Tracking calories and macronutrients with an app like MyFitnessPal is a terrific tool for portion control and staying on top of your fitness goals, especially for those who are just starting a fitness program and need to dial in their nutrition, or those who need to be as precise as possible with their nutrient intake as they prepare to step on stage.

Not only does it help to more accurately assess calories in versus calories out, but it creates mindfulness around snacking and gives you a better understanding of which foods are high in calories.

That said, it does require consistency and you do need to take a little time each day to record everything you eat and drink. Long-term, this may not be the best strategy for those who have very demanding schedules.

The good news is that you don’t have to track calories forever. If you’ve never done it before, I recommend you do it for at least 3-4 weeks in order to gain a better understanding of how many calories you consume daily, which foods you eat that may have more calories than you thought, which foods contain the macronutrients you need for your goals, and what areas of your diet can be improved.

Once you’ve gotten a handle on this, if you decide tracking daily is not for you, you can simplify things by using your hand instead to estimate portion sizes.

To do this, use the following as a guide and try to eat like this 3 times a day. If you’d like to eat less or more often, simply adjust portions up or down:

portion control

Committed To Your Health,

Online Fitness Coach Brian DonovanBrian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.

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