The Complete Guide to Tracking Your Macros

In the wild, you never know what’s going to happen. You could be attacked by a bear or fall into a waterfall and drown before your raft is even halfway across the riverbed. Tracking Your Macros was written for those who need an easy way to assess their progress when in these types of dangerous situations. It will give you some helpful insights on how to handle yourself should something go wrong during your journey through nature.,

The “macro calculator” is a tool that allows users to track their macros. The macro calculator can be used in conjunction with other apps such as My Fitness Pal, Fitbit and Lose It!.

A guy using phone and macros are in front of him.

It’s a new year, and many people’s major goal is to lose weight. They’ve presumably tried and failed previously to achieve this aim. This time, they’re dead set on making it happen.

However, finding the correct diet to follow is sometimes a hurdle for many people in even starting started. Should they go on a ketogenic diet? Do you practice intermittent fasting? Do you follow the Zone or Raw Food diets?

People may be successful on any diet plan provided it fits their personality and lifestyle and can be maintained continuously (you do not want to yo-yo diet). 

However, now I’m going to tell you about the diet plan that I suggest the most. It is, in my opinion, one of the most sustainable and successful diets, and it may be used in combination with other diets.

It’s the method I’ve employed for the last four years to reduce (and occasionally gain) weight, increase muscle, slim down my waist, and grow stronger. 

It’s not really a diet — at least not in the classic sense: I don’t limit the sorts of things I may consume, and I don’t severely restrict my calorie intake. I get to eat everything I want, including Little Debbie brownies, pizza, and Chick-fil-A spicy chicken sandwiches, among other things.

This “diet” is known as macro tracking. And now I’ll show you how to incorporate it into your life in a simple yet powerful way.

What Is Macro Tracking and How Does It Work?

The term “macros” refers to the three major components of food: protein, carbs, and fats. 

When you manage your macros, you’re trying to eat a certain amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat each day. To achieve such objectives, it doesn’t matter what you consume (within reason). You’ll be OK as long as you keep within your daily macro objectives. 

Tracking your macros as a nutrition strategy is sometimes referred to as “If It Meets Your Macros” (IIFYM) because, well, you can eat pretty much anything as long as it fits your macros; no foods or food categories are off limits. It’s also known as “flexible dieting” because of this.

Macro monitoring is also adaptable in a few other ways.

For starters, it may be utilized to gain and maintain weight rather than merely lose it. 

Second, it may be used in combination with other diets.

Do you like fasting on a regular basis? You may include macro monitoring into that to make sure you receive adequate nutrients throughout your meal window. 

Do you follow a low-carb diet? You may keep track of your macros to see whether you’re eating low carb and receiving enough calories to meet your energy demands. 

Macro monitoring may help you achieve any of your health or fitness objectives.

Rather of counting calories, why not track macros?

Why not just count your calories instead of monitoring your macros? All diets fundamentally operate by placing you in a caloric deficit, so why not simply count your calories instead of tracking your macros?


When you keep track of how many grams of each macronutrient you take, you are indirectly counting calories. A particular amount of calories is associated with each gram of macronutrients:

  • 4 calories per gram of protein
  • 4 calories per gram of carbs
  • 9 calories per gram of fat

When you establish macro goal targets/limits, you also set calorie goal targets/limits. Macro monitoring, on the other hand, offers a benefit over calorie counting in that it ensures you receive adequate protein in your diet, which helps you grow muscle and enhance your athletic performance. It also enables you to change the quantity of fat and carbohydrates you consume for energy. You can determine if your body functions best with less carbohydrates and more fat, or vice versa, by experimenting.

Macro Tracking: My Personal Experience

For me, macro tracking has been a game-changer. I’ve tried a few fad diets in the past, including Paleo and Atkins, which are low-carb diets. I lost weight on these low-carb diets, but my gym performance worsened as a result of the lack of carbohydrates. And instead of appearing robust and healthy, I’d seem deflated. But that’s just my opinion. Low-carb diets may work for some people (particularly if they’re only looking to lose weight rather than improve their athletic ability). 

Compliance was another issue with other diets. For a few weeks, I’d keep to the diet quite strictly, but ultimately my resolve wore thin, and I’d find myself bingeing on foods I “shouldn’t” have been eating. Then I’d get back on track, only for the cycle to start all over again.

I was able to alter my nutrition based on my fitness objectives after I found macro monitoring. If I want to grow large and powerful, I just increase my macro consumption, especially my carb intake. If I need to lose weight, I cut down on my macros and eat more fat than carbs. 

But the most significant advantage of flexible dieting is that it restores my control over what I consume. There is no such thing as a restricted foods list. I don’t have to deal with the everyday struggle of living in the world’s most diverse and intriguing culinary environment while only being able to choose from a dozen options. Since I began monitoring macros, I’ve never felt deprived or bad about what I eat. I eat any meals I choose as long as they fall within my macro targets for the day. 

I’ve been able to maintain this style of eating for four years because of the feeling of liberty that flexible dieting affords. According to research, in order for health practices (such as good eating) to be sustained, they must be freely selected. You’ve already sown the seeds of failure as soon as you feel like you’re being told what to do or eat.

How to Keep Tabs on Your Macros for Weight Loss (or Gain)

How to Determine What Your Macro Objectives Should Be

Finding out what your daily macro objectives should be is the first step in monitoring your macros. 


This will depend on your present weight, exercise level, health conditions (for example, if you have diabetes, you may need to consume less carbohydrates), and fitness objectives. In a perfect world, you’d consult with a trained dietitian to figure out what your daily macro consumption should be. 

If you don’t have access to a dietician, you may use a macro calculator on the internet. The majority are free, although some may ask you to register on their website. is the greatest free macro calculator I’ve found. (To receive your results, you must register with their website.) They deliver your macro breakdown after you complete a few questions about your weight, exercise level, and objectives. 

Here are some general suggestions you may use to determine your macro intake depending on whether you want to lose weight or gain weight, based on my experience monitoring macros. These estimates assume you exercise three times each week and consume a high-carbohydrate diet. 

Getting in Shape

  • 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight
  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram per pound of body weight
  • .27 g times your weight in pounds = fat

So, if you’re 240 pounds and attempting to lose weight, your macro consumption would be as follows:

  • 240 grams of protein
  • Carbohydrates: 240 g
  • 65 grams of fat
  • 2505 calories total

You could change things up by consuming 100 grams of carbohydrates and 127 grams of fat each day if you wanted to consume less carbs than fat. Maintain the same level of protein. This breakdown still leaves you with 2,505 calories, putting you in a caloric deficit and causing you to lose weight. 

You’re doing well if you’re shedding roughly a pound each week. If not, you’ll have to make some changes (more on that below). 

Putting On Weight

  • 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight
  • Carbs: 2 g per pound of bodyweight
  • .75 g times your weight in pounds = fat

Using these figures, if you’re 155 pounds and aiming to gain weight, your daily macro consumption would be as follows: 

  • 155 grams of protein
  • Carbohydrates: 310 g
  • 116 grams of fat
  • 2,904 calories total

You may alter this depending on whether you want to go low carb or high carb. Simply maintain your protein consumption while adjusting your fats and carbohydrates to stay within the 2,904 total calorie range. 

If you’re gaining roughly a pound each week, your macro consumption for weight growth is working. If you’re not, you’ll need to make some changes (more on that below).

Make sure to check out our in-depth guide on gaining weight. 

How to Track Your Macros

So you’ve decided on your macro objectives. How do you know what macros are in the food you’re eating and how do you keep track of them throughout the day?

This is where MyFitnessPal comes in. 

App for tracking macros.

This software makes keeping track of your macros a breeze. They offer approximately 11 million items in their database with calorie counts and macro breakdowns (including dishes from most large restaurants). Simply look it up, add your serving size, and voila! Macros are being monitored. You may also use your smartphone to scan the barcode of packaged goods, and the macro information will be immediately inputted. 


Tracking macros and setting goals.

You can monitor macros and create goals for free with the basic service. This is all you’ll need if you’re just starting started with macro tracking. 

I’d suggest switching to the premium plan once you’ve been at it for a while. It costs $50 per year and includes features such as the option to set multiple macro objectives for different days and the ability to adjust macro goals by percentages. These capabilities aren’t required to monitor macros, but they’re useful as you progress with IIFYM. 

You may keep track of your macros on the MyFitnessPal website or by downloading the MyFitnessPal app on your smartphone. The app is much more user-friendly than the website. 

How Can I Tell How Much I’ve Consumed?

Figuring out portions is one of the most difficult aspects of macro monitoring. You’ll need to know how much food you’re consuming to precisely calculate your macro consumption. 

Setting goals for health.

It’s simple to prepare food that has been standardized and pre-portioned. If you consume a packaged protein bar, for example, just search it up on MyFitnessPal and record it. Macros have been computed. The same may be said about conventional restaurant meals, such as a Big Mac.

Things become a bit difficult when you’re eating something where the portion size fluctuates and you have control over it. You should measure using measuring cups and/or weigh your food on a scale if you want to be precise about how much oatmeal you’re eating or how large a chicken breast you’re eating.

At first, this aspect of macro monitoring made me feel like a strange. I never saw myself as the guy weighing my cereal. However, here I am. It becomes second nature after a time. 

When I’m at home, I measure the majority of what I eat. For instance, I consume one whole egg and 8 ounces of egg whites (portioned in a measuring cup) with one ounce of shredded cheese every morning (weighed on a scale). 

My mid-morning meal consists of 82 grams of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (weighed on a scale) and a whey protein shake made with two scoops of whey (here’s the brand of whey I suggest) and two tablespoons of olive oil (sounds horrible, but it’s not). 

When you’re only mixing a few of meals (e.g., eggs and cheese) and dining at home, this type of measurement isn’t too onerous. But what if you’re eating a more complicated meal (like beef stroganoff or chicken lo mein) and/or you’re in a circumstance (like a restaurant or Grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner) where carrying a scale and measuring your food would be strange and socially awkward?

When it comes to complicated cuisines, and you’re dining at home, you may use MyFitnessPal to track each component (and create a single food item for that recipe to bring up in the future). But that’s a lot of work. Rather of inputting each ingredient for beef stroganoff individually into the program, I just search for “beef stroganoff” and choose one of the database’s existing entries. Is it entirely correct? No. Individual recipes will call for extra milk, oil, meat, or whatever. However, tracking macros do not have to be precise in order to operate. You’re OK as long as you have a general notion of how much you’re consuming. Don’t get caught up in the details. 


Except for supper, I measure out the majority of my meals throughout the day. There, I just eyeball it and serve a reasonable quantity of food so that I may dine with my family without having to weigh my meal. 

While the precise amount of components in a meal isn’t obvious and the nutrition information isn’t standardized, the same thing applies when dining out or at someone else’s residence. Simply look at it and make a decision based on what you see. You have a general notion of what a cup of food or 5 ounces of meat looks like after measuring your meals at home for a while. You may also use your hand as a rough reference to determine portion size.

The most of the time, you’ll be dining at home/eating meals that you’ve made and can manage. When you’re not, don’t obsess about the minutiae.

Is it true that you can eat anything you want as long as it fits your macros?

Yes, in principle, but we all know that certain foods are healthier than others. 

Yes, you may have that bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but make sure you get some carbohydrates from oats, vegetables, and fruits as well. They are high in vitamins and fiber, which your body need. A cheeseburger can satisfy your fat macros, but olive oil, avocado, and almonds are better options.

Consume a diverse diet. Throughout the day, treat yourself to things you love, but obtain the majority of your calories from whole, natural, fiber-rich meals. 

As you continue to measure your macros, you’ll notice that refined, sugary, fatty, calorically packed meals don’t satisfy your appetite as effectively, making sticking to your macro targets more difficult. If you pay attention to this information, you’ll automatically begin to choose lower-calorie, higher-volume meals that will help you feel more satisfied. 

Changing Your Macros Every Week

You should weigh yourself and measure around your waist once a week. (I do this using Myotape.) Every Friday morning, I take my measurements; I normally eat a bit more on the weekends, so I wait for the bloating to subside before doing my weight/measurement check-in.

Changing Your Macros to Lose Weight

You may keep your current macro consumption if your aim is to reduce weight and you’re dropping pounds and inches. 

If you’ve reached a stalemate, it’s time to make a change. Don’t make any major adjustments! Simply cut your calorie intake by 100. Calories are taken from carbohydrates and lipids. Keep your protein to yourself. You may, for example, cut your carbohydrates by 25 grams to save 100 calories. 

For another week, stick to your new lower macro objective. Stick to your macro consumption if you want to lose weight and inches. If you stall again, cut 100 calories from your diet. 

You should approach weight reduction gently and gradually to prevent yo-yo dieting: Each week, aim to shed a pound of weight and a quarter of an inch off your waist. This rate isn’t very high, but it’s manageable. 


Changing Your Macros to Gain Weight

Changing your macros to gain weight is the same as changing them to lose weight. Stick with your current macro consumption if you’re gaining weight. 

If you reach a stalemate, increase your calorie intake by 100. Maintain your protein intake while increasing your calorie intake via carbohydrates and/or fat.

For another week, stick to the new higher macro consumption. Stick with it if you’re gaining weight. If you reach a stalemate, increase your calorie intake by another 100. 

Macros for Training Adjustment

If you’re serious about your physical training, you’ll also want to consider altering your macros to boost performance, in addition to weight loss and growth. 

Pay attention to how your body feels throughout your workout. If you’re tired and weak, it’s possible that you’re not getting enough carbohydrates; reduce your fat intake while increasing your carb intake. Alternatively, you may not be eating enough food in general: try increasing your calorie intake by 100 each day to see what changes. 

If you’re strength training, don’t be concerned about gaining weight as you increase your calorie intake; contrary to common opinion, you can’t be both strong and ripped. Once you’ve increased the weight you’re lifting at the gym, you may go into a cutting phase when you lower your fat/carb macros and lose the weight you’ve gained.

Macro Tracking for Large Meals and Eating Out

One of my favorite aspects about macro tracking is that it enables me to eat out while still remaining on pace with my fitness objectives.

If I know I’ll be eating Chick-fil-A for supper, I enter what I’ll be eating there that evening into MyFitnessPal first thing in the morning. I’ll be able to know how much carbohydrates and fats I have remaining for the remainder of the day. 

Except for protein, I don’t monitor anything over the holidays. I aim to eat the majority of my protein before the large meal so that I am satisfied and obtain the muscle-building elements I need to recuperate after exercise. Then I eat anything I want, whether it’s sweet potatoes, stuffing, buns, or pies. The greasy, carbohydrate-rich food. I don’t track it, but I do pay attention to my body. I stop eating when I’m satisfied. 

Macro monitoring is a habit that takes time to develop, but it’s a really basic technique that’s very long-term sustainable. After a time, it’ll simply become a way of life for you – a way of life you’ll actually like when you can eat everything you want and yet lose weight and remain strong and healthy. 



Watch This Video-

The “how to track your macros for muscle gain” is a guide that will teach you how to track your macronutrients. This will help you gain muscle and lose fat, so it’s definitely worth reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to track macros?

A: You are going to need a program such as Macro Recorder or Keyboard Maestro.

How do I figure out my macros to lose weight?

A: There are a variety of methods to figure out your macros. The most common ones can be found in the article below:

Does tracking macros really work?

A: Yes, you can track macros that are pre-programmed into repetitive phrases and actions.

Related Tags

  • how many macros do i need
  • free macro tracker
  • tracking macros for beginners
  • best macro calculator
  • what are macros