Hold up! – Have you created a baseline by logging 3 days of your honest, normal eating habits in MyFitnessPal? If not, download the app and start by doing that. Do not skip this important step!
If you have your baseline data from 3 days, scroll through those three days and jot down the total calories and grams of protein, carbs, and fat from each of those days.
Then open MyFitnessPal, click “More,” “Goals,” then “Calorie & Macronutrient Goals”…
Take a realistic average of your 3 baseline days (so…less than the day you partied and ate fast food, but more than the day you skipped lunch). Even if you’re trying to lose weight, you’re going to want to eat as much as possible while still making progress.
Now that you have your baseline average, subtract 250 if you want to lean down, and add 500 if you want to add mass. Now click on “Calories” and set that number as your calorie goal.
Whether your goal is to lean out or bulk up, set protein to 1 gram of protein per pound of your goal body weight.
(With the free version of MFP, you might not get precisely on the number, but that’s alright, Pick the percentage that puts you closest.)
Is this waaaaay higher than you’ve been eating? If it is, instead, set your protein to a number halfway between what you were eating, and what you should be eating. Baby steps.
Leaning out: 1.1g per pound of your ideal bodyweight.
Bulking: 1.5g per pound of your ideal bodyweight.
Is this waaaaaay higher or waaaaaay lower than how you’ve been eating?…
If it’s higher, good for you! – set the carbs at 5% lower than what you’d been eating; you’re doing great!
If it’s way lower, take a deep breath. It’s ok. Set your carbs to halfway between what you were eating and what you should be eating.
At this point, in MyFitnessPal, you should have your calories set, and your protein and carbs. All you need to do now is adjust your fat until the total percentage of macros is at 100%. And don’t be afraid to get all those fat grams each day! Fat makes you feel fuller longer (so less cravings), it makes your food taste good, and it’s essential when you start to cut down on your carbs. Learn to love fat. <3
And now you’re all set!
Do your best to hit those numbers for a few days. If they seem impossible or unreasonable, show your MyFitnessPal macro goals to Erin, and she’ll help you out.
Happy macro tracking!