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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