Tracking Macronutrients for Bulk and Complex Meals with Examples - IIFYM

Tracking Macros for Bulk and Complex Meals


 

If you’re familiar and comfortable with flexible dieting, logging and tracking your meals then counting macronutrients is a breeze by now.

If you’re newer, and still unsure where to begin, check out our IIFYM macro calculator to get started, or talk to one of our coaches and they can get you on the right path.

Yet, what about those instances where the macronutrients aren’t so easy to track?

It’s not always reasonable to make each meal independently from our families or to cook each portion individually rather than saving time and cooking in bulk.

So, for those meal prep Sundays and family dinners, here’s how to partake without messing up your daily macronutrients.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

 

macronutrients

 

You don’t have to be Italian to love some good old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs. Plus, now that you follow IIFYM you don’t have to fear pasta anymore! This is a favorite among our clients, they love being able to lose fat while eating pasta once again!

Yet, what happens when you want to make a massive serving? Have no fear, your macronutrients can remain intact and tracked.

You’ll need:

  • 2lbs lean ground turkey (93/7)
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 1lb whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 (30oz) jar spaghetti sauce

Instructions:

  1. Put sauce in a pan and simmer on medium heat
  2. In a large bowl mix turkey, pepper, salt, and parsley. Shape into 18 meatballs
  3. Place meatballs in sauce. Cover and cook 30-35 minutes or until cooked thoroughly
  4. Cook pasta according to instructions on box

Now that the IIFYM Gods have graced you with this impeccable meal, it’s time to track those macronutrients.

  • 1lb of pasta = 454 grams
  • 1 jar of sauce = 30 oz
  • 2lbs turkey = 908g/18 meatballs = 50 grams

So, if you want to portion it out into 6 servings, for example, you would simply divide:

  • 454/6= 76 grams
  • 30/6= 5 oz
  • 18 meatballs/6= 3 meatballs

Or, if there’s a specific amount you’re hoping for, simply weigh your pasta, sauce, and meatballs, and plug them in independently.

Macronutrients for 1 serving:

  • Protein: 40 grams
  • Carbs: 82 grams
  • Fiber: 14 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams

Beef and Vegetable Stew

 

macronutrients

 

You’ll need:

  • 2lbs 90/10 beef
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • 200g diced potatoes
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 stalk celery (chopped)

Instructions:

  1. Place meat in a slow cooker
  2. Stir in beef broth, vegetables, and spices
  3. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, or high for 4-6 hours

What’s difficult about soup is not getting exact portions every time. Yet, eyeballing portions is probably the best way to get as close to your macronutrients as possible. With that said, weighing out each ingredient will give you the most accurate calculation.

iifym meal plan

With that said, weighing out each ingredient will give you the most accurate calculation. We stress this with our clients so they understand where mistakes may be occurring.

Total the macronutrients for all ingredients. I came up with:

  • Protein: 192 grams
  • Carbs: 75 grams
  • Fiber: 14 grams
  • Fat: 92 grams

If you want to split the soup into equal portions, weigh the total batch (ex. 500g), and divide by the number of servings you’d like (ex. 500/4=125g).

So with our numbers, the macronutrients for each serving of soup When divided into 4 would total:

  • Protein: 48 grams
  • Carbs: 18 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Fat: 23 grams

*For lower fat options, sub in chicken, or lean ground turkey.

Tacos

 

macronutrients

 

This recipe is simple to track! Every ingredient will be individually weighed, so being spot on with your macronutrients will be a breeze.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 93/7 lean ground turkey
  • Lettuce
  • Reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • Fat-free sour cream
  • Tortillas
  • Hot sauce

Depending on how many people you’re serving will obviously affect how much of each ingredient you prepare. For our example, we’ll assume we’re making 2 tacos.

Our macronutrients for:

  • 2 tortillas (Carlita Whole Wheat Tortillas)
  • 5 oz lean ground turkey
  • Lettuce (as much as you’d like)
  • 28 grams cheese
  • 2 tbsp fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce

Macronutrients:

  • Protein: 42 grams
  • Carbs: 43 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Fat: 19 grams

For a lower fat option, swap out 93/7 turkey for 99/1, or chicken. Or instead of reduced fat cheese, use fat-free.

 

Kabobs

 

pcos protein

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken
  • 1 container of whole mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 tbsp Lawry’s marinade

Instructions:

  1. Chop green pepper, onion, and mushrooms into large chunks
  2. Cut chicken into large chunks and place in a baggie with marinade (for best results refrigerate for several hours)
  3. Alternate veggies and chicken on wooden kabob skewers
  4. Grill for about 10 minutes, turning every few minutes

For our example, let’s say with our portions we prepared, we were left with 6 kabobs.

breastfeeding calories

Totaling everything our macronutrients would work out to:

  • Protein: 103 grams
  • Carbs: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams

Macronutrients per 2 kabobs:

  • Protein: 35 grams
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 1.5 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams

Chili

 

macronutrients

 

Similar to soup in portioning, chili can be divided into portions. Our recipe:

  • 2 lbs 93/7 lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans

Instructions:

  1. Cook meat in a large pot along with the garlic
  2. Drain the excess fat and add tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne
  3. Stir ingredients well, cover, and reduce to low heat
  4. Simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally
  5. Add water if necessary for desired consistency

Macronutrients for this total chili recipe:

  • Protein: 183 grams
  • Carbs: 47 grams
  • Fiber: 18 grams
  • Fat: 65 grams

If you want to split the chili into equal portions, weigh the total batch (ex. 500g), and divide by the number of servings you’d like (ex. 500/4=125g).

So with our numbers, the macronutrients for each serving of chili if divided into 4 would total:

  • Protein: 46 grams
  • Carbs: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 4.5 grams
  • Fat: 16 grams

As stated in previous recipes, for lower fat options, opt for chicken or extra lean turkey. This is especially suggested if you’re eating too much fat and aren’t hitting your protein intake.

This is a common occurrence with our clients starting out. Going over on fat intake means an adjustment is necessary.

Sloppy Joes

 

macronutrients

 

  • 1lb 90/10 ground beef
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Brownberry Whole Wheat Buns

Instructions:

  1. In a medium skillet cook ground beef, onion, and pepper. Drain liquid after cooking
  2. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup and mix thoroughly. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Macronutrients for an entire serving of sloppy joes (excluding buns):

  • Protein: 92 grams
  • Carbs: 64 grams
  • Fiber: 0
  • Fat: 44 grams

breastfeeding calories

If you want to split the sloppy joes into equal portions, weigh the total batch (ex. 500g), and divide by the number of servings you’d like (ex. 500/4=125g).

So with our numbers, macronutrients total for each serving of sloppy joes if divided into 4 would total:

  • Protein: 23 grams
  • Carbs: 16 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 11 grams

Let’s say we wanted to split this portion into 2 buns. Then our total macronutrients would be:

  • Protein: 37 grams
  • Carbs: 62 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams

**For lower fat option sub in lean ground turkey

Lo Mein

 

macronutrients

 

Asian dishes can be made pretty macro friendly considering for many, it involves chicken, rice, vegetables, and lots of spices and sauces! Let’s talk lo mein.

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sweetener

Lo Mein:

  • 10 oz uncooked lo mein egg noodles (for our recipe I’m using Wel-Pac)
  • 1 lb chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 green onion stalks
  • 3 cups mixed vegetables (for our recipe I’m using Westpac Stir Fry Vegetables)
  • 2 tbsp mirin

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for sauce and whisk
  2. In a large pot, boil water, and cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain well
  3. Cook frozen veggies as directed on package
  4. Bake or cook chicken until finished to your liking
  5. Spray large skillet well with non-stick cooking spray
  6. Combine veggies, chicken, mirin, olive oil and sauce mixture
  7. Add noodles and toss to combine

For this recipe, if you wanted to split it into equal portions, you would weigh the batch and divide. So let’s say our batch weighs 500g and we want 4 servings (500/4=125g).

Macronutrients for this entire batch:

  • Protein: 140 grams
  • Carbs: 223 grams
  • Fiber: 14 grams
  • Fat: 39 grams

Macronutrients per serving (125g)

  • Protein: 35 grams
  • Carbs: 56 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Fat: 10 grams

 

As you can see, flexible dieting isn’t only reserved for those specific, precise instances. The whole point of using IIFYM is to be able to utilize it in your everyday life. Our clients enjoy a variety of foods and dishes but it can get complicated, which is why we have coaching and custom programs to help you.

That means participating in family events and enjoying meals with friends. So yes, you can still hit your macronutrients without missing out on life. Have your cake and eat it too!

about the author

Molly Larson

I’m a natural bikini pro and powerlifter. I’m also a contest prep coach specializing in strength, muscle gain, weight loss, and focusing on both physical and mental health.


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