I Know What You’re Thinking…
Why would you want to track everything you eat? Who has time for that? That’s not what normal people do!” Why should you count macros?
Let me tell you that if I was not the person I am today I would probably be asking the same questions, so I get it. In fact, this has become one of the most controversial topics in the fitness industry today. Everyone knows that it ultimately comes down to calories in vs calories out.
The equation is there and the basics will never change. You will always achieve your goals as long as you manipulate the equation to suit your particular needs. Want to gain muscle? Eat more than your body burns. Want to lose fat? Eat less than your body burns.
The infographic I made above pretty much sums things up. It is not complicated when you put it in simple terms but when it comes down to executing, it’s a whole another ball game. This is why counting macros is so important to achieving your goals and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
I always say, if you’re not measuring then you’re just guessing. Simple as that! How are you going to know how many calories you are taking in each and every day if you don’t count them? How will you know how to eat to lose fat if you’re not tracking your food intake?
Exactly! It becomes much more difficult. Even though you can get away with estimating portions and using guides as tools you must remember you are unique. Those guides will only take you so far and you will plateau at some point. Soon, you will lose hope and be back where you began.
Dieting is NOT a “Diet”
Macronutrients are not a diet, they’re just a nutritional tool for all of us. It’s something we can measure. We use this to craft individualized nutritional programs, measure nutrient intake, and adjust when necessary so that we can coach individuals to help them conquer their goals.
Personally, I have been tracking my calories and macros for as long as I can remember. Since I have been doing it for so long I can easily eyeball portion sizes and determine the calories in each meal. This is a skill that you will eventually acquire over time with practice.
That’s the main reason why you should count macros! Because you want to be able to know what exactly what a portion is and be aware of HOW MUCH you are eating. This is what separates successful dieters from those who never seem to get the results they want.
You see, every “diet” out there has certain recommendations based on percentages of macronutrients. Some have higher carb intakes, some may be extremely high in fat, and others may be more balanced. But, they all require you to stay within those ranges by counting macros.
You see, the true beauty of this concept is that once you begin to track things and see how your body responds to those changes you will be amazed at what you’ll discover. You might be stunned at the number of calories you were ACTUALLY eating on a daily basis.
Believe me, it is very simple to say, “I don’t eat much and I can’t lose weight” or “I barely eat any food”. Once you start tracking things it’s a whole another story. I see this with my clients ALL THE TIME. It is not your fault. Society as a whole tends to underestimate food consumption by a lot.
This is why I truly believe you will benefit from counting your macros. Don’t worry this is not forever (we’ll get to that later), it’s about building HABITS for the long-term. This is so that you can build the skill where you no longer have to track things to attain your goals and build your plate.
You can count macros and:
- Be paleo
- Do Intermittent Fasting
- Carb Cycle
- Try going Keto
- Adopt a Vegan lifestyle
*The list goes on…because it’s not a diet. It’s simply a very useful tool!
This tool should not only be used to help us achieve a specific result or weight goal. But instead, primarily used as an educational tool to better understand and apply nutrition to our lifestyle. So before you attempt intuitive eating you should begin by counting macros first.
There are three things you’ll need:
- Digital Food Scale
- Calorie tracking app (I use Macros)
- The will and dedication to do it (I promise you it is worth it!)
There is not much to ask from you to get started. I know it can be a little strange and overwhelming to begin tracking food especially if you’ve never done it before. This is not meant for you to stress or complicate things. It’s all about breaking the “portion distortion” problem we face today.
The good news is that every food tracking app out there includes a wide variety of nutritional databases and most foods we eat. Simply, take out your food scale, measure your food, and enter it on your smartphone app. That’s it!
Begin slowly, don’t overcomplicate things, and take it day by day. You will soon begin to see how calories in vs calories out is much more than what it seems to be. Practice this with every meal and feel how your body adapts. Are you building a balanced meal? Are your calories in check?
All of these things are important. There will come a point where you will NO LONGER NEED THE SCALE! You will be able to look at portions and quickly estimate their caloric intake. No matter where you are or where you go that knowledge will be with you.
When you count your macros you will:
- Build self-awareness
- Learn to be flexible
- Understand nutrients and their timing
- Eat for YOUR body and YOUR needs
- Optimize performance in and out of the gym
- Gain food control
*The list can go on forever…
Don’t worry! Macros are not forever. You don’t need to depend on the food scale ’til you die. You don’t need to count or track EVERY SINGLE THING you eat. But, the one thing you need to do is begin tracking. Do this for at least a month and I guarantee your life will change!
Take a look at the infographic below which covers everything we talked about in a nutshell. Like I said, counting macros is not an easy or simple task to do. It will require time, commitment, and digging deep for your “why”. But in the end, it will all be worth it!
So now let me ask you…
Do you count your macros?
If so, what are your current macros?
What is the greatest benefit you have seen from tracking?
If not, are you ready to begin after reading this?
Please share with anyone who might benefit from this!
P.S. If you would like to get personalized nutrition coaching from me just fill out the free form and let’s get to work.