If you are just starting out on your fitness journey, I highly recommend enlisting the help of a macro tracking tool. This not only allows you to see exactly what the foods you eat are comprised of, but it also serves as a great tool to hold yourself accountable. Plus, I like to think of macro tracking as a daily puzzle. I know what my daily goals are for protein, carbs, and fats, so it’s up to ME to decide how I want to “fit” those macros.
If one day I decide to utilize some carbs and fats for that new Ben and Jerry’s flavor, I can, but then I also know I have used up my carb and fat allotment, and need to be sure to get in some lean proteins to balance out my day. In this way, macro tracking almost forces balance, which is absolutely crucial for a lifetime of sustainable and maintainable results.
The first thing you want to do is get yourself a food scale, measuring cups and decide on a macro tracking app. I personally recommend the MyMacros App. It’s $2.99 in the App Store. Once downloaded, you will be able to start tracking the foods you eat against your daily macro goals. If you have a custom meal plan from me, you will simply be able to input your macro goals into the app and begin tracking the foods you eat daily. As you input foods, the app will subtract those foods from you daily totals and give you a running tally of the macros you have left to “fill” for the day.
This becomes espeicaly handy when eating away from home. For example, if I find myself away frome home and in need of a meal/snack, I simply pull out my tracker, see that I have protein and fat left for the day and know that I need to find myself a lean protein source with some Healthy fats – ex: a grilled chicken salad with avocado or olive oil based dressing. OR maybe I want a fattier meat – maybe, salmon, and some grilled veggies!
MyMacros is fairly simple to use, and the steps below will help guide you through some of the initial set up and features of the app!
Search for and download the MyMacros App in the app store. MyMacros costs a one time fee of $2.99. Once downloaded, you will be prompted to create a username, password and email address.
Once inside the app, you will be able to use the Body Weight tab to record your body weight on any given day. If you choose to add more to your personal profile, simply click the three dots in the top right corner, select “App Settings” and then “Edit My Profile”.
Once again, select the three dots in the top right hand corner. Select “App Settings” and then “Set Nutritional Goals”. You will then want to “Add New Macro Goal”. This is where you will add you Training Day and Non Training Day Macros from your custom meal plan. Create one macros goal for each set of macros. You will be asked to “Apply Macro Goal now” after each save, so depending on which meal plan you are following, you will choose “yes”. To switch the macro goal you want to follow on a given day, you would then simply select the three dots in the top right hand corner; select “App Settings” and then “Set Nutritional Goals”. Your Training Day and Non Training Day macros will be saved here.
Now let’s say you have the actual package of oat in front of you. You can scan the barcode into the app for the a quick macro reading with out having to search. Swipe right from your food log and choose “Barcode Scanner”. Hold up the barcode to your camera and allow the app to read the code. Again, you will need to be sure to account for the correct serving size!
Love Grandmas Christmas cookies? Have that one family recipe everyone loves but you shy away from preparing it because you assume it’s “bad”? Well with the recipe tab inside MyMacros, now you can input the ingredients from the recipe, the servings per recipe, and the app automatically calculates the macros for you! Save it to your recipe list for a quick addition to your daily food log!
Swipe right from your food log and select “Recipes”. Select “Create New Recipe” and name your recipe, add the total serving per recipe and assign a unit of measure for each serving (ex: 1/12 of cake; 4 ounces, etc). Then you can begin adding ingredients from a search list, OR scan in the barcodes as you did in the above example! Once completed, hit “save’ and your recipe will be saved under the “Recipes” tab for later use! You can even add the recipe as “ A Single Item” or as “Individual Ingredients” when adding to your food log. I personally recommend adding as a single item for ease when looking at your daily food log.
As you begin adding more foods from the “Search” screen, you will see them pop up under the “Recent” tab in the Food Menu. This is perfect for those of you who are creates of habit and tend to gravitate towards the same foods! Simply click on the “Recent” tab and choose your foods from this listing for quicker logging!
Sometimes you will come across a food that the app may not recognize and you will be prompted to “add it manually”. You will simply copy the protein, carbs, fats and I like to add sodium, sugar and fiber when applicable. You can do this in the “Add Custom Food” tab in the Food Menu.
I have also found this feature useful when you are out to dinner and the menu lists the macros for the meal. I simply add the macros to the Custom Food tab and input this into my food log for the day!
If you are on one of my custom meal plans, you know that I will ask you about your fiber intake as well as give you a fiber range to hit each day. With the MyMacros app, fiber and other micronutrients are automatically calculated as you input your food for the day. Simply click on the circled “info” button in the bottom right hand corner of your food log. This will bring you to a break down of your daily macro and micronutrients!
There are SO many amazing features to this app and in today’s modern world, this mobile app allows you to reach your goals, stay on track and hold yourself accountable with a busy lifestyle! I have personally found this app to be extremely useful in teaching balance when it comes to food choices. You will often hear me say that I don’t really have “cheat” meals because flexible dieting allows me to “fit” treats in when I want them. Tracking macros allows for the wiggle room to indulge on occasion but balance these treats with whole foods!
I encourage your to explore the app futher on your own and decide how to best utilize it to reach YOUR goals☺