My Top 10 Tips For Counting Macros

Hey guys! So I’ve been trying to brainstorm blog topics lately–sometimes it’s hard to come up with content ya know!? Anyways. I was looking back at my most popular blog posts with you guys, and well, macros seems to be a hot topic 😉 So, I figured I’d compile some of my top tips for counting macros. And okay, I know I said 10 but I had to add just one more. Hope that okay 🙂

  1. Buy a scale. So while a scale isn’t essential  for counting macros because guesstimating is better than nothing (tip #4), a scale does ensure accuracy. My thought is, if you’re going to do something, do it right and to the best of your ability! So, while you’re at home, there is no reason why you can’t weigh out your food. This way you are ensuring that you are hitting your macros exactly. This way, if you aren’t seeing progress you know that it’s your numbers that need to be recalculated. You don’t have to wonder, well, have I actually been “off” when calculating.
  2. Give it time. Guys, macros are scientifically proven to work. They work for everyone once you have the right numbers calculated for you. Now sometimes your numbers will be calculated right the first time, and you’ll start seeing progress/changes within a few weeks. Other times though, they will need to be recalculated…in the beginning it can be a little bit of trail and error. BUT, once your numbers are correctly calculated for you then you will start seeing results. You just have to be patient and trust the process. Also, for those that ask, I use Paola Marquez, creator of the Strong and Sexy Body Method to calculate my macros. She can calculate yours here.
  3. Follow the 80/20 rule. Or I like to abide by more of a 70/30 rule 😉 Meaning, the point of macros isn’t so you can eat shit all day. The point of macros is to provide you flexibility and balance within your diet with still being able to reach your fitness goals. Macros ensures that your body is getting the proper amount of carbs, proteins, and fats to reach your (aesthetic) goal. You still want to make sure your nourishing your body with micronutrients but know that whatever food you choose to hit your macros with (“clean” or not) the aesthetic look will be the same. Bottom line, it’s about balance people.
  4. Guesstimating is better than nothing. I’ve heard so many people (myself included at times) be like, “Well, I couldn’t track exactly today so fuck it.” Guys, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Yes, I said earlier to buy a scale because you want to be as accurate as possible. But I’m guessing most of us aren’t hermits and eating every single meal at our house LOL. So if you’re out somewhere, guesstimate! I use MyFitnessPal (MFP) as my tracking app (friend me on it to see my daily food. Search: claireguentz). In the app, there are plenty of options that I can insert if I eat something when I’m out. Ie) Blueberry muffin (just select one of the options it gives you that seems relatively accurate). Yeah, so maybe your muffin had 12g of fat instead of 16g but at least you’re accounting for something.
  5. Decide on a goal and stick to it. When you count macros you need to give your body time to adjust to the goal you’ve set and the macros that go along with it. For example, you can’t say that you’re going to bulk, and then 3 weeks later be like, wait I want to cut! Switching your macros too often won’t be effective and it won’t provide you with results. 
  6. Don’t worry about other people’s macros. I don’t know how much I can emphasize this. Guys. MACROS ARE DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE. I don’t care if you are the same height, weight, and have the same workout regimen–this does not ensure that your macros will be the same. Focus on your macros and not anyone else’s.
  7. Find a reliable source to calculate for you. This is so important because like I said earlier, when your macros aren’t calculated properly you won’t see results. And then people say– “Macros don’t work for me!” Like I said, they work for everyone 🙂 And not that they won’t necessarily be recalculated when you first start working with someone, but you need to have them calculated by someone you trust. I know there are so many online sources but they have never given me accurate numbers. Like I said earlier, I use Paola Marquez to calculate mine–highly recommend her!
  8. Know it will be time consuming at first. Guys, macros is really hard in the beginning. Just ask Stephen–he quit like 3x by now haha. But really, it takes a good amount of time to adjust to your macros and know what your body needs. In the beginning you will most likely need to plan your meals in advance. The first 3-4 weeks of counting I would enter all my food (meals & snacks) in MFP at the beginning of each day. After a while you won’t need to do this. At this point, I’ve been counting macros for a year and a half and I just weigh my food throughout the day and then around midafternoon I put all that in MFP and see what I have left for the day. I’m still always on track because at this point I know how to eat throughout the day without going way over or under in a macro category. So just be patient and know that you will get there!
  9. Focus on hitting your grams, not your caloric goal. So I learned recently that people who are training for competitions focus on their calories initially, but for the purpose of us “normal” people, focus on hitting your grams of carbs, proteins and fats and don’t worry about the calories. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what my calories are right now because I just because I only look at my grams.
  10. Just because something is deemed healthy doesn’t mean its macro friendly and vice versa. Bottom line, start actually reading labels! There are plenty of heathy foods that are high in fat or carbs, and not macro friendly! Just because something is organic, non processed, no saturated fat…doesn’t mean that it will fit into your macros–it still may be high in carbs or fats! So like I said, just make sure you are reading labels to see what the macro nutrients are and not just assuming its good or bad. For example, did you know a krispy kreme glazed donuts has only about 10g of fat and 22 carbs? That’s actually pretty macro friendly! 😉
  11. Everything you eat counts towards your macros. Yes, even mints and gum. A lot of mints have around 5 grams of carbs…have 5 mints throughout the day? Well that’s 25 carbs! Ketchup…about 4 carbs per serving. So yeah, you get the point! Just make sure you are keeping track of the little things. They may not seem like much but they could be why you’re not seeing progress!

Alright guys, I think that sums up the main pointers I can give! Anything else you guys can think of that you’ve found to be helpful while counting macros?

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16 thoughts on “My Top 10 Tips For Counting Macros

  1. I had my Macros calculated by Paola almost two months ago. She gave me the breakdown in grams and calories. If I get anywhere near my daily goal for protein I go way over in calories, which you’ve stated that you do not worry about. If that is the case, then why does she give you the daily caloric totals? I’m a pescatarian, so the only protein I’m eating is in fish, egg whites, PB peanut butter, and yogurt, almonds, and rich greens- which are all very low in fat(not the almonds:). If you are supposed to lose fat from a calorie deficit, but are eating more that advised to meet you gram totals, how do you tone up? What am I missing here? Thanks!

    1. Hey! So I say to focus on hitting each of your grams because your calories wont always be exactly what were calculated for you. For example, some drinks w/ certain sweeteners may say they are only 10 calories but if you look at the nutrition label they are 10 carbs. But in general, your caloric totals will be approximately what were given to you if you are hitting your macros. So, what do you mean you are eating more than advised? Why are you going over your gram totals? Hope this makes sense! Let me know, I’m happy to try and help!

  2. If you are eating “maintenance” macros but also as you say- have a few untracked meals a week where you are probably going over your “allotted maitenance macros” wouldn’t that bring your weekly totals over your maintenance? Then you are actually “gaining”? I’ve always wondered about this! How do you adjust / work with this??

  3. If you are eating “maintenance” macros but also have a few untracked meals a week where you are probably going over your “maintenance macros” wouldn’t that bring your weekly totals over maintenance and actually into “gain”? I’ve always thought about this! How do you adjust / deal with that?? Thanks!

    1. I think the key is overall being consistent with hitting your macros. If you’re on target with your macros the majority of the time, a meal or two untracked each week wont derail your progress. It takes a while for your body to “gain”…it doesn’t happen from just a couple high calorie meals. Hopefully that helps answer that?! Let me know if not!

  4. I find I am going over on protein and coming close to fats and carbs. I may have 5 left on each and have gone over 10-20 grams of protein – Does this happen to you?

    1. hey! It doesn’t happen to me, but I had issues in that with the beginning when I was getting accustomed to my macros. With time you will learn what kind of food you have to eat more of to hit those numbers. For example, some breads have 5g of protein per slice while others only have 1g. So you may have to be more selective when you’re buying things if you know you tend to go over protein. Hope this helps?!

      1. Yes! Thank you! It was tough at first but I am slowly getting the hang of it and hitting them more consistently.

  5. I’m having trouble hitting all of my macros. Any tips? I am not used to eating this much.. like at all. I’m used to eating 700-900 calories a day (I know, it was awful), but now I’m having a really hard timing adjusting to this new diet. I’m mostly having trouble hitting my carbs and protein. Any tips would help 🙂 Thanks!

    1. hey lauren! so yes it will definitely seem like a lot at first but your body will eventually adjust! My advice would be to eat nutrient and calorie dense foods. Foods like veggies are great in general but they are low calorie and fill you up so probably not what you want to be eating in this case! Eat higher calorie/macro foods. For example, get yogurts that have higher carbs, get breads that are higher carbs (like 20g carbs per slice instead of 11g). Making adjustments like that will help!

  6. Claire – great info contained here! I had a quick question: when cooking with oils, how do you know the correct amount to record in your macros? Are some calories lost during cooking methods such as frying? Adding oil after cooking is not ideal and often results in a different flavour.

    Any help you could provide would be much appreciated, thanks! 🙂

    1. hey! So if I’m using a spray for the pan, I don’t include it in my macros but if I’m using olive oil then I weigh it and include it in my macros since it’s usually a somewhat substantial amount of fat compared to the spray. Hope this helps!!

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