I’ll be the first to say it, counting macros is not for everyone, and that’s okay! But for some people, myself included, it has really changed the way I perceive food and how I choose what goes into my body. When I first heard of macros I thought that it was a restrictive way of eating, and that people just used it as an excuse to eat unhealthy (I guess I thought people were just eating candy and donuts all day? Who knows lol). Obviously, that was a very misinformed opinion!
I finally started considering counting macros for two main reasons. I was busting my ass at the gym 6x a week and eating very clean (only 1-2 “cheat” meals a week) and felt like I should have been seeing a lot more progress than I actually was. And two, I was tired of feeling deprived and controlled by only eating “clean.” My whole week became planning my meals around when my cheat meal was going to be. I started feeling like it was really affecting my social life and overall happiness. I felt like my mindset wasn’t a healthy one; I became somewhat obsessed with how I was going to eat clean the majority of the week. Yeah, not very conducive (for my lifestyle and mindset at least). With all that said though, I figured that I might as well give macros a try.
@Paosfitworld has been calculating my macros for over a year now and I have been following her workout guide, the Strong and Sexy Body Method. In a nutshell, I feel very grateful for her as she has really changed my mindset on what it means to be healthy! Anyways, I digress. So, she started calculating my macros for me and its been over a year and I haven’t thought about going back to just “eating clean.” Here’s why:
-For the amount of time I was putting in at the gym, I felt like my physical progress should have been greater.
-I was feeling really deprived throughout the week, and it was getting to be very stressful. Everything became about, “Can I eat this?” “Is this clean enough?” “If this is my cheat meal then I guess I can’t have anything else ‘bad’ this week.”
So yes, those were the main reasons why I started counting but others have developed along the way which just reinforce why I count. And maybe some of these will hit home for you guys!
-You know that you are eating the exact right amount– not too much, not too little. Overeating versus undereating can be a tricky thing to balance. If you don’t eat enough, you won’t see progress but if you eat too much you won’t see progress either! Macros lets you know that you are eating the exact right amount of calories for your specific goal (losing weight, gaining weight, or maintaining weight).
-You know that you are eating the right distribution of macronutrients to optimize your workouts. Ever wonder if you’re getting enough protein? If you’re eating too many carbs? Not enough carbs? (Yes, that’s a thing!) Macros takes out all of that guess work. You know that for your goals you are eating exactly what your body needs to achieve them.
-You feel deprived from only eating clean (especially to the point where you end up binging on “bad” foods.) Macros allows you total flexibility on what kind of food you choose to eat. Like I said before, you’re not sitting around eating sugar filled candy all day but it allows you to incorporate any food without ruining your progress. I eat ice cream 4x a week and still look more toned than I have ever been! And yes, I mean real ice cream, not the “healthy” kinds. Although those are good too! 😉
If you feel like macros may be a good fit for you, the last big question I get is, “How/where do I get my numbers?” Well, there are several online calculators that generate macros, but they are so individualized that I prefer to use someone who I trust. I’ve been using Paola for over a year now and she has done an amazing job! If you are interested in her calculating your macros you can find her page here!
Hopefully this was helpful for anyone debating if they should get on the macro train or not. As always, any questions, lemme know!