Macros are super complicated and can be super overwhelming!
Is that the thought you had when you hear the word "macro-tracking"?
Totally get it… Tracking macros can be a lot. BUT we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Macro-tracking can actually be relatively simple.
If you are participating in our Stronger New Year Challenge you should read this! And if you are not participating… You should still read it 😂
Let’s start with what makes counting macros so difficult?
- Busy jobs
- Not always having a food scale around you
- Eating out
- Too busy to write things down and track it
- Kids & family
These are some of the struggles we hear. Sound familiar?
Okay, we have identified what makes it complicated. Now, let’s take a look at how we can change your perspective. Our goal is that when you are done reading this, you find tracking macros so simple that you will go tell your friends and family about it 👊
- Remember "something is better than nothing". In this case small steps in the right direction is better than not doing anything at all and just remaining in your comfort zone. You don't need to be hitting your macros every single day. Yes, in an ideal world we would all be doing that, but it is just not realistic for everyone. So rather than feeling overwhelmed about how you might not be “perfect” every day, let’s focus on the small things you are doing (during this challenge) that you otherwise wouldn’t be doing. Maybe you just count your breakfast because you eat the same meal every day and it’s easy. Maybe your “something is better than nothing” just includes you being more mindful about the food you eat (during this challenge). Maybe you focus on just increasing protein as most of us struggle getting enough protein. There are so many small things we can do that can still have a significant impact. The point here is that you doing something which is so much better than nothing at all. Rome wasn't built in a day.
- You find the food scale to cause you irritation. We get it. Rather than just grabbing your blueberries from the fridge and straight into your yogurt, you now have to find the scale, turn it on, place the berries on there, find your phone or notebook to track the grams. Much more complicated than just throwing it directly into your yogurt. But what if we told you that you don’t have to use your food scale. Instead, use your hands for measuring and estimates. Below is an image (also to be found on page 9 in your Stronger New Year Starter Guide) for hand estimates that you can use to count your macros in a quick and swift way. Yes, it most certainly won’t be accurate. BUT it is still a LOT better than not counting at all!!! Your estimated handful of blueberries might not be exactly 20 grams of carbs. Maybe it was actually 23 grams of carbs. But that is okay! Again, something is better than nothing and you don’t have to be “perfect”. Perhaps you start there for Monday through Wednesday. Count and track macros using your hand and aim to get close to your daily macros. Even if you don’t hit your macros, this will teach you a lot about your macro measurements in the various foods you contain which is still really helpful.
- Meal-prep! It’s easier said than done, but it often can be a really good solution. You make a large batch of something that has a good macro breakdown for your specific need and you eat it over a couple of days. Let’s say you have a distribution of 48% carbs, 16% fat and 36% protein. Here’s a suggestion for what you can make a large portion of:
○ 4 cups of cooked white rice - C180, F2, P17
○ 480 g of cooked chicken breast (shredded breast works really well) - C0, F 17, P148
○ 2 avocados - C34, F58, P8
Cook the white rice and chicken. Break that into four or five portions depending on your preference (only cut the avocado as you are about to eat the meal, leaving it more fresh). The total macros for the whole meal is C214, F77, P173. Let’s say you break that into four separate meals and store it in the fridge. Each meal contain C53.5, F19.3, P43.3. That’s a breakdown of C46%, F17%, P37%, which is really close to the breakdown mentioned above. Of course this can be adjusted to whatever you need and prefer.
Let’s say you use that for lunch over the next four days. Then come up with a good breakfast that you can keep consistent every morning, ideally also having a split between carbs, fat and protein close to your need. This could be our egg & buckwheat breakfast. You can find that HERE.
And spice it up even further with a consistent snack between breakfast and lunch such as greek yogurt, jerky, turkey sandwich, canned tuna, hard boiled eggs etc.
Now you have breakfast, snack and lunch taken care of every day that is easy to track. Easy to make. Tastes good. And healthy.
If you are using MyFitnessPal, MacroStax etc. you can even save the meal and use it over and over again.
If you follow the strategy above you probably got about half of your daily intake taken off at this point. You can then skip tracking the rest of the day knowing that you have eaten well for the first half of the day. And skip weekends too if you prefer more freedom (when not tracking, of course stay mindful of what you eat!).
Going back to point #1, this is MUCH better than nothing at all and doesn’t require a ton of work. Yes…. It might not be the most exciting thing to eat the same thing over and over again. But do this for awhile and it will give you great results and teach you a TON about food. As you get more comfortable with this, you start mixing up the food and perhaps later on start tracking the evenings and weekends too, but wait with that until you are ready and DO NOT feel overwhelmed for what you missed, but feel PROUD of what you do!
That’s it! Are you ready to tell your family and friends about how easy macro counting can be?
Okay maybe not quite yet, but hopefully you find this helpful. Above all, the point you should take away from this is that doing something is better than not doing anything at all! Start small, keep up with the progress and don't get demotivated and before you know of it, you are the macro counting king or queen.
If you have any questions, you can always reach us at [email protected]