Counting Macronutrients (aka Macros) is definitely not for everybody, but is a great place to start when one is trying to reach their desired health and fitness goals. Whether you are working with a coach, wanting to eat healthier, or lose overall fat percentage you will have to track to know exactly what it is you are consuming. This including both total calories and total macronutrients consumed. Counting Macros which includes your protein, carbs, and fats will give you an idea of how much each macronutrient you should be eating daily. It will teach you what exact food sources are the types of macros (proteins, carbs, and/or fats) You’ll realize some foods are solely one macronutrient, whereas another specific food can contain all three! You will become more entuned with your body and realize what foods/macronutrient your body enjoys over the other, and what you personally enjoy to eat. Once you have counting macros for sometime, then you can decide if it is something that is sustainable for you or you rather eat intuitively (this takes time to get to this level)… but with consistency you can get there! Begin tracking using an app on your phone, that way its with you wherever you go.
I personally use and recommend, the 1st phorm app. The company 1st phorm, offers four “Transphormation” challenges a year that is free to participate and a chance to win big results + money! Throughout each of these 8-week challenges, I can coach and help individuals transform. All premium users who are participating in any of the challenges will receive free macro coaching from myself directly inside the app. I advise you to begin with downloading the app for free HERE. Make an account with your name, goals etc. then just START. It will take time getting use to just like anything else would but be patient with it and yourself.
Stick to the Staple Food items
…for the most part anyway! No need to have fancy dinners every night unless you are one that enjoys the cooking, and it is a hobby of yours. But when it comes to tracking macronutrients while using an app/ software you will see foods automatically appear as a frequent/ recent meal option. This makes it easier and time efficient while you are logging your food in the app. If you are coming up with new meal recipes on a daily with not frequently used ingredients, this ends up becoming very time consuming. Some staple food sources include whole eggs, egg whites, oats, bread, potatoes, rice, fruit, chicken, ground turkey/beef, natural nut butter, yogurt, protein bars/powder etc.
Inside the 1st phorm app; you can Create ‘Recipes” and “Save a Meal” For example, my Lemon/honey water + protein coffee is saved under “AM Ritual” So every single day I do not have to type in 5 items just TOWARDS meal 1, because that is not even including my food sources!!! HAHA.
Track Ahead of Time
Some will do this as part as a morning ritual, while others will discover the night before is best. When I first started to track awhile back, it was part of my evening routine. Then, it is what made the most sense with my schedule, where I was away from home the entire day, so I needed to pack an entire cooler worth of foods (this part gave me the most anxiety…!) But I promise, it was worth the planning ahead of time and how I was successful staying on top of my nutrition regime AND counting macros. Whether you decide the night before or the day of; that part does not exactly matter and will depend on each person. Whatever you decide works best for you! You may have to trial and error if you are in the beginning stages. For one week track the morning of, and the next week track the day before. Whereas, if you do not visualize the meals ahead of time, by lunch time you are most likely too high in fats/ carbs and way below on protein (that is usually what I see happen with clients).
No matter how long one has tracked, I must say it will forever be a daily puzzle, but I promise it does get easier. As you consistently track, you become a better user at the tracking app software, but also gaining a lot of knowledge about each food source you eat and what it contains i.e., macronutrients vs. micronutrients. If you are a premium user inside the 1st phorm app & have “healthy living” set up as your advisor. That allows you to message me directly inside the app for any questions regarding your macros!
Before going out to eat at a restaurant look up the menu online ahead of time. This will allow you more time to think with how you feel think rather than eating with emotions and ordering all through hunger & impulse! Also, no need to starve yourself the time before the main meal of the day because you have an idea of what your total calories will be out to dinner.
The point of tracking is for a variety of reasons including keeping you held accountable to achieve your goals, trial, and error with your specific body type, along with making sure you are feeding your body has enough nutrients and total calories to get you through day-to-day tasks and any exercise performed. While also keeping in mind, when you track everything, this can help avoid any Binge fests. Next time you go put your hands in a chip bag, you may pull back because you aren’t sure how many you grabbed so you won’t be able to track it! Tracking everything also means to include your drinks, dressings, seasonings as these can add up quickly and miscalculated. Keeping in mind your weekends of going out or the random birthday/gatherings throughout the week are a MUST when tracking. You must know on average how often are you truly going “off” your nutrition regime when you look at it in a big picture (this may be the reason you are not achieving your desired goals).
Never go a day without tracking, even after you decided to go in on pizza and cake… When you put everything inside the app you are bringing awareness of what you are actually doing. Not to feel complete shame or guilt, but you are coming to realization of what you just ate for how many calories + macros it was loaded with while asking yourself if it was utterly worth it! ONE day of not tracking is not a total big deal, but it is one day away of completely going off the rail… Been there, done it, LEARNED!
Your protein intake should be the first thing you pay close attention to. Well besides total caloric intake within the day. Protein is the building blocks of muscle and not ONLY essential for muscle but also essential for every cell, bone, skin, and even hair! You need protein in your nutrition regime for your body to repair cells and make new ones. Protein should be eaten with every meal through out your day. GREAT Protein Sources are all meat, liquid egg whites and protein powders. This does not mean legumes, peanut butter and protein bars do not contain protein, but they are also filled with the other macronutrients, fats, and carbs not ONLY Protein. What makes a GREAT source of protein? Food that is only protein
Begin with 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Then divide that number by how many meals you eat in a day. For example, one’s goal is to eat 140 grams of protein and they eat 5-x per day… Each meal is going to have anywhere from 24-28 grams of protein within each meal. One meal/snack may be a little under, while at another time it is a little over…that is perfectly OK.