So, I really have a passion for helping those just starting out if you can't tell. I feel like with the knowledge, you can conquer the world. I also know that when many people first start macro counting, they are completely overwhelmed and think that it's not for them. I wanted to ease your mind a little with a process I see happen every single time someone begins counting for the first time.
1. IT'S NOT AS HARD AS IT SEEMS.
I know that when you first start, you think it's this crazy puzzle that you can't figure out. I hear all the time that it's just too hard. I PROMISE you it's not as difficult as it seems. It takes time to get used to it, but keep the faith. It WILL get easier. I could probably put quotes from about 50 different clients who could attest to the fact that it DOES in fact get easier.
2. YOU REALLY DON'T HAVE TO EAT 87 CHICKEN BREASTS TO REACH YOUR PROTEIN GOAL.
There is protein in everything. In a piece of bread, there is 5g of protein that I buy. There are quest bars, cottage cheese, beef jerky, greek yogurt, eggs (and eggs can be used in about 1000 different ways and recipes), and protein powder (not just protein shakes but recipes with protein powder in them which actually taste good unlike protein shakes hehe ;)).
You get used to this, and I promise that eating 100+ grams of protein per day becomes easier. It's just that as a society our protein intake is about zilch to none so it seems impossible.
3. SIT DOWN AND SPEND SOME TIME GETTING TO KNOW MYFITNESSPAL (or whatever app you choose to use).
You can't expect to start on day 1, and be a pro. I can't tell you how many frantic emails I have received after day 1. It's just like anything else. You've got to spend time and learn how to do these things.
Start on day 1 just entering in all the foods that you normally would eat if you weren't doing macros even if that means McDonalds french fries. You will REALLY shocked I believe at the foods that aren't as awful as you would think. There are certain foods that have reputations that are terrible when really, you could easily fit them into your day. Why do you think everyone rants and raves over doughnuts? Or pizza? It's not that these things are EASY to fit into your day, but you CAN if you want. No one goes nuts over an Otis Spunkmeyer muffin that has 22g fat and 54g carb. That just is a bit excessive. Haha! But a slice of pizza at average 13g fat, 22g carb with some protein! Anyone can fit that in! And it's fun!
Back to the point. Enter the foods in that you would normally eat, and see where you are at. Go from there. If you are on my team, no one gets mad at the others for saying "Hey I have this many grams of this left, any ideas?" It's not a stupid question as some make it out to be. We aren't all culinary geniuses that can come up with these things, and finding meals that others eat is fun and helps you with the learning process.
4. "BUT THAT'S OBSESSIVE. I REFUSE TO SPEND SO MUCH TIME ON THIS."
I promise that once you get used to it, you learn what's in foods and you hardly have to think about it anymore. You get the meals that you are comfortable with and that you think are yummy and then you know what it looks like to fit macros according to your goals.
Stick 2-3 weeks with it. I can almost GUARANTEE that you'll see so much of a difference in how much time you are spending.
5. IT MAKES ME OBSESSIVE.
If it makes you obsessive, I've said time and again that it's not for everyone and that is fine. My point of this blog is that it's not HARD.
6. DON'T BE AFRAID TO DO LITTLE AMOUNTS OF THINGS.
You can judge me all you want, but I like to have chocolate with coffee. Therefore, I may have 1/8 of a quest bar just a little piece of chocolate. This isn't restriction, dang it. It's just I'm not hungry for an entire quest bar but I want chocolate. Or I may want to have a teaspoon of peanut butter on my waffles versus an entire tablespoon because a tablespoon is actually a lot. I may want some crunch in my greek yogurt so I add 5 vanilla cupcake goldfish. I might want a doughnut from dunking but I know I don't have 17g of fat left for a cookie dough filled doughnut. So, I cut the thing in half and save the next for the next day. This isn't restriction. This is having doughnuts and pizza every day of my life.
Here's the broken down version of how to begin counting:
You use addition. You think of foods to fit a puzzle.
That's it. I promise it's not hard.
But, now you are like "NO NO I HAVE DONE THIS AND IT'S NOT THAT EASY COMING UP WITH FOODS." You get to the end of the day and you have 20g fat over and 50g protein under and you are just DONE.WITH.MACROS. Haha! Hear me out.
If you are finding you are way off, then that means you need to plan better. Plan out full days in the beginning to get used to things. If you plan a day out and you are short 15g fat and over 20g of carb then you go to your cute little myfitnesspal and you find a piece of bread and you take it off. You replace it with peanut butter. Let's say you plan out a day and you are 50g under on protein and over on carbs and fat. It's the same simple solution. You go to your myfitnesspal, you take off your bread/pizza/skinnycow/pasta/peanutbutter and you replace it with a grilled chicken salad.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below as I would love to help you get started.