Macro Lens - 5 Questions When Tracking Calories & Macros
Great job on tracking your calories and moving in the direction of mastering the flexible dieting approach.
Along the path to progress, you may find that your weigh-in or body progress numbers don’t always move as fast in the direction you want them to.
It’s important to be patient and stick to the process, but it's ALSO equally important that you use this introduction stage to DEVELOP YOUR MACRO LENS to see the food & calories you eat more clearly.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself while tracking your calorie intake for the #DRXVECut:
- Did you track the Healthy or Quick Calories? - All calories count. It doesn’t matter if the food is “healthy”, “organic”, “Fat-free” or any other term that makes us think it's a good food to eat. PUT IT IN MYFITNESSPAL. When you’re first starting, you have to work to develop your “MACRO-LENS” and see your food and its caloric content clearly. Logging everything you eat helps you achieve that. So log all FRUIT, HEALTHY FOOD, DRINKS, MINTS, SMALL SNACKS, DESSERTS. Everything.
- Are You Tracking Hidden Calories? - Ok you logged your chicken. Nice. But HOW DID YOU COOK THAT CHICKEN? Did you use olive oil?... Guess what. It contains FAT and CALORIES. Log it. What type of spices, seasonings or other food did you use? Double check all of the items you add to your meal prep process to make sure you’re accounting for all “hidden” calories.
- Are You Using the Right Tools? - Choose the right tool or metric for the job. Use the right tool to measure the different types of food you may be using.
- Are you measuring chicken? Use a digital scale to measure your meat in ounces. Try to measure your meat raw. If it’s cooked when you measure it, add 1-2 oz to account for loss in water weight.
- Is your chicken skinless? Be sure to account for the skin on chicken breast or chicken thighs. It contains mainly fat calories. For best results, peel it off or buy it skinless.
- Are you measuring rice or other side dishes? Use a measuring cup to measure this type of food in cups. Make sure the cup amount stops at the top. Heaping cups equal heaping extra calories.
- Are you measuring fruit or other hand held foods? - These foods are usually measured in portions of the whole food. (ie. ½ medium apple) . Be sure to check your portions on all of your food to make sure it matches with what you actually ate
- Did you log the right food & portion? - Are you eating out or searching for a food in myFitnessPal? Be sure to (a) break down the ingredients into individual items as much as possible and (b) find items in MyFitnessPal that have “Green Checks” (ie. after eating at Chipotle, you would log the ingredients separately - chicken, rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, cheese, lettuce). If you ate Double chicken, you would add 2 portions of the Chicken item.
- Does the food have a Green Check? - Be sure you’re choosing common, high quality foods in MyFitnesspal for the best accuracy. There are foods with “Green” Checks next to them which tend to have more accurate calorie counts. There are also “user entered” foods which may have calories, but NO macro/carb/protein values. Be sure that you look at the calories, carbs, protein and fat amounts for your basic foods to get more familiar with the usual nutrient amounts. Even if the food doesn’t have a green check, you can still choose it. Just double check the numbers. If you come across a food that your KNOW contains “rice”, but doesn’t show that it contains carbohydrates, it’s probably an inaccurate choice. This is another reason to eat and track clean, high quality foods for the best results.
At the end of the day, tracking your calories isn’t 100% accurate. But it’s MUCH more accurate than “eyeballing” your food without any frame of reference or “intuitive” eating. At this stage, it’s your job to master the measurement and tracking of your food in MyFitnessPal. Use this tool to help you get a clearer view of the food you’re eating. It’s time to develop your “Macro Lens”.
Let’s GO! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.