You may have heard me talk about tracking macros before. If you need a better understanding of what macronutrients are check out this blog.
There are also so many benefits to tracking macros. For example actually getting results from the work you're putting in. If you’d like to know more of the benefits please refer to this blog.
I’ve heard the argument that tracking macros can lead to eating disorders. I want to address this because for me it brought me out of an eating disorder. I had an unhealthy restricting and binging habit for about a year. It was the understanding that my body needed carbs fat and protein. That I could in fact eat a balance of all different foods if I was fueling myself enough.
If you have obsessive tendencies or have not had a good experience with tracking your macros. Then definitely seek further help in that area. I have helped people who have flirted with eating disorders and unhealthy eating habits . There is freedom in using tools like Tracking macros. This blog post is for people who are currently tracking macros. Or if you are interested in trying and would like to know some simpler tips.
First tip is track things together. You don't have to track every little thing but you should account for the macros. For example if you are getting a burrito bowl and in it you will have rice, lettuce, corn, salsa and beans. You don't need to log each one individually. But, you should account for all the macros. All of those foods are primarily a carb. ( I know that by experience in tracking these foods, you will learn that too.) So instead of logging every little thing I can just use rice. So, if I had a 1/2 cup of rice, 1/2 cup of beans, 1 cup of lettuce, 1/2 cup of corn and 1/2 cup of salsa. Instead, we could log it as 1 1/2 cups of rice. Is that 100% accurate? No, but it's pretty close and it will save you time and energy.
Use the app Myfitness pal and use the scan barcode feature. When you go to "add food" you can then select "scan barcode" and it will scan the barcode of the food you're eating. this is a wonderful feature to save time. You can upgrade the app to actually scan the meal you're eating. I don't have the upgraded version so I do not use this.
Eat similar foods. You don't have to do this but it makes logging much simpler if you stick with certain things. What I mean but that us if you eat ground beef eat the same brand and fat percentage. Sometimes it can be 85% lean or 75% lean. If you eat the same type once its logged its saved for a while so you wont need to find a new one. Same with yogurt. rather than switching from Oikos to light and fit to Chobani. Have one brand that you stick too. Again, not a must but a suggestion.
Track early in the day. It can be a challenge hitting the correct amount of carbs, fats and proteins in a day. Rather than being frustrated at the end of the day that you are way under in protein. Track in the beginning of the day so you can have an idea of what you are working with. I find it best for me and my clients to track between breakfast and lunch. That way you can log what you had for breakfast and what you will have for lunch and gage better if you should adjust. I also have had people log everything the night before if they know what there dinner menu will be.
Use a food scale . You can buy a food scale from amazon for about $10. It makes life soo much easier to not have to get out your measuring cups or eyeball everything. Weighing things for a period of time will increase your understanding of what 4 ounces or 6 ounces looks like. So you don't have to use it forever or bring it out and about with you. Please, please don't do that. 😅 It's a great tool to use at home to get you seeing what amounts you're consuming. It will help you track it and hit your goals easier.
Track 3- 5 days a week. If you find that tracking everything everyday overwhelms you, don't. Its better to give your best effort on 3-5 days a week then so-so for 7. This will help you see if you're naturally eating the macronutrients you're trying to hit. Or if you need to continue tracking. If you find you slip into bad habits on the weekends because you're not getting proper nutrition. I suggest continuing to track. But this is my personal opinion. Do what serves you best.
Along with that a question you may ask is Will I have to track forever? No, I encourage you to track everything each day to develop a good understanding of this tool(for now). But, we want to treat it as a tool not a ball and chain. You can start by tracking everything except dinner. Then after a few weeks stop tracking lunch and eventually breakfast. The slow step back is to ensure you are maintaining your progress. There are many ways you can do this. I find this to be the most beneficial.
You don't have to implement all of this right now. But these are great to have in your back pocket for when the time comes. Happy tracking 🙂