- Click here and plug in your information to get your results of your total daily net allowance of calories, fats, protein, and carbs. For now, just use the recommended grams per body weight that are provided.
- Download the “My Fitness Pal” app on your smart phone or tablet. You can even go on their website, www.myfitnesspal.com, if you wish to track your macros on a desktop/laptop. Make your free account and fill in your information. After you plug in your information, the application will automatically create its own macros for you, but we are going to use the macros we got from step 1.
- Go into settings and go into goals. Now, you can input the calories you recorded from step 1. Click on carbohydrates and change the percentages of each macro (carbs, protein, and fat) so that the grams match the “grams per day” you received from step 1.
- Give yourself a pat on the back.
Congrats, you have finished the first step in counting your macros and are one step closer to better understanding food/nutrition. My next blog post will help you in understanding your girlfriend better. Just kidding. I’m as single as that dude that comes to Starbucks and all of the workers know his name and usual drink; the same guy who then proceeds to sit in his usual corner table alone for several hours. Loser. Here are some basic FAQ’s about counting your macros to help clear up any initial confusion.
Q: Some of the food items on my fitness pal go by weight and I don’t have a food scale. Are you sending me a food scale?
A: No. Buy one. Or you can guesstimate. A slab of meat the size and thickness of your palm is approximately 6 ounces, give or take. You can also use google to search your inquiry, you’ll probably find someone else with the same question. Hopefully you have a least measuring cups at home, you’ll kind of need that. This is not an exact science but as you continue to track your macros you will get better at it, trust me.
Q: Sometimes I get multiple results for the same search item. Which is the correct one?
A: Well, one is not necessarily correct or going to exactly match what you are eating. A good rule of thumb is to do a rough average of the results you pull. Here’s an example. You’re eating homemade pizza and it’s about the size of a normal slice. You put in “pizza” and see the calories ranging from 150-300. Pick somewhere in the middle. Usually for a plain slice, I would give it about 250 calories, give or take. This problem brings us to the next question…
Q: Do I round up or down?
A: When counting calories people almost always have a tendency to underreport what they have eaten throughout the day. Therefore, I think it’s always a better idea to go with the higher number when you’re not sure where to round to.
Q: So, I went over my calories for the day? Is it all over for me?
A: No, don’t be silly. Obviously, the goal is to get as close to your target as you can, but there will be some days you go under and some days you go over. So what do you do if you go over 300 calories on bagel Tuesday at work? Try to be 300 calories under your goal the next day. You do not get fat or gain weight from one bad meal or one bad day. This is a process that happens over time. So if your goal was to lose weight and your total calories for the day was supposed to be at 2000 but you take in 2300 over the period of a week or two…then yes, you will gain weight. This strategy of allocating your calories and going over/under occasionally really holds the key to be flexible with your diet.
Q: I’ve actually seen you at Starbucks, sitting in the corner alone, for several hours at a time. Are you sure you weren’t talking about yourself?
A: Um…”I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”