Hey beautiful people!
If you caught my most recent post, I gave what I thought was kind of an introduction to macros; some macro Q&A–so hopefully that was helpful in terms of clarifying any of the basics.
So, to give some background regarding my eating habits/diet. Side note, I hate the word “diet.” It always makes me think of someone very restrictive and eating outside their normal habits. In this case I just mean what I would eat on a regular basis. ANYWAY. Before I started counting macros, I wasn’t tracking anything; no calories, nothing. The few times I did count though, I was eating around 2000-2200 calories per day; however I had no idea what percentage of this was from carbs, fats, or proteins. I mean, I had no concept of what a typical person ate per day regarding grams of each. So, no tracking or counting per say, but I was very conscious of what I was eating. I would limit myself to two “cheat” meals per week (and usually no more than 3 alcoholic drinks). I found that with this diet plus working out six days a week, I was seeing physical changes/results.
With that said, I initially started counting macros though because I felt like my physical progress had plateaued. Yes, I had been seeing physical changes with that eating regimen and was happy with how far I had come, but I felt like I had the ability to make more progress with the right tools: cue macros (and including more weightlifting in my routine…more on this in a different post).
I will be honest with you guys. I was very hesitant to start counting. I had heard mixed thoughts about it. I’m sure you’ve heard some people say it gives you complete freedom to eat whatever, and others that say it’s very restrictive because you’re just eating with the only mentality to “fit your macros.” I think that these are extreme views on both ends, but I think you get what I’m saying. In general, I was more concerned that it would be both time consuming, and yes, mentally unhealthy. I was like, am I really going to take the time to track everything in MFP (I didn’t even know about actually weighing food at this point!), and, do I want to think about every single thing I’m putting into my body and arrange it around “my macros”? I told myself though that I would count for 2 months and then make a decision whether to stick to it. I felt like this was enough time for me to make my own judgements on if it was a good fit for me.
So, here we are, 7 months later, and I’m still counting macros. My thoughts…the first couple weeks were hard AF. Not only was I not accustomed to accounting for everything, but I started off doing a cut (again, more on that in the next macro post). Since I was cutting, my carbs were not only lower than normal (maintenance), but they were way lower than what I was naturally eating (let’s just say about 100g lower..yes I was eating too many carbs beforehand!). AND GUYS. I was HANGRY. LIKE ALL THE TIME. The first day of counting, I texted Paola at dinnertime. I said, Paola, I can’t do this. These carbs are way too low. I remember she responded and said, “If you want, I can increase them BUT I really want to encourage you to stick to these numbers; your body will adjust, I promise.” And you know what, she was right! Within a week I could already tell that my body was adjusting to the new amounts/percentages of carbs, protein, and fat I was feeding it. Overall though, I was never hungry and I started seeing physical changes more quickly than ever before.
But to wrap up this post. Let me say why I’ve stuck with macros. Yes, the physical changes have been evident but it’s more than that. With counting macros, I know that without a doubt, my body is getting exactly what it needs. I know that I am getting enough (no more, no less) carbs, proteins, and fats to achieve my goals. Not only that, I feel like I have way more flexibility. Before counting, I was so focused on clean eating that sometimes being social, or enjoying going out became difficult. With macros, I overall eat clean but I am also able to go out to eat with friends, or have treats at home, and not question whether what I’m eating is deterring my goals. At night if I want a bowl of ice cream, I just account for it in my macros and that’s that; I dont feel restricted. Overall, counting macros gives me a peace of mind that I am nourishing my body appropriately while simultaneously being able to enjoy certain foods more often that I wouldn’t previously otherwise. For me, these benefits outweigh the time it takes to weigh/track what I’m eating (it’s really not that time consuming once you get in the routine of it)!
Alright, I tried to cover as much as possible without being super lengthy (I think I failed at the length part though haha). But leave any comments/questions and I’m happy to answer them! Next macros post I will more so focus on my physical progress that I’ve seen from counting 🙂
Leggings by Strut This; Sports bra & sneakers by Nike