Mastering Your Macros: Part 5

Mastering Your Macros: Part 5

 

*This is Part 5 of a Series on Macro Targeting (aka Flexible Dieting). Please see the first 3 Installments at the following links:      Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.*

 

Mastering Your Macros 4 got down to the meat and potatoes (pun intended) of what food sources we are going to choose to make up the meals for Mr. Kombat’s diet. Now that we know what to eat, how much of it is he going to have at each meal and how will he keep track of it all?

Most people today own a smartphone. There are a lot of applications that can help Mr. Kombat in his diet and help him track what foods he eats and how much. The one I am most familiar with, and a lot of others are as well, is My Fitness Pal. This app is free and available on Android, Apple, and Windows phone platforms. You can also log in to your account from a PC.

The greatest feature about this app is the barcode scanner which gives you access to literally thousands of food items with their nutritional information and individual macros breakdown. All you do is activate the scanner through the app, and scan the UPC barcode on the package. For items like fresh fruit and vegetables, you can search for the exact match and use that. I won’t go into tremendous detail about the app itself, as it is very user friendly and explains all you need to know within it. I will tell you about another feature that is very useful for our purposes. In the Nutrition menu, you can view your Macros broken down by day, as well as weekly. This is great for us as we will need to view things on a longer term scale as well as hitting daily targets.

macros

So, now that we have an easier way to determine and track our food, how do we make sense of this nutritional information for each food item? Most people are familiar with the nutritional information breakdown that is most often found on the packaging of most foods. But often times these are misunderstood and can lead to under or over estimation of actual calories and/or macros. It is important to look at how the information is broken down by Serving Size. For example, a small bag of basmati rice may be 832 grams. But the nutritional information is represented by a serving size of 52 grams, about a 1/4 of a cup. So this bag actually contains about 16 servings and you will need to measure accordingly in order to accurately track how much you are consuming. Each serving of 52 grams or ¼ cup is 180 calories.  We can see that 5 calories came from fat, 16 calories came from protein, and 156 came from carbohydrates. The remaining 3 calories came from the 1 gram of fiber per serving. More on fiber in a future article.

So the main takeaway for this article is to pay close attention to the serving sizes and accurately track your macros via a consistent reliable method. My Fitness Pal is one of the easiest methods with it’s huge database and bar code scanner. Learn to read the labels and know what you are putting into your body.

In our next installment:  Mr. Kombat will track his macros for 3 weeks and we will see how he does in staying consistent in diet and in training.

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