I hit my macros - so why are my calories messed up? - IIFYM

What do I do if I hit my macros but have left over calories?


I founded IIFYM.com in 2011 specifically to show people a new way of weight loss. Not just a weight loss diet but a fat burning program that is centered around rapid fat loss while eating the foods you love. First with the introduction of our  macronutrient calculator and then a few years later when we introduced our game-changing Custom Macro Blueprint, I can confidently say, Mission accomplished!!

To date we have helped over 15k clients with their weight loss goals simply by tracking macros.
Out of the 14k people we have helped reach their weight loss goals, I would say that nearly 1000 have asked this question time and time again:

What do I do if I hit my macros but have left over calories?

First, you have to understand that it is impossible to hit your macros and not hit your calories. Not in the real world at least.

Carbs = 4 calories per gram
Protein = 4 calories per gram
Fat = 9 calories per gram

As you can see, it is mathematically impossible to hit your macros and not hit your calories. The math is the 100% accurate every single time.
Confused? Don’t be. It is not your fault that you don’t quite get it yet, and it is also not your fault that your macros don’t add up to the that were calculated for you when you used the IIFYM Macro Calculator to get your macros in the first place.

The problem is in your food tracking log.

See, apps like MyFitnesspal.com and MacroTracker.com rely on food that were entered by users just like you and me. Some of the foods in your macro tracking app are verified but many are not. This means that when Johnny Quarterback decided to add his own lasagna to the app, he filled out the macros wrong and nobody every caught it. Now every time someone plugs in his lasagna, the macros are all screwey. It is not uncommon to see some foods listed as having 100 calories with zero carbs, protein or fat. It is also pretty common to come across foods that have zero calories, but endless macros. The person that entered the food was simply careless.

IIFYM Coach Do It For You

What do I do now?

The best thing for you to do is to go through your foods that you entered and figure out which ones were put in wrong.

(This is very common with MyFitnesspal.com since people can enter anything they like and it screws things up for everyone else).
Do your best to make sure that the food you enter matches up with the food labels you get from the grocery store. In cases of restaurants, you can often go to their website and get the nutritional fact that way. Compare them to the numbers on your logging site and select the one that is closest to what you find online.
This is kind of a pain, but it is possible.

A better way to track macros

This is why we created MacroTracker.com and prefer it to some of the other apps out there. When users add their own food, they are required to enter the macros but CANNOT enter the calories. Instead, the system does the math for you and calculates the calories based on the macronutrients that you entered, helping to make things much more accurate!

Still find weight loss and tracking macros confusing? Check out our Custom Macro Blueprint where we do it all for you!
Not only do we show you exactly how to use IIFYM to reach your own specific weight loss goals, but we also give you a fool proof set of plans to follow, with your custom macros and offer a 30-day money back guarantee!

 


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  • Brent Hronik

    Well not *all* carbs are 4 cals/gram, some sugar alcohols are 2 cals/gram, so I am not sure how to count them.

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  • josh

    I’m just going to nutritiondata.self.com and trying to add the numbers of foods into a meal plan and nothing’s coming out right. example: my breakfast should be 54.4 g carbs, 48g protein, 13.4 g fat, 10-13g fiber and 530 cals. the closest i can come without eating like…1/4 tsp of oatmeal and 1/5 a tsp peanut butter in addition to it all is: 8g fat, 53g carbs, 44g protein and 399 cals. what am i doing wrong?!

  • sadz saeed

    Hi i’ve just worked my macros out and its coming up as 1445 calories, 95g carbs, 175g pro, 40g fat and 25g fiber.. but the problem is when i’m logging my food im and hiting my excat maco numbers but my calories are going slightly over upto 1465 so just wondering does it really matter if my calories go over as long as i’m hiting my excat macro numbers?? as we all know all the food are not equal and they are vary in macronutrition?? pls help

  • Kate

    I have been experiencing inconsistencies with my macros when using MyFitnessPal. Each time I enter my daily food journal it tell me I’m well under my calorie intake. It’s a little confusing for a new comer (and lover) of this site. Any other recommendations aside from MyFitnessPal would be greatly appreciated. I have worked out my Macros with my trainer but when I input the info into MFP it’s suggesting different macros.

    • Dora

      It doesn’t matter what MFP says about macros. Use the macros you got from IIFYM calculator/your trainer and use MFP for adding up your daily food/ calorie intake. Macros do matter. In this way you cannot go wrong.

      • Amber

        You can adjust the macros and calories in MFP by going into GOALS then tapping on one of the macros it will then display them on a dial that you can adjust as long as combined they equal 100%

  • AL

    This happens with “MyNetdiary” as well. It will allow mw to add in my cals but not my macros. it will override the numbers. Super annoying!

    • Rachael

      Al, I use my net diary and have done for ages now, you have to use my net diary pro, you have to pay for it but this one lets you customise your split :O)

  • Megan

    So essentially, don’t trust the calories given on a label. If the numbers listed above for the amount of calories per gram are accurate, then food companies aren’t calculating calories correctly. I have discrepancies with many of the foods I eat and the calorie breakdown for macros and the total calories listed. What gives?

  • Manuel perea

    How important is the calorie counting portion of iifym. I’m having trouble hitting my macros and staying under calories other days it seems to be the opposite. Is it more important to hit the big 4; fats, carbs, proteins, fiber than to hit or stay under a certain caloric intake? Any advice?

  • Mumbbo

    Log on to livestrong.com/myplate, I think this works better than mypalfitness, cause it has verified options in the food.

  • Term

    I always have that issue with MFP. For example, today I have the day planned out. I am going to hit every macro but yet it stays I have 204 calories left.. Obviously not possible. Think i’m going to pad and paper my daily intake until I find a counter that has verified food inputs in their database.

    • Dora

      I heard good things about caloriecounter. It is worth a try.

  • Jessica

    I find loseit to be a pretty good app for keeping track. The only downside is that it only gives you a daily total, not a total per meal like MFP.
    Still though, a really easy site to use.

  • Rod

    Well….

    Here I was believing I was on track with my total calories hitting my macros. Turns out each day MFP was calculating it wrong and I was 500 calories over per day!

    So I hit my macros in grammage but it put my calories way over. Which one is wrong? Well there are so many ingredients to work out I’m not brave enough to go there yet. Anyway I’m too scared to weigh myself lol but will see at the end of a week.

  • Rhodri

    I think everyone needs to take a chill. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t log perfectly! There’s error in everything! The number this calculator gives you is not 100% accurate, does that mean you’re not going to use it? No! One egg in a box is different to the egg next to it! Makes very little difference! Log, monitor progress and adjust as fit.

  • Nikkii

    According to my current macros/calories, I’ve hit all my macros exactly except I went 3g over my protein goal, and I still have 96 calories left over. I’ve double checked all the foods in MFP and they’re right. Soo it seems to me that it is possible to hit macros and still have calories left over..? As long as I hit my macros though, I think anything less than 100 calories being left over isn’t going to be that big of a deal.

  • Barbara

    Yeah but I think the issue is, you can have 20g of carb on a food that has 200cal, but you can also have 20g of carb on a food that has 100 cal, so yes it is possible to have a difference, then what to do?

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  • Vin’s

    What if one day I don’t have calories left because I ate too much g of fat, but still have carbohydrates and protein left, should I try to hit my macros or just stick to the calories ? (not sure about my english sorryyy)

  • Vin’s

    What if one day I have no calories left because I ate too much g of fat but didn’t eat enough carbs and proteins, should I eat to hit my macros or just stick to the calories ? (not sure about my english sorryy)

    • lucila

      same as meeee!! did you get the solution?

  • Chin

    Is it fine to overshoot the fat macro but cut back on the carb component? I hit my protein macro and end up with the same caloric total. I’m not trying to go on a low carb diet, it’s just easier to stack on fat, and I usually don’t have a huge appetite anyway.

    • Gav Kennedy

      might as well go keto … the fats will keep you from being hungry high fat med pro low carb

  • Delina

    “It is impossible to hit your macros and not hit your calories.” This is not true calorie counts with carbs vary depending on how you are counting fiber towards your caloric intake. Fiber doesn’t always contribute 4 calories per gram and some labels have even removed it from their calorie calculations completely because of this (and because it makes their product look better to have lower calories – I’m talking about you Quest Bars). How is IIFYM’s calculations using fiber towards the total caloric intake for the day?

  • Jeff Craft

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that it is mathematically impossible to hit A macro and not hit your calories? It seems to me that once you hit one of your macros you’re done eating for that day.

  • Taylor Podraza

    What should I do if I don’t hit my carb Marcos, I always hit my fats and protein, right now I’m projected at 350-400.. Should I just go back to rice and sweet potatoes.

  • Katie

    “It is impossible to hit your macros and not his your calories” ….unless you consumed alcohol….

  • godlesssaint

    why the hell would you use My Fitness Pal anyway. Get the macros and calories with a google search and fill out a spreadsheet.

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