Managing your macros can be daunting when you first start out – all you know is that it’s important to stick to them. But where do you start?
Here are some tips I have found to make macro-counting super easy and efficient.
#1 Get scales
Weighing out your food isn’t for everyone, but it is a very useful way of hitting your numbers spot on, especially when you are having calorie dense foods such as butter or oils.
✓ As a beginner, I found it tough to embrace the concept of portion sizes and the macro equivalent of them with a lot of foods, but over time you learn about portion sizes and the corresponding macro value, making it really easy to guess your portions!
#2 Plan ahead
Although macros allow a lot of flexibility with your food choices, planning ahead means you are not left with a whole lot of food to try fit in at the end of the day because you didn’t eat enough earlier, or even worse, you leave yourself with very little food to eat and feel hungry and unsatisfied after your last meal.
✓ A bit of forward planning makes a world of difference here and also ensures you hit all your micronutrients too.
✓ Planning ahead will keep your macro distribution optimal for each meal meaning you get the most benefit you can from the foods you eat.
#3 Use an app
There are free apps available for your laptop or smart phone that make keeping track of your food so easy and quick. It is also really useful for when you need to make tweaks to your macros to be able to see where a lot of your calories are coming from.
✓ They also help you to tighten things up if you are cutting when it becomes especially important to hit your numbers with accuracy.
#4 Measure certain foods out raw where possible
This is a really common question, consistency is the most important here but I have found measuring out my food raw has been the most accurate for me, especially with foods like potatoes and meat.
When I am making a new recipe, I calculate my macros for that recipe by adding up all the ingredients raw the dividing by the portions I expect to get from that recipe.
✓ If needs be, I will weigh the finished product in grams and then divide the totals by the amount of portion sizes I need to get the individual macros for each portion and the amount the portion weighs in grams.
✓ This is where apps come in super handy because most of them will do a lot of the hard work for you and also allow you to save the dish in a list of your foods so that you have no calculating to do the next time that you make the dish!
#5 Be smart
Although this tip is not related to counting your macros, it does relate to how you use them.
✓ Make sure you are hitting all your micro nutrients with nutrient rich foods and plan your treats with the remaining macros instead of just eating nonstop junk food just because it fits!
This is a point many people fail to apply to flexible dieting, but you still need good nutrition to maintain good health and take your physique to the next level.
Enjoy your treats but make sure you are giving your body what it needs to progress too!
#6 Keep some essentials in your store cupboard
I always make sure I have eggs on hand. This is because the whites are great if I need more protein but haven’t got much or any fat macros to spare.
Eggs are also great if you are short on fat, the yolks provide a good portion of fat while also giving a vitamin D boost.
✓ I also like to have some frozen berries in my freezer, these are low carb but also low fat and protein while super high in vitamins, I can make a smoothie if I need more protein or I can simply let them thaw out as a low fat and carb snack.
✓ Rice cakes are a great food to have to hand too if you need to get in more carbs but not much protein or fat, they also tend to have a good date and keep well in the press while being a good food for on the go eating!
Take Home Message
Macros can be quite daunting when you are a beginner, take note of these simple tips and you will be counting like a pro in no time!