My opinion on Tracking Macros/calories


We have all heard the IIFYM or "if it fits your macros" phrase if you started your fitness journey around 2-3 years ago.  This concept is pretty much talking about counting your macro nutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) usually using an app like MyFitnessPal;  you literally weight ALL your food,  yeap EVERYTHING!

When I first started my fitness journey this was not a "thing".  I just ate healthy foods,
you know your typical fruits and veggies, chicken, lean meats like turkey etc.  My diet has evolved so much since than.  So have I counted my macros? yes I have and I am going to share with you a quick insight of my thoughts and feeling regarding it.  What I am not going to do is teach you how to track; for this I would probably need another post or even yet a video.

So why do people track their macros/calories?  To you it probably makes no sense as you imagine people meticulously weighting their grams of rice to see how much they can eat.  This method is actually a great way to reach your fitness goals however, its not maintainable, it is NOT for everyone and most importantly it is just a TOOL not to be confused as a must do to be healthy and fit.

To start off if you have an eating disorder, or have an unhealthy relationship with food THIS IS NOT for you! please stay away.  You are only going to add more pressure to yourself, confuse your body more and become obsessive over yet another thing as people tend to switch mentally to "but does it fit my macros" and forget all about nutrients/minerals and overall HEALTHY food.

Does this method work? yes it does. It worked and still works great for me when I feel like I need to revisit my portions, because when I am on "mini cut" or prepping for something, or simply trying to get back on track with my health and fitness goals this method always helps me get back on track. What is different now from the time I started is the types of foods I am consuming. The whole "bro diet" (eating rice, chicken and broccoli) is NOT for ME.  I now eat wholesome foods, more plants, no chicken/meat, more fruits, smoothies, and lots more.

Please do not feel offended if you are tracking and the "bro diet" is working for you.  I just ain't about that life okay.

Let's Name The Pros

  • You learn portions.
    •   Sure bananas are healthy but do you know how many is too much for your body? and when I say "too much" I mean if its too much for YOUR current health/fitness GOALS.  Girl, if you wanna have 3 bananas and YOU are OKAY with it, its not impacting you then again THIS is NOT for you. 
  • Under eating/over eating?
    • Shocker, I was eating close to no healthy fats, and my protein was low.  My calorie intake was so low! I was trying to put on healthy weight but my calorie intake was off or vice versa I was trying to loose weigh and those sneeky snacks were the calories I was burning at the gym.  No wonder I didn't see results.   My point here? I learned to eat a balanced diet.  Do I worry if I don't hit my protein intake for the day? NOT ONE BIT.  I learned to listen to my body and see how it responds but this would not have been possible without the tracking experience.
  • It works!
    • Yes it does! You follow your macros, a balanced training schedule with rest days in for a CONSISTENT period of time and BOOM you see results.
  • Reading Food labels
    • For once you learn to pay attention to those food labels.  You start discovering that those protein healthy bars are not so "healthy".  You learn that that your unhealthy treat maybe is not so unhealthy.  Some people even learn what ingredients trigger their bodies to get bloated or gassy or "off".  Reading labels is something everyone should be looking at.  Not saying that tracking macros is the ONLY reason why people will read labels but for those whom have NEVER looked and are tracking this may be the first time they pay attention to a label.  This is by far one of the greatest benefits as you learn to be educated on what you are feeding your body
  • It sets a foundation for a healthier lifestyle
    • Years after first tracking I can say I have a great foundation that allows me to not have to track/weigh foods.  I do look at serving sizes, estimate portions and keep in mind the sodium/sugar content of the foods I opt to eat.  Again, this is a foundation not a determination for what I eat.  YOUR personal health/fitness journey will look completely different than mine or your BF/Husband or amiga(o).

Let's Name The Cons
  • Its not mantainable
    • One simply can not LIVE a life and track everything.  Its just not maintainable.  You move, have family events, children come, you get sick, you get older, your goals change and so on.  Sure it works for weeks and some people do it for 1-2 years but after so long you get burned out and bored of tracking.  Your body will probably stop responding too.
  • Its time consuming
    • For me now it is easier when I track as I estimate. Rarely do I get the scale out.  I just don't have the time or desire to do it.  
  • You stop listening to your body
    • Forcing yourself to finish that chicken breat beacuse you gotta hit your protein intake.  Sorry but NOPE. WHY?! if your body is screaming at your that its full, that its not craving that, that its hungry, than why not listen to it? I know friends who would force themselves to finish their food because they had already tracked it.  I just can't personally, I have done it before and never doing this again.
  • You get obsessed
    • So what happens when it turns out it works and you become afraid to not track those 3 chips, that ice cream bar, that apple? it becomes an obsession.  Life is not meant to be lived that way.  You will not loose your progress but again some people get obsessed with it and simply can not be flexible or even let go of tracking.
  • Food become numbers
    • This is well known to happen to those who have tracked. 
So as you can see this topic is not light.  For me its a very strong topic that has various points that are worth discussing but if theirs one thing I have learned in all these years of fitness is that living a healthy lifestyle has many forms and shapes.  Tracking works, its effective, you learn a lot about foods micronutrients but its just a tool.  Please always remember that living a healthy balanced lifestyle is not hard.  Once you learn what YOUR version of a healthy lifestyle looks like the rest will come with time.  Be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey.  I LOVE living a healthy balance lifestyle and can only wish for you all to do so as well.

If you wish to learn more about tracking research into Youtube.  I use this Macro Calculator from Katy Hearn's website.  

With Love,

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Copyright Maggiie Martinez.