How much fat is in bacon, considering what’s left over in the pan?
How many carbs are in a baked potato?
How much fiber does broccoli have?
Should I track the milk I put on my cereal?
This peanut butter has carbs in it! Does this mean I can’t eat it on rest days?
All of these and then some.
The number of inquiries I get about how to effectively track macros is astounding.
Ready for the answer? To every single question? Okay. Here it is:
It doesn’t matter. Just be consistent.
It helps when macro counting to use whatever methods you wish, but simply apply them consistently as you progress.
I personally use the following simplifications quite often. And I suggest you do as well:
– 1 pound of lean meat equals 100 grams of protein.
Any lunchmeat (turkey, chicken, ham, or lean roast beef), baked/grilled lean meat and tuna can be counted using this simplification.
Beef, unless ultra-lean (Laura’s 96%?) can’t be simplified in this manner due to fat content being too high.
-Half a pound of bacon equals 30 grams of protein and 20 grams of fat.
-A chicken breast is 8 ounces, or 50 grams of protein.
-A baked potato is 100 grams of carbohydrates.
-A pound of sirloin beef (90/10) has 90 grams of protein and 45 grams of fat.
-An average sized piece of fruit (apple, banana, pear, peach, etc.) has 30 grams of carbs.
-Unsweetened almond milk, when used for cereal/baking, isn’t worth tracking.
-An avocado has 30 grams of fat, with no carbs or protein.
There’s others, too. But those are the ones that come to mind right away.
Now, the questions are swirling, I’m sure:
You can’t do that! Chicken breasts and potatoes all vary!
There’s fat left in the pan after you cook the bacon!
But I ate a massive banana! Don’t I need to alter things?
Avocados for sure have some carbs in them!
The packaging on my sirloin says it’s
“92 grams of protein and 42 grams of fat” per pound! You’re off!
Okay, here’s now this works:
Use whatever methods you wish. Just be consistent and track them accordingly.
I prefer to use easy simplifications to make my life a bit more sane.
I also hate using the scale. I only break it out if absolutely necessary.
But if we apply our simplifications consistently, the errors in calculation will even out over time.
Sure, maybe one of the chicken breasts only has 43 grams of protein instead of 50. But there’s a good chance that the next one will contain 57……………………and BAM! Your caloric deficit is still in tact.
If you take a close look at the simplifications, they are made with packaging in mind as well.
-1 pound of sirloin (my preferred beef choice) is “90p/45f”.
Why did I choose 90/45? Because that way I can purchase my beef in 1 pound packages, take ~2/3 of the pound, and call it “60/30” –> since 60 is 2/3 of 90 and 30 is 2/3 of 45.
-1 pound of lean meat = 100 grams of protein.
So, if I buy 1 pound of meat, and I want 50 grams of protein, I eat half. If I want 25 grams, I eat 1/4. Etc., etc., etc.
I’m certainly not telling you to use my personal tracking preferences.
Maybe you hate my food preferences. To each their own.
But the concept is algebraic.
Let’s assign some variables.
Your protein consumption = w
Your carb consumption = x
Your fat consumption = y
Your weight loss per week = z
So, w + x + y = z.
If you’re happy with “z”, then it’s all good.
But as soon as “z” begins to change, you need an alteration.
Did “z” decrease? Your weight loss stall?
Then you don’t change your methods of calculating w, x, or y.
You simply take some away from either w, x, or y to balance your equation.
As long as you use and apply your own counting methods consistently, there’s no need to change them. They’ll work out in the long run.
Using these simplifications and mathematical philosophies, you can make counting change from an arduous, time consuming task, to something that takes 1-2 minutes, tops.
I hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions, comments, or personal counting philosophies, let me know about them!