If you follow any fitness influencers, gurus, athletes, or just genuine fitness enthusiasts (like myself), you may find some who talk about counting macros.
But…what are macros and should you count them?
First off, let’s cover the basics of what macros are…aka…macronutrients.
Macronutrients are your proteins, fats, and carbs.
For those who count macros, a lot of the time there is a goal in mind: fat loss, muscle gain, training for a comp (bodybuilding, comp show, crossfit, etc.). For others, it’s just to start tracking and live a healthier lifestyle.
If you are pondering whether or not you should count them, ask yourself these questions:
-Do I need to track my food intake to see what I am consuming, in order to make healthy changes?
-Do I feel sluggish and weak during high intensity workouts, sports, etc.?
-Do I have a big goal, or event, that I want to work towards? (This can be a competition or maybe a wedding or other event)
-Have I had a past problem with my relationship with food and my body?
-Do I want to truly strive for balance in life and with food, but need a little guidance?
If any of these are familiar to you or you relate can relate to them, you may consider trying it out. It’s definitely not for everyone, though! Just like there is “no one diet that fits all”.
I am all about balance. I have struggled with not one, but two, bouts of an eating disorder. So it was only in the last couple of years, really, where my relationship with food has been where it should be: healthy with a mix of fun!
I have had my fair share of tries with counting macros. In all honesty, I think it is an absolutely amazing tool! It’s not only great for people who are starting a healthy lifestyle journey, but it’s a fantastic tool for those with goals.
What I personally run into is just getting tired of having to try and track…all for it to be “messed up”, so to speak, when friends or family want to go out to eat, or if Austin wants to spontaneously go to eat food somewhere.
I’ve learned that, for me and my life, I would rather eat healthy and accordingly, and leave room for balance and fun! If Austin decides one night at the last minute he wants pizza instead of chicken and broccoli, I’ll take some pizza!
Balance is KEY to success…whether it is short term or long term. You want to be able to balance food, life, work, sleep, etc. It all runs together.
“So Emily, if this is your experience, should I not track at all?”
Don’t let my experience dictate your decision on tracking. 80-90% of the time now, I’m not fooling too much with tracking macros. If I feel like I haven’t been eating enough to fuel my workouts, I will track a few days. But after a few days, I don’t want to keep tracking until I feel I need to.
It can definitely still be done while going out to eat, but you may have to sacrifice some things (or outings) if you really have goals you want to reach.
Bottom line is this–you gotta do you, boo! If that means tracking macros for a while, then go for it! If it’s following more of a meal plan…do it!
Do I think this is something that can stay long term for the rest of your life? No! Life should be lived, loved, and enjoyed…including food!
Each day I am getting more and more to the place where I just love to eat healthy, but also enjoy other foods. Nothing off limits! If I feel the need to track macros, it’s to be sure I’m fueling enough for a workout, or maybe even leading up to a comp.
If you are interested in learning more, or want to get started with your own macro journey, please feel free to contact me and I would love to help!