We won’t lie. When it comes to tracking macros, there’s certainly a learning curve but once you get the hang of it, it truly becomes second nature. Our job, though, is to shorten that learning curve to ensure we have you working towards your goals as soon as possible.
Here are common mistakes you should avoid when tracking food:
USING GENERIC ENTRIES
Do you use entries like “medium avocado” or “1 handful cashews”? Well, if you happen to have a palm like Shaquille O’Neal, you’re getting way more calories than you bargained for. Search for “cashews” in the database and go by grams or ounces.
USING MEASURING TOOLS
Skip the measuring spoons and cups and opt for everything weighed out on the scale in grams or ounces. Why? It saves dishes (major 🔑) and is way more accurate, which is all the more important when we’re focused on fat loss. So, instead of 1 cup of kale, weigh out like 85g of it (or whatever the serving size on the bag says).
NOT USING THE TARE BUTTON
Let’s say you’re making a salad. It’s a real pain in the butt to add and remove ingredients as you track them…so don’t. The Tare button (sometimes labeled ‘zero’) will reset the displayed weight on the scale back to zero. So, put your bowl on the scale and Tare it. Then, add your greens, note the weight in MFP, then Tare it again. Then, add your other ingredients directly in the same bowl, making sure to note the weight and Tare it in between the addition of each new ingredient. This also saves dishes and just saves time.
NOT MAKING SURE THE ENTRY IS ACCURATE
Occasionally you’ll find an entry in MyFitnessPal that has missing nutritional information (notes total calories but not proteins, carbs, or fats) or incorrect nutritional information (fat-free avocado?!). If something seems off, use a different entry or try to find an entry with a green ‘verified’ check mark.
EYEBALLING (UNLESS NECESSARY)
If you’re new to tracking macros and/or have specific fat loss goals, avoid eyeballing your food. Of course, it’s a great skill to have when you’re out to a restaurant or at a social event, but if you’re home and the scale is right there, use it. It takes 10 seconds.
EATING FIRST, LOGGING LATER
Ever snag a small piece of chocolate and think, “I’ll put it in the app later”? That could work out just fine. Or, one of two things can happen: you log it and realize it completely throws off your entire day (not enough fats left for dinner!) or, you just forget to log it altogether. Always log your food before eating it so you can make an informed decision as to whether it’s worth it working into your day.
NOT PRE-ENTERING YOUR DAY
There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the day with 24g of fat left and realizing there’s no other option than taking a shot of olive oil (may or may not be speaking from personal experience). Do yourself a favor and pre-enter rough estimations of everything you’re planning to eat first thing in the morning (or the night before). This way, you don’t have to spend the day thinking about food and just eat what you already logged in.
USING STANDARD ALCOHOL ENTRIES
Ever hear the phrase “Alcohol is empty calories”? The reason for that is because alcohol carries calories that don’t necessarily come from proteins, carbs, or fats, so we need to account for those calories in a specific way. General rule of thumb: 1 drink = 29g of carbs or 10g of fat. This is true for regular drinks, like white wine, not for a heavy IPA or pina colada. If you want to be super exact, take the total calories of the drink and divide by 4 to account for it from your carbs, or divide by 9 to account for it from your fats.
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