Are you trying to lose weight or get healthy? Then you are probably looking for a nutrition strategy that will finally work for you. There are so many different diets out there, how do you choose the right approach to finally reach your goals. In this two-part article, we will dive into tracking your macros versus tracking portion sizes to understand how each approach works and which will be best for you.
Before we dive in, I suggest you start by answering the question that sparked this topic for yourself: What do you really struggle with when it comes to “staying on track” with your goal of transforming your body and getting healthy?
I asked our Facebook community to share their thoughts on that question a few weeks ago and the responses were surprisingly similar. What was not a surprise, however, was that everyone focused on the challenge of “eating right”:
The first theme that I noticed the challenge of being consistent. You know that nutrition is important to how you look and feel, but it can be tough to make the right choices at every meal. And when you fall off track, it can snowball into days of bad decisions that leave you feeling frustrated. You need a strategy that helps you more easily be consistent.
The second theme you see in the feedback is “all or nothing”. You are either counting every calorie that you are consuming… or eating everything in sight. This is very common issue with diets, because we have a detailed plan to follow for 21 days (or 6 weeks or the duration of your plan). Once you reach that finish line, you often celebrate by returning to your “normal habits”. Unfortunately, those old habits often lead to back to weight gain and we end up back where we started.
Can you relate to either of these struggles? This vicious cycle is why I wanted a better way to help my clients reach their goals. An approach that doesn’t require counting calories for the rest of your life. A simple method to learn how to to get the right amount and the right balance of food at each meal.
In both my personal experience and research as a nutrition coach, I have found that eating the right types of food is more effective than cutting calories. Macros (or macronutrients) are the nutrients that the body requires in large amounts: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Each macro is important for your overall health, but the amount of each that your body needs depends on your size, body type, activity levels, and specific goals.
To dig even deeper, it’s important to know that not all foods are created equal. In fact, two foods with the exact same calorie content can have a 50% difference in the calories your body burns just processing that food. So if you’re just counting calories, you’re missing up to half the picture!
When you start to fuel your body in the right macro nutrient portions and timing, you will see some great results in reaching your fat loss goals.
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Is Counting Macros Sustainable?
At this point, most people want to know which proportion of each macronutrient they should aim for – otherwise known as the macro split. The answer is that it depends on many factors, so there isn’t one perfect split that works for everyone. When I first started coaching clients, we started by working on the best macro split for that individual.
But there was a problem.
In almost every case, sticking with that style of eating only lasted through the end of the program. And some people really struggled with tracking to that level of detail even in the program. After the program was finished, they didn’t want to keep tracking their meals this closely! This is when those old habits resurface for many people.
As my goal is to help people transform their lives, I realized tracking macros to this level wasn’t the right approach for lifelong results. This approach works great for someone who is already consistently eating clean and is training for a short-term goal (like a fitness competition). But for long-term results, you need an approach that you can stick with for the long-term.
This is when I realized there is a simple alternative approach that allows us to get the benefits of macros, without counting everything we eat.
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Ready to learn about portions? Click here to continue to Part 2.
Now it’s your turn: