Many of us have a few extra pounds we’d like to shed and for some people, those pounds can seem harder to drop. You may have tried dieting before and found that even eating extremely low-calorie diets didn’t help you lose weight.

If you’re looking for a better way to meet your fitness goals or develop a healthier relationship with food, you should try tracking macros.

Knowing how to track macros can provide a number of nutritional benefits. It can help you make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and allow you to meet your fitness goals.

Read on to learn how to track macros and why you should.


Macronutrients, or macros, are the different nutrients that make up your food. Even if you don’t realize it, you’ve heard about these before.

They include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and more.

Carbohydrates are the class that includes sugar, starches, and fiber, which get broken down into glucose in your bloodstream. Fats are high-calorie macros that aid in hormone production, nutrient absorption, and body temperature regulation. Proteins help your body build tissues, hormones, enzymes, and other crucial substances.


Many people think that a diet is just a matter of counting calories and staying within certain limits there.

But if all your calories come from carbs or you aren’t getting enough protein, you’re not going to see the health results you want. Counting macros is a great way to ensure you’re getting a balanced diet.

Macro counting can help you make sure you’re making healthy choices in your food. They can help you focus on certain goals – gaining muscle mass or preparing for a marathon.

They can also help you lose weight since they hone in on specific unhealthy eating habits.


The first step to counting macros is figuring out how many calories you should be eating a day. Your macros will come in percentages of these calories.

You’ll need to start by calculating your total daily energy expenditure, or TDEE.

The easiest way to figure out your overall calorie needs is to use an online calculator. You can also use the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation and then multiply your result by an activity factor.

Once you’ve figured out how many calories you burn a day, you can adjust your calorie intake to meet certain goals.


Now that you know your calorie needs, it’s time to look at your ideal macro breakdown. A typical diet recommendation has 45 to 65 percent carbs, 20 to 35 percent fats, and 10 to 35 percent proteins. These numbers can be adjusted depending on your needs.

So let’s say your calorie limit for the day is 1,200 and you’re trying to get better control over your blood sugar.

A diet plan consisting of 35 percent carbs, 35 percent protein, and 30 percent fat may work well for you. There are 4 calories per gram of carbs and proteins and 9 calories per gram of fat.

35 percent of 1,200 is 420, and 420 divided by 4 (for the number of calories in each gram of carbs and proteins) is 105. So on this diet, you’ll be getting 105 grams each of carbs and protein each day. You should aim to get about 40 grams of fat each day, too.


Once you’ve figured out how much of each macro you’re aiming for, it’s time to start tracking your eating habits. Many people these days have a favorite app or website for tracking their calories and macros, but you can still do it by hand if you’d prefer that method.

The most important thing is to write down every single thing you eat or drink, including water. That spoon of peanut butter in the afternoon may not seem like a big deal, but it could put you over your fat goals for the day.

It’s okay to fluctuate a little day to day, but make sure you write it all down.


You may find when you’re going through a diet change, it’s hard to find foods that meet your macro and calorie goals. There are carbs in a lot more things than you think and you may find it hard to meet your protein goals.

The best thing you can do is make lists of healthy foods that fit your macro needs.

Whole-grain starches (such as bread and pasta), fresh fruits, beans, lentils, peas, starchy vegetables, and milk products are all good sources of healthy carbs. Meat is always a good source of protein, and tofu, egg whites, and milk products are good vegetarian options. Egg yolks, olive oil, avocado, chia seeds, and nut butters all provide good fats.


Although counting macros can be a great way to meet dieting goals, there are some people for whom it isn’t a good option. Macro counting means paying close, almost obsessive, attention to your diet. This can lead to disordered eating in some cases.

If you have a history of eating disorders, counting macros is not a good approach for you.

Even if you don’t have a history, be sure to keep a watchful eye on how your relationship with food changes on the new diet. Counting macros should help you find better, fresher, healthier foods that you feel good about eating.

If you start thinking about food negatively, stop counting macros and seek help from a counselor.


Counting macros can be a great way to take control of your nutritional fitness.

Too often, we grab whatever food is easiest without thinking about what will make us feel best, be healthiest for our bodies, or help us reach our fitness goals.

Knowing how to track macros can help you be more intentional about your food choices.

If you want to learn more about healthy eating, check out our website and find out how you can change your habits today.