your label and adjust your serving size accordingly.
If you are making a recipe with multiple ingredients, instead of tracking and logging each and every ingredient every single time you eat a meal, Create a Recipe and input the information once. Now your recipe is stored and easy to reuse.
A few helpful tips when tracking complicated foods such as peanut butter, coconut oil, syrups, etc.
Set the jar or bottle on the scale first, then set the scale to zero. Once the serving has been removed, place the jar or bottle back on the scale and use the new number as your tracking amount. This tip can be applied in many instances and is the negative or reverse method of tracking.
Now that you have your calculated macros, set up your food tracking app, understand the purpose behind tracking and logging macros, have entered and weighted your food, you are ready to go!
Keep in mind, the goal is not perfection but striving to hit your macro target +/- 5g of each (protein, carbs, fat). The closer you are, the better your results. If you are over your daily goal, no worries. Don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow is another day.
Strive for progress, not perfection!