How to Track Macros with My Fitness Pal

One of the questions I get asked the most is what do I use to track my macros? My personal favorite is My Fitness Pal. It’s free and easy to use. It can track your calories, macro and micro nutrients, height, weight, measurements, exercise, progress photos, recipes, exercises etc. I have been using it on and off for about 7 years now. I’ve tried other apps and keep going back to this one because it’s so easy and convenient.

Step 1: Download the app MY FITNESS PAL

Step 2: It will ask you your weight, height, gender, if you want to lose, gain, or maintain weight, and how much you want to gain or lose a week. Depending on that it will put you in a calorie deficit or surplus.

Step 3: Learning How to Use the App

THE DIARY: 

At the bottom of the app you will see home, diary, (+) add, progress, and more.

Tap on “Diary”

In the top left corner in the red circle is how many calories you are allotted each day.

The first of the two circles is how many calories you have eaten from food, subtracting your intake from the allotted calories. The second circle is exercise. You will add in the exercise you have done to allow you to add more calories to eat for that day.

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In the upper right corner after the (=) will be your calories left for the day. Tap on the leftover calories and it will take you to view your macros, nutrients, and calories for the day.

It will throw your macros into a pie chart to show you your total percentage of fats, carbs, and proteins for the day. In the first picture I put in 1 banana so you could see what the pie chart will look like after adding just 1 food item. The more items you enter the more the chart will change depending on what you add. Now, the two columns circled on the right explain the total percentage of macros you have eaten (under total) and the percentage of macros you’re trying to hit (under goal).

Now in the top bar to the left, if you tap on “nutrients” it will show you your micro and macro nutrient totals and goals. (Remember even though you are tracking macronutrients, do not to neglect micronutrients). They also play an important role in your health.

Then at the top row to the left again, is calories. Tap on calories to see how many calories you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

LOGGING FOOD:

Now that you have some what of the basics it’s time to start logging food. At the bottom click on diary, then under breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack; you will see the ad (+) button.

After tapping on that it will bring you to another page where you can search food, scan bar codes, add in previous items, and select multiple items.

Now for example, if I wanted to look up a protein bar I’m going to eat I could either search for it, or scan the bar code.

After adding an item it will look something like this under the category you added it into. Giving you the name and the calories.

Now if you tap on the item it will show you all the macro and micronutrients, calories, etc. pulling up the info as such. You can also adjust the serving size and number of servings depending on how much you ate.

CREATING RECIPES & MEALS:

To create a recipe or a meal you’ve made on your own you are going to go to the bottom right corner where it says “more”. Then select “meals, recipes, & foods”. I have circles it in yellow.

 

Then it will give you an option create a recipe or select a recipe you have already created and add into your diary.

The other way to make and add recipes is to go like you are adding an item into your diary and in the upper right you will see recipes and created recipes.

When adding recipes it will have you enter in ingredients manually. It will have you give it a recipe name and how many it serves.

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Under Ingredients it will have you write out each ingredient on a separate line. Press next and then match the ingredients to the right brand and right amount. To change the amount and/ or search for an alternative brand just tap on each ingredient. After your’e done, it will calculate your calories and macros per serving size on the bottom of the page. Save the recipe for future logging!

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Again, under “Meals, Recipes, & Foods”, go to “meals”. You can add in ingredients and save it to log in the future.  The other way I like doing it is under Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner; in the right hand corner where you see (…) you can save the meal.

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It will give you all the macro and micro nutrients for future logging, making it easier than adding each and every ingredient by hand.

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ADJUSTING MACRO GOALS:

 

To adjust goals, go to “more” in the bottoms right corner and select “goals” which is circled in red.

This will show you all of your goals from weight to calories to macros. If you would like to adjust any of the goals just tap on them and type in your adjusted goal. To adjust macro goals tap on “calorie and macronutrient goals”.

After it will show you your macro goals for fats, carbs, and proteins; and your calorie goal. To adjust your macro goal percentages just tap on the numbers to adjust them. These default percentages are 50% carbs, 30% fat, 20% protein. Remember your percentages have to equal 100%.

ADJUSTING WEIGHT & ADDING PROGRESS: 

In the bottom row of the app press the add (+) button, it will then turn into an (x) and give you 5 options to choose from. Status, water, food, exercise, and weight. Tap on weight.

It will bring you to a page where you can adjust your weight, the date, and add a progress photo.

PROGRESS: 

to check and adjust/ add your progress, on the bottom row second to last item, select “Progress”

Select add (+) to enter in progress and progress photos. ( It will take you to the same page as the picture above.

Select weight to change measururments and see progress between steps, weight, neck, wasit, and hips. I reccomend adding measurments in each body part so you can see how much weight you have lost along with inches.

In green where it says “1 month”, tap to change the amount of time you see on the graph to see progress in 1 week, 1-6 months, 1 year, since starting weight, and all.

ADDING EXERCISE:

Adding exercise will allot you more calories. In the bottom row click the (+) symbol and click “exercise”. This will let you choose between cardio and strength.

Then you can search exercises and adjust the amount of time you did the exercise for. It will also show your history of exercises. Please note that these aren’t always correct because they don’t monitor your heart rate. I would invest in a garmin, fit bit, or apple watch to make sure how many calories you are buring are more accurate.

 

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe! -Tay

 

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