Like me, you’re striving to be the best version of yourself. I had issues with disordered eating in the past, and have spent years trying to find ways to stay healthy physically while managing it mentally. It’s really tough and highly discouraging. I thrive in a more structured environment that encourages me to eat more (not less). Tracking my macros has turned out to be the perfect combination.
What’s macro tracking?
If you’re new to tracking your macros, do research before getting started. Tracking macros requires a lot of discipline and can be triggering for many. It may not be for you. My favorite resource (that inspired me to get started) is Avatar Nutrition. Check out their article explaining macros and flexible dieting.
The short and sweet version is that you track the 3 main macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) to ensure that you’re properly fueling your body. Some call this flexible dieting because you can eat whatever you want as long as you hit your macros. Obviously some foods provide more micronutrients than others, but this lifestyle won’t require you to cancel any food groups. That Ben & Jerry’s pint in your freezer is safe.
What foods are good for macro tracking?
When you start tracking your macros, it can feel like an impossible strategy game. Even with using an app like MyMacros+ or MyFitnessPal, it can be really tough to identify which combination of foods is going to get you to your daily goals. To make sure I have a plan every day, I take a few minutes before bedtime to plan all the food I’m going to eat the next day. This way, I don’t have to worry about surprises or overwhelm trying to figure out how to hit my numbers on the fly.
The foods below are easy additions that are made up of primarily one of the macronutrients. Since very few foods have an even combination of all 3 macros, it’s likely that you’ll need foods like these to pick up the slack.
Chia Seeds For An All-Around Macros Boost.
If you need a boost in all 3 categories or just extra fiber, chia seeds are a great addition to any soup, sauce, or smoothie. Just one tablespoon packs 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of fat, and 3 grams of protein. If you’re just slightly away from your macro finish line, this one’s for you. I use chia so much, I just purchased this 2 pound bag on Amazon.
Nutrition: Serving Size 1 tbsp, 60 calories, 3g fat, 3g protein, 5g carbs, 5g fiber
- You may have a reaction if you consume them dry, as they expand once infused with water.
- Add to a smoothie, morning protein shake, or find a great recipe for chia pudding.
- They tend to clump. Mix evenly while stirring often.
MCT Oil For More Fat Macros.
With no protein or carbohydrates, MCT Oil reigns supreme when it comes to an extra dose of fat. You can also purchase MCT Oil with many other enhancements, like hemp seed oil to help with anxiety.
Nutrition: Serving Size 1 tbsp, 120 calories, 14g fat, 0g protein, 0g carbs, 0g fiber
- This MCT Oil doesn’t taste bad and can be taken by itself. Some don’t taste great — mix into coffee or tea.
- MCT Oil can upset your stomach, so start introducing it slowly. Start with half a serving and see how you respond. Monitor and increase accordingly.
Pumpkin Seeds For Low-Carb Fiber and Protein Macros.
If you’re trying to hit ambitious protein macros on a vegan diet, this one’s for you. Pumpkin seeds are a great low-carb source of fat, protein, and fiber. For every 11 grams of carbs, you get 6 grams of fiber.
- Use your food scale to pre-measure serving of pumpkin seeds for an easy grab-and-go snack.
- Pumpkin seeds are found in the bulk aisle of most grocery stores
Collagen Peptides or Bone Broth to Hit Protein Macros.
These are both great protein boosts. Collagen peptides come flavorless and mix into virtually any dish (or just water if you aren’t feeling fancy). Collagen is also known for its added beauty benefits (your nails will grow so fast)
Bone broth comes in many forms, but one of the easiest and least expensive is purchasing a bone broth protein powder like this one on Amazon (it also contains collagen and the anti-inflammatory favorite turmeric).
Collagen Peptides Nutrition: Serving Size 1 scoop, 40 calories, 0g fat, 10g protein, 0g carbs, 0g fiber
Bone Broth Protein Nutrition: Serving Size 1 scoop, 80 calories, 0g fat, 20g protein, 0g carbs, 0g fiber
- Collagen blends great in a cup of coffee or into Huel.
- If you’re using a bone broth protein with added flavor (like turmeric), be mindful that it will influence the flavor if you’re mixing it into foods. I like to add mine to Huel or mix with hot water as a cozy drink before bedtime.
Huel Is A Great Breakfast Staple for Macros.
Huel is one of the most macro-friendly meal replacements on the market. Huel Black is low carb, high protein, completely vegan and gluten free. It contains 27 essential vitamins and minerals, tastes great with zero artificial sweeteners, and can be prepared in 2 minutes. Since it is a complete meal replacement, you’ll get all the benefits of a full meal without having to add any additional ingredients (although you’re welcome to!). Huel is my go-to breakfast every morning.
- If you’re not blending Huel powder with other ingredients, it can get clumpy. Use 1 scoop with 24 ounces of water significantly reduces the problem. Adding a fat like MCT oil also helps even it out.
- It can be a great base to combine some of the add-ons mentioned above. Plan your macros the day before, input Huel into MyFitnessPal and add in MCT Oil, Collagen Peptides, or chia to hit your macros.