The quick and easy way to track your macros using MyFitnessPal
If you’re just getting into macro tracking, it can seem a little overwhelming to have to track everything you put in your mouth, but let me assure you, it’s absolutely doable! Not only is it doable, but if you use the right tools, it’s even easy! One of my must-have tools for macro tracking is the MyFitnessPal app!
MyFitnessPal is really easy to use and you should be able to drive in without too much trouble, but if you need more help, I devote an entire chapter in my ebook, Macros Made Easy, to MyFitnessPal hacks.
MyFitnessPal is a free app, but there are a lot more features available if you upgrade to a premium account. You can make it work on the basic version, but I do prefer to have a paid account so that I get the most out of the app.
Today, I want to tell you three tips that are absolutely key to make macro tracking easy! These are the three tools I use the most!
Set up your goals by macros rather than weight
The first thing you want to do when you’re setting up your profile is to set your goals by nutrition, or macros, rather than how much weight you want to lose. This is important because if you set up your goals by weight, MyFitnessPal will do a calorie-deficit plan. With these low-calorie plans, you may not be getting enough food to fuel your daily activity and they can be extremely unhealthy long-term. On the other hand, with macro tracking, you don’t have to drastically cut your calories in order to lose weight! In fact, you may end up eating more calories! (That’s good news, right!)
I also want you to set your own macro numbers. I go over how to determine your own numbers in Macros Made Easy, but if you don’t feel comfortable determining your own macros, you can work with a macro coach to set them up.
Once you have those goals set up it will be so easy to go in and see how many of each macro you’ve eaten at each meal and what you need more - or less - of!
Plan all of your meals ahead of time
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I like to do all of my meal planning once a week so that I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to eat throughout the week. MyFitnessPal is an essential part of my meal planning.
I like to meal plan backwards, meaning I start with my biggest meals and then work my way down to smaller meals and snacks. I do this because I want to make sure that I have enough macros for the meals that are most important to me.
My family always has a bigger dinner, so I start with that. Once I have macros allotted to that, I can figure out what other meals and macros I need for the rest of the day.
I enter each meal into MyFitnessPal so that I can see how many macros I have used and what is left. With the pro version, I can even see what foods are highest in macros, so I can see if that is something I need to eat on occasion or if I want to add more of it into my routine.
Track foods at restaurants
I firmly believe that if you want to see real results, then you have to have a plan that will fit into your everyday life. I don’t know about you, but I am on the go a lot, which means I have to eat out sometimes!
If you like to eat out on occasion as well, then you can still make sure that those fast-food trips are a part of your plan! MyFitnessPal has a huge database of foods served at restaurants. If I know that I’m going to be out all day on Saturday watching my kids at their soccer or baseball games, then I make a plan to eat out.
When I know this is going to be happening, I like to look up five, or so, of my favorite restaurants and look over each of those menus. I’ll find a couple of meals that will keep me in line from each restaurant. That way when someone asks where we should go, I can suggest a couple of options and I know that I’ll be able to stay on track.
I’ll even go one step further and save my meal options in the the “My Foods” section of MyFitnessPal, so that I can add the meal to my tracker quickly instead of spending the whole time out searching for it again. It makes it so quick and easy to enjoy my time out!
To accomodate eating out, I plan cleaner meals the rest of the day. Usually, when I eat out, I’ll get a lot of carbs and fats, so my other meals tend to be more protein-heavy.
Remember, macro tracking is all about balance! As long as you have a plan, then you can enjoy your favorite foods without guilt!
If you need help setting up your macro numbers, or are looking to see if macro tracking is even for you, then let’s talk! Schedule a free discovery call with me, we’ll work to transform your body, health and life - while still eating the foods you love.