I’ll be honest with you…I love tracking my macros. I do not believe it’s something that needs to be done forever, but tracking macros taught me so much and brought me great results. Today I want to share with you a few of the reasons whybthis strategy worked for me and just might be the thing you need.
First, let me start off with a little bit of background info. Prior to tracking my macros, I spent about two years competing in physique/bodybuilding competitions. For the majority of those two years I was following a meal plan...and looking back I wasn’t even doing that right. I was told to eat 5oz of chicken, 200g of broccoli, 4oz of steak and 100g of sweet potato, etc. The only problem is, at the time I didn’t understand the importance of weighing my food. Woops!! I’m sure I was WAY off! So let’s start there.
It taught me how to eat independently.
No more meals plan needed. Once I learned where to find carbs, proteins and fats, I was empowered to make my own decisions!
It created awareness.
Turns out, I had ZERO clue what I was putting in my body. Even prior to competing, if you were to ask me how many calories or how many grams of protein I ate per day, I would have been clueless. Looking back, I was probably getting the majority of my calories from carbs (which are not bad), and now I understand the importance of protein. At the time, I was teaching a ton of group fitness classes so those carbs were put to use, but when I started teaching less, I didn’t need quite that much energy in the tank.
It allowed me more flexibility.
Another term for macro tracking is “flexible dieting.” It’s FLEXIBLE because you can fit your favorite treats into your macros. There’s nothing wrong with pizza or cookies or ice cream or chips or margaritas. You learn how to make these things fit into your daily budget of macros. This way you feel WAY less deprived and you understand you can have a serving of Doritos, just not the whole bag.
I stopped mindlessly eating (most of the time).
Most of us don’t mindlessly eat salmon, steak or eggs. The food that we mindlessly eat typically come out of packages. How quickly have you gotten to the end of a sleeve of Thin Mints? No judgement, that’s real life! But when you learn that 4 cookies, F.O.U.R cookies, are a serving that provide 22g of carbs, 8g of fat and 1g of protein, you tend to put the breaks on the Thin Mints a little faster!
It taught me portions.
This goes right along with awareness, but when you learn what serving sizes actually are, you have the tools needed to move from tracking macros to intuitive eating...or EATING. as I like to call it. Most of us are underestimating how much peanut butter and ice cream we are eating and OVER estimating our protein portions. When you know better, you can do better.
I thought it was fun.
I like to think of hitting my numbers like a game. It’s simply a puzzle that you have to figure out. Anytime you can gamify something, your likelihood of success is higher.
I had support and I was willing to learn something new.
Getting a coach isn’t a must, but it is helpful. There are plenty of online calculators out there that will tell you what your macros should be, but the majority of people will benefit not only from a little support, but also a little guidance on how to meet your numbers.
It shifted my perspective from scarcity to abundance.
In the past when I wanted to lean out, I thought I had to eat less. Turns out, you don’t necessarily need to eat less, but rather eat the right portions. When you’re tracking, you’re trying to add up your food to hit your daily targets, not just focus on everything that you can’t have. As a nutrition coach I can tell you, most people underestimate how much food they should actually be eating, even in a fat loss phase. What a great realization to come to; that you can eat MORE and still reach your goals.
It taught me the importance of my nutrition matching my goals.
When you see how you can manipulate your body with nutrition, it is life changing. There’s a season for everything. Sometimes you’ll be in a fat loss phase, sometimes you’ll be in a reverse diet, sometimes you’ll be in a build phase, sometimes you’ll be in maintenance mode. As your goals change, so should your nutrition. And news flash...your goals need to change. You CANNOT be in a fat loss phase forever. Again, that’s a whole different post.
As you can see, macros worked for me, and it might work for you! You never know until you try and I’d love to help you figure it all out!