Why Tracking Macros Simplifies Life
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients make up majority of the human diet. They are protein, fats, and carbohydrates. The point of tracking them is to easily reach your fitness goals. The common term revolved around tracking macronutrients is "IIFYM" (if it fits your macros) or flexible dieting. Meaning that as long as you meet your daily calorie and macronutrient intake you will reach your fitness goals whether you're trying to burn fat or build muscle. Even if you are consuming pop tarts, cupcakes, or donuts. It's not so much of what you eat but how much you eat.
Protein: 4 calories per 1 gram
Carbs: 4 calories per 1 gram
Fats: 9 calories per 1 gram
For majority of society the main issue for weight gain is from consuming more calories than our body expends in a given day which is due to "energy balance". Energy is another word for “calories”. So, energy balance is the balance between how many calories you consume (food/drinks) versus the amount of energy you burn through exercise and physical activity. If you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you consume less calories than you burn, you lose weight. Pretty simple to understand. The point I want to get across in this article is to inform you why everyone should be tracking their macros. Not just to reach fitness goals but because it ensures a healthy, mindful lifestyle. To me, tracking your macros is the first step to achieving optimal health in your life and these are my 3 reasons why.
Reason #1: Nutritional Stress Relief
Before I started tracking my macros I didn't really know what to eat, how much to eat, or when to eat. The only advice I got was eat a lot of food (specifically protein), and eat clean...gee thanks for the advice! Especially coming into college when free food was the best food, cheap beer was the best beer, and being a broke college kid meant cheap, fast food. Not knowing anything about nutrition meant that anytime I would eat food that was not "clean" I would stress out and say "that's going straight to my belly", and I always had the thought that I was getting fat anytime I ate "unhealthy" which is usually the way a lot of people think. I thought I had to eat often to lose weight so I would always force down a big breakfast, and consistent snacks through out the day which I hated. I did not enjoy eating whatsoever. The only reason for eating that way was to reach my goals which I did not even do. I was stressed out and freaking miserable!
Once I was introduced to tracking macros by my girlfriend at the time (she was a bodybuilder), my life simplified and I was no longer stressed about what I consumed because as long as whatever I ate fit within my intake I was good to go! This meant I could enjoy all the healthy foods I liked and enjoy eating junk food once in a while and not stress over it. Tracking macros gives you that peace of mind to enjoy your favorite treats once in while without the stress. Because you know exactly how much you need to consume day to day and so you're able to plan ahead of what you want to eat and when. As long as you get within your daily limit you will inevitably reach your goals. It simplifies the process and allows you to munch on your favorite goodies (mine are pizza and burgers) without the stress and regret that usually follows.
Reason #2: Guaranteed Results
Tracking macros is a science, and it works. The calculations are all based on your height, weight, body fat percentage, your daily energy expenditure, and your fitness goals. You are provided with a daily calorie intake and a specific macro ratio distribution depending on your goals. LITRALLY all you do is plug in what you consume in an easy to use application on your phone after you eat a meal or snack. It takes the same amount of time to do as checking your Facebook or Instagram notifications. As long as you get within your intake everyday you will make progress and reach your goals.
When I speak to my clients about tracking macros, they usually reject the idea because it seems to hard or time consuming. It is because the human mind is conditioned to resist change. Anything new that requires work seems to hard and no one will give it the chance. Well what if companies marketed these nutrition apps as an awesome new social media platform that made your life easier, taught you about nutrition (which school doesn't), easily helps you reach fitness goals, and subconsciously programs your mind to know what and how much you normally consume! That sounds like something everyone would be open to trying, am I right?
Reason #3: You Become A Mindful Eater
After a while of tracking my macros it got easier and easier and just became a new habit in my daily routine. Which humans are creatures of habit. And as I got more accustomed to tracking and learning what I consume day in and day out I got to the point where I didn't even need to track anymore. It hit me when I was eating dinner with my family one night and for some reason we started talking about nutrition. I then stopped, looked at everyones dinner plates and said "I can LITRALLY guesstimate how many calories, protein, carbs, and fat everyone is consuming right now". All because of tracking my macros, I subconsciously programmed my mind to know the content in everything I eat.
Just from tracking your macros you become a pro guesstimater! Which I think is the coolest skill to have. You become more mindful of what you eat, you are forced to look at and learn nutritional labels which is a skill I think every human being should have since we have to eat to live...am I right? Once you become a mindful eater, knowing what you consume becomes automatic which means you don't use any brain energy on thinking what you should eat, when you should eat, is this healthy, or unhealthy, and you alleviate all the stress that comes with nutrition.
Conclusion: Why You Should Track Your Macros
- You alleviate stress and don't worry if what you eat is "unhealthy" or not.
- You are guaranteed to reach your fitness goals. #sciencerules
- You learn the ins and outs of nutritional content, which every human should learn.
- You subconsciously program your mind to know everything you consume.
- Acquire the awesome skill of becoming a pro guesstimater of nutrition.