Do you guys track all macros or just carbs?


(Maartin B.) #1

Hello. I got curios is it me or anyone else finds tracking all macros quite complicated and overwhelming at times? I do understand that for some people it is important, but I generally follow Keto just because I feel good and want to make sure I stay below X levels of carbs per day.

How do you guys track your macros anyway? Pros/cons?

(Bob M) #2

I don’t track anything. Just keep carbs low, which I also don’t track. But it’s pretty easy to “track” when I mainly just eat meat.


Normally I track all but nowadays I track everything but the extra carbs (but I usually track them too somehow, I just tend not to measure the carby items). But I am very close to carnivore so the vast majority of my carbs come from animals - and it doesn’t matter a thing to me.

Tracking can be very simple, it depends on how you eat. I had DOZENS of items a day and once I needed to weigh things 19 times for a single soup… Yep, that isn’t life to me.
But if I am simple, it gets better. Sometimes I wonder about tracking days as one so I only need to weigh my big slab of meat once… But I end up getting too curious and it’s not that hard to weigh it every day. (I just shouldn’t do it when I think my day is done but the next day when it’s SURE I won’t eat later… I hope those times are behind me…)

But even so, I couldn’t track each and every day. I had to on my old keto as I ate too much carbs to be without (and anyway, I considered my carb allowance a target, heaven forbid I eat less vegs than I can, it was already below minimal to me)… I don’t need it now :slight_smile:

If you only need to make sure you eat little enough carbs, you can track only carbs, sure. IDK how that is done as nearly all my food items had carbs so I had to track everything but I had times when I wondered about ignoring added fat. But if I track almost everything, I want to know all my macros, it’s almost no extra work… Now it’s easier as my fat macro is anybody’s guess so I can just eyeball my added fat (nope, I weigh it, stupid habits).

If I want to be free from tracking anything, I just don’t track anything. I usually am curious about my protein intake but if I track my protein sources, I track everything… So it depends a lot what is your diet like and what your goals are, what are you curious about. I am most curious about my protein intake and calories, I am mildly curious about my fat intake anyway and I couldn’t care less about my carb intake BUT it’s still a bit interesting to see how high I can go on a carniore day (I usually stop at 40g, 20g without milk or yogurt and my average is lower and I had 2g days). I love numbers and it helps to break through my resistance…

(Chuck) #4

The time of my life was the time I was a slave to counting calories and or carbs, protein or fat. Do yourself a favor and learn to listen to your body’s needs and requirements.

(Bob M) #5

@cvkemp Chuck, the “worst” time of your life?

When I was on Pritikin (a very low fat diet), it was easier to track, because everything was brown rice, beans, pasta, oatmeal, etc. But I think keto is harder to track. Say you buy 80% fat ground/mince beef, drain it, and eat that. What do you say for the meat that remains? Say you eat chicken. Do you take off all the skin and weigh it separately? What about the bones? Weigh those and subtract from the initial weight of the chicken?

At least carbs are easier to track, if you assume meat has none.

(B Creighton) #6

Each of the last 3 winters I have tracked 2 things only. Gr of protein and gr of carbs, although this last winter I didn’t really track the carbs at all as I was trying to gain muscle. I have never tracked my calories for a single day. In fact, the first time I did Keto, I tried not to cut calories. I am now in a size 34 pant which I haven’t seen since HS, and for instance am having to wear a belt today to keep on my size 38s from some years back even though they are self-adjusting. I do have slightly more muscle though than I did in HS, so weigh more… about 17 pounds more. I have learned a lot about proteins, fats and food quality in general since first joining the forum, and have lowered my BP, PSA, oxidized cholesterol, fasted insulin, and other health markers to what I feel are healthy levels. I know this is going way beyond what you asked, but you can do a lot just by counting protein and gr of carbs, plus paying attention to a few other things.

(Edith) #7

I went overboard counting calories and macros, measuring blood sugar and ketones for my first few years of keto and totally burned myself out.

I recently started a new strength training program and I’ve been learning about bulking and cutting. It is suggested if you want to do either, you should know what your maintenance is. That means tracking your normal every day eating for a week or so to see what your normal caloric intake is. I can’t even do that. I gave up after a day. :rofl:

So, after seven years, I don’t track and I don’t think it is possible for me to do it. Well, okay if someone said, "Track or die, " I’m sure I would somehow find the will. :crazy_face:

(Bob M) #8

What I would like to do is get a CGM and one of those new continuous ketone monitors (CKMs) for, say, a month. Have one week of my normal higher protein, lower fat. One week of high fat, lower protein. Compare. (Would have to eat the same carbs each time.) I’d track for that, just to see what happens.

After seeing the data from the new CKMs, I have no idea what this test would show. Ketones are way more variable than I thought.

(Chuck) #9

To be honest I don’t care anymore. What I know from previous experience is that I eat fruits. Vegetables, some grains like whole oats, rice, I also eat potatoes both white, red and sweet. I love pickled fruits and vegetables. I don’t trim the fat off my meat, as the fat is what gives meat the favor and tenderness. I cook with bacon grease, and olive oil. I use only real butter. If it comes in a box don’t eat it. If it is from a fast food place I don’t eat it. If it has anything on the ingredients label that sounds like a chemistry project I don’t touch it.
I only eat when my body tells me I need to and only as much as my body says I need.


Oh my. Small animals (especially with skin and bones) are the worst. At least rabbits don’t bring their skin into the pot. Yes, of course, I subtracted bones (it’s better to debone it once I suppose but I can’t do that clean… so I substracted the cooked bones that probably lost some weight but it makes no sense to worry about tiny things when chicken isn’t the same as chicken fat wise anyway…) and I guessed the skinless meat and tracked the skin as scratchings as they were those fatty crunchy things in the end and they weigh very little… Chicken is very fatty but using “chicken thigh with skin” from databases were even worse than reality, the skin released so much fat and I didn’t count or ate them at that point.

So good I almost never eat chicken - and if I do, I know I can’t track. I almost surely overeat anyway (chicken has minimal satiation effect on me though it’s better if I pair it with red meat) so it’s better not to track on those days. Pork is easier, I just won’t know the fattiness but it’s very informative to know I ate, like, 622g pork especially when it’s with my Ideal Fattiness, pork chuck level, I think I can tell when it’s around there :slight_smile: I have other inaccuracies too as I don’t eat the liquid after defrosting (it’s not good but the cats love it) and I bet the liquid has way less calories/protein/fat than the actual meat… But as it’s meat and impossible to track properly to begin with, who cares? :smiley: I know vaguely how much I ate, my body does whatever it does and it’s not like tracking matters so much…

But it’s best when one works so well and the chosen items are so right that one just eat their fill and all is well. I have such great days sometimes and hopefully it will happen more frequently in the future. I don’t trust myself much yet. But actually… I figured out what I wanted so I could stop, at least for a while, then I may check if low dairy really brings great days without much effort…

But I wrote I like numbers. So it’s kind of a compulsive habit now…? Not a necessity. I still say it can be useful now and then, tracking a pretty usual day to see our numbers.

(Bob M) #11

@cvkemp I’ve been a scientist since as early as I can remember. I remember taking apart radios when I was younger to see how they worked.

There was a time period when eating protein was supposedly like eating a candy bar for blood sugar. So, I bought a year’s supply of CGMs from Sweden and tested this. I ate 160g+ of protein per meal to see what would happen. Nothing really, at least for me. Did not see any blood sugar rise whatsoever.

However, I never compared this to a day/week of eating high fat. Maybe there would be a difference if I did that? I’d be interested in testing that.

And adding ketones would help with this whole “protein kills ketones!” idea. (Though I’m probably not the best person to test this, since my ketones are normally low anyway. Can’t see them getting much higher for high fat, but I could be wrong.)

There are plenty of people who aren’t like me.

@Shinita That’s why I think trying to get close to macros is tough for keto/carnivore folks. Do you take all the fat off your meat and weigh it (and the bones) separately? If not, what you’re getting is just a guess. Even if you’re fastidious with weighing everything, it’s still a guess anyway. It’s just a better guess.


It’s easy to not care anymore once you have reached your goals. But I think for those in the very beginning tracking is important to learn and understand. I tracked for a full year, and yes it became monotonous. But all I ever did was enter what I ate and the app showed me all the data.

But today I don’t really track. I’m trained now. If I have to track anything on occasion it will be my carbs only so I can ensure I’m not accidentally sabotaging myself. And I did just spend two weeks tracking everything I ate so I could see the truth compared to what I was assuming each day. That helped me see where I had to adjust some habits. But then I stopped tracking. It’s good for checkpoints as needed.

(Chuck) #13

I am a retired electronics technician/engineer/software engineer. My strength has always been troubleshooting. I retired from Dell Computers as a Microsoft Master Certified System Engineer. My customers were the large corporations and government agencies. After retirement I turned to troubleshooting my hearing loss and health. I have severe hearing loss and use to have blood pressure issues. My blood pressure is back to normal after being high every since my early days in the military. My blood pressure issues I have traced to chemicals in process foods. My hearing loss will always be with me but the VA, and my VA audiologist is taking care of my hearing needs, but I am also proactive at keeping myself on top of the latest technology in hearing aids. And by the way the VA only issues top of the line hearing aids.

(Robin) #14

I forgot…. I did use carb manager app the first several months. It helped me get an idea of how and what to eat, while managing carbs.

(Doug) #15

Right on, Chuck! :slightly_smiling_face::sunglasses::exclamation:

(Bob M) #16

I’m saying that if you want to get a good idea of macros, you’ll need to trim the fat, at least to weigh it. You can eat it. Compare ribeyes:



Three ribeyes, all different. From fatty to lean. Yet if you plug these into a program, they’ll all be the same fat ratios, when they aren’t.

I’ve been doing this 11 years, and have NEVER counted anything (other than protein grams when I was testing that). And this is one reason why.

(Chuck) #17

Trimming the fat changes the flavor of the meat for the worse

(KM) #18

Ketosis (for me, I’m small, older female and relatively sedentary): 20 net carbs or fewer. I “track” that, that is, I aim for this. At this point, after a decade of some form of reduced carb/keto/carni, and at least five decades of understanding and having an awareness of calories (and understanding the high calorie count of wheat and sugar products, if not specifically being aware of the carbs), I don’t “micro track” any more, I know what’s going in my mouth.

I am also dedicated to whole food eating, which means a finite number of foods to choose from, which I basically know the content of.

(Geoffrey) #19

I don’t track anything but my weight.
I’m carnivore and I love the simplicity of it. I only eat when I’m truly hungry. I then just eat fatty meat until I’m comfortably full and satiated. I salt my food generously and drink only water.
When I hit what I thought would be my optimal weight I downloaded the carb manager app just to see if I was getting enough calories and fat to protein ratio. After a few weeks of doing that it showed that I was a little low on calories but that was an easy adjustment. I didn’t need to track when I was losing and I don’t need to track in maintenance. I just keep on keeping on. It’s what’s worked for me from the beginning.
I’m just not a numbers guy. In fact numbers just confuse me but I know that for some people it’s their thing.
We all gotta find what works best for each of us.

(Allie) #20

I track nothing… but I used to track everything, many years ago, until I got fed up with it.