The 4 Rules Of Counting Macros
Rule #1 – Keep it Simple
You want to keep your diet as simple and effortless as possible. Therefore I recommend using simplified rules. These include:
1. Don’t bother counting calories from fibrous veggies/greens
Trust me, there is nothing to gain from being obsessive compulsive and weighing/measuring your veggies. These foods are very high in vitamins/minerals/fiber and very low in calories. The amount of calories your body can actually utilize from fibrous veggies is so small it’s practically a zero calorie food. Therefore I recommend consuming a moderate intake of fibrous veggies/greens with each meal without regard for calorie/macro intake.
2. Don’t bother counting calories from low calorie sauces/flavorings (mustard, hot sauce, tomato sauce, soya sauce, rice vinegar)
Low calorie sauces add very few calories. Just be conscious of how much you use and there is no need to have to count that towards your calorie/macro intake.
3. Don’t bother counting trace proteins
Starchy carbs usually come with a trace amount of protein but I recommend ignoring this. It’s simpler just to count your protein from meat. So a big serving of potatoes might have 10g of protein. Consider that extra protein a bonus. When you start having to count protein from your starches it makes things very complicated when you are increasing or decreasing your carb intake. In addition, you don’t want to reduce your meat intake because you are consuming more starches. Meat intake should stay relatively constant.
4. Don’t worry about hitting your calories and macronutrients exactly
Aim to be within shooting distance of them. So within 5g of your fat intake, within 10g of your protein and carb intake and within 50 calories of your calorie intake. Trying to be 100% exact is ridiculous. Even if you are 100% exact, you won’t be. This is because food labels and measuring your food isn’t even 100% accurate. You can’t be 100% accurate, you just need to be within shooting distance.
Rule #2 – Use an App
To really keep yourself accountable I recommend recording everything you eat with a handy smart phone app. I really like MyNetDiary.com, it’s a simple and easy to use app that has many neat functions. You can customize your daily calories and macros, you can search practically any food, you can scan bar codes, you can create custom foods, you can even track your weight and measurements.
The customized food function is really helpful. You can find out how many carbs are in a serving of potatoes, rice, rice pasta and you can customize that food subtracting the trace protein and trace protein calories. This way it won’t count the trace nutrients towards your calorie and macro count.
Rule #3 – Get a Electronic Food Scale
I strongly recommend you purchase an electronic food scale. This will allow you to quickly and easily weigh your food so you can accurately enter it into your app to determine the number of calories and macros your are consuming.
Rule #4 – Weigh Your Meat Raw
There is a lot of confusion whether you should weigh your meat before or after cooking. For greatest accuracy you should weigh it in the raw state. However, you need to make sure that you are using the uncooked nutrition information when you enter it into your app. This is because cooking your meat can reduce the weight of the food by 25-35%. So if you are weighing your chicken raw and entering it into your app as grilled chicken your calorie and protein numbers will be much higher than they should.
What counts as fat?
On most grocery store bought meats the nutritional information is listed on the back. This refers to it in it’s raw state. Go by those measurements. 100g of raw meat most likely has around 20g of protein. Depending on the type of meat, there could be anywhere from 0-20g of fat. These fat numbers need to be counted towards your macro and calorie intake.
Hitting Your Macros
Count or calculate your protein numbers from meat, your carb numbers from starches (potatoes, rice, rice pasta, yams, fruits), your fat numbers from meat and added fats (coconut oil, butter, macadamia nut oil, nuts). If you want to add any additional food on top of that, you will need to count both the carb and fat numbers.
Example Meal – 60g protein, 20g fat and 100g carbs
- 300g chicken breast (60g protein)
- 4tsp of oil/butter (20g fat)
- 135g rice/pasta (100g carbs)
- Broccoli (zero)
In this example, chicken breast is practically fat free so you need to get all of your fat from added fats. In this case you can use oil/butter for cooking and taste. I like to use 1-2 tsp of oil for cooking and I also like to add the rest of the fat to the rice cooker to give the rice more flavor.
Example Meal 2 – 80 protein, 25 fats, 120 carbs
- 400g Flank Steak (80g protein, 20g fat)
- 1tsp of oil (5g fat)
- 600g Potatoes/Yams (120g carbs)
- Cauliflower (zero)
In this example, flank steak has fat so we need to take that into account and reduce our added fats. We have 1tsp of fat to work with so we will just use it for cooking or to add for taste.
Example Meal 3 – 75g protein, 25g fat, 100g carbs
What if you want to work some desert into the meal? How about a Haagen Daz ice cream bar with 25g fat and 30g carbs. Well in this example you would need to keep your fat intake very low in the meal and reduce your carb intake to make room.
- 375g Chicken Breast (75g protein)
- 350g Sweet Potato (70g carbs)
- 1 Haagen Daz Icecream Bar (25g fat and 30g carbs)
It’s really this easy!
You will be surprised how easy it is to hit your macros when you stick to lean meats, starches and added fats. Just count your protein and fat from the meat, get any extra fat you need from butter, coconut oil or macadamia oil. Alternatively, you could add almonds or peanut butter or even a yummy desert to reach your fat numbers so long that you take into account any extra carbs. And of course, get the bulk of your carbs from sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, rice or gluten free pasta (rice pasta).
Fat loss will never be so effortless and rewarding!
Once you get in the habit of being accountable for your overall macronutrient and calorie intake then getting lean will become as easy as a stroll through the park. You will no longer be fighting your food cravings being victim to a restricted lifestyle. Instead, you will be able to eat whatever you like. This results in a very cool shift in thinking. Knowing that you can have whatever you like creates a very healthy relationship with food.
Just by being accountable, you tend to gravitate towards healthy, natural foods and deserts only in moderation. This is because you want to make the diet as enjoyable as possible and natural, wholesome foods are the best for satiety. If refined foods, sweets or deserts make up a big portion of your overall food intake, hunger may become exacerbated. So by default your diet becomes perfectly balanced without having to set stringent rules. But when you tell yourself, you can never have chocolate cake or ice cream again, you will be fighting a monkey off your back for the rest of your life.
Epic Kinobody Meals
Want to see the type of daily hedonism I subject myself to? On my instagram I post up some of my favorite meals.
Beach Ripped Article Series
- Part 1 – DIY Guide
- Part 2 – Counting Macros
- Part 3 – Cardio for Fat loss
- Part 4 – Single Digit Body Fat