HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED
- Your macro numbers. You’ll need three different numbers (measured as grams) to hit of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. These will be provided to you as part of the challenge.
- A food scale
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Nutrition labels
- An app, such as myfitnesspal or macrotrak, or online databases such as nutritiondata.com or USDA’s national nutrient database.
- Conversion chart (need to convert ounces to grams? I’ve found either having a conversion chart at the ready helps, or a simple Google search when I’m unsure)
If this sounds overwhelming at first, it’s important to note that most of us stick to eating just 20-30 foods on a regular basis! After your first week of tracking, things will get immeasurably easier, because you’ll return to more or less the same foods.
Here’s what a sample day of eating, measuring, and tracking might look like, based on a sample macro template:
DAILY MACROS FOR FICTIONAL PERSON: 120 grams of protein, 200 grams of carbohydrate, 75 grams of fat (120P/200C/75F)
3 eggs. I used the nutrition label on the carton to determine the macros. 12p/10f
2 homemade ground turkey patties, weighed on my food scale. 14p
Handful of spinach. For simplicity and sanity, I don’t track leafy greens, but still add them to my meals anyway to add fiber and nutrients.
Half a sweet potato, 1 cup, cubed. I looked this up on myfitnesspal. 27c
Drizzle of olive oil, 1 tablespoon. I used myfitnesspal and the nutrition label. 14f
Total breakfast macros: 26p / 27c / 24f
4 ounces of chicken breast, weighed on my food scale. There are 7 grams per ounce of chicken. 28p
Handful of kale with 1/6th of a cup of dried cranberries. I used the nutrition label. 12c
1 cup wild rice. I used the nutrition label + myfitnesspal. 34c
2 tablespoons of Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic sunflower oil dressing. I used the nutrition label. 20f
Total lunch macros: 28p / 46c / 20f
Pre-workout snack + post-workout shake
2 Organic Happy Baby food pouches with apples, beets, & guava. I used the nutrition label. 34c
Grass-fed sugar-free turkey stick. I used the nutrition label. 14p/6f
1 scoop whey protein shake + 1 scoop dextrose. I used the nutrition label. 20p/40c
Total workout snacks & supplements: 34p / 74c / 6f
Suppose it’s now 6 o’clock in the evening. Let’s check in and see what macros we have left for the day. So far, we’re at 88 grams of protein, 147 grams of carbs, and 50 grams of fat. To hit our totals for the day, we’ll need 32 additional grams of protein, 53 grams of carbohydrates, and 20 more grams of fat! Let’s see how this shakes out at dinnertime/bedtime.
4 ounces cooked salmon. I used myfitnesspal to determine macros. 24p/15f
1 cup jasmine rice. I used myfitnesspal. 45c
Asparagus, 8 spears. Found on myfitnesspal, this has a negligible amount of carbs, at about 5c
1 tablespoon raw pine nuts. I used the nutrition label and a measuring spoon. 6f
1 teaspoon avocado oil. I used the nutrition label and a measuring spoon. 5f
Bedtime snack, 1/2 scoop casein protein powder dissolved in hot water. I used the nutrition label. 10p
Total dinner + bedtime macros: 34p / 50c / 26f
Tallying up my macros for the entire day, I’m at:
122p / 197c / 75f
Considering my target was 120p / 200c / 75f, I’d say that is pretty darn close!
I didn’t need to measure everything on a food scale, but it certainly helped, specifically in measuring how much meat I was eating (ground turkey patties, chicken breast, salmon). For the rest of the day, I got by pretty well using the nutrition labels available to me and the myfitnesspal app!