So you want to lose some weight. Or maybe you just want to transform your physique.
What’s that? You don’t want to track your food intake? Good luck my friend! We’ll see you right back here when you stumble and need more advice you won’t take.
Sorry, that may have come off harsh. Food/macro tracking and monitoring is an often overlooked and underutilized focus of diet and nutrition. The truth is that some people can lose weight or get in shape without tracking every single meal. These people are not the rule, though, they are the exception.
Ignorance is not bliss people! If you are trying to whip yourself into shape, it’s SO important that you know not only WHAT you are putting in your body, but also HOW MUCH. Read that sentence again. It is important that you know about your intake. Not think you know, but actually know.
You could eat chicken, rice and veggies all day every day and not lose a pound. Why? Maybe because you had 2 cups of rice (roughly 400 calories and 90 grams of carbohydrates) with each meal when you thought it was only a cup of rice on your plate. Or when you went to make the chicken in your skillet with your olive oil you overdid it on the olive oil. Did you know that just a tablespoon of olive oil is going to be around 120-150 calories? Did you also know that this is exclusively calories from fat? “But wait, isn’t olive oil a healthy fat, so it’s all good??” Yes it has it’s health benefits, but so does red wine. You don’t see nutritionist prescribing an ENTIRE BOTTLE of wine for health reasons, so go easy on the olive oil.
The point here is, that in order to make changes in your diet and health it’s SO important to track what you’re doing. And even better, you can manage to have those two cups of rice or bucket of olive oil IF you can manage to balance it with the other meals of your day. With the knowledge of KNOWING exactly what you are taking, you can pick and choose where you have your carbs, fats and protein. Apps like MyFitnessPal and LoseIt have databases of millions of food items just waiting to be logged. Treat your diet like you treat your budget. You have certain money going towards rent, groceries, and utilities, right? Then make your diet budget between fats, carbs, and proteins. Rather than feeling like the food and the calories control you, pick and choose where you want to “spend” those calories and macros.
So, what you can do now to get your #IIFYM life started (#IfItFitsYourMacros):
1)In our first post, we posted a link to a site about macronutrients, what they are, why they’re so important (Your Intro to Macros). Give it another read to familiarize yourself with Fats, Proteins and Carbs.
2) Go here and let the macro calculator give you what you need for your macros and calories. There will be different goals associated with each amount (weight loss, maintaining weight, and gain size)
3) Download MyFitnessPal (that’s what we use, but LoseIt isn’t bad either).
4) Start using MyFitnessPal for a few days eating and logging what you normally eat (it will be an eye opener to what you are actually taking in). This is just a trial run to familiarize yourself with the app. Once you do this for a few days, it’s time to set those goals in the app itself and get going on your macro journey!
5) Now you have your goals, your tool to reach them and a realization of what you actually have been eating, it’s time to get started. But first……
6) Buy yourself a food scale! What you think is 4 ounces of ground beef might be 8 ounces of ground beef. You’d be accidentally doubling your intake. Use that food scale for anything and everything (most everything has a serving size on the label that can be represented by weight. It’s definitely more accurate this way too). It will take some getting used to, but it is 100% worth it
*Side note about the food scale* Weigh things before you cook them! Especially meat. The nutrients and calories listed in the serving size are based on the pre-cooked weight of the food. We learned this the hard way 🙁
This is not the finish line for you. It is only the beginning! We started with this and then continued to educate ourselves along the way. Don’t ever think you’ve learned enough about macros or nutrition in general, there’s always more information out there.
Remember: ignorance isn’t bliss.
Any specific questions about how to track your macros or using MyFitnessPal, feel free to hit us up on Twitter or Instagram: @MrAndMrsMacro
Also email us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck to you on your journey!!