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  • Writer's pictureKatie Berger

How to Avoid Playing Macro Tetris

Authored by: Katie Berger, Head Coach and Owner of KB Coaching

We all know the benefits of tracking macros over calories alone; benefits like optimizing for body composition and performance goals, achieving balanced nutrition, improving satiety and energy levels, and building greater intention and awareness around what we eat. But let’s face it, tracking three things (protein, carbs, and fat) takes more work than tracking just one thing: calories. For this reason it’s not uncommon for those newer to macro tracking to get stuck playing macro tetris, a not so fun game where you find yourself wondering, typically at the end of the day, “Hmmm, what has 46 g of carbs, 3 g fat, and 10 g protein?” needed to hit your daily goal. Finding foods that perfectly fit into your macro balance is the game of macro tetris and it’s no fun. In this article I’ll share tips to help you avoid macro tetris all together and also cheat codes in MacrosFirst that make playing the game easy.


Planning your day out in advance is the simplest and most effective way to achieve your macro goals. For some, planning simply means logging tomorrow’s meals the night before so there is no guesswork nor decision-making to consider when it’s time to eat. For others, planning may involve meal prepping, cooking in bulk, or reviewing restaurant menus in advance. No matter what planning looks like to you, taking any proactive approach to your diet not not only helps with managing portion sizes and ensuring balanced nutrition, but it also helps in setting you up for success in reaching your daily goal. There is no wrong way to plan.

Prioritize Protein

Prioritizing protein throughout your day is one of the easiest ways to help you hit your target goal by the end of the day. For many people, protein is the hardest macro goal to hit so pacing its consumption throughout your day and getting into the habit of prioritizing protein at meals will increase your likelihood of success. Another benefit is the greater satiety that you’ll feel throughout the day which mitigates cravings helping you stay on track.

Work Backwards

Another technique to avoid macro tetris is to log dinner first. Eating a well balanced breakfast and lunch may be easy, especially when your macro bank account is full, but by the time dinner comes around, it can be difficult to piece together a meal that fits your remaining macros. By starting the day with planning dinner first, you gain more flexibility in adjusting macronutrient intake earlier in the day, where it is typically easier and there are less food options to choose from. Figuring out how to consume 62 g of protein across your breakfast and lunch is a lot easier than trying to eat the same just before bed.

Cheat Sheet + MacrosFirst

Occasionally, amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to lose sight of the nutritional content in the food we eat and we may find ourselves at the end of a long day with an oddball collection of macros to hit. Enter macro tetris where the game is to find the foods that fit your macros. Some may find solving the puzzle fun. Others, like myself, don’t enjoy it and so I’ve developed this cheat sheet of common foods that are high in one macro and very low in others. Having a go to list of single-macro dominant foods makes it easy to hit your targets without searching for the perfect recipe.

Using MacrosFirst with your cheat sheet makes playing macro tetris truly effortless. All you need to do is log your food, tap one of the food’s macros, and then type in the amount of the macro that you’re trying to get from the food. MacrosFirst will then automatically update the food’s serving size required to yield that amount of protein, carbs, or fat. It’s that easy.

This serving size solver is also super helpful in helping me and my clients portion their protein throughout the day.

With a little bit of proactivity you can avoid playing macro tetris. And if you do find yourself stuck in the game, MacrosFirst + a cheat sheet gives you the ultimate cheat code to win everytime without even trying.

About Katie

Katie is the owner and head coach of KB Coaching, LLC where her mission is to empower everyday individuals, particularly those leading busy lives, to discover their optimal state of well-being. She specializes in guiding real people, who juggle many responsibilities, toward their 'feel-good' place through the effective and sustainable practice of macro tracking. Her approach is rooted in real-life experiences and a deep understanding of the practical challenges individuals face, aiming to support and guide them towards their health and fitness goals.

Join Katie in her newest program, Maintain and Mingle, a 30 day wellness challenge. You’ll receive 30 days of accountability and helpful strategies for navigating the holidays while maintaining your weight and healthy habits. This is the year you embrace the holiday season with a sense of empowerment and balance.

To work with Katie or learn more from her, visit and follow her on Instagram @kbnutritioncoach.


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