First off, thanks for the positive feedback! Glad to know you're being helped by my vids; it's why I make them.
One tip to help get that calorie count up is to make sure to consume enough fat calories on a daily basis. Many people just focus on protein and carb intake, letting the fats fall where they may. This is a mistake, and fats should be held as high on the nutritional totem pole as protein and carbs. In fact, fats should be held higher in importance than carbs in all reality.
When you total things up, you're really not looking at crazy numbers. As you put it, there are around 50 grams of 'simple carbs.' Realistically, the differences in how simple and complex carbs effect your body become awfully blurred when other foods are being digested at the same time and the body is not in a fasted state. Although some carbs are structurally 'simpler' than others, the degree of which their effect on the body differs is negligible.
I believe in eating healthy foods as often as possible, but I'm also not afraid to drink a glass of orange juice because of the 'simple' carb content, drop a few grams of brown sugar into my oatmeal, or intake some milk sugar. The day I stop eating/drinking fruit/milk due to the complexity of their carbs is the day I start using tricep kickbacks as my number one mass building exericse!
IMO, here is my priority list for nutrition:
- Hit my daily calorie goal
- Roughly obtain my target daily macronutrients using micronutrient dense foods whenever possible
Yes, I feel focusing on intaking the right calorie number is more important than hitting specific macronutrient numbers. For example, I know my macros ROUGHLY each day, but I don't worry about hitting them specifically. However, I do know my total calorie intake at the end of each day. I haven't counted macros in years, as I use a simpler and equally effective approach that requires less worry and stress.