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Macros Made Easy


Garden Veggies

What Is A Macro?


Let’s take this step by step so that you have a clear understanding on how counting macros work and what a macro is. We will start this at the beginning so that you feel comfortable starting on your macro journey. Do not fret, you can come back to this at any time if you get stuck.


Why Even Count Macros?

Breakfast macros

If you’re looking to lose or gain weight, whether that be fat or muscle, this happens through something called energy in and out. If you burn more energy (out) than consume (in) this will lead to you losing weight. If you consume more calories (in) than energy you burn (out) you will gain weight.


Remember this, calories are King, when you would like to lose or gain weight but not all calories are created equal. And that is why quality is Queen. Protein helps build muscle, retain muscle, keep you full, and strengthen bones. The more lean muscle you can build from consistent exercise and optimal amounts of protein the more you’ll be able to shape your body to your will. Fat is up next because fats and protein are essential for survival. Carbohydrates are not. Fat helps maintain proper hormone levels, whether this be sleep hormones, sex hormones, hunger hormones, etc. Fat benefits from the brain to your cells. Fat has been demonized over the years and now you can see that that was a FAD. Carbohydrates, although not essential, are still important. Carbs help you recover from training sessions faster and provide energy to your body and brain. Macros go so much deeper but for now we’ll keep it simple. Knowing the surface level of benefits for each macro helps you make better decisions when it comes to choosing food. What does counting macros mean?


It is the process in which you track your daily and weekly intake of each macronutrient as well as overall calories. I have 2 things for you✌. 1. Macros Made Easy wellness webinar is all about ,,, well making macros easy. In this webinar I took a deep dive on how these numbers are calculated. 2. I have never coded in my life but I realized that Finding Flow Coaching needed a proper macro and calorie calculator. So, after many hours of taking many of the calorie and macro calculators I have used in my 15+ years of health and wellness I boiled it down to 2 of, what I believe are the most accurate macro calculators and made it my own. Please enjoy using The Finding Flow Macro Calculator and revisit it when you lose weight, change your goals, etc.

How To Calculate Your Macros


The first thing to know about counting calories and macros is that the number is tailored to your body and goals.


Using generic meal plan numbers such as female: 1200 calories or male: 2000 calories does not take into account your unique traits and goals.


With that in mind, we have a free macro calculator you can use to find both your calories and macros. You can revisit our free macro calculator anytime you lose weight or change your goals to help you get on the right track.


Counting macros (with the Finding Flow Calculator) for beginners

  1. Enter Your Basic Information

    1. Height, weight, age & sex

  2. Choose Your Goal

    1. If you have never done this before and have no idea what your maintenance is. Then maintenance is what you want to choose and act upon for at least 1 month. Jumping into fat loss when you have no idea what you are currently eating will end in disappointment.

  3. Don’t overestimate your activity level.

    1. You have no one to impress, this is between you and the macro calculator. If you overestimate it will lead to unnecessary weight gain. Be brutally honest with yourself.

  4. Select low protein if you have never tracked protein before.

    1. Once you feel confident and are hitting your protein for at least two weeks, revisit the calculator and up it to moderate.

  5. If you are an active individual you can choose the moderate carb approach.

    1. However, if you are leading a sedentary lifestyle choose a low carb approach until you can increase your activity levels.

  6. Get Your Results

    1. Take note and update your macro tracker with the recommended numbers. Now for the hard part. Log 7 days a week for at least a month and assess your progress along the way.

Our macro calculator will estimate your RMR - resting metabolic rate. Think of this as the energy you burn if you lay in bed all day. Next it will add in your target calories based on your activity goals. It will also give you you target macros

  • 1 gram of protein = 4 calories

  • 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories

  • 1 gram of fat = 9 calories

If you multiply these numbers by the macros you were provided, you find it matches your calories.


Example:

2000 calories per day

650 calories in protein (163 grams)

675 calories in carbs (169 grams)

675 calories in fat (75 grams)


Counting Macros In Meals Now we need to take those numbers and be able to get them on a plate. If you have been eating without tracking and not seeing results then you are not ready to intuitively eat. It’s time to download chronometer or myfitnesspal. (Both are free)


Always start with protein


This should be the center of every meal. Take your total protein and grams and divide it by either 4 or 5. This way you can distribute and hit those number easily throughout the day.


Example 150 protein grams per day with 3 meals and 2 snacks would be 30 grams of protein per meal and snack.


I recommend loading up with breakfast with protein to start your day right and distribute the rest to meals and snacks


Example 150 protein grams per day, 45 grams of protein at breakfast, then 35 grams of protein for lunch and dinner and 18 grams of protein per snack.


Choose your protein for each meal and enter it into your app.


You might be surprised at first, for example, 1 egg is only 6 grams of protein. That means you would need 5 eggs to hit 30 grams of protein. Learning these things is part of the process. As you go, you’ll learn that you can add egg whites (from a carton) to your omelet and add turkey slices to get more protein.


Fill in with carbs and fat:


Now you can focus on fats and round it out with carbs. Hitting your fats may also seem difficult at first, however incorporating healthy sources like nuts, avocadoes, grass fed butter will help you hit your fat macros. Fill in carbs with complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, and starches like potatoes, purple rices, or oats.


Adjust where needed:


Finally, you may need to adjust your macros here and there to reach your daily amounts. Weight your food in grams and ounces to be as precise as possible.


Pro tips:

  1. Keep meals simple, rather than trying to make complex dishes with alot of ingredients, focus on 5 ingredients.

  2. App databases are not always accurate. So if it is telling you 4 ounces of brown rice are 600 calories, it's definitely worth a second look.

  3. Weight meat after you cook it. The water that is released during cooking affects the final amount.

What If It Doesn't Work?

If you've been keeping track of your macros consistently for a few weeks and haven't seen any changes, here's what you can do:


  1. Make sure you accurately measure everything you eat or drink.

  2. Use more than one way to assess your body – pictures, a tape measure, or a body scanner can provide different insights compared to just relying on the scale.

  3. Adjust your calorie intake by about 10% – reduce it if you're aiming to lose weight, increase it if you're trying to gain. Your macros will naturally adjust with this change.

  4. Also, consider making changes to your activity level. You can start fresh with our macro calculator if needed.

  5. These steps can help you troubleshoot and make necessary adjustments to your nutrition and activity for better results.

Do I Have To Count Macros?

Nope! If all this sounds like a lot of work, it is. It can be highly educational and rewarding to learn exactly what goes into your food. But there are much simpler ways to get started. Or just dial back your routine when life gets too busy to enter food into an app every day.


Levels To Counting Macros

When you become more mindful about your eating habits, it's helpful to take it level by level if it feels overwhelming. Start with level 1, and if you're interested, you can advance to counting macros in levels 5 and 6.


The main aim isn't for everyone to reach level 6. The goal is to discover the simplest approach (starting from the lowest tier) that helps you achieve and sustain the body, health, and performance you want. For some, this might mean consistently making good food choices. For others, it could involve focusing on high-protein foods or measuring each meal.


Here are the tiers, along with practical ways to follow each one.


Level 1: Choose Better Foods

Let's start by making smarter food choices. Instead of going for packaged and processed foods, which can be full of unnecessary calories, focus on putting nutrient-packed options on your plate.


Keep it simple: 5-Ingredient meals

If a food has a nutrition label with an ingredient list, it's better to avoid it. Instead, aim for meals with only five simple ingredients. You can pick one item from each category or combine a couple of categories to create a balanced meal. Feel free to double up on one category, but keep it simple with just five ingredients on your plate.

  1. Protein: Choose from fish, turkey, chicken, steak, or tofu.

  2. Veggies: Include options like broccoli, lettuce, and carrots.

  3. Fruit: Add freshness with apples, melons, or bananas.

  4. Starch: Opt for rice, potatoes, or oatmeal.

  5. Fat: Include sources like almonds, butter, olive oil, and more.

By following the 5 ingredient rule, you can clean up your diet and make healthier choices without getting overwhelmed.


Level 2: Focus on Protein

Understanding macros can be simple. Think of them as the building blocks your body needs for energy and growth. Among them, protein is the star player. After cutting out processed foods, it's time to make protein the staple of your meals and snacks.


Here's an easy approach: Build each meal around a protein-rich ingredient. This not only keeps you feeling full but also helps in developing lean muscle and enhances your performance during workouts.


For a practical touch, consider including a bit of protein powder if needed, but don't go overboard. Keep your pantry stocked with protein-rich options, and learn how to tackle protein needs when you're on the go.


By making protein a priority, you're setting the stage for a healthier and more energetic lifestyle.


Level 3: Staying Consistent With Your Meals


Let's make your eating routine simple and steady. When you structure your day, you get more reliable energy, discover what satisfies your hunger, and gain control over cravings.


How do you do it?


Pick Your Meals: Decide how many meals you want each day. Whether it's three main meals or more, choose what suits your lifestyle.


Create a Schedule: Set a daily eating schedule that fits your routine. Make it something you can stick to every day.


Set Alarms: Use alarms to remind you of your meal times, but keep the reminder within a 30-minute window. This helps make sure you don't miss a meal.


Simple tip

Meal Amounts: Pay attention to how much food satisfies you during each meal. Learn what works best for your body.


Why does it matter?

Predictable Energy: A consistent schedule helps maintain steady energy levels throughout the day.


Understanding Hunger: Over time, you'll learn what amounts of food keep you full and satisfied.


Control Cravings: By sticking to a routine, you'll notice better control over food cravings and impulsive eating.


Remember, as you keep to this routine, alarms will become less necessary. Making these small changes can lead to big improvements in how you feel and how you manage your meals.


Level 4: Portion Control


Now, let's dive into figuring out how much of each type of food you need to eat for optimal performance and well-being. A helpful tool to get started is our free Finding Flow Macro Calculator. Visit this resource, enter your details, choose "maintenance" as your goal, and opt for low or moderate protein with moderate carbs. This will provide you with a solid baseline for your macronutrient requirements.


For a practical approach, consider using hand measurements. It's a straightforward method that doesn't involve scales or complicated math. Check out the Portion Control Guide to convert your numbers into easy-to-understand hand portions. This will make it simpler for you to meet your dietary goals without the hassle of intricate calculations.


Level 5: Precise Measurement of Macronutrients


weighing food

To achieve a higher level of accuracy in managing your protein, carbs, and fat intake, it's time to move beyond estimating and start weighing and measuring your food. While hand portions work for many, this approach offers a more detailed and precise method.



Practical Steps:


Utilize a Food Tracking App:

  • Download a user-friendly food tracking application like Cronometer or MyFitnessPal on your computer or phone.

  • Input the specific macronutrient recommendations provided by the calculator.

Pro Tips:

  • Opt for 5-ingredient meals to simplify tracking.

  • Maintain consistency in your weighing method. For instance, weigh meats in their raw state to account for unpredictable water loss during cooking.

  • Prioritize weighing over using measuring cups for increased accuracy.

  • Remember that every bite counts; this approach helps regulate mindless snacking.

  • Establish Consistency:

  • Understand that the initial process may seem cumbersome, but it becomes more manageable with time.

  • Recognize that weighing provides a higher degree of accuracy compared to other methods.

Things to consider:

  • Recognize that while this method delivers precise results, it demands more time and effort than simpler techniques.

  • Be aware that it might not be sustainable for an extended period. If it becomes overwhelming, consider reverting to a previous level that feels more manageable.

  • By adopting these practices, you'll gain a deeper understanding of your nutritional intake, empowering you to make informed choices for your health.


Level 6: Fine-Tune


Once you've mastered hitting your daily Macro numbers consistently, you can move on to the next stage of fine tuning. However, this level should only be taken after Level 4 and Level 5 habits have become second nature. Until you're certain about consistently meeting your macro and calorie goals, it's not advisable to dive into this advanced level.


Practical Approach: Listen to your body. While it might be tempting to follow trendy diets like super low carb and high fat, consider whether you're truly ready to kickstart your day with a hefty dose of butter. Feel free to explore higher fats or carbs based on what suits you, but always keep in mind how it will translate to your actual meals and if it's something you can sustain.


The Big Picture

Big picture

Keep it simple, and only add complexity if you've mastered the basics and still seek more results. You can progress through this system and, if needed, return to a lower level that demands less energy and effort. Your approach is entirely within your control.


Very few people accidentally achieve great-looking and feeling bodies without any intentional effort. Some thrive with minimal commitment.


People you think stay in great shape without dieting are likely sticking to 90% no-processed-food rule effortlessly and stay active enough to balance their calorie intake. The key is making "dieting" seem like a seamless part of their life.


This is the ultimate goal. Discover the level of commitment that yields the results you desire without taking over your entire life. It requires upfront effort, but in the long run, it can lead to a healthy, balanced lifestyle that appears effortlessly easy to others.


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