Tracking Macros With Carb Manager (And Top 7 Macro Tracking Mistakes)
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Tracking Macros With Carb Manager (And Top 7 Macro Tracking Mistakes)

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Tracking Macros With Carb Manager (And Top 7 Macro Tracking Mistakes)

Posted 2 years ago

Brian Stanton

Brian Stanton


Dr. Kevin R. Gendreau

Dr. Kevin R. Gendreau

Author and Scientific Reviewer

Expert Approved

Learning how to track macros is day one stuff on Keto. Tracking macros is how you keep carbs sufficiently low enough to enter the fat-burning state called ketosis

But macro tracking is more than just a Keto strategy. It's a nutritional strategy that keeps you hurtling towards your goal of becoming a healthier you. 

Did you know that keeping a food diary has been shown to double weight loss?[*] The more you track your food intake, the easier it is to manage your health. 

Macro tracking is simple in principle but sometimes tricky in practice. Even with a super intelligent app like Carb Manager on your side, you can make mistakes. 

But the app does make things considerably easier. Later, we'll explore how tracking macros with Carb Manager can supercharge your results. We'll also explore the top 7 macro tracking mistakes, how to prevent them, and tips for macro tracking in the 21st century. First, though, let's cover some macro basics. 

What Are Macros?

Macronutrients (aka macros) are nutrients your body requires in large amounts. These nutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fat—contain stored energy (calories) that your body, through digestion and metabolization, converts to a form of usable energy called ATP

Micronutrients, conversely, are nutrients that your body requires in small amounts. And unlike macros, vitamin D, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and other "micros" don't contain calories. 

As an aside, alcohol is technically considered a macronutrient. But since alcohol serves no valuable role in the body, we'll leave it off the list. (Don't forget to count alcohol calories while macro tracking though!).   

Below is a rundown of the big three: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. 


Calories per gram: 4

Functions: Building muscle, synthesizing neurotransmitters, building cells, producing hormones, healing wounds, producing energy as ATP.[*

Essential? Yes. Without dietary protein, we would wither away reasonably quickly. 


Calories per gram: 4

Functions: Producing energy as ATP, refilling glycogen (stored glucose), maintaining blood sugar levels, stimulating insulin release.[*]

Essential? No. When you restrict carbs, your body shifts to using fat for energy. Meanwhile, you have backup systems (like gluconeogenesis) that produce glucose without carbs.[*] Of the three macronutrients discussed, carbohydrates are almost certainly the least essential because we can simply make our own sugar.


Calories per gram: 9

Functions: Producing energy as ATP, structuring cell membranes, balancing inflammation, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.[*][*

Essential? Just about. You can survive on protein and carbs, but you'll likely develop vitamin and omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies. 

Why Tracking Macros Is Important

Macro tracking allows you to measure, manage, and master your nutritionally-conscious lifestyle. It helps bring your health goals to fruition.

The Keto diet is the obvious example. On Keto, you consume 55 to 75 percent of your calories from fat, 15 to 35 percent from protein, and below 10 percent from carbohydrates. 

Keeping your macros in these proportions keeps the hormone insulin low, signaling your liver to burn fat and produce ketones.[*] Researchers have linked this state (ketosis) to weight loss, hunger control, improved cognition, lower inflammation, and better metabolic health.[*][*][*][*][*

But you don't have to eat Keto to benefit from macro tracking. For example, if you want to lose fat, you might dial down carb or fat calories 5 or 10 percent. And if you want to gain muscle, you might dial up protein calories by a similar amount. 

In one study with 1700 participants, keeping a daily food log (vs. not keeping one) led to twice the weight loss.[*] By simply recording their food intake, people naturally consumed fewer calories. Tracking is insightful and can help with accountability.

Top 7 Macro Tracking Mistakes

Ready to start tracking macros with Carb Manager? Save yourself a boatload of future hassle by avoiding these mistakes. (Note: in the next section, we'll cover how the app's many features can help you prevent them.)

#1: Missing snacks

Tracking your macros means monitoring everything you eat. Not just your meals. 

If you pop a few cashews on the way to the airport, log that snack. This creates automatic accountability. Knowing you'll log everything tends to discourage mindless eating. 

#2: Logging partial days

Commit to at least one full day of tracking macros. If you log your food intake piecemeal, you won't have enough actionable information. 

You won't know your daily carb intake. You won't know your daily calories. You won't know if you're getting enough daily protein. And so on. 

#3: Measuring portions incorrectly

You might be able to nail your portions by eyeballing your meals. But then again, you might not. 

A more reliable way is to measure mass and volume with a scale, cups, spoons, etc. But you don't have to weigh everything. If you know (without measuring) that the chicken breast on your salad weighs 6 ounces, that's fine. Diligently measuring portions is often a temporary, but necessary tactic as you start your weight loss journey.

#4: Not creating custom meals

Custom meals are a huge timesaver if you frequently eat the same thing. Just log the ingredients once in Carb Manager (Premium version), and your custom meal will be there for all time, etched into the fabric of spacetime as the Universe slowly transmogrifies into a vast field of isolated black holes.[*

Eventually, even the black holes themselves will disappear. But your custom meal will still be there.   

#5: Not planning ahead

If you want to achieve any goal—including macro tracking—it's wise to have a plan. You can set goals and plan meals in the Carb Manager app. It beats winging it.

#6: Ignoring other metrics

When it comes to health metrics, macros aren't everything. You also have sleep, exercise, body weight, blood glucose, ketones, cholesterol, and even your intermittent fasting schedule. (Note: you can track all these metrics with Carb Manager premium). Check out this blog for tips on advanced tracking. 

#7: Being unclear about your goals

Why are you tracking macros? To lose weight? Gain muscle? Heal your gut

Your answers will dictate your macro strategy, so get clear about them. As your goals shift, your macro system will shift too. 

10 Tips for Tracking Macros With Carb Manager

Carb Manager has everything you need to thrive on your macro-tracking lifestyle. Here's how to track macros like a pro in the app and minimize your macro mistakes. (Note: all features except meal logging, exercise logging, weight tracking, and recipe search are only available in the Premium version). 

#1: Use the barcode scanner 

Many people worry that macro tracking will be laborious. Won't logging foods suck up your precious free time?

Not if we can help it. When you use the Carb Manager barcode scanner, you'll save time and never miss an ingredient. Just scan the food, and the app instantly logs all the ingredients. 

#2: Use voice logging

If you're always on the go, our voice logging feature is your salvation. Just say, "hey, Carb Manager," then dictate which foods you'd like to record. Pro tip: use voice logging in mixed company for an interesting conversation starter. 

#3: The visual snap

If you think barcode scanning and voice logging are cool, wait for this one. With the Visual Snap Feature, take a picture of your meal, and the app logs every food in the image for you! We swear we didn't hire aliens to create this technology. 

#4: Create custom meals 

Forgoing custom meals is a major macro mistake. Solve this problem by creating custom meals, meal plans, and recipes in the app and add to your daily total with one click. 

#5: Set macro goals 

The Carb Manager app helps you set macro goals:

  • By day (if you practice intermittent fasting, for example)
  • By meal 
  • By diet (not just Keto, but Paleo, Whole 30, and other common diets)
  • That adjust with your exercise regimen 

Say you take an unplanned run. No problem. You can "deduct macros" from your daily total, have an extra snack, and still hit your macro goals.  

Remember, getting clear about your goals is crucial in setting your macro strategy. As your goals change—and as you achieve them—Carb Manager makes it easy to dynamically update your macro targets. 

For instance, if your weight changes, the Smart Macros feature automatically adjusts your macro goals. Just sit back, relax, and let us do the calculation. 

#6: Track other metrics 

There's more to health than tracking calories from fat, protein, and carbs. With Carb Manager, you can measure and track exercise, weight, sleep, intermittent fasting, glucose, ketones, and more

#7: Track micronutrients 

When it comes to long-term health, micronutrients matter. Carb Manager automatically logs your micros so you can monitor your vitamin and mineral status.

#8: Stay accountable 

Share your macro love with over 8 million friends in the Carb Manager community. For an extra boost of motivation, consider earning points for tracking macros in a monthly Carb Manager challenge.

#9: Learn to cook 

With over 50,000 healthy recipes that fit your macros, you won't be short on options. 

#10: Level up your knowledge 

Read articles (like this one!) and watch educational videos in Carb Manager's Keto Academy. The more you learn, the easier it will become to crush your health goals. 

Okay, you're well on your way to macro success. The next step is to take action. Get the Carb Manager app, play with the features, and make a plan. The rest will fall into place naturally. 

Comments 27

  • Steady160261

    Steady160261 9 months ago

    If 100g of leaf salad says 19kcal, should I fill 1900cals ?

    • SuperCauliflower996681

      SuperCauliflower996681 7 months ago

      You should enter 19 calories. (Without knowing why, just think about a human’s recommended diet is in the neighborhood of 2,000 calories per day, and clearly 100g of salad isn’t close to a whole day’s calorie budget). Sorry nobody from CM responded to your question. I’m super disappointed with this apps lack of personal responsiveness. To your question here is a link to an article with your answer

  • Kateberger1

    Kateberger1 a year ago

    Is it better to turn on the deduct calories burned from exercise before logging food feature or keep the total calories eaten and disregard exercise?

    • Tr@ce

      Tr@ce 9 months ago

      Hi. I tried that feature and was happy to be able to eat some extra carbs/calories given how active I was, especially on weekends, but for me, it was ruining my progress to ketosis so I switched back. I am new at this (~ 1 month) so maybe later I can try that feature again with better success.

  • PropitiousCauliflower788327

    PropitiousCauliflower788327 a year ago

    I'm excited to start.

    • SuperCauliflower996681

      SuperCauliflower996681 7 months ago

      7/12/23 how is it goi g? Did you get started 21 weeks ago?

  • ExcellentRadish76

    ExcellentRadish76 2 years ago

    Great beginner tips, thanks

    • DK

      DK 2 years ago

      Why dont my macros equal my calorie goal??

      • IneffableRadish922490

        IneffableRadish922490 a year ago

        your Proteins, Carbs, and Fats are measured in grams. Multiply your Proteins and Carbs by 4 to get your calories. And multiply your Fats by 9 to get those calories. Add all your totals and it should equal out.

    • AwesomeMacadamia164896

      AwesomeMacadamia164896 2 years ago

      I keep trying to log what I’m eating but can’t find it later. I’m confused on how this works but can’t find my way back to the beginning to reread it.

      • FortuitousMacadamia621743

        FortuitousMacadamia621743 2 years ago

        I want to count total carbs not net carbs but I don't know how to change the ap to count total carbs

        • Lana K 1968

          Lana K 1968 2 years ago

          Hey there. Click on the settings icon in the upper left corner. Click on app settings. The very first item, click on the green 'net carbs', select total carbs. Boom! You're done. :-)

      • Keto Mama87

        Keto Mama87 2 years ago

        New user, like that it tracks micro nutrients, it would be nice if I could track the supplements I take and if I could track more information while pregnant and nursing but it may be a liability issue for them.

        • Vern

          Vern 2 years ago

          how to determine what flavor carb manager is installed?

          • Vern

            Vern 2 years ago

            how to track gluten

            • FortuitousCauliflower325900

              FortuitousCauliflower325900 2 years ago

              I’m only using about half of my macros in all areas. Is that good or bad?

              • SebAT

                SebAT 2 years ago

                The question is more if it’s sustainable. If you run on that level your metabolism will slow down accordingly. So you’re more into starvation than Keto.

            • AwesomeArugula876873

              AwesomeArugula876873 2 years ago

              How do I measure carbs in keto bread

              • ExcellentAvocado836506

                ExcellentAvocado836506 2 years ago

                Lost 14 lbs. do my macros change. Thought it was supposed to do it automatically.

                • UnbelievableMacadamia507972

                  UnbelievableMacadamia507972 2 years ago

                  How can I delete a double entry?

                  • PropitiousCauliflower287007

                    PropitiousCauliflower287007 2 years ago

                    It's insightful

                    • SplendidKetone609204

                      SplendidKetone609204 2 years ago

                      how can I record what I eat, by weight ie grams not by cup

                      • cindymillburg

                        cindymillburg 2 years ago

                        Change it when entering the food item by scrolling the dial

                      • TeaCupLady

                        TeaCupLady 2 years ago

                        You can change the measurement by using the drop down menu.

                    • Thiccbich

                      Thiccbich 2 years ago

                      I swear im always struggling with this

                      • SuperCauliflower996681

                        SuperCauliflower996681 7 months ago

                        7/12/23 Do you mean always struggling with using the app when you say “…I’m always struggling with this”, or do you mean something else?

                    • MirthfulAvocado545740

                      MirthfulAvocado545740 2 years ago

                      Nice Article!