The Beginner's Guide to Tracking Macros

Tracking Macros has been trending for a while now, and there’s a good reason why. 

Unpopular opinion: You don’t have to track macros to see results BUT learning about them will lead you to a healthier diet in general… So keep reading to get the low down on everything you need to know:

Table of Contents

What are Macros?

Before you learn about tracking them, you should have a general understanding of what they actually are and why they matter.

Macronutrients are the major components of food that provide the body with energy. There are three (main) macronutrients: protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Each one provides a different type of energy.

[Alcohol is also a macronutrient…however strangely not allocated an amount in diet plans…well not by most coaches…but that’s a different conversation]

Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass. It also helps to create enzymes, hormones, and other important chemicals in the body. Protein can be found in both animal and plant foods. Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred source of energy. It is essential for brain function and activities that require quick energy, such as running or jumping. Carbohydrates are found in mainly plant and some animal foods. Good sources of carbohydrates include grains, dairy, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Fat is the most concentrated source of energy. It helps the body to absorb vitamins and minerals, and is necessary for the production of hormones. Fat can be found in both plant and animal foods. Good sources of fat include oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fish.

Is Tracking Macros Good for You?

What’s important to note is that following a ‘macro plan’ does not take ‘HEALTH’ into consideration at all. In fact, there was even a time a few years ago where Youtubers were making videos purely fitting as much non-nutritious foods into their Macros targets as possible.

It is important to eat a variety of foods to get all the macronutrients your body needs. You can find information about the nutrient content of foods in the Nutrition Facts label on food packages. The label shows the amount of protein, carbohydrate, and fat in a serving of the food. It also lists the percentage of the Daily Value (DV) of each nutrient that is in the serving.

The DV is a guideline for how much of each nutrient you should eat in a day. It is based on the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for that nutrient. The RDA is the amount of a nutrient that is thought to be enough to meet the needs of most people.

It is important to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. You should also include some healthy fats in your diet. This will help you to get all the macronutrients your body needs.

Strawberry smoothie on glass jar

What's the Difference between Macro Tracking and Calorie Counting?

They’re actually more similar than most people realise. 

Tracking Macros is a more specific way of counting calories. Instead of having a total calorie goal for the day, you break your calorie goal down into macronutrient sub-targets. Both ways still have overarching total calorie targets.

How to Track Macros

Step 1: Set macro targets. Often people use apps or internet calculators for this. The problem with this method is that there is a huge gap in understanding of what impacts the targets and what to do when the macros ‘don’t work’. Another way is to track what you’re eating currently in your ‘normal’ life and then reduce the total calories by 20%. A good rule for the protein target is 1g per lb of target body weight (or 2.2g per kilogram of target body weight). Then allocate the rest of the total calorie target to carbs or fats depending on personal preference – your body doesn’t care!

 I’ve created a training video that talks about this and walks you through the process – it’s available for free in my Facebook Community’s Welcome Post – click here.

Step 2: Find an app (or website) to track your foods. I find the most popular and straightforward app to use is MyFitnessPal. It’s also free which is great.

Step 3: Track accurately for several weeks and adjust your macro targets depending on whether you’re achieving the results you want to. It is also useful to keep your activity and exercise consistent as this has a huge impact on your weight as well.

Step 4: Adjust as required e.g. If your weight isn’t going down despite being completely accurate, reduce your macro targets (only ever reduce from carbs or fats, not protein unless you want your muscle tissue to break down. There are lots of reasons why Macro Tracking might not be working for you – read about a few of the biggest mistakes people make when macro tracking HERE. 

Vegetable lot

Here's What to do Next...

Most people sit in one of two camps:

1) You track macros but it’s not quite working for you


2) You’re interested in learning more about tracking macros

So here’s what you should do:

If you’re ready to learn everything you need to know to improve (or start) your macro tracking, I’ve designed a mini course especially for you: check out my Vitality Macros Course HERE.


If you have some questions you’d like answered before you commit to the process, there’s nothing I love doing more than answering those questions for my Community. Book a Complimentary Brainstorming Session in my calendar at a time that suits you and I’ll answer those questions.

>>>Click here to arrange a chat

I hope you feel a little less overwhelmed about Macros and what “Tracking them” means. Tracking Macros effectively and accurately is a lot of effort which is the reason its not for everyone. 

It’s also important to know that whenever you decide to follow any type of diet, unless you have an exit plan (i.e. transition to maintenance), then its likely you’ll put a lot of the weight back on. This is really disheartening for a lot of women. If this is something you’re currently struggling with, please reach out to me – its what I specialise in.


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