How to Use Cronometer to Optimise Your Micronutrients [Micros Masterclass FAQ Part 3]

This section of the FAQs covers everything you need to know to get the most out of Cronometer during the Micros Masterclass.

Can I Use Another App to Track My Food?

Cronometer is the only food tracking app that accurately tracks macronutrients and micronutrients.  This data is critical to Nutrient Optimiser and enables it to recommend the best foods and meals for you to meet your macronutrient and micronutrient needs. 

Do I Need the Paid (Gold) Version of Cronometer?

While the paid version of Cronometer has some cool extra features, you won’t need them for the Micros Masterclass.  The free version is perfectly fine.

Do I Need to Weigh and Measure My Food? 

While you will need to track your food during the four-week Micros Masterclass, you don’t need to weigh and measure everything precisely to succeed.  

Greater accuracy is ideal, but not if it comes at the expense of feeling overwhelmed and giving up. 

Weighing your food can be helpful for a week or so if you’re eager.  But you will get good at estimating the portion sizes without relying on food scales before too long. 

If you’re looking to lose weight, the good news is the satiety value of your food will skyrocket as you dial in your nutrient density.  As you pay attention to food quality, food quantity looks after itself. 

Nutrient-dense foods are super filling and hard to overeat.  That’s why tracking the weight of every morsel of food to restrict calories intentionally becomes largely irrelevant. 

Will I Need to Track My Food After the Challenge?   

Although we utilise food tracking to guide you through the challenges, we are massive advocates for building sustainable habits that minimise the need for tracking. 

You only need to track your food for four weeks during the Micros Masterclass to ‘calibrate’ and become familiar with the quantities of foods that are most optimal for you.  This is a small price to pay to fine-tune your diet for the long term.  

Our ultimate goal is to guide you to find a shortlist of foods and meals that you love eating that align with your goals and to build lasting habits that you can rely upon without tracking your food.  

The Micros Masterclass and Nutrient Optimiser will change how you see foods by giving you better insight into how they affect you individually and align with your goals.  You won’t be able to unsee what you will learn!  You will see the foods you eat in a new light and make more intelligent choices free from external constraints and tracking. 

Food tracking can be a fantastic tool to build healthy habits.  However, focusing on hitting numbers instead of how you feel can become unhealthy over the long term as you ignore your body’s cues.  So, it’s critical to learn to listen to your body’s signals.  We don’t want you to outsource your cravings and satiety signals to a smartphone app forever!  

While you can continue to track your food, we want you to learn new practices and build new habits so you don’t have to track forever.  However, you can always come back and use Nutrient Optimiser to fine-tune your diet periodically and for new recipe inspiration.  We have an ever-growing database of recipes tailored to meet your unique goals, preferences and micronutrient requirements

Should I Take My Supplements?

The primary goal of the Micros Masterclass is to guide you to get all the nutrients you need from the foods you eat every day.  Whole foods contain the nutrients you need in the forms and ratios your body requires

Our analysis shows that whole foods provide more vitamins, minerals, and amino acids per calorie align with greater satiety.  In contrast, supplementation and fortification of processed foods that are otherwise nutrient-poor do not provide the same satiety benefit.  

Instead, it actually appears that we tend to overconsume these ultra-processed fortified foods with little nutritional value and even lose our cravings for the healthy whole foods that we require to thrive.  

We don’t mind if you continue to take your supplements.  However, if you’re up for it, the Macros Masterclass will guide you to wean yourself off the supplements you no longer need.  Many people have found they save hundreds of dollars a month when they can forego handfuls of expensive supplements after learning how to get their nutrients from the foods they eat. 

Should I Log My Supplements During the Micros Masterclass? 

As you track your food, Nutrient Optimiser will give you food and meal recommendations to fill the nutritional gaps in your current diet.  Hence, its suggestions won’t be as valuable if you include your supplements.  You will just get a false sense of security and will continue to be blissfully unaware of the nutritional gaps in the food you are eating.  If you’re also vying for a place on the Diet Quality Leaderboard, we will review your food log to validate they don’t contain fortified foods or supplements. 

My Diet Quality Score Is REALLY Low!  What Am I Doing Wrong? 

To get the best results from the Micros Masterclass, you should do what you can to enter the best data in Cronometer.  This will allow Nutrient Optimiser to give you its best recommendations so that you can meet your micronutrient needs. 

There is a LOT of data in Cronometer, including data from brand name foods that often come with poor micronutrient data.  Hence, you should try to log generic ingredients from the NCDDB database most of the time.  If you use the bar code scanner or pick a brand name food product, you’re more likely to use garbage data, negatively skewing your recommendations.   

In the bottom corner of the screenshot of the food entry below, you can notice the NCCDB data source with “77 listed nutrients”.  This means this food entry contains all the macro and micronutrient data possible for one food, allowing Nutrient Optimiser to make the best food recommendations for you.

If you use the bar code scanner or brand name foods, you are more likely to get food entries with far fewer listed nutrients.  For example, notice how the entry for salmon below only shows nine listed nutrients instead of 77 that are included in the NCCDB entry above. 

When you search for a food, you can look down at the right-hand column to check the data source.

You can also set a filter in Cronometer to only display entries from the NCCDB.  To do so, click on the spikey wheel next to the search button in the web-based version or click on the filter bars next to the search box in the Cronometer app. 

How is the Cronometer Nutrition Score Different from the Nutrient Optimiser Diet Quality Score? 

Cronometer has nutrition scores for various goals and conditions.  However, to meet these targets, you need to eat more food, which is not ideal if your goal is also to lose weight. 

In contrast, Nutrient Optimiser’s Diet Quality Score is based on all of the essential micronutrients per calorie, irrespective of food quantity.  To improve your score, you need to foods that provide more of the nutrients you are getting less of.  

These are shown towards the top of your nutrient fingerprint generated by Nutrient Optimiser (as shown in the example below). 

Nutrient Optimiser guides you to focus on foods and meals that contain more of the nutrients you require to fill the area to the left of the vertical 100% line.  This entirely different paradigm helps shift your focus from food quantity to food quality.  When you improve the nutrient density of your food, satiety increases, and it becomes nearly impossible to overeat these foods. 

How Do I Access the NutriBooster Recipes in My Cronometer Account? 

Once you join the Micros Masterclass, we will show you how to connect your Cronometer account to ours.  You will then be able to see all the NutriBooster recipes rather than having to enter each ingredient. 

How Do I Add NutriBooster Recipes to Cronometer?

Nutrient Optimiser provides you with recommended NutriBooster recipes that align with your macronutrient and micronutrient requirements.

Once you have connected your Cronometer account with ours, you can search for the recipes when adding a food to your daily diary.  Each NutriBooster recipe starts with “[Optimising Nutrition]”, as shown in the screenshot below.  Some people find it helpful to click on the ‘custom’ tab to find the NutriBooster recipes quickly.   

If you want to modify these recipes to suit your preferences or ingredient availability, right-click and select ‘explode recipe’ to show all the ingredients or swipe right on the recipe and choose ‘explode recipe’ to do this on the phone app. 

Alternatively, you can open a recipe, click on the three vertical dots in the top right, and then select ‘edit a copy’. 

How Do I Copy My Previous Days from Cronometer?

After you have logged a few days of your regular eating habits into Cronometer, there are some cool time-saving hacks that you can use to make it more efficient in the future. 

If you’re a creature of habit, you can copy the meals from one day into another.  First, click on the three vertical dots in the top right of the screen in Cronometer.  Next, click ‘copy previous day’ to today’s diary.  You can also click ‘copy current day’, go to another day, and paste all the entries from that day where you want them. 

How Can I Plan My Meals in Cronometer?

Optimisers who plan their meals ahead of time tend to do the best in our masterclasses.  The ‘hacks’ below will help you get the most out of the process.  These time-saving tricks are invaluable for planning! 

Your Favourite Foods

During the first week of baselining, you will identify Your Favourite Foods.  These foods you eat most frequently make up the bulk of your calories.  In Cronometer, you can click to tap on the star to add these foods to your favourites list.

You can then select the ‘favourites’ tab in Cronometer to only see these foods. 

Your ‘Favourite Foods’ List

Once you identify the foods you eat most frequently, you can set up a template of all your favourite foods that you can copy forward to future days with zeroed quantities.  This can make it easy to add the portions of the foods you want to eat quickly to efficiently plan for the coming days.   

Copy Previous Days

Once you find a few days that work well for you, you can copy and paste them forward to future days.  You can then make any tweaks before or after you eat based on what you end up eating that day.  

Protein First

When planning a day, it’s ideal first to establish how you will meet your minimum protein target.  After you have that dialled in, you can add other ingredients that provide your fat, carbs, and other necessary micronutrients. 

Fine-Tuning  

In the Micros Masterclass, reflecting and planning ahead becomes even more critical. 

Once you have planned a day in Cronometer, you can fine-tune your macros by reviewing how that day meets your nutrient targets.  You can adjust the quantities of each ingredient to ensure you are meeting your protein goal and still under your calorie target. 

To tune your micronutrient intakes, you can then tweak the quantities of each food you have planned to boost the micronutrients you need more of and dial back on foods that provide more energy than you require. 

In the Micros Masterclass, the people who spend some time fine-tuning their ingredients to ensure they are getting their macronutrients and harder-to-find micronutrients have the most success.  These folks see it as a fascinating game or puzzle to be solved rather than a chore. 

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