Fitness Nutrition Weight Loss

How I Calculate + Track Macros for Weight Loss

Greetings, internet! After posting my progress on Instagram after only ten days of tracking my macros and joining the platform’s fitness community, I had an overwhelming influx of DMs asking “how I did it.” If you’re a nutrition pro, you’re going to learn absolutely nothing from this post but if you’re just starting out and want to know what works for me, I’m here to share! Disclaimer: I am not a Registered Dietitian nor a physician so please consult a licensed professional prior to starting any fitness program or exercise regimen before proceeding. It’s great to learn about what works for others but please be safe and consider your personal health before getting started! 🙂

First things first, what’s a macro?

I pulled out my nutrition textbook from nursing school for this one! A “macro” is short for macronutrient and comes in three types: protein, fat, and carbohydrate. These are the three sources of energy that fuel your body through calories. Each macronutrient has a set number of calories per gram:

  • Proteins: 4 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram
  • Fats: 9 calories per gram

Since I despise the word diet, we can consider macro tracking a popular form of nutrition accountability. If followed properly, you can expect to see results without cutting out major food groups or restricting yourself to any other type of fad diet.

Step One: Determine Your Goals

For me, my goals was simple from the beginning: to lose weight. The macros that you should follow will vary based on the overall goal you have set. Be honest with yourself and realistic when choosing from the following goals:

  • Maintaining your current weight
  • Mild weight loss (0.5 lbs per week)
  • Moderate weight loss (1.0 lbs per week)
  • Extreme weight loss (2.0 lbs per week)
  • Mild weight gain (0.5 lbs per week)
  • Moderate weight gain (1.0 lbs per week)
  • Extreme weight gain (2.0 lbs per week)

Step Two: Calculate Macros for your Goals

There are several macro calculators online but here is the one I used. Feel free to search around for a few different opinions online but I’ve been seeing results using this one so that’s what I’m going to talk about!

Input your demographics, activity, and goal in the calculator + click calculate.

I personally chose “moderate exercise” and “weight loss” and ended up with the following results:

From there, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. Create an account and under settings go to “Goals” and then under “Nutrition Goals” go to “Calorie, Carbs, Protein, and Fat Goals.”

From there, adjust your calories and macronutrient goals to as close as possible to the values from the calculator. I personally don’t pay for the premium access so I’m only able to go by percentages and my macros are not exact from the calculator’s results. This is close enough for me to see results so I’m okay with the approximation.

My daily totals look like this:

Step Three: Meal Planning + Tracking

Now that your tracking tool is set up, the goal is to use these numbers as guidelines when meal planning to hit these calculated amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. I strongly suggest not beating yourself up for not hitting these amounts exactly but do your best to stay around the calculated number. Every morning, I’ll go ahead and plan out meals that I know that I’m going to have that day and see what I have left over for macros.

This morning, I ate my normal breakfast and had leftovers planned for lunch. This is what my MFP tracker looked like after my first two meals:

To plan out my dinner, I took the “left” amounts from each macro category and tried a few ingredients in the calculator to see what I could make with 57g of protein, 116g of carbohydrates, and 14g of fat. I knew I was going to workout later and I always have a protein shake after so that was an easy one to knock out. I usually do some type of protein + starch + vegetable combination for every meal so after playing around with it, I ended up with this:

This is pretty typical day for me. I tend to go over in carbs and stay under in protein. I’m not much of a meat eater so I struggle to get that much protein in daily but I don’t beat myself up over it because it’s not worth my mental health and becoming food-obsessed to have a perfect day, every day.

Step Four: Adjusting Macros as Needed

After following a macro plan for a few weeks, I’d recommend heading back to the macro calculator and updating your weight, activity levels, and goals for any changes. If you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for, you might want to try playing around with macro percentages and seeing if there’s another combination that works better for your goals. There are hundreds of these calculators online so shopping around for one that meets your needs may be helpful if you’re not seeing any results!

Tips + Suggestions

  1. Go easy on yourself! If this is the first time you’re tracking macros, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t hit the numbers on the dot every single day. Give yourself grace and lenience and do your best.
  2. Have some macro-specific snacks ready to make up for any missing categories at the end of the day. If I need more fat, I’ll eat a handful of olives or incorporate an avocado into a meal. If I need more protein, I like to have either a Premier Protein shake or an Isopure drink. If I have any carbs leftover, I treat myself with whatever we have handy! Having these ready will help you meet your goals without becoming frustrated at the end of the day.
  3. Be honest and realistic with yourself. If you’re not going to eat 300g of protein a day, don’t plan for it and set yourself up for failure. Find a macro combination that really works for you and your goals.
  4. Take before photos! I’m so happy I have “before photos” that I took before I started this weight loss journey because I’m able to look back at my progress for motivation.

I would genuinely love to follow your journey if you start using this method of tracking macros! Feel free to DM me on instagram if you need any help or just want some accountability!


Macro Calculator:


    1. Hi! Premier Protein ready-to-drink shakes are the only ones I’ve tried that don’t taste super chalky. There’s a cheaper four pack at Walmart if you want to try it before picking up the full pack! I also really like the Quest ones but they’re a little out of my price range!

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