Sparkles and Sunshine: What Are Macros And How Do I Track Them?

What Are Macros And How Do I Track Them?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Happy Wednesday!

I have been training with Savanna for a few months now and absolutely love all of my workouts and advice she has given me. One of the first things she told me when we started my program was that I needed to track my macros. 

Long story short, macros are the exact amounts of protein, carbs, and fat that your body needs each day. If you eat more or less you're not helping yourself. These macros are determined from your level of activity, current weight, goal weight, height, etc. The reason why Savanna and I prefer this over calorie counting is because there's less guilt. With macros you are able to enjoy the types of foods you love without entirely limiting yourself. For instance I love carbs, so my diet consists of a higher carb diet with a decent amount of protein and a slightly lower amount of fat. 

Girl with fitness trainer Savanna Rose training on the beach



To find out what your macros should be, visit IIFYM to calculate your macros. Once you have done that it will ask you for you email and will then send you your results along with some information. After that, you will need to download the My Macros + app and create an account. From there, the app is pretty easy to use. Below is a quick walk through of how to use the My Macros + app.

Below is your main screen. From here you can track all of your foods. On the weekends I try to measure out and meal prep as much food as I can and prerecord it in my app. I like to do this because then I can hold myself accountable ahead of time and it helps me learn what foods I can eat together that fit my macros each day. For instance if I'm eating avocado toast in the morning for breakfast, I know that the remainder of most of my meals can't also be high fat or I will exceed my macros for the day.

Once you know what you want to eat, hit the track now button. Once you tap that it will take you to your sidebar when you can search for foods, manually enter foods that might not be in their database (which can be a lot), search your most recent foods, and more.

screenshot of my macros plus app

screenshot of my macros plus app

If you decide that you want to search for something, simply start typing the food item in the search bar. This will then bring up a ton of options. You can then filter by serving size or brand. If what you are looking for doesn't come up, it's easiest to manually enter it. Don't think that you have to find the exact brand of certain things though. You will start to see what a certain serving size of a particular food item has (carbs/protein/fat) and so usually the brand doesn't matter if you see a few options that are identical. 

screenshot of my macros plus app

Once you have found what you are looking for it will then take you to the description page of that item. From there, you can edit it and select which meal you want that food item to go into. Lastly, select the check sign in the upper right hand corner and it will be added to your meals for the day!

screenshot of my macros plus app

I love that this app separates the different meal options so you can really see how much you are eating for which meals. For instance if you plan out all of your meals and see that your snacks are the reason why you are going over or under your macros, you know that you can adjust those food items!

screenshot of my macros plus app

I mentioned earlier that you can add custom foods to your account too. Since we shop at Aldi, I usually have to do this a lot because of their brands of food items. While this may seem like a hassle, you only have to do it one time and it's there forever. If it's a food you eat all the time, it's a one and done process and all you have to do from here on out is hit the custom & Favs button and all of your manually entered food items will appear there. 

screenshot of my macros plus app

To manually enter a food, select the Custom & Favs button and then hit the plus sign in the upper right hand corner. From there you will manually enter all of the information found on the nutrition label of your food item. Now, a lot of items like produce do not have this information. I usually search the item in Google and find out the value. 

Ex: "Roma Tomato Nutrition" is searched. Nutritionix.com is a website that usually comes up first in my searches. They are a large food database that has many items that aren't in your app. Once I see what they say, I enter it into the app and am good to go!

screenshot of my macros plus app

Also, many restaurants have nutrition information on their websites. For example I love Chipotle. If you search Chipotle Nutrition into Google you will see a search results for a nutrition calculator they have on their website. You can create your meal and see the protein, carb, and fat values for your meal. This is a great way to know if it's a "love meal" or if it fits into your macros for the day!

That's all there is to it! Once you start losing weight, you do have to adjust your macros. When you lose weight your body doesn't need as much as it did every day. Please consult with a trainer (a.k.a. mine haha) for questions on this.

I hope you found this helpful! If you're wanting to start a healthy lifestyle and have an incredible support system, definitely reach out to Savanna! She is a giant ball of sunshine that knows what she's doing. If you have any questions about tracking your macros or my workouts with Savanna, please let me know in the comments below! I'll seek her guidance on the nutrition questions. 😊

Photography: Anna Carrano Photography 

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