Losing weight is in part about eating with awareness and knowing what the food you are eating is made of. Changing how you eat can be overwhelming – especially when you are overwhelmed by the idea of making wise food choices. If overeating is a struggle you have had, or you just don’t understand which foods are best, you may worry you will over eat and inhibit your fat loss goals. This guide will help you to be more aware of what you eat by teaching you how to track your macros.
Calculate Macronutrient Ratio
The first step is to calculate your ideal macronutrient intake. We recommend reaching out to us to receive a personalized fat loss program from a New Jersey doctor to determine your unique macronutrient ratio for your weight loss goals. Once you have your ratios determined, you can proceed with the following recommendations for tracking macronutrients.
Use a Tracking Log
Get a log where you can jot down everything you eat on a daily basis. You can use a physical log or a digital one – whichever you prefer is fine.
Many people think they can remember everything they eat each day and can guess the number of calories they consume with each meal. Unfortunately, we actually tend to eat more than we think and often underestimate our caloric intake as we go throughout our day. There are two problems here: portion sizes can be hard to estimate and snacking, although it seems like nothing, adds up (especially when it comes to innocent little vanilla lattes).
When you keep an accurate food log, the guesswork is removed and you can receive objective feedback on how much you are eating.
Keep a Food Journal
A good food journal is another alternative to using a good macro tracking app (which is recommended because you carry your phone everywhere). A food journal does more than tracking what you eat and portion sizes. If you keep a record of the time of day you eat each food and any situations surrounding your habits, you may be able to identify patterns in your eating, such as when you begin to crave specific foods.
Once you are made aware of these habits, you may be able to identify triggers that initiate the habit and the reinforcing reward. This method can help you to create new habits while reprogramming the ones that hold you back.
Use a Digital Food Scale
To accurately track calories and macros, a digital food scale is going to be beneficial. Weighing your food will help you to ensure that you are getting the correct serving size and enable you to have a better idea of your exact calorie intake. It may seem tedious to weigh your food in the beginning, but over time, you will learn to identify by eye what 100g of chicken looks like without even weighing it.
Don’t Stress Yourself
You do not need to be militant about tracking your calories and macros to the T. Be disciplined but know that it is okay to occasionally go a little over or fall short on your macros. Try to stay within a range of plus or minus 5-10 macros of each daily goal per macronutrient. Trying to meet your goals is not only unnecessarily stressful but also impossible since no food label is 100% accurate and neither are your food measurements. Relax and aim to be as close as you can.