Macros: Tools for Counting

For the past couple weeks I’ve been getting a little more serious about eating the right stuff, and more importantly, the right amount. I learned all about macros through the various nutrition and sports nutrition classes in college, but I haven’t really tried counting them and keeping track until now.

What are macros? Macronutrients are the molecules that our bodies use to create energy-primarily fat, protein and carbs. They are found in all foods in varying amounts, and are measured in grams (g) on the nutrition labels. If you eat less calories than you burn, you will most likely lose weight. Counting calories can only tell you so much; you need to be eating the right calories if you don’t want to lose muscle too! To maintain, lose or even gain weight, many people rely on counting macros to make sure they’re eating the right way.

The main tool I use to count macros is My Fitness Pal. This app/website will give you a generic idea of what your personal macros are based on a few details about yourself. If you get the paid version, it will give you a read out of a real-time protein, carb and fat count as you enter in your meals for the day. The cool thing about this app is that it will sync with your FitBit! so whatever exercise and calories your FitBit monitor tracks, it will automatically enter the data into your Fitness Pal account (and give you more calories to consume for the day!)

If you want a more accurate number breakdown of your macros that are geared towards your specific goals, I like these websites:

The Macronutrient Calculator

Flexible Dieting Calculator

Currently, I set my percentages at 45% Carbohydrates, 30% Protein and 25% Fat. This is based off the amount I exercise per day, which tends to be consistent throughout the week. To make it easier on myself, I tend to eat roughly the same thing everyday. I can create saved meals within the Fitness Pal app and just plug them into my day. If we go out on the weekends or get take-out sushi during the week, a lot of local restaurants have their entire menu already in the app.

As long as you measure your food or enter in the pre-measured serving sizes, you’re golden and should reach your fitness and diet goals a lot faster than if you were guessing! It’s a little time consuming at first, but gets a lot easier as you start saving common meals and/or foods you tend to eat a lot.

If you want to follow me on My Fitness Pal for meal tips, my user name is meagankosakowski

Macros

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