If you’ve taken the time to calculate your macros and you’re ready for the next steps, this post is for you! If you haven’t read my last post and this all sounds like a foreign language to you, go back and read part one first! I will again, preface this post by saying it is a little long, but if you’ve never tracked macros or used a macro-tracking app before, it’s definitely worth the read!
So, you have your three magic numbers, the grams of protein, carbs, and fats recommended for your daily intake. (If you don’t, click here and you can calculate them in less than 60 seconds!) Now, what the heck to do with those numbers. Side note, make sure you screen shot your macros because you will need them later! Now, first thing’s first. You will need to download a macro tracking app.
MyFitnessPal (I will refer to it as MFP) is the app I use to track my macros and it’s really the only app I’ve ever used for this purpose. I’ve toyed around with other apps but this is the most well known/commonly used. It has the largest database for restaurant foods/grocery store foods, and it has multiple features that make macro tracking easy, ideal for the beginner! You are obviously more than welcome to look into the other macro tracking apps that Apple has to offer, I’m sure there multiple, however if you’re a beginner, I’m going to be explaining how to do everything in MFP, so it may be easier to follow along if you have the same app!
I have the free version of MFP, and that’s only because I’m cheap. I should probably invest in the paid version, but I’ve been tracking for 5 years now and I’ve made the free version work since day one, so you definitely can too! I’ll explain the benefit of the paid app in just a second, it’ll be easier to understand once we get there!
Step One – Inputting your specific macros into MFP: (You can do this in a web browser OR within the app on your phone – I choose to do it on my phone)
Before you begin tracking your foods to meet your macro needs, you’ll need to customize MFP to have your specific macros. Here’s how to do it.
- Click the series of 3 dark grey dots in the bottom right corner.
- Hit “goals”
- I personally do not worry about any of the “starting weight”, “current weight”, or any of that. MFP allows you to track weight loss, but I would really only recommend this step if you’re looking to lose substantial weight and want a way to track it. I strictly use MFP for macro counting, nothing else.
- Under “Nutrition Goals” about half way down the screen, you’ll see a “Calorie & Macronutrient Goals” tab, click that.
- Enter your daily calorie goal in the “Calories” box from the macros you calculated.
- Now here’s where it gets a little sticky, if you pay for the paid version of MFP, you can actually enter your macro gram numbers exactly, which makes things easy. However if you download the free version you’ll have to play around with the percentage boxes until you come as close as you can to your actual macros. If you are off by a few in each category – it’s totally okay! Mine are a little off too.
- Once you’re done, you can hit the back button and you’re finished!
Step Two – Changing the amount of meals:
When you first open MFP, it defaults to a screen that shows three meals. “Meal One”, “Meal Two”, and “Meal Three”. If you only eat three meals a day, disregard this part of the post, you’re set! However, I eat five meals a day, so I had to customize this part. Here’s how you do it.
- Go to a computer first! This part of the customization process is only offered on a desktop computer!
- Go to http://www.myfitnesspal.com or click HERE.
- Enter your login information
- Click “My Home” in the top lighter blue bar
- Click “Settings” in the dark blue bar, far right
- Halfway down the list you will see “Diary Settings”, click that button
- Halfway down the page you will see six boxes, three will already be named “Meal One”, “Meal Two”, “Meal Three”, however there will also be three empty boxes. This is where you add any additional meals you eat during the day.
- This is also where you can rename the meals, so if you don’t like “Meal One”, “Meal Two”, you can change it them. Mine are “Breakfast”, “Morning Snack”, “Lunch”, “Pre-workout”, and “Dinner”.
- If you only want four meals, leave the last two boxes blank. If you want only five meals, leave the last box blank.
And there you have it! You’re all ready to go. Your macros have been calculated, your numbers have been set in MFP, and your meals are listed exactly how you eat them! And here’s where I’ll stop today. The next post in the series will be a video showing exactly how I plan out each day to meet my own macro needs, so you can do the same! I’ll also be going over adjusting serving sizes, finding foods when in a tight macro squeeze, etc. Become a subscriber so you don’t miss it! Comment below if you have any macro/MFP questions, I’m happy to help in whatever way I can! Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!
Sports Bra – I’m wearing a M/L for reference! Cutest sports bra you’ll ever buy for $19!