Should You Track Macros and count Calories?

Ok sis, as much as I love our girly chats and flooding this page with my thoughts, I want to keep this blog post short, sweet and to the delicious point…    PROS:     1. You have more control over your diet    2. You know exactly what’s going into your body and can make judgements regarding how your body thrives off different macronutrients. Do you need more protein, less protein etc.?    3. You feel a sense of direction with your next meal. Should this be a high carb açai bowl or a protein rich nourish bowl?    4. You’re held accountable and stay motivated throughout the day to reach your targets     CONS:     1. You obsess over the numbers and develop anxiety around food and feeling out of control when you can’t track it exactly    2. You follow trends and macro counting fads rather than listening to your body. You focus on the numbers rather than your body’s own signals    3. You can’t stop thinking about food and how you’re going to fit a cheat meal into your day. You feel guilty for going over or under your required macros for the day    4. You eat because you have to, and to achieve your goals. Food and diet becomes a number game… and you must win!   Okkkkk so that’s a nice and crisp little list I put together that pretty accurately described my current ideas and past relationship with counting macros. Back around 2014 I jumped on the whole ‘IIFYM’ (if it fits your macros) band wagon and thought it was the answer to all of my weight loss goals and shredding desires. Giiirllll was I wrong! I experienced every single con dot point stated above and was ultimately left even further away from my fitness goals, with severe gut health issues, a dairy intolerance I was in denial about and a terrible relationship with food.  However, I don’t regret this phase of my life at all! Although counting my macros was not mentally or physically healthy for me at the time, I do believe it has shaped my intuitive, relaxed and flexible style of eating now. Being consumed with what ingredients fell under a protein, carb or fat category actually enhanced my knowledge when it came to nutrition, and gave me a deep understanding of how my body thrived off each. I understood how much protein, carbs and fats my body needed and why. I was able to eye ball and estimate what 20 grams of protein looked like in chicken, eggs, fish, tofu or tempeh etc.  Nowadays I use that knowledge daily, but implement it in an intuitive, organic way. I think it’s extremely helpful when embarking on your own health and fitness journey to understand the important of each macronutrient, how you can include each in your diet and even how much.  This information has now become apart of my subconscious cooking mentality, and I’m constantly asking myself in my head “hmm what’s my healthy source of fat in this meal” etc.  One of my most frequently asked questions is do I count calories or track my macros, and what is my opinion on this. I thought it would be helpful to briefly discuss it here and offer you some food for thought.  At the end of the day, I believe everyone is different and thrives off a different eating style, diet, macronutrient breakdown and nutrition mentality. My way is not the right way. No ones is (in my opinion). Eat in a way that feels right for YOU and makes you happy. Health eating should be enjoyable and maintainable, not a constant battle that gives you anxiety and guilt.

Ok sis, as much as I love our girly chats and flooding this page with my thoughts, I want to keep this blog post short, sweet and to the delicious point…

PROS:

1. You have more control over your diet

2. You know exactly what’s going into your body and can make judgements regarding how your body thrives off different macronutrients. Do you need more protein, less protein etc.?

3. You feel a sense of direction with your next meal. Should this be a high carb açai bowl or a protein rich nourish bowl?

4. You’re held accountable and stay motivated throughout the day to reach your targets

CONS:

1. You obsess over the numbers and develop anxiety around food and feeling out of control when you can’t track it exactly

2. You follow trends and macro counting fads rather than listening to your body. You focus on the numbers rather than your body’s own signals

3. You can’t stop thinking about food and how you’re going to fit a cheat meal into your day. You feel guilty for going over or under your required macros for the day

4. You eat because you have to, and to achieve your goals. Food and diet becomes a number game… and you must win!

Okkkkk so that’s a nice and crisp little list I put together that pretty accurately described my current ideas and past relationship with counting macros. Back around 2014 I jumped on the whole ‘IIFYM’ (if it fits your macros) band wagon and thought it was the answer to all of my weight loss goals and shredding desires. Giiirllll was I wrong! I experienced every single con dot point stated above and was ultimately left even further away from my fitness goals, with severe gut health issues, a dairy intolerance I was in denial about and a terrible relationship with food.

However, I don’t regret this phase of my life at all! Although counting my macros was not mentally or physically healthy for me at the time, I do believe it has shaped my intuitive, relaxed and flexible style of eating now. Being consumed with what ingredients fell under a protein, carb or fat category actually enhanced my knowledge when it came to nutrition, and gave me a deep understanding of how my body thrived off each. I understood how much protein, carbs and fats my body needed and why. I was able to eye ball and estimate what 20 grams of protein looked like in chicken, eggs, fish, tofu or tempeh etc.

Nowadays I use that knowledge daily, but implement it in an intuitive, organic way. I think it’s extremely helpful when embarking on your own health and fitness journey to understand the important of each macronutrient, how you can include each in your diet and even how much.

This information has now become apart of my subconscious cooking mentality, and I’m constantly asking myself in my head “hmm what’s my healthy source of fat in this meal” etc.

One of my most frequently asked questions is do I count calories or track my macros, and what is my opinion on this. I thought it would be helpful to briefly discuss it here and offer you some food for thought.

At the end of the day, I believe everyone is different and thrives off a different eating style, diet, macronutrient breakdown and nutrition mentality. My way is not the right way. No ones is (in my opinion). Eat in a way that feels right for YOU and makes you happy. Health eating should be enjoyable and maintainable, not a constant battle that gives you anxiety and guilt.

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Food, FitnessSarah Stevenson