Counting calories won’t cut it anymore.
If you’ve been doing it for years and have yet to see any result, I’m here to tell you to stop!
Calories in and calories out is simply not enough to know if you’re getting the proper nutrition you need to lose weight and feel good. Knowing your diet’s macronutrient breakdown, however, can completely change the way you look at food consumption.
Tracking your macros—like protein, carbs, and fats—gives you insight into the nutritional aspect of what you eat and informs you to make smarter and healthier diet choices. As a result, you begin to reach your weight loss goals, keep that weight off, and optimize your health all at once.
Sounds good, right?
Counting macros can be game-changing when it comes to fueling your body, but the process can be confusing and cumbersome to keep up with—until now.
I’ve pulled together 4 of my favorite macro tracking tools (2 free, 2 paid) so that you can start tracking your own macros with simplicity today. Let’s take a look at them…
Making the switch to macro tracking from calorie counting can feel intimidating, but it’s not. In reality, it’s much easier to manage, and eventually, you can step away from the tools of the trade (that I will mention below) and start intuitively picking foods that meet your macro needs.
Before I reveal those trusty tools, here’s when it’s important to count your macronutrients:
Macro tracking gives great insight into the food that your body needs in order to grow in health and reach an optimal weight. It brings nutritional awareness to your lifestyle so that you can make the diet choices that actually work for your body.
Getting too much or too little of these macronutrients can be the reason for not only weight gain but for inflammation, fatigue, hair loss, and other bodily damage. On the other hand, understanding your macro needs will help you see where your diet could improve and ensure you’re meeting your proper nutritional needs.
If you’d like to see how I track macros, check out this quick read for a sneak peek into my personal health habits.
Macro counting encourages eating a balanced diet instead of excessive amounts of select foods. It can help with portion control by revealing how many macronutrients in addition to calories are in some of the foods we eat on a regular basis.
Tracking your macros strictly, even for two weeks, can help you realize what macronutrients you’re overdoing and which ones you’re lacking. Then, if you return to eating more intuitively, you’ll have a better handle on what a healthy and balanced diet looks like for you.
What if you’re eating healthy, but you still feel off? Even if you’re filling your plate with healthy foods, you may not be giving your body the healthy food it needs at that moment.
Eating a plate full of romaine when your body needs more fat is like drinking a bunch of water when your body needs sleep. Sure, drinking water is healthy, but it doesn’t mean it can fulfill our other physical needs.
Similarly, each macronutrient is uniquely critical for our overall health and wellness. Protein is usually the macronutrient to look out for, as many of us eat less than what is recommended. Tracking will make you aware of any nutrient deficiencies so that you can make adjustments to your daily diet and take care of your body’s needs.
The reality is that all you need to track your macros is a piece of paper, a pen, and some basic math equations, but the following four tools make it a hell of a lot easier to get it done. Here’s what they are:
Counting your macros day-in and day-out requires habit. Forming this habit can be hard, especially when you’ve got a million other things to be doing, so getting your hands on a habit tracker is essential to staying accountable!
A habit tracker, like this free one from LEAN, will make tracking more effective, keep you motivated, and help you reach your goals. Whether it’s tracking weekly, monthly, or overtime, having the accountability of writing down your goals and checking them off plays a massive role in success.
Making a habit to hit your macros doesn’t come overnight, but a habit tracker will help form the practice you need to keep macros top of mind throughout the day.
My Fitness Pal is simple—you log the food that you eat inside the app and it spits out the macronutrient measurements for all of it! Whether you’re munching down some organic veggies or pumping yourself with a protein shake, its database pulls from 300 million items so you’re bound to find the proper macros for your meals.
Its handy features, like the barcode scanner—which automatically logs packaged food and its nutrition information—make this tool one of the quickest all-in-one calorie and macro counters out there. Plus, if you’ve found a food or recipe you love, My Fitness Pal lets you save recipes and meals for quick tracking tomorrow.
Lots of my clients use it when they are first starting out as it is helpful for populating their common foods (i.e. veggies, fruits, dairy, etc) that they don’t want to enter in manually and can sometimes be complicated to measure.
Make sure your measurements are accurate by throwing them on a digital scale before they end up on your plate. Weighing your food will help you stick to portion sizes and better understand just how much of a food you’re really consuming.
A small kitchen scale is all it takes to make accurate macro tracking much easier. Check out my personal favorite digital food scale from Amazon that I use every single day. Or, for an upgrade, the My Weigh KD8000 offers some advanced features that make scaling recipes up or down quick and easy.
For an all-in-one health hub, I’ve carefully compiled all the resources you need to reach your health goals and put them into my LEAN program!
My Amanda Nighbert App not only comes with a food and macro tracker, but you’ll also find accountability coaches, whole food nutrition, meal plans, live calls, chat forums, community and weekly check-ins. If you want to feel energized, confident, and stronger—today and in the long-term—this tool was made for you.
Tracking your macros will empower you to make healthier food choices so that you’re not only eating the right amount of food but the right kinds of food throughout the day. Making macronutrient tracking a priority now, will pay its dividends significantly in the future as you continue on your health journey. Try out these 4 tools, and see how a week’s worth of tracking goes for you!
If you’re in the mood for more helpful health tips, hop on our weekly newsletter or consider joining the next LEAN session. Your future body will thank you.