1. Enter food into My Fitness Pal (MFP) or whichever app you use BEFORE you eat it. There's nothing worse than eating something, entering it into MFP and thinking "Oh shit" or "Ugh, if I'd know that salad was 1000 cals I would have just gotten the burger I actually wanted."
⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ 2. Prioritise protein at every meal. I generally recommend 25-35 grams per meal. If your protein goal is higher, you can divide the number of grams (ex. 130 g per day) by the number of meals/ snacks you eat (ex. 4). This can give you a better idea of how to spread your protein out throughout the day. Ex. 130 g ÷ 4 meals = 32.5 g per meal or snack ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ 3. Craving something? 🍕🍦Enter the food into MFP first and plan your meals around it. It's important to include foods you like and crave. Also, knowledge is power, so you may decide using those calories for x food is totally worth it, or you may decide you only want half because x food eats away at your daily calories a bit too much. I'm a big believer in a 80/20 diet. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ 4. I'd recommend using a food scale for the first little bit at least. It'll help you get a better idea of what a portion or serving looks like. This can be very helpful for a lot of foods, especially more calorie dense foods like peanut butter and avocado. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ 5. Plan ahead! If you're new to counting macros it will be challenging and take you a decent amount of time to figure out & plan your meals. Be patient with yourself and take time to plan your meals at the beginning of the day or, ideally the night before.
6. Take advantage of the barcode scanner in the My Fitness Pal app that can be really helpful and when creating recipes in MFP or adding foods to your food diary. It even works on some fresh fruit barcodes as well!
7. If you're going out for a meal, enter that meal into MFP first. A lot of restaurants have the nutritional information of menu items on their website. After you've entered your meal out, take a look at how many calories and what macros you have left over. You might consider changing your selection depending on what you're left with. Or, you may just choose to prioritise the other macros at your other meals. For instance, if I'm going out for burgers to Grill'd, I would likely save more of my carbs for dinner and aim to prioritize protein, veggies and fruit at breakfast and lunch in order to keep the calories down.
8. Don't forget to track the bites, tastes and licks of food you have throughout the day. Those can add up in a big way. Have half a cookie or a few bites of the kids dinners, don't forget to track it!
9. Eat the same meals over and over? Head into your MFP diary, click the pencil and check mark the ingredients to meals you always eat. Next, click the three dots in the top corner and click "save meal". You can save your favourite snacks or meals so you can add them quickly to future days.