Beginners Guide to Tracking Macros

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Like most girls, healthy eating has always been a struggle for me. I am lucky enough to remain fairly lean even when I overeat super sugary, carb loaded foods multiple times a week. My parents have also struggled with different diets and it wasn’t until they started a low carb, no added sugar diet that they started to see dramatic results. I never really payed attention to the types of carbs, fats, etc that I was consuming and I just thought all carbs were bad. Unlike my parents, I go to the gym 6 days a week for about two hours each session. I found myself getting dizzy and exhausted so fast and then I would come home at 11pm and eat a huge feast of unhealthy carbs. That is where macros come in to play.

If you are a very active person, your body really needs the carbs and the fats along with all of the protein. I am no expert so I will just say that tracking your macros is a great way to eat in moderation by paying attention to portion control as well as where your calories are coming from. You can eat anything that you want like pizza and drinks as long as you make up for it in your other meals that day. Doctors recommend hitting your macros 5 times a week and allowing yourself either a cheat day or a certain number of cheat meals per week.

After one week of tracking my macros, I realized that I am allowing myself to eat way more food and I don’t feel like I am dieting at all. I have been energized and I don’t feel bloated at all.

So how do you determine what your macros are and how do you track them?

I downloaded two apps:

  1. Macros by Fitocracy
  2. Lose It!

When you make an account with macros, it will take your age, height, and activity type/level and calculate the calories you need as well as the breakdown in grams of the carbs, fats, and protein. The great thing about this app is that you can pick between training and rest days where you consume more fat and less carbs on rest days and the opposite on training days. *Note: carbs are the net carbs where you subtract the fiber from the total carbs.

I use Lose It! as my way to plan my meals in advance to make sure I will hit my macros for the day. You can click on the nutrients tab for either the entire day, the meal, or each individual food item to find out the macros so that you don’t have to calculate it yourself.

Here is a breakdown of my meals today for a 2 hour training day:

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Also, here is a good cheat sheet from LiveLifeActive.com :

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Arielle Maura

May 16, 2016

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10 Things I Learned In College

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  1. Go to class – but don’t be afraid to skip. Understand what your body needs. If you need to take time to catch up on sleep, assignments, or even yourself then do it. Just don’t be lazy.
  2. Go out and have fun. College is about way more than getting your degree. Setting time aside for going out is just as important as homework. Its all about balance.
  3. Don’t be afraid to say no. Ever heard of FOMO? Its real. Listen to yourself – it is totally okay to stay in binge watching netflix, catch up on work, go out with a different crowd, or try a new activity instead.
  4. Remind yourself why you are here. You don’t have to know what you will be doing five years from now. All you have to do is make a serious effort to take advantage of the resources you have. Class is for YOU. Assignments are given to HELP you. Do them. You may actually find yourself enjoying it at times.
  5. Start thinking about your future. Set goals for yourself. Even if you know what you think you want to do when you graduate, still explore your other interests and even potential interests.
  6. Get a job – paid or unpaid. Best Outcome: you gain experience in your field. Worst Outcome: you still gain experience and rule out what you don’t like sooner.
  7. It is okay to change paths. Take it from a girl who switched majors midway through college and may alter paths again after graduation. An education is an education. A job is a job. Things come and go. Your main goal should be your happiness.
  8. Keep track of your achievements, strengths, skills, interests, etc. You may surprise yourself one day and learn something about yourself that you never knew. It may prompt you to take a new path through life.
  9. Surround yourself with people. Humans are full of surprises. Learn to control your feelings and don’t let other people impact how you feel. However, keep an open heart and embrace the energy of those around you.
  10. Make every day count, but realize that tomorrow is a new day. The days can go by so quick. You can sit back and let them roll by when you’re going through a tough time, but make sure not to look back with regret. Give each day meaning and purpose. The best you can do is try. You will never regret that.

Arielle Maura

February 2nd, 2016