How to Track Macronutrients with the Palm Method



If you have been trying to learn how to track macronutrients then you may have read a lot about fitness app tracking and how to use mobile tracking apps like Myfitnesspal or my macros.


Using a fitness app is not the only effective method for tracking macronutrients. In fact there are several methods you can use to track macronutrients that research has shown are just as effective at helping you reach fitness goals such as weight loss or muscle building.


One such method is the Palm Method of macro tracking. This method has been shown to be equally as effective for weight loss goals as fitness app tracking.


In this article we are going to explain:

What exactly is the Palm Method of macronutrient tracking

How to track macronutrients using the Palm Method

Pros and Cons of the Palm Method for macronutrient tracking



What exactly is the Palm Method of macronutrient tracking

Tracking macros with the palm method involves using your own hand as an estimation tool to measure portions of the macronutrients you need to reach your goal. Below are the measurement estimations per macronutrient. Using the visualizations provided you can see how you can use your own hand to visualize the portions you need to fulfil each macronutrient requirement.



Based on the macronutrient needs that you have calculated for your goals, you can estimate how many portions or servings of each macronutrient you need to consume each day to reach your goal.


How to track macronutrients using the Palm Method

To learn how to track macronutrients using the palm method you will need two things: 1. your palm, and 2. a notebook, open notes on your phone, or some checklist to tick off how many portions of each macronutrient you have consumed each day.


Using the visualizations above you can easily begin to learn to estimate serving sizes using your hand. Knowing how many servings of each macronutrient to consume will depend on your specific goal.


For example: if you have a weight loss goal then you will want to eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current state.


Not only that, but having specific portions of those calories allotted to each macronutrient may allow you to reach your weight loss goal more quickly.


For example, diets higher in protein not only allows you to keep and maintain your current muscle mass, but protein also takes longer for your body to digest leaving you feeling fuller for longer. This can help you avoid snacking or large blood sugar dips that lead to ravenous hunger spikes.


I have a whole blog post on how to calculate your own calorie range and the ideal calorie range and macronutrient splits for different macronutrients coming up in this macro series.


But for now, in order to track macronutrients using the palm method you need to know what the specific macronutrient targets are for your goals, convert those targets into serving targets, and then you need a way to track that you are actually consuming those targets.


I recommend using a checklist (digital or on actual paper) each day to tick off each serving of macronutrients as you consume them.


Pros and Cons of the Palm Method for macronutrient tracking

While there is no perfect food tracking method to use when learning how to track macronutrients, there are pros and cons for each method.


Pros of the Palm Method

  • You need minimal equipment (you hand and a tracking medium like a notebook, checklist, or notes on your mobile phone)

  • It increases food knowledge and portion estimation skills

  • You can use it easily in restaurant or parties to estimate more accurately what you are consuming

  • It has been shown to be equally effective for weight loss or muscle gain goals as food tracking apps

Cons of the Palm Method

  • Requires you to calculate your own macronutrient targets or have a professional calculate them for you and convert those targets into serving targets.

  • Requires attention to detail and mindfulness in estimating portion sizes


Overall- mastering the palm method is my first recommendation when it comes to learning how to track macronutrients because it develops food knowledge and estimation skills that last a lifetime. No matter where you are, you will always have your hand with you to estimate the portions of food you are eating and this ease of use and convenience allows you to be more consistent and accurate.


I recommend and coach all my nutrition clients through at least two weeks of tracking macronutrients for these exact purposes: increasing mindfulness and awareness of food habits, building consistency in a new habit, and developing mastery of an important life skill that allows you to have more control over your body and your health in the long term.


Click here if you want to learn more about how online nutrition coaching can help you master these essential nutrition skills so you can reach your goals faster, with less hassle, to get lasting results.


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