As some of you know, I really like the school of thought around nutrition/eating that is called If It Fits Your Macros (read more here). The basic idea is that every person has a certain number of Macros (or Macronutrients) that they should eat in a day if they are looking to get in better shape or build a healthy, balanced lifestyle when it comes to food and fitness. The three main Macronutrients are:
How many grams of each macro are needed in a day depends on one’s fitness goals (fat loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain/building muscle). If a food’s macros “fit” into one’s plan, they can eat it, whether it be a cookie, broccoli, pasta, chicken, or ice cream. Normally, this does not mean that somebody is eating cookies and donuts all day, but that they are able to enjoy these when they “fit”. I spoke a little more about this in my recent post, Breaking the Cycle, so I won’t go into it much more here.
Note: This process of tracking macros is what I like to do for myself. I know that not everybody is the same way and, for some people, tracking what you eat is exhausting, overwhelming and controlling, which is completely valid! So I am not saying that everybody should do this. However, if you are looking into or interested in Macro Tracking or Flexible Dieting, the tips below will help you understand how to get started and show how you can be creative with your meals, while still tracking accurately.
You will need a food scale and an app to log your food (I use myfitnesspal).
This process relates to dishes for one (yogurt bowls, oat bowls, salads). In a later post, I will discuss how to use this same process for creating full Recipes in your myfitnesspal app and accurately track your macros in regards to serving sizes.
I decided to make a Peaches & Cream Yogurt Bowl for breakfast Wednesday. I didn’t have a previously created recipe in my app to log, as I had never made it before, so I wanted to make sure I was accurately tracking everything I put in.
First, I got together all the ingredients I wanted to use.
- Greek Nonfat Yogurt
- Old Fashioned Oats
- Imitation Vanilla Flavor (vanilla extract works too)
- Peach Slices
- Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, salt
Then, I turned on my food scale, placed my bowl on it, set the unit to grams, and clicked the TARE button to bring the weight to zero.
I then opened my yogurt and put it into the bowl. I saw that it read 143 grams. I opened the myfintesspal app, went to my food diary, clicked Add Food under Breakfast and selected the barcode scanner option. I scanned my yogurt cup. This was the result:
By default, the app generated the serving size that is shown on the product, which is 5.3 oz. While my food scale does have an lb/oz setting, when I switched my unit to that, it was not exactly 5.3. While I don’t think you need to be that worried by a couple ounces, I want to show you how easy it is, most of the time, to be completely accurate with your logging. So I changed the Serving Size option in the app by clicking on “5.3 oz”. This will show a pop up with all the other measuring units you can use. See below:
I chose 1 gram and changed the “1” in Number of Servings option in the app to “143”.
It was about a 7g difference. I then checked the box in the top right-hand corner to add it to my Breakfast Foods!
Then, I clicked the TARE button on the scale to set it back to zero, and started the same process with the next ingredient.
I added 21g Honey:
I added .35 fl oz (about 2 teaspoons) of Vanilla Flavoring:
I added 20 grams (about 1/4 c.) of Old-Fashioned Oats and I added some spices: a couple dashes of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and a dash of salt. I didn’t track these, although normally I would track salt for the sodium. However, I didn’t today because of the very small amount used:
I then added my peaches:
That’s it! My final numbers for this recipe ended up being 260 Calories, 47g Carbs, 2g Fat, 17g Protein.
I hope this has helped you understand how easy it easy to track so many different foods and ingredients and meals accurately. You don’t have to rely on guesswork or estimation and does not take up that much of your time. Also, that when you save a food in myfitnesspal, it appears in your Recent Foods when you go to add to your Breakfast log on another day. So you can easily find the foods you’ve used before and don’t have to continue to scan your products over and over.
I hope you’ll give this Breakfast Bowl a try soon! You can find the recipe here!