One of the questions I get asked most often is:
SHOULD I BE COUNTING CALORIES?
Or, "What about tracking macros? What does that even mean and how do I start?"
Today I wanted to give you a short run-down on my opinion about tracking calories and/or macros, and whether or not it's appropriate for you.
The true answer: it depends.
In this video (click here if you'd rather watch me talk about this topic in my new video), I talk about times in your life it may be appropriate to track macros:
1. You're just getting started, or your weight loss has stalled.
When you're first starting out in your fitness journey and you've never taken an inventory of what a typical day of eating looks like for you, you may be severely over or under-eating.
There have been SO many times I've done a nutrition consultation with women who can't seem to lose weight. They come to me frustrated and fed up, because they feel like they're doing everything right - eating healthy, working out, but still not seeing results.
So, I have them track their intake via MyFitnessPal for a few days, and some of them are only eating 1,200 calories or less per day!!!
OF COURSE you're not losing weight!
This sounds counter-intuitive - I mean, the less you eat, the more weight you should lose... right? WRONG. There comes a point when your body actually thinks it's starving, so it holds on to any fat you have for dear life for fear of never being fed again.
We add a few hundred calories (slowly) back into their diet, and they start losing weight again! This is the best...
I love seeing women eat more and weigh less. It makes me so happy. :)
Moral of the story: you may be over or under-estimating what you're eating, so tracking your food intake in an app like MyFitnessPal can be helpful for a few days to see where you're at.
2. You're a super clean eater.
It's great to eat whole, clean foods. But if you've ever had a FEAR of eating anything remotely "bad" for you, flexible dieting/tracking macros could help.
Because it shows you that as long as you hit certain proteins, fats and carbs per day -- you can still see great results.
Honestly, I don't think you NEED to track macros in order to start adding treats back into your diet (which is why I help women/men overcome their fear of food and learn how to eat the foods they love while still getting great fat loss results) .... but I understand for some people it helps to see quantifiable numbers as proof that they're not going overboard.
That's the key: everything in moderation. Even healthy food.
You CAN get great results, even having a glass of wine every night, or a piece of chocolate, or even a doughnut if you really wanted to.
3. You have a deadline.
A wedding, a bodybuilding show, a vacation... anything that has an upcoming deadline that you have specific goals for, may require a more detailed/dialed in approach.
Tracking macros allows you to see how much food to put into your body in order to get the best results in the shortest period of time.
DISCLAIMER: HERE'S MY HONEST OPINION
You do NOT need to track macros in order to get wonderful results.
You do NOT need to spend your time counting calories and obsessing over food in order to lose weight, build muscle, or whatever your goal may be.
As I explained in my video - The Real Reason I Quit Bikini Prep - tracking macros led me back to obsessive behaviors that sparked my eating disorder years ago.
So while tracking macros may be appropriate for certain times of your life, understand that you're not meant to track macros forever.
Here are a few questions I ask my nutrition clients when I do a consultation with them:
1. Is your current style of eating working for you? Why or why not?
2. Can you see yourself eating this way 5, 10, 20 years from now?
If your answer to #2 is no..... then my advice is to find a way of eating that's sustainable, moderate and that you genuinely LOVE.
If you need help doing that, send me an email with your current frustrations. Trust me, I GET IT. I've been where you are. And I love talking about this stuff....
my door is always open :)
Stop Dieting. Start Living.
You can do this!
P.S. Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel! I'll be uploading a lot more workout vids, full days of eating, and documenting Mark & I's road trip to Texas --> Canada. We leave next week, ahhh!!!