Have you just decided to get on the flexible dieting wagon and start tracking macronutrients? Overwhelmed by all the information and have no idea where to begin?
If it sounds like you, take a deep breath and keep reading. The step by step guide below will help you get on the path to healthier you.
Step 1: Mind Before Body
The very first thing I would suggest you do is getting your mind into a right state. How many of you have started a diet and fitness plan with the half-assed approach?
“I suck at dieting and working out, but let’s try it for a month ( or a week)”
This is an actual conversation between two women in the locker room in my gym. I bet many of you have heard something similar or even talked like this before. If you speak like this ( talking to yourself counts too), stop right now. A human mind is a powerful tool that can make or break you. You need a laser-like focus to succeed at anything including the health and fitness goal.
Get rid of all the self-doubt, fear, and uneasiness. Get your psychology ready before starting the flexible diet.
Step 2: Calculate your macros
This step is crucial because the right macro ratios give you faster results. There are many free and easy online tools that can be used. However, hiring someone to do the calculation is an excellent idea if you are a complete beginner.
I used a free calculator to find out my macronutrients ratio when I first started. Unfortunately, those ratios were way off and left me feeling hungry, irritable and always tired. Eventually, my performance at the gym suffered and napping during the day had become the norm.
So I decided to reach out and had someone do the macros for me. BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER DONE !!! Not to mention I get to eat more of my favorite foods ( everyone likes eating more, right?), I gained more energy, strength, endurance and finally started losing some stubborn fat.
Trust me, if you get your macros right from the beginning, you will save yourself from lots of frustration!!!
Step 3: Buy a Food Scale
Thinking of eyeballing? A very bad idea. A food scale is your best friend from now on. There is no way you can track accurately without one.
Need a proof?
This is a simple snack of mine. I call it “cucumber and cream cheese boat”.
Can you guess which one contains higher calories?
The left-hand side one has 100 more calories than cucumber boat on the right-hand side. See how easy it is to go over your calories and macros if you eyeball?
So go and get one for yourself. It is really cheap and will last forever. I got mine on Amazon.com and I absolutely love it.
Step 4: Start Tracking
There are many free applications you can use. Some of them are only for macro counting, and some of them allow you track other things like calories, water intake, etc.
But the most popular and highly suggested one is Myfitnesspal which is free to download. Only ten minutes is enough to master this application and the best aspect is that you can scan the barcode of almost anything.They also offer premium membership, but the free version is more than enough for basic tracking.
Bear in mind that expecting to hit your macro ratios perfectly each and every day is impractical. This is particularly the case for the beginners.
Expect to make some mistakes, and don’t beat yourself up if you are over or under your macros. The key is learning from your mistakes and move on.