Macros and I go back. Way back. In fact, I wrote one of my first posts about tracking macros over three years ago (July 11, 2015, to be exact), and it’s still a good read and I recommend it to get acquainted with the basics of what tracking your macros is all about. At that point, I’d already been tracking extensively for several months. This approach to diet/nutrition was a game-changer for me, so much so that I’ve continued to use it in pursuit of my goals on and off for the three years that have ensued since then. In fact, I’ve taken ALL of the knowledge and experience I’ve gained and put it into my signature program, GAME YOUR GRAMS. If you want to learn more about it, just e-mail me with the subject line “GAME MY GRAMS!”
I decided that three years is plenty long enough to re-visit and expand (and expound) even further on why I love tracking macros. “Oh, tracking macros, how I love thee! Let me count the ways…” Guess how many reasons I came up with? Did you come up with five? (Did the title of this post give it away)?
Let’s discuss the five reasons why I love tracking macros (and why I think you will love it, too):
ALL THE FOODS!
ALL foods are available! There is no set list of “allowed” foods and by extension, no list of “off limits” foods – you eat REAL foods that YOU like. And since you like the foods and you pick the foods, you are more likely to have dietary compliance, and that’s a good thing when you are using nutrition to support your goals.
That’s right, you eat pizza, pasta, chocolate, cake, ice cream, kale, broccoli, apples, quinoa, rhubarb…IF YOU WANT TO. ALL foods can fit within the context of your overall day.
Since ALL foods are available every day, I don’t get bored (unlike a meal plan that has you eating the same thing day after day or rotating the same recipes each week). Not getting bored means I am more likely to stick with it.
Also, variety means I am likely to get a broader selection of micro-nutrients (the non-caloric elements of food, such as vitamins and minerals). This reduces cravings triggered by micro-nutrient deficiencies – did you know that sometimes your cravings are your body’s way of telling you that you need a certain food because it has one or more key micro-nutrients that you are currently lacking in your diet? This effect can be compounded when you are attempting to reduce your overall daily calories, because you are eating less food overall and are less likely to achieve the minimum recommended daily allowances (RDA’s) of key micro-nutrients.
Fewer cravings also means I am more likely to stick with this approach. Your ability to stick with an approach (consistency and adherence) is key for its success.
Yes, you CAN have ALL of the foods that YOU like, but the portion size does need to be moderate. I love that this approach shows you that your favorite fun foods can be part of an overall healthy, balanced approach to nutrition to help you achieve your goals. The short-term satisfaction from regularly incorporating foods that are primarily good for your soul make this approach long-term sustainable. That’s better than any short-term, restrictive crash diet.
Tracking macros was a great way for me to move away from an “all-or-nothing” mindset when it comes to these “fun” foods. It used to be that if I had one cookie, I figured I might as well eat the whole sleeve, since I had already “screwed up.” And since I was being “bad” (let’s remember that food and its consumption are NOT moral choices), why not have those cookies with a pint of ice cream and might as well finish off the candies in the cupboard to have a “clean slate” for the next day, right? That was nothing but a surefire recipe for guilt and shame, followed by a period of super rigid “clean” eating, only to repeat the cycle all over again.
Now I know that ONE cookie doesn’t have to derail my entire day. It just means that I scale back in a few other areas to end up with an overall balanced day. Let me stress: ANY food can be part of a healthful, balanced diet that supports your goals, when considered in the context of your overall intake and activity for the day.
If you can relate to the hamster wheel I described above, I feel you, boo. I’m so pumped to TEACH YOU everything I’ve learned to GAME YOUR GRAMS. You can record your interest in the program with an e-mail straight to my inbox (I read each and every message; no personal assistants at my beck and call!).
Social life! Yes, you can go out to restaurants, BBQs, dinner parties, potlucks, etc. And no, you don’t have to bring little containers of food with you. There are many different strategies you can use for eating out while tracking macros, depending on the situation. It’s been such a relief (and game-changer) for me to have approaches for kids’ birthday parties (despite my wonderful homemade baked goods, I’m still a sucker for store-bought cake with sprinkles!), fancy-schmancy multi-course company dinners, and impromptu social gatherings, among others. Gone are the days of “I’ll go out…when this [INSERT FAD DIET] is over.” Tracking macros is part of my life when I need it to be, including on vacation!
EDUCATION & EMPOWERMENT
Rather than blindly following a restrictive created by someone else (instead of a moderate approach with variety and the REAL foods that YOU like), learning to track your macros taught me to be the scientist exploring my own body and its responses to the foods I ate. I’m SO PUMPED to teach you and to help you on a guided journey of self-discovery so that you can find the best approach for YOU, using the foods YOU like!
At the end, you’ll have a truly custom approach that considers your goals, your lifestyle and your preferences, and you’ll never need to spend money on a generic PDF meal plan again.
Ready for the education? My signature GAME YOUR GRAMS 12-week program launches September 12. Just enough time to get settled into the fall routine, but still soon enough to take advantage of the boost of motivation that comes with a new season.
Limited spots available – don’t miss out. It’s as easy as clicking right here to introduce yourself.
Have a fit day!
*As always, I am NOT a nutritionist or a dietitian. I encourage you to consult with your trusted health professional on any dietary advice or strategies that are unique to YOU as an individual, especially if you are dealing with food allergies or intolerance.