5 tips to make calorie management and macro tracking easier

If you find it difficult to manage calories and track your macros every day, try these 5 tips from bodybuilder Erin Stern below.

5 tips to make calorie management and macro tracking easier5 tips to make calorie management and macro tracking easier

No matter what your goal is, gain muscle, lose weight, lose fat, planning and sticking to a balanced diet is a must. Starting a journey to change your body shape without a diet plan is like traveling far from home without money, it’s very easy for you to abandon your journey midway.

Erin Stern, a two-time Figure Olympia champion and professional Pro Bikini competitor, is very adept at adjusting her diet to achieve her goals.

Let’s see how she manages her calories and tracks her Macros.

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5 Tips for Managing Daily Calories and Macros

1. Start with a specific goal

Stern emphasizes the importance of starting your personal transformation journey with a specific, measurable, realistic, and time-bound goal.

She recommends setting goals, taking anthropometric measurements, visualizing progress, and assessing body fat percentage with a fat caliper. Stern recommends performing a DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan to measure bone density.

The former Olympia Figure champion advises targeting three to four months to achieve your transformation goals.

2. Determine maintenance calories

Once you have set a specific goal, establish a maintenance calorie intake. Stern suggests three ways to do this. First, use an online calorie calculator that provides appropriate maintenance calorie goals based on age, weight, gender, height and activity level.

5 tips to make calorie management and macro tracking easier5 tips to make calorie management and macro tracking easier

Second, track your weight and food intake using a calorie tracking app like MyFitnessPal for two weeks. Provided body weight remains unchanged during these 14 days, use average daily calories as maintenance calories.

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Finally, for those who want faster results, Stern suggests multiplying a person’s body weight by 11 to 15 to get maintenance calories.

Active people with high metabolic rates who want to build muscle should multiply their body weight into the higher range (14 or 15). People who are trying to lose weight should multiply their body weight by the lower range (11 or 12). People with body regeneration goals should multiply their body weight by 13.

For example, maintenance calories for a moderately active person weighing 150 pounds (68kg) would be 1,800 calories (150 x 12). Stern used 1,800 calories as the basis for subsequent calculations.

3. Determine the amount of Protein consumed per day

Once you’ve reached your daily maintenance calorie goal, you have to determine your macronutrient breakdown (aka your gym macros). Stern suggests starting with protein because it is the most important macronutrient for building muscle.

5 tips to make calorie management and macro tracking easier5 tips to make calorie management and macro tracking easier

Stern doesn’t rely on ratios to determine his macronutrient goals. Instead, she recommends getting 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. Staying low will help you maintain your muscle mass, while eating a gram per pound of body weight or more will help you build muscle.

A 150-pound person should consume at least 150 grams (150 x 1) of protein per day to build lean muscle tissue. Since one gram of protein contains 4 calories, 600 calories (150 x 4) from the 1,800-calorie goal should come from protein. This leaves us with 1,200 calories (1,800-600) for fat and carbs.

See more: List of protein-rich foods that you should eat every day

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4. Set a fat absorption goal

For the fourth step, Stern suggests calculating daily fat intake by multiplying body weight by a factor of 0.2 to 0.6. For those trying to maintain a lower body fat percentage, Stern recommends using between 0.2 and 0.3, while those trying to gain weight should use 0.5 or 0. ,6.

A 150-pound person trying to improve muscle condition should consume at least 30 grams of fat (150 x 0.2) per day. Since one gram of fat contains 9 calories, 270 calories will come from fat.

See more: List of foods rich in fats that are good for the body

5. Determine how many calories come from Carb

With 870 calories going to Protein and Fat out of your total daily calorie target, the remaining 930 calories will come from carbohydrates. Since one gram of carbohydrates has four calories, a 150-pound person should consume 232.5 grams of carbs to meet the daily goal of 1,800 calories.

5 tips to make calorie management and macro tracking easier5 tips to make calorie management and macro tracking easier

See more: Top 10 carb-rich foods that are beneficial for gym goers

To summarize, the calorie and macro goals for a 150-pound person are

  • Protein — 150 grams
  • Fat — 30 grams
  • Carbs — 232.5 grams
  • Calories — 1,800

Stern recommends sticking to your new calorie and macro goals for at least two weeks to give your body enough time to adjust to the diet. If you’re not satisfied with your progress, readjust your fat and carb goals while keeping your protein intake consistent.

According to Stern, aim to lose 1% of your body weight per week while following a calorie deficit. The same goes for those striving to gain muscle mass. Stern suggests increasing or decreasing one’s calorie goal by 10 percent or 100-300 calories to overcome weight plateauing if it occurs.

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