Since we have been on the topic of my daily eating habits, I shall now dive deeper into the realm of dieting....my macro split.
I am a huge believer in keeping things simple if you want to stay consistent. This also proves true with my diet. There is a fairly small portion of the year dedicated to tweaking my eating habits in order to maximize results. Other than that, it is very much a basic approach to tracking macros.
What I Use To Track Macros
I first started seriously tracking macros in late 2012/early 2013. I was fairly obsessed with the perfecting my dieting in order to lose access weight. I decided to download the app "Myfitnesspal" in order to keep tabs on my eating and experimenting with different macronutrient ratios. I still use the app to this day, but from my understanding, unless you have downloaded the app prior to a certain date, you do not have access to all of the its features.
I have personally not used any other app so my recommendations are limited. However, the basic free downloads allows you set up your calories, macro ratio, and see how many macros you have for the remainder of the day. The only real thing you would miss out on would be the pie chart representation of how your macros look....and in the grand scheme of things, it's not all that important. Having the pie chart simply provides a more tangible representation of your eating for the day.
Structuring My Macros
For the vast majority of the year my macros are almost evenly distributed. Why you ask...? The answer is pretty straightforward: Simplicity. Having equally distributed macros allows me to live a pretty normal life in terms of eating. For the most part, I can still enjoy all of my favorite foods in moderation. Things like going out with friends and family requires only a small amount of advance planning.
"Majority of the Year" Macros:
40% Carbs, 30% Protein, 30% Fat
35% Carbs, 35% Protein, 30% Fat
(The 5% is really splitting hairs.)
As I prepare for the summer months, my macros due tend to change slightly. Calories will drop from week to week which in turn affects the overall macro ratio. The first macro I reduce is carbs, due to the fact that it is the most dominant macro in my diet throughout the year. Something as simple a reducing a portion of oatmeal/cereal by a half a serving each day for breakfast during the week can be all it takes to make the change. On other occasions, it may require a bit of switching meal portions around.
Protein is rarely decreased during the calorie reduction. I do try to keep my protein intake at around 1g of protein per pound of body weight. (I am okay with being a few grams off.) Protein is one of/if not my least favorite macro to deal with so I try my best to complete my daily intake early in the day with meals such as oatmeal/cereal with whey isolate protein or grilled chicken salads.
Fats do fluctuate from week to week depending on the progress I am making. If I do find myself struggling to make it through a day's lift, carbs will most definitely increase. If I find myself struggling to make additional progress I will more than likely add fats and subtract carbs.
30% Carbs, 40% Protein, 30% Fat
25% Carbs, 40% Protein, 35% Fat
(The 5% is really splitting hairs.)
Tracking/structuring macros can seem to be a very daunting task, but it is really as simple as you want it to be. Even something as easy as downloading an app to track your daily eating habits and looking for inequalities in your macros can be a great first step into routinely watching what you eat. Like anything, practice makes perfect.