I got bored of tracking food for awhile and stopped, but felt like it yesterday and today. I'm trying to keep track for whole days only, and should probably keep track of whether it's a weekend or weekday since my eating habits change dramatically.
I'm pretty reluctant to start counting calories despite the obvious helpfulness of it, but I might start aiming for macro percentages to start off with. What to aim for is a difficult question since different sources vary wildly. Government recommends carb 45 – 65 %; protein 10 – 35 %; fat 20 – 35 % of total calories. In the fitness field, low carb is obviously pretty popular now, with the difference made up by differing levels of fat/protein depending who you ask. It looks like a lot of people are doing 40-30-30 CPF, which seems pretty well balanced. This is one article I found helpful, although who knows how much it's actually supported by science. It seems like higher carb is better for building muscle (bulking) and lower carb is better for losing fat (cutting). A moderate "maintenance" amount seems most reasonable for me. They also claim "moderate carbs" (20-50%) are best for mesomorphs, which I'm pretty sure I am, and that lower carbs are better for women, which I'm also pretty sure I am.
I'm a little hesitant to go super high on the protein because it's hard on the kidneys, and I'm not convinced that I need massive amounts of protein anyway since I'm not going to be building very much muscle volume. I've seen more scientific evidence that high levels of protein are harmful than the opposite, although I'm sure both are out there.
All that to say, I'm gonna be safe and aim for moderate amounts, at least for now - I'm thinking 50-20-30 CPF. I might push that to 45-25-30 later, but I'd rather transition slowly and see how I feel in a few weeks. When I was tracking before I was around 55-20-25 CPF, give or take 5-10% in every direction depending on the day. I think I was trying harder than usual those days to eat a lot of protein, though - I suspect I'm down around 10% or less protein more days than I'd like. It probably doesn't matter that much unless it's really extreme in some direction anyway. Just interesting to know, if I'm keeping track of foods anyway.
Calorie-wise I seem to be eating 1800-2000, at least for the days I tracked, which sounds reasonable to me. That's probably pretty close to my maintenance level at my current activity level, since my weight's been very stable for months or longer. In the past few days I've been about 5 lbs lighter, but I'm not sure if that's real - might just be my crappy scale or those "monthly" variations. I'm not really attempting to lose weight anyway, although it'd be nice to get back to the size I was in my early 20s, which is about 5-10 lbs less than my current weight (assuming no radical changes in muscle vs. fat %).