Pretrack or wing it?

I've adjusted my macros and trying my best to hit them. But, I'm hitting protein numbers unless I do a double protein shake. I know that's not sustainable for me long term. So, how many of you pretrack to try and hit all your macros and how many of you just eat each meal, track, and then try to adjust as the day goes on.

Looking for successful stories here of people that are doing it and losing consistently.
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Replies

  • 72smile
    72smile Posts: 19 Member
    Sorry meant to say NOT hitting protein numbers w/out a double scoop of powder.
  • seska422
    seska422 Posts: 3,217 Member
    I don't know which category you would use for me. Spontaneity is important to me so I don't decide what I'm going to eat until I'm ready to eat. In that sense, I wing it. However, I do log what I plan to eat immediately before I eat it so that I can see the macro balance and make adjustments before consumption.

    You said that you'd adjusted your macros. What are you trying to hit?
  • vivalavida82
    vivalavida82 Posts: 108 Member
    I also need spontaneity and I like to eat what I’m in the mood for. But I do know I have a tendency to be low on protein for example, so I make sure I prioritize protein as much as I can in my choices.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,023 Member
    I tend to prelog to determine how I'm going to get my protein and fat for the day, otherwise I'm not likely to hit them. I don't always log complete meals, but at least that I'm going to make shrimp for dinner, get a burger for lunch, Greek yogurt for a snack.

    And some days I just go where the day takes me, and if I don't quite make my goal it's no big deal. :smile:
  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,285 Member
    edited March 2018
    I tend to pre-track when I know I'm going out to eat. If I know roughly how many calories are in what I plan to order, I can pace myself for the rest of the day, walk a little bit more, maybe not have the snack I was planning on, etc. Also, for religious reasons, I don't write or type on the Sabbath. And food is generally a bit fancier and more plentiful on that day. In past weight-loss attempts, I would use that as an excuse to have a major cheat day, which triggered guilt and negative feelings, which made me less likely to stick with weight-loss. When I pre-log and budget for (to use the example of the refreshments after services) a frosted shortbread cookie and two pieces of potato kugel, I find it much easier to pass up the frosted cake, etc. Basically, pre-tracking give me permission to indulge, recognizing that if I'm within my calories, I'm not derailing anything.

    ETA: Also, I cook one vegetarian main per week that gives me 4-6 servings. I try to log a serving for dinner right off, especially if it's a higher-calorie entrée. Again, it lets me pace myself for the day.
  • 72smile
    72smile Posts: 19 Member
    @seska422 I used a tool a friend gave me. It calculated the macros based on age, activity levels, etc. can’t remember all the criteria. Anyway, it says that I need

    1437 calories
    122g protein
    67g fat
    87g carbs

  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,023 Member
    72smile wrote: »
    @seska422 I used a tool a friend gave me. It calculated the macros based on age, activity levels, etc. can’t remember all the criteria. Anyway, it says that I need

    1437 calories
    122g protein
    67g fat
    87g carbs

    That's a high protein goal. Nothing wrong with it, but you don't have to drive yourself crazy trying to hit it either. I believe the general wisdom is to try to get 0.6-0.8g of protein per lb of body weight.

    What's most important for weight loss is calories. Macros are for satiety and some health & fitness goals, but even then they are something to aim for, not a number you must hit every day. Def not worth drinking two shakes if you don't want to!
  • 72smile
    72smile Posts: 19 Member
    Thanks @kimny72 . I’m definitely a work in progress. Just want to have permanent results.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,023 Member
    72smile wrote: »
    Thanks @kimny72 . I’m definitely a work in progress. Just want to have permanent results.

    I've been here 4 years and I'm still a work in progress :lol:

    If you like that macro breakdown, maybe work up to it week by week. When i need more protein without a lot of cals I look to shrimp, canned tuna, an egg with extra whites, low fat greek yogurt, and lentils. And sometimes a protein shake!
  • Maxxitt
    Maxxitt Posts: 1,281 Member
    72smile wrote: »
    @seska422 I used a tool a friend gave me. It calculated the macros based on age, activity levels, etc. can’t remember all the criteria. Anyway, it says that I need

    1437 calories
    122g protein
    67g fat
    87g carbs

    I'm a creature of habit, and so I eat pretty much the same thing every day for breakfast - greek yogurt with cottage cheese and a banana - that has about 350 calories and 36 g of protein. For my second meal whatever I have has 25-30 g of protein as well. That's about half of my daily target (which is around the same as yours) and I make up the rest with a lean protein at dinner and a snack. Sometimes I have a protein drink and sometimes I don't - just depends on the day. You may find pre-planning some go-to meals quite helpful.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,428 Member
    After doing this for a while (about 3 years, loss then maintenance), I can wing it for most of my day, then I Tetris in the last bit of my macro or veggie/fruit goals - usually a few grams of protein or fat, but occasionally a couple veggie servings.

    If protein is your puzzle, this thread is pure gold (especially the spreadsheet):

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10247171/carbs-and-fats-are-cheap-heres-a-guide-to-getting-your-proteins-worth-fiber-also
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,241 Member
    edited March 2018
    Winged.

    During the first couple of years everything logged to the gram before eaten. Various macros checked before last meal of the day and meal adjusted to meet goals including going over by small amount to meet protein and fiber goals. Frequent review of logs and evaluation of items eaten.

    After the first couple of years everything logged as per convenience (while cooking, or while eating, or after eating, or from pictures of the food). Occasional check of macros as it is rare for me to not (over)hit my protein and fiber goals which are the only ones I have been concerned with. Very occasional review of logs and evaluation of items eaten.

    I note that I would NOT have been able to wing things as much if my caloric allowance was lower.
  • jplinis
    jplinis Posts: 35 Member
    I'm one of those people who meals preps and eats the same thing except for dinner at times when I finish work early enough. I pre-log my meals from breakfast to afternoon snack then just change up depending what I feel like for dinner and dessert.
  • 72smile
    72smile Posts: 19 Member
    Wow, thanks for all the great input and experiences. Great suggestions. I definitely think I will need to pretrack a bit to get the hang of it.
  • endermako
    endermako Posts: 787 Member
    I pretrack on most days. if I'm going out to dinner with someone I try to find out where we are eating so I can research what the calories are for my meal before I get there.
  • Falklang
    Falklang Posts: 220 Member
    For me it's a mixture of both if that makes sense? I know what I want to eat, I know the numbers I need to hit and i tend to pre-track for the majority of the time. But sometime I don't feel like having a certain food and would wing it and adapt the food i want to eat to kind of hit my macros.

    I'm not really too focused on macros at the moment, I'm just developing a healthier relationship with food first, then when I feel like it's time I will refine my diet down to the exact macros etc.
  • amgreenwell
    amgreenwell Posts: 1,268 Member
    I pre-log everything I eat in the morning. I know what I drink for breakfast, what I'm having for snack and lunch b/c I bring those to work and I make the meals at home so I know what we are having in the evening as well. I do this b/c it helps me see how my day will be and I can also decide if I want to work out more in order to eat more... like, maybe an afternoon snack after a walk or something.
    I can't wing it. That's just not me.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,426 Member
    I prelog my food for the day every morning.
    I meal plan and all my meals but one each week are from home so it is not hard to figure out what I am going to be eating from the limited choices.

    I just use the goals MFP gave me and it is not too difficult to get that much protein.
  • sytchequeen
    sytchequeen Posts: 526 Member
    I prelog. But I also meal plan before I do my weekly shopping too. I am too busy to get in from work and start looking for something to cook. I need a schedule to work with. I also save a lot of money by planning the week in advance. I find people who wing it end out buying food they throw away.
  • 72smile
    72smile Posts: 19 Member
    You're right @sytchequeen I can already see if I don't preplan then food will be wasted. However, it's a challenge to have food for the rest of my family in the house, especially a teenage boy who wants to eat lots. It seems overwhelming trying to get back on track after falling off the wagon for about a year, but I'm gonna do it. Just seems a little too time consuming right now.